Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rock Chalk Terriers: Preview Part I

Anyone think Pat Chambers is rethinking his career move over the summer now?  Although the Terriers broke a decade-long tourney berth cold snap this past March, they enter this season with a great deal of uncertainty as the two men who were most responsible moved on to what at the time seemed like greener pastures.  As the new-look team prepares to take the court against the lesser of our two Hated Crosstown Rivals (take a moment to be depressed that the game will be received among the BU student body with near-total apathy), perhaps it would be as good a time as any to refresh the memories of you, our loyal readers, in regards to some storylines that ought to have a great bearing on the new Terrier season.

1.  New Coach Joe Jones Replaces Departed Pat Chambers
  • I wish the man who orchestrated nothing less than my favorite sports memory (yes, including the hockey championship) at BU all the best at what's left of Penn State after the rioting.  I just hope the Bryce Jordan Center is left intact because he truly is an exciting, dynamic coach who deserves a shot at building a power-conference program.  I'll be honest, I wasn't a fan of hiring Joe Jones to replace him at first.  An 86-108 record at Columbia is quite an eyesore and his last gig was as a Steve Donahue assistant at BC. That being said, he has seemed to be keeping up with Chambers' strides on the recruiting trail and by all accounts is also an energetic character.  Color me cautiously optimistic on this hire.  The last 'Nova assistant we hired worked out okay in the end.  
2. I Am Jake O'Brien's Raging Broken Foot
  • This was a much bigger blow to the team's chances this year than perhaps the loss of Chambers.  With John Holland leaving, Jake O'Brien was expected to be the one to take over as leader of the Terriers on the court.  This will not come to pass, unfortunately, as he will miss the entire season due to complications from that injury suffered against the UMass on last New Year's Eve.  His was a huge absence last year that will be even more pronounced without John Holland.  Which brings us to...
3. How Do You Solve A Problem Like Graduation?
  • In very Greg Jennings-esque manner, John Holland put the Terrier basketball team on his back and basically beat Stony Brook singlehandedly in the AE Championship game last March.  That was a good thing.  A bad thing is when that aforementioned star exhausts his eligibility.  Players like Darryl Partin and defensive ace Pat Hazel must step up in a big way this year and underclassmen like D.J. Irving and Dom Morris must make significant strides to compensate for losing the conference's best player.

Those three keys will have a big influence on how this season turns out for the Terriers.  I personally believe they still have the talent to compete for the AE title this year and that either Partin or Irving could potentially be the conference POY.

To finish up part 1 of this preview, here's a look at how me and my esteemed colleague QuackQuack think the Terrier rotation will shake out

1. G D.J. Irving--pretty obvious, he was the go to point man last year as well. 
2. Here we have some disagreement.  QQ thinks sharpshooter Matt Griffin will get the nod at SG while I personally think Zach Chionuma will eventually earn that nod with stronger defense and his own scoring ability.  A reach to be sure, but he's got that potential.
3.  F Darryl Partin--the obvious choice.
4. F Dom Morris--perhaps the only beneficiary of the O'Brien injury.  Was a solid shooter and defender last season.  Pelage could perhaps challenge but he never has made that jump in productivity the last couple years so it is difficult to imagine him unseating Dom.
5.  C Pat Hazel--A monster defensively and on the boards.  Will not be challenged, even by huge RS FR Piotrowski.  Definitely his spot to lose.

More BU hoops coming Friday!

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