By: Greg Levinsky
Finals are over and grades are coming back to us students here at Boston University. Once the calendar flips to 2019, the men’s basketball team is on to its next challenge – Patriot League play.
The Terriers (7-6) head to conference play in just over a week, so it’s time for my midseason report card. I’ll assign each player a grade based on their performance in nonconference play. Per BU’s actual grading system, an A+ is not possible for students, so my grades follow suit
Kamali Chambers, Guard: 1.4 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 7.6 MPG
When I wrote about Chambers earlier this year, he was a walk-on. At coach Jones’ holiday party, Chambers was awarded a scholarship for his final season as a Terrier.
Get the kleenex out and watch this video taken at our holiday party till the end. @Cham11_, we are grateful to have you as a member of our team and are thankful for everything you do for the program‼️ #ProudToBU 🤗🐾 @marchmadness pic.twitter.com/Y2MPoz5ZL9
— BU Men’s Basketball (@TerrierMBB) December 16, 2018
It’s really something hear Chambers’ teammates talk about him, they hold him in such high regard. He’s been out the last couple of games after getting his tonsils removed, and has only appeared in five contests total. His value spans far beyond the statistics.
Max Mahoney, Forward: 16.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG, .675 FG%
The reigning Third-Team All-Patriot Leaguer has picked up his production once again, and is now leading the team in both scoring and rebounding. He faced the toughest defense the Terriers will see the rest of the season last game against Bethune-Cookman and still amassed 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Mahoney is nearly a lock to be an First Team selection if he keeps it up. It’s amazing how much he can do in just 24.4 minutes per game, and it’s partly because he’s ranked ninth in the NCAA in field goal percentage.
Adam Mikula, Guard: 2 GP
Simply being on the roster is a great story, but it’s clear the manager-turned-player is not going to be in the rotation. He’s only gotten a handful of minutes.
Tyler Scanlon, Forward: 13.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.3 SPG
His numbers haven’t jumped up a ton from last season, but Scanlon is a totally different player this year in every positive way. Scanlon is so good off the bounce and can create for others. The former high school quarterback’s favorite target is Mahoney, and it’s no secret why. It could be said that BU’s success is predicated on Scanlon’s output. He’s that important.
Sukhmail Mathon, Center: 4.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, .490 FG%
Since moving to the second unit, the 6-foot-9 Mathon has found a way to utilize his full array of skills. His six points and seven rebounds across 15 minutes against Nicholls sold me on his value as a key cog in the rotation. Mathon has turned it over 10 more times than he’s assisted, which is a in line with what he did as a freshman. His game fits in so well off the bench, and he can stretch it out with an improving jumper.
Javante McCoy, Guard: 10.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.8 APG
His playmaking skills have certainly improved, and McCoy’s put on some size on his slender frame. Those were two of the most important things for the 6-foot-5 guard coming into the season. His scoring has not taken off like I anticipated, and McCoy has not shot well from inside the 3-point line (37.3 percent). He is still scoring in double-figures, and I like to see he’s still connecting from deep at a high rate (38.9 percent). McCoy’s role is not what I thought it would be, but he’s played well as the third scoring option and one of the primary ball handlers.
Andrew Petcash, Guard: 2.9 PPG, 8.8 MPG
Sidelined with a concussion for the past four games, Petcash has shot the ball well from beyond the arc (8-of-16) in limited action. With a team that plays 11 consistently, Petcash has not seen much of a role increase from his freshman year. However, I think when healthy it will come. His shooting is needed.
Walter Whyte, Guard: He hasn’t played yet this season due to a bone bruise. It would be unfair to assign a grade.
Jordan Guest, Forward: 5.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, .417 FG%
The reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Week has carved himself out a nice niche as a threat from deep. Guest now starts in the front court alongside Mahoney. While he is only shooting 29.4 percent from beyond the arc, Guest has shown a knack to hit shots when they matter. At 6-foot-8, Guest fits in well with the first unit. He’s also a solid rebounder.
Jonas Harper, Guard: 3.2 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 12.2 MPG
He’s impressed as a walk-on for sure. Harper is a good scorer and athlete, but has turned it over 14 times to just six assists. Harper fits well as an energy guy, and is exactly what a freshman rotational guard should be.
Jack Hemphill, Forward: 6.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, .323 3FG%
The highest ranked recruit of this year’s freshman class, Hemphill is the next highest scoring player outside of the Terriers “Big 3” of Mahoney, McCoy and Scanlon. Like Guest, Hemphill is a big who can shoot. Before the season began I thought it would be Hemphill who would be starting, but I like him off the bench because he can play a classic big style similar to Mahoney. Hemphill’s won Patriot League Rookie of the Week once.
Garrett Pascoe, Guard: 2.3 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 2.3 APG
He can pass, that’s for sure. Pascoe also can knock it down, but seeing him score zero points in seven of 12 appearances is a bit odd. He plays the most minutes after the “Big 3,” but isn’t a statistical maven. Pascoe has the makings of a solid starting point guard. He’s just working out the kinks.
Fletcher Tynen, Forward: 4.2 PPG, 2.5 RPG, .538 FG%
A cross between freshman year Walter Whyte and freshman year Max Mahoney as a high-motor energy guy, the 6-foot-7 Tynen is a gifted athlete with endless gusto. I like what he can do on the offensive glass. Tynen’s jumper is far from a finished product, but like the rest of his class, you can see the gifts he possesses. To me, Tynen appears to be the winning, glue player that all great teams need.
Alex Vilarino, Guard: 5.0 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, .519 FG%
Older than most players in his class, Vilarino played a postgrad year before redshirting last season at Texas Tech and BU for a semester each. Another player who has earned a starting spot in recent games. He understands he’s not made to be an outside shooter yet, so instead Vilarino utilized a fiery athleticism coupled with the best hang time I’ve seen for a Patriot League basketball player to make a difference. Look for him to flourish with increased minutes.
Greg Levinsky can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky