By: Chris Lynch
The Boston University Men’s Basketball team has played 13 games so far this season. They’ve been sloppy, erratic, entertaining, sharp, and all over the place, and sometimes all in the same game. To say it has been a roller coaster ride of a season would be quite an understatement. Every game has been a different story, and the team has made drastic changes as 2015 comes to an end. At the end of it, they emerge tested, worn, and ready for conference play.
The high points of the season include a 4-0 record against America East opponents and a pair of exciting victories over Albany and New Hampshire. BU rallied back after trailing Albany late in the game and escaped with a victory over the defending America East Champions, 69-64.
After a debacle in Buffalo against Canisius later in the season, BU came home to play the New Hampshire Wildcats. The Terriers held a lead for much of the game, but nearly relinquished it because of foul trouble in the front court. On the back of strong guard play, BU escaped with a 78-74 victory and evened its record at 6-6.
The low points were road trips to Amherst to play the UMass Minutemen and the Canisius contest. BU lost to UMass 99-69, shooting only 37.9% from the field. The only bright spot from that night was extinguished shortly after when the Terriers’ leading scorer from last season, Cedric Hankerson, played his first game of the season and scored 10 points in 10 minutes. However, he reinjured his knee in practice after that game, and is seeking a medical red shirt for the remainder of the season.
Against Canisius, BU turned the ball over 24 times, committed 31 fouls, and lost 84-67. BU looked as lost and out of sync as they ever have, and fell to under .500 on the season.
Hankerson was not the only important loss for the team. In the second half of the Harvard game, starting forward Justin Alston broke his foot and left the contest. He will not return this season and is also seeking a medical red shirt. Cameron Curry is also out for the season, and Will Goff has missed much of the year as well.
Despite all the injuries there have been some excellent performances this season. John Papale continues to climb the list of BU’s all time made three point list and leads the team with 13.7 points a game this season. Cheddi Mosely and Eric Fanning have also scored in their time on the floor, averaging 13.5 and 12.6 points a game respectively. Nathan Dieudonne leads the team in rebounding, at 5.5 rebounds a game, and has averaged 9.0 points a game of his own.
Possibly the most important performances have been those of freshman point guard Kyle Foreman and sophomore forward Nick Havener. Foreman arrived as a highly- touted point guard from Washington and caught everyone’s attention with a 15 point and seven assist performance in the opener against Northeastern, and won the Patriot League Rookie of the Week award for his first two weeks in scarlet and white. He has been in and out in the last few games with different injuries, but when he has earned his spot on the team.
Foreman has been in and out of the lineup the last few games with different injuries, but when he has earned his spot on the team. BU lacked a true point guard last season, and their offense slumped without someone to run the offense. Foreman has provided a steady and dependable hand from the point guard spot, and has helped the offense to excellent performances this year.
Havener scored a total of 32 points for his entire freshman year. Now in his sophomore year, Havener has been a dependable scorer off the bench. He’s only averaging 6.8 points a game, but when called upon, he has delivered. He put up 18 point and 11 rebound performances in games against Harvard and Kean, and has shown a high motor and an intense desire to win. He is second on the team with 5.3 rebounds a game, and will have to play a big role as the conference schedule unfolds with Hankerson and Alston out.
All things considered, BU is in a good position going into conference play. The Terriers are over .500 after a grueling schedule spent mostly on the road. They lost several key pieces to bad injuries, and lost several brutally close games. Yet despite all the issues and losses, the Terriers ended the non-conference schedule with a flourish and remain intent on winning the Patriot League.