By: Matt Doherty
Tuesday marked the start of a new season for the BU men’s basketball team, holding their first official team work out at Case Gym.
Here are my observations and notes from spending the afternoon inside the gym.
- The Terriers graduated five players from last year’s team, highlighted by leaders Cedric Hankerson and Nick Havener. There were a lot of new faces and voices flying around the gym Tuesday. But I noticed high energy from the upperclassmen. In particular, juniors Max Mahoney and Tyler Scanlon were vocal and helpful to the newcomers. The lone senior on the roster, Kamali Chambers, also took a leadership role. And I was impressed with sophomore point guard Javante McCoy and the energy he displayed during positional drills. It will be interesting to see who steps up as the leaders for a very young team.
- Sophomore wing Walter Whyte did not practice Tuesday, but looked considerably stronger when he walked into the gym. Whyte is expected to be one of the go-to guys on the offensive end this season and he certainly transformed his body to help improve his game. Whyte must have added around 20 pounds of muscle which should enhance his driving and rebounding skills.
- Max Mahoney looked like he improved his body as well. The 6-foot-8-inch forward seemed lighter on his feet. He impressed with turn-around jump shots in four-on-four drills and was a dominating interior presence during the five-on-five scrimmage. On one sequence, Mahoney intercepted a pass at mid-court and gracefully glided to the basket for a transition layup. Mahoney led the team in scoring a season ago and should take another step forward as one of the top players in the entire league.
- The Terriers size should be one their key advantages in the league. On Tuesday, the big men were a focal point of the offense in the five-on-five scrimmage. Mahoney, Sukhmail Mathon, and freshman Jordan Guest all played well in the scrimmage. Guest is an intriguing prospect because he showed the ability to space the floor and hit outside jump shots. Guest nailed a three-pointer off a pick-and-roll set, grabbed a couple of tough rebounds in traffic, and showed solid back-to-the-basket post moves. Fellow freshman Jack Hemphill looked good in the four-on-four drills and positional drills. He’s a similar player as Guest.
- Tyler Scanlon has shown he can be an effective three-point shooter (39.8% in ’17-’18) and stretch-forward in the past, but on Tuesday he shined as a slasher. Scanlon made a number of layups on difficult drives, showing explosiveness. On one possession, he drove through the heart of the defense and finished a tough reverse layup around two defenders that was probably the most impressive play of the afternoon.