By: Dave Souza
After finishing the 2015-2016 season with a 19-15 (11-7 PL) record, the Boston University Men’s Basketball team finally returns to action on Friday night as they take on Northeastern at Matthews Arena in their season opener.
Leading the charge for the Terriers will be senior Eric Fanning, who led all of BU’s shooters with 426 points and a 15.2 points per game average last season. A dynamic shooter with the ability to get hot at a moment’s notice, Fanning was named to the Patriot League Preseason All-League Team. The honor comes a year removed from his 2016 Patriot League All-Conference First Team selection after Fanning was fifth in the Patriot League in PPG.
In last year’s season opener against the Huskies, the Terriers fell in overtime 87-84 despite a 19-point performance by Cheddi Mosely. Now a junior, Mosely will look to build off of a sophomore campaign where he averaged 13.3 PPG. The Jersey City native attempted 213 three-pointers in 2015-2016, converting on 70 of them for a .329 percentage.
His field goal percentage was even better at .399 as Mosely went 125 for 313. Second on the team in minutes to only John Papale, who has since graduated, expect Mosely to shoulder a heavy volume of work this season – especially against a Northeastern team that usually battles BU to the final buzzer.
Both Mosely and Fanning will be helped by a supporting cast that features returners Nick Havener and Kyle Foreman – and not to mention Cedric Hankerson. Hankerson will make his long awaited return after missing most of last season with an ACL tear. The red-shirt junior only played 12 minutes in a blowout loss at UMass-Amherst.
Opposing BU will be the Huskies of Northeastern, who are just two years removed from an NCAA Tournament appearance. Gone is David Walker, who led the Huskies in scoring last year and who victimized BU’s defense with a 27-point performance in last year’s opener. All of Northeastern’s top three scorers from last season have graduated, leaving the job of managing the offense to players like sophomore Jeremy Miller and senior T.J. Williams.
Miller exploded as a freshman last season, shooting a .511 field goal percentage and draining 31 shots from beyond the arc. Leading all non-seniors in PPG with 8.3 last season, Miller will look to take on more of an advanced role this season with the Huskies. In his collegiate debut against the Terriers, Miller posted a modest six points while appearing in 16 minutes of the contest.
Williams didn’t fare much better the last time NU visited The Roof. The senior guard played 21 minutes on the floor, while turning in an eight-point performance. Not much of a three-point shooter, Williams has proven his value within the paint, where he grabbed 46 defensive rebounds – second to only Miller amongst last year’s returning Huskies – as well as posting a .470 field goal percentage.
After falling in a surprise upset to American in last year’s Patriot League Quarter Final, the Terriers will look to begin righting the ship this season when they take on Northeastern at Matthews Arena.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Make sure to catch all the action on both the New England Sports Network as well as on WTBU Radio.