By: Matt Doherty
After ending the 2014-2015 campaign with an overall record of 13-17 and a quarterfinal exit in the Patriot League Tournament, the BU Men’s Basketball team returns every member from last year’s team in hope for a more successful season. The road to that success begins Friday night at Case Gym when the Terriers host crosstown rival Northeastern in the season opener.
Last year was docked as a transitional season for Head Coach Joe Jones, who enters his fifth season at the helm. And with a year of experience under their belts, these Terriers are looking to make a major splash.
BU welcomes back three seniors in John Papale, Justin Alston, and Nathan Dieudonne, all of whom started almost every game last season and provide veteran leadership. However, the Terriers will go into Friday’s showdown without two key players.
Leading scorer from a season ago, junior Cedric Hankerson (15.9 PPG) tore his ACL last Spring and will be out until at least December while sixth man Eric Fanning (12.3 PPG) is suspended indefinitely for breaking team rules.
Against Northeastern as well as down the road, BU will have to rely on players such as Cheddi Mosely and Cameron Curry to provide depth off the bench.
Meanwhile, the Huskies come into the season opener riding momentum following a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Northeastern won a share of the CAA regular season title and the postseason tournament, earning a 14 seed in last year’s big dance. The Huskies played eventual Elite Eight bound Notre Dame in a tough contest, but couldn’t pull off the upset.
Northeastern returns four starters from that NCAA Tournament team including seniors David Walker, Quincy Ford, and Zach Stahl. Walker and Ford were the team’s second and third leading scorers last year while Stahl finished second on the 23 win team in rebounding.
Huskies’ Head Coach Bill Coen returns for his tenth season after arguably his best one yet on Huntington Ave. He is trying lead Northeastern to its third 20 win season in the last four years.
BU and Northeastern will meet for the sixth consecutive year to open up the season, with the Huskies winning last year at the TD Garden 71-65 behind David Walker’s 23 point game.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be seen live on the Patriot League Network