Sleeping With The Enemy: Boston University

The normally fair and balanced Matt Whitrock of the excellent One Bid Wonders takes of his journalist hat and put on his rabid BU fan hat. Here’s some a bottled water to smuggle into MSG, it’ll cost you $5 once you’re in.

Does Chambers have a Napoleonic complex? Is he short or I am just making that up?

I don’t think Chambers has a Napoleonic complex… I think Napoleon would have had an aneurysm after some of BU’s shooting performances (if you can call them that) from earlier this season. And he’s not really that short, it just looks that way because he’s next to basketball players. I’m pretty sure he’s taller than Sam, for instance.

We feel the feast and famine of Logan Aronhalt from week to week. It seems Partin is in the same vein. Is he a dependable #2 guy?

Partin’s really hot or cold… even more than Holland, when Partin is on it’s “Game Over” for the opposition, he can bury you, but he can also bury his own team when he’s not hitting his shots, because in order for him to find his stroke he can end up missing a lot of shots in the process. If he’s not nailing jumpers he doesn’t have a lot of other ways to beat you. Honestly I prefer D.J. Irving as the No. 2 guy at this point, which is more of a compliment to Irving than saying something really negative about Partin – I think Irving’s that good with the ball in his hands.

Holland demolished Maine and highlight with an alley oop flush that was just unfair. He’s got the talent, but is he coming along as a leader?

I don’t think Holland is the type of player who you can count on to impose his will in every game. That’s what a lot of people were expecting, and that’s really just not who he is. What I do see from Holland is that he’s starting to do the things BU fans have been wanting to see from Day 1 this season – get to the free throw line, crash the glass, make the defense worry about something other than the 3-pointer. BU doesn’t really have much of a post game, so Holland living in the lane is one of the main ways for the Terriers to draw defensive attention inward and open up opportunities for everyone else.

Take a stab at the chemistry on this team. Senior star, lots of transfers, lots of frosh.

Chemistry is coming along. With so many new faces, it takes time for everyone to learn their role, and injuries only complicate that. Who is a scorer/facilitator/grinder? How does the offense change when Griffin is initiating it as compared to Irving? How many threes are a good number to take? How fast do we want to play? Those questions are being answered now, and the more obvious the answers become for us, the more obvious they become to the players and the coaches as well. I don’t think it should be a surprise to anyone that BU is starting to play better now in February.

No Jake O. Is Dom Morris healthy enough/ ready to take his spot? Also give us the injury report on Pelage.

At this stage in his career Morris isn’t capable of replacing O’Brien’s offense (or his ability as a shotblocker). If BU can get 6-8 points from Morris, draw a few fouls, and rebound well on a nightly basis, that helps to grease the wheels. Anything more than that is gravy. Pelage was nicked up earlier this year and I don’t know if he’s been 100% at any point, but he give the frontcourt some extra fouls to work with and is a much, much better rebounder than anyone seems to give him credit for. Really… he’s great on the glass. Not good, great.

What does DJ Irving mean to this team? Do you make the case that he’s ROY?

I don’t think Irving is ROY, that would be Voelkel. I put him above Devlin, though. (Ed. Note: Do not tell ClickClack that, he’s crushing hard on the lad from down under) Irving plays a harder position to master as a freshman. He has more responsibility on offense. And what we’ve seen is that in conference play, Irving has been absolutely everything you can ask for from a freshman PG. He’s extremely efficient, in large part because he gets to the stripe and is automatic from there. He’s right at the top of the leaderboard in both assists per game and A/TO ratio. He improves on the defensive end every game. And he fits in perfectly with the Chambers approach of pushing the ball and turning defense into offense. I like Devlin’s game, I think he’s coming along really well, but Irving is the second-best rookie in the conference.

UAlbany is vulnerable to the three point threat- do you think BU can bust the zone?

Albany’s zone is one of the things that worry me, not because I think BU can’t shoot (that’s somewhat overblown), but because I think BU will be tempted to jack up a whole bunch of bad shots instead of getting inside and forcing the issue. Albany doesn’t have anyone that can stay in front of John Holland, and I’m not sure there’s anyone in the conference who can stay in front of D.J. Irving. Get in the lane, get to the line, hit your free throws, win the game. The more BU tries to shoot its way to a win, the higher the risk of a prolonged shooting slump that lets Albany go on a run and potentially get out of MSG with an upset.

We’re you following the first half when UAlbany was stomping on BU? Were you about to give up on your Terriers chances? (We took the result it hard here…)

The only game where I gave up on BU was the Kentucky game and the last couple minutes of the Harvard game. Also Villanova, but BU looked OK against Villanova so that one didn’t hurt. I’ve seen enough of Albany and enough of BU to know that either team can go on huge runs, doubly so when the teams are playing each other. And just as BU hasn’t played many 40-minute games, they’ve had a lot of games where one half was really bad and the other was really good, in either order. In general, I only give up when the scoreboard says a win is out of the question. Bill James has a good guideline to use for that.

Down one, last possession, the most famous arena on earth who do you want taking the shot?

Down one, last possession, I want Irving taking the shot. Preferably one at the rim, or two from the free throw line. I trust him to make one or the other happen.


Prediction? For Thursday? Let me think… Albany 973, BU 4. That’s as serious of a prediction as you’re getting from me. No, really. I’m serious.


~ by TheMidRangeGame on February 9, 2011.

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