By: Greg Levinsky
BOSTON — Winners of consecutive contests, the Boston University Men’s Basketball team heads north to Durham, N.H. for a tilt against their former America East foes.
Terrier Head Coach Joe Jones said Wednesday night’s game should be a good measuring stick for the team heading towards conference play.
“I think we’ll learn a lot about our team after this game,” Jones said. “I think it’s gonna show us a lot.”
The Terriers (2-3) come off a 83-48 shellacking of Division III Wheaton College, after earning their first win of the season against the University of Maine.
Losers of five straight, the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (1-5) return home after spending last week in Nashville, Tenn. at Phil Knight’s PK80 Tournament.
New Hampshire’s lone win came against Wheaton in their season opener.
Graduate student Jacoby Armstrong, along with seniors Tanner Leissner and Iba Camara make up a monstrous front court for the Wildcats
At six-foot-seven, six-foot-seven and six-foot-eight respectively, Jones said they may not appear to be as dominant as they truly are.
“Their inside guys are terrific,” Jones said. “They have two guys inside that are just world-beaters, we’re really going to have to do a good job of figuring out how we’re going to contain those guys.”
Leissner leads the way for the Wildcats holding averages of 18.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Camara leads New Hampshire in rebounding at 9.8 boards per game and is second in scoring at 11.2 ppg. Armstrong rounds out the three Wildcats scoring in double figures at 10.0 ppg.
For a Terrier team that has just three post players and 11 players available, staying out of foul trouble will be key. Senior forward Nick Havener paces the Terriers on the offensive and defensive end, but has struggled with fouls all season, including fouling out the first two games. Havener holds averages of 12.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.
“For one, we’re gonna need to learn how to play them without fouling a lot,” Jones said of his initial game plan. “Two, we play off our forwards and I thought especially Nick has had a nice showing early in the season, but we’ve got to get Max [Mahoney] going.”
Jones said Mathon could see a larger role against a big New Hampshire team.
“I think Suk can play in this game and help at times,” Jones said.
The Terriers snuck by New Hampshire 73-69 last season, in a game where Leissner had 25 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Camara also scored in double figures.
Senior guard Cedric Hankerson scored 13 points in that game last year, while classmate Eric Johnson added 10.
With the departures of each team’s starting point guard among other stalwarts, the 2017 rematch figures to be intriguing.
“They play with a lot of energy, a lot of fight, we’re going to have to really be smart,” Jones said. “It’s always been a battle and it’s a great matchup for us.”