By: Matt Doherty and Greg Levinsky
With the 2017 Fall semester in the books and the Boston University Men’s Basketball team heading into the new year with a fresh start in conference play, it’s time for WTBU’s midseason report card. Men’s basketball beat writers Greg Levinsky and Matt Doherty will give grades and thoughts about what they’ve seen thus far from each player on the roster.
Cedric Hankerson, Guard: 13.1 PPG, 35.2% FG, 29.3% 3FG
Greg: Back-to-back 20 point outbursts were impressive and Hankerson does lead the team in scoring, but I’d like to see his shooting percentage go up. He’s the best two-way player on the team, and one of the best in the league. I expect his numbers will improve in conference play.
Matt: We expected Hankerson to take on Eric Fanning’s role as the go-to scorer this season and he has played well as of late, averaging nearly 17 points per game in his last three contests. Hankerson has yet to regain his stellar form from the 2015 season (15.9 PPG), but he is still the most talented and important player on the roster.
Nick Havener, Forward: 8.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.2 BPG
Greg: Coming into the year, I expected Havener to put up career numbers on a nightly basis. While he has struggled with foul trouble in some games, his athleticism and size have made for some fun performances. If he stays out of foul trouble he’s a tough matchup for any conference big.
Matt: Havener was primed for a breakout senior campaign and he came out of the gate on fire, highlighted by a 19-point game vs. Albany. His play has fallen off as of late but he took a major step forward offensively. However, Havener left Thursday’s game at Harvard with an ankle injury and if he were to miss significant time, it would be a major blow to the Terriers.
Will Goff, Guard: 6.5 PPG, 60% 3FG (18-for-30)
Greg: Injuries and foul trouble have helped the sharpshooter to garner a valuable role in Coach Joe Jones’ rotation. If he can keep it up from beyond the arc and continue to play strong defense, I’d say his season thus far was more than a success.
Matt: A tremendous 3-point shooter, Goff has been super consistent for Joe Jones. He’s an above average defender and has good size on the wing at six-foot-three. When the Terriers are at their best, Goff is effective, solely because he can stretch the floor and defend. He’s been a pleasant surprise.
Eric Johnson, Guard: 2.9 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.5 APG
Greg: Johnson was slowed by a back injury coming into the year, but really saw his role increase when the Terriers played at UConn. He’s a steady ball handler and a solid shooter, evidenced by his game-winning triple at Bethune-Cookman.
Matt: I expected Johnson to take on a bigger role with the departure of starting point guard Kyle Foreman, but he hasn’t done that quite yet. He still possesses a ton of talent, evidenced by a game-winning 3-pointer at Bethune-Cookman, and will need to play a contributing role at point guard off the bench in Patriot League play.
Kamali Chambers: 1.5 PPG, 2 Starts
Greg: Chambers started the last two games heading into conference play, and I thought he performed pretty well. The numbers don’t show it, but he makes very few mistakes on the floor and is a vocal leader.
Matt: For a walk-on, Chambers has carved out a nice niche for himself as the lone junior. He’s a good ball handler, and while the numbers aren’t overwhelming, he doesn’t turn the ball over, which is key at the college level.
Tyler Scanlon: 7.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.8 APG
Greg: After garnering All-Rookie team honors a year ago, Scanlon appeared destined to average double figures. Although his scoring isn’t what I expected, he leads the team in assists, and found a new role as a distributor.
Matt: I thought Scanlon would take on a bigger role offensively this fall, but he is still a solid contributor and leads the team in minutes. Scanlon will always be a threat because he is six-foot-seven and can shoot the three-ball. He has also done well on the glass and passing the basketball. I expect Scanlon to improve his scoring in league play.
Max Mahoney: 11.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 57.1% FG
Greg: Mahoney was the consummate rotational energy player as a freshman, and seems to have taken a massive leap forward in his sophomore campaign. He dropped 29 against UMass-Lowell and is a matchup nightmare for Patriot League centers.
Matt: Mahoney is hands down the biggest surprise on this team. He’s developed into a true postman and back to the basket scorer. I’ve been very impressed with the leap Mahoney has taken, and outside of Hankerson, Mahoney is one of the most vital keys moving forward.
Walter Whyte: 7.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 51.7% FG
Greg: Being the highest rated BU recruit since Maurice Watson, I thought Whyte would be scoring in double digits from the outset of his Terrier career. If you forget his recruiting rank, he’s putting up pretty darn efficient numbers.
Matt: Whyte came to Comm. Ave with a lot of hype and has shown flashes of his athletic ability. I think we all expected Whyte to be a double-digit scorer out of the gate but that is an unreasonable ask. He will only get better and the skill set is there.
Andrew Petcash: 2.4 PPG, 7 appearances
Greg: Although he plays sparingly, I like his outside shooting and athleticism. I can picture him being a very similar player to senior guard Will Goff down the road.
Matt: The Will Goff comparison Greg used is right on point. Petcash can really shoot and he has played well in limited minutes.
Javante McCoy: 8.5 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 2.0 APG
Greg: The starting point guard role remained a mystery until the opener against Northeastern, when, much to my surprise, McCoy was handling the rock. He’s long and athletic, but sometimes struggles in that 1-guard role.
Matt: McCoy will be a good player down the road because he’s a six-foot-five point guard and you don’t see that in the Patriot League. He’s been a surprisingly good scorer but he needs to improve on his passing to be a true point guard. Remember though, McCoy did not play point guard in high school, and was thrust into the starting role after Foreman left.
Sukhmail Mathon: 3.2 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 55.6% FG
Greg: As the third big man on an already thin frontcourt, Mathon gets some fairly consistent playing time. He’s got a surprisingly nice touch, but can’t create his own shot yet.
Matt: Mathon is raw and needs work offensively but is forced to play a lot of minutes. The potential is there and Mathon can rebound and hit a mid range jumper at times. His best is yet come.
Note: We decided to not include neither Cheddi Mosely nor Destin Barnes who are out for the remainder of the season due to injury after playing just two games.