It has been a rather disappointing first half of the season for Boston University’s men’s basketball team. The Terriers are currently sitting at 3–6 following a series of disappointing losses.
BU’s season started off with high hopes. It was able to recruit some new players that it hoped would work into the roster immediately.
|Maurice Watson Jr.|
(Photo: Steve McLaughlin)
Its top recruit was freshman Maurice Watson Jr. out of Landsowne, Pa., a small but speedy point guard that can spread the ball around while creating his own shot.
Next was Wallingford, Conn., native guard John Papale, one of the nation’s top high school 3-point shooters. Papale, BU’s equivalent to Knicks sensation Steve Novak, has had a rather impressive season, making a slew of 3-pointers to start his college career.
The third recruit was this year’s Kentucky Mr. Basketball, Nathan Dieudonne. The 6-foot-7 forward has done a solid job at the starting power forward position this season.
The season began with heartbreak for the Terriers, as they traveled across Boston to play against Northeastern University at Matthews Arena. With a two-point lead and the ball in the Huskies’ (4–5) hands, BU was in control of its own fate.
However, BU fell asleep at the wheel and gave up a wide open three-pointer that went in with 0.7 seconds left. With no timeouts left, all hope was lost for the Terriers as they suffered their first loss of the season.
BU’s bad luck continued as it traveled to Buffalo, N.Y. the following week and allowed another game to slip out of its hands as Canisius College pulled away in the final minutes to win, 83–75.
Things went from bad to worse for the Terriers during their first home game against George Washington University when they fell, 72–59.
The Terriers then traveled down to New Brunswick, N.J. to try to pick up their first win against Rutgers University. But with a very late flagrant foul, BU put itself out of position to beat the Scarlet Knights (7–2).
A second buzzer-beater loss came the very next game when George Mason University scored a game-winning layup en route to a three-point play to edge the Terriers, 48–45.
“The big thing I think, I felt that we controlled the majority of the three toughest losses [George Mason, Harvard and Northeastern] and did a good job. I thought in each of those game we were not able to get a stop at the end of the game and it came down to one possession at the end of the game and we couldn’t get a stop,” said BU coach Joe Jones.
In its second home game, the team took a few steps in the right direction against Coastal Carolina University. Facing a tough Chanticleer’s (2–5) team that had the nation’s second-best shooter at the time, BU went on several runs and easily defeated Coastal Carolina, 74–44, to pick up its first victory.
That win was the start of a three-game win streak for the Terriers, helping the team rebound from a shaky start.
Unfortunately for the Terriers, that win streak came to a bitter end against another local school. BU made the short trip from its campus in Boston over to Allston to take on Harvard. It fell to the Crimson (5–4) on a last–second shot by Harvard point guard Siyani Chambers. BU junior guard D.J. Irving, who was playing as well as he played all season, tried to bring the ball down the court and score with five seconds left, but he could not sink the attempted buzzer-beater.
|D.J. Irving goes for a layup.|
“It’s the first time I’ve had a team where we’ve struggled a bit down the stretch. It’s coming down to that one play where we have to execute late in the game,” Jones said.
With that, the first America East game will be against the University of Maine on Jan. 2. Considering how the Terriers have performed thus far against non–conference opponents, they should have a pretty good season playing against America East opponents. (Editor's note: Boston U. lost to Maine last night in the conference opener, 63-58.)
The team is still somewhat young and inexperienced, which means it is gradually improving the more the players are together on the court. Expect to see a strong showing from the Boston University men’s basketball team as the season progresses.
“It’s a much more positive 3–6. Our guys feel pretty confident. We don’t want to be a team that only looks at our record. We’re about seeing what we’re doing wrong,” Jones said. “I’m focusing on finishing the non-conference play strong so that we can go into conference play with positive momentum.
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