By: Greg Levinsky
Boston University men’s basketball team disposed of Emerson College rather easily on Sunday afternoon at Case Gym.
It’s been a custom for Boston University to schedule a Division III opponent early in the non-conference slate. It was the first time BU and Emerson matched up, and the Terriers took a 94-57 victory.
Senior guard Kamali Chambers said playing a Division III opponent takes on the same meaning as a Division I foe.
“We prepare for every game as if it’s our championship,” Chambers said.
Juniors Tyler Scanlon and Max Mahoney sat out, consequently giving more opportunity to the rest of the roster. A trio of freshman led the way as Jordan Guest collected 15 points, Jack Hemphill posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds and Fletcher Tynen added 14 points.
Boston University assistant coach Mike Quinn said the freshman were forced into a more comprehensive role and responded well.
“They had to make a lot of the plays today, and Emerson did a good job of switching the defense against us,” he said. “Forcing them to make decisions, more just push through additional minutes and see them make plays was great experience for them heading into the season.”
Without the team’s leading scorers, the Terriers (2-1) jumped out to a 9-0 lead on 3-pointers by Javante McCoy, Chambers and Tynen. The Lions (0-1) never got it within a possession.
BU took a 57-30 lead at halftime riding stellar shooting, going 23-of-36 from the field (64.3 percent) and 9-of-14 from (63.9 percent) 3-point range.
Although they cooled off in the second half, the Terriers still outscored Emerson by 10. Hemphill corralled nine of his points 14 points and nine of his 12 rebounds in the second half for his first collegiate double-double.
With Scanlon and Mahoney out, Hemphill played 22 minutes. He played 24 in his first two collegiate games. He said the extra burn helped him adjust to the flow of the game.
“Getting more minutes you get into a better grove with things,” he said. “You kind of get to work through some mistakes that you made and keep playing. I think in the first two games I still showed a skill set that I could shoot the ball.”
Entering Sunday’s game, Hemphill had taken four shots, three of which came from 3-point range. He played a bit more of the traditional big against Emerson, hitting 6-of-13 shots from the field and 2-of-5 tries from the outside.
“We keep telling these guys, ‘we’ve got a deep team, so be ready when an opportunity presents itself,'” Quinn said. “Jack jumped all over the opportunity today, so we’re excited with his progress.”
Hemphill said the Terriers offense allows him to play both inside and out, but did say he’s making an effort to play inside more.
“I probably did get more post touches because I was playing the five when Jordan [Guest] was playing the four,” Hemphill said. “One thing I need to do better is play better on the block and try to get more touches inside.”
With an abundance of youth, Hemphill’s loving the makeup of his team’s roster.
“We have six freshman in our top 10 that all play,” Hemphill said. “That’s some Kentucky stuff.”
Greg Levinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky