Colgate’s smaller lineups were hot from three-point range, but Boston University was too big in the frontcourt Wednesday night. The Terriers’ forwards led them to a 71-68 victory at Case Gymnasium, their seventh straight win.
BOSTON – Tis the era of analytics in sports and in basketball. I love them. You probably love them if you’re reading this. But, as any coach, hip or not, will tell you, there are few things more frustrating or tougher to work around than a team that can’t make shots.
Drexel is 3-22 after a 70-60 loss to Northeastern Saturday afternoon, their 10th straight defeat, and they now stand at 1-13 in conference. But, by 3-22 standards, the Dragons are still pretty good, even if that’s the worst backhanded compliment ever. Down 15 at the half, Drexel showed what might have been in the second half, scoring 1.24 points per possession and mounting a comeback that worried Northeastern (14-13, 6-8) a bit before falling.
When American met Boston University for the first time this season, the teams were a combined 1-7 in conference play, both reeling from critical injuries. Fast-forward a month, and in true Patriot League fashion, everything has changed: Both squads had leapt up the standings, winning four of their last five games before Wednesday’s meeting. Continue reading “Boston University 71, American 51: Terriers’ Shooting Takes Over”
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Amongst the alleged crumbling of American society, there are two bastions of hope that refuse to allow excuses to infiltrate thought and slow down society: team sports and the military.
Therefore it was not surprising that the first words out of Army coach Zach Spiker’s mouth after another frustrating evening that culminated in a 76-67 loss to Boston University Wednesday night were: “Injuries are no excuse”.
His opposing number, Joe Jones, begged to differ a little. After all, Tanner Plomb was averaging 21.8 points per game (14th best in the nation) and making a case for Patriot League Player of the Year before going down with a knee injury and missing the last four games. Fellow senior Kevin Ferguson is a four-year contributor, and at 6’10”, essential to everything Army does as a rim protector, and now he has been out for three games with an ankle injury.
Momentum is fickle in the Patriot League.
When Boston University entered halftime of Monday’s game with an eight-point lead on Loyola (MD), it seemed to reinforce both teams’ trajectories. The Terriers were surging, having followed an 0-3 start to league play with two straight wins. The Greyhounds were slumping, dropping their last two after opening 3-0. Continue reading “Boston U. Tops Loyola With Wild Comeback”
Navy’s style doesn’t belong in the Patriot League. In a sea of teams that score lots of points and often give up just as many, the Midshipmen prefer wars of attrition. They entered Wednesday with the nation’s #77 defense per KenPom — 150 spots ahead of their next-best foe — and the second least-efficient offense. But they exploded for an 83-67 win at Boston University. Continue reading “Navy Tops Boston U.; Patriot League Stays Unpredictable”
LEWISBURG, Pa. – It’s never easy for first-year head coaches, but that can be doubly true when trying to step in at a program that’s used to having success.
Nathan Davis has plenty going for him at Bucknell, not the least of which is his tenure as an assistant coach on the most successful Bucknell teams of all-time: the 2004-05 team that upset Kansas (and won an ESPY for doing so), and the squad the following year that went undefeated in the Patriot League (and 28-5 overall), getting a No. 9 seed in the NCAAs and beating Arkansas in the first round.
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Zach Spiker had just 10 days after being hired to prepare for his first head coaching gig, but being a bit quixotic is part of how he got to be a head coach anyway just a couple of days after his 33rd birthday.
Army hadn’t had a winning record since 1984-85, you say? Didn’t matter, after all Spiker and his energy had helped make Cornell and his boss Steve Donahue an Ivy League powerhouse, surely anything was possible at West Point.
He and the Black Knights won nine of their first 11 games in that 2009-10 campaign, four of them against Ivy teams (that season Donahue and Cornell went to the Sweet 16), using a shutdown defense that was fourth nationally in defensive turnover rate. Alas, Army also finished 335th in offensive efficiency and finished 14-15 after losing to freshman C.J. McCollum and Lehigh in the Patriot League Tournament.
On Saturday, Sacred Heart played its ONLY non-conference home game of the 2015-16 season versus the struggling Lafayette Leopards. The defending Patriot League champions had lost six of seven, with two of those defeats coming at the hands of the NEC. Continue reading “Three Thoughts on Why Sacred Heart Has Struggled”
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Bill Carmody and turnovers don’t get along much. So much so that Carmody’s Northwestern teams – even against Big 10 competition – did a remarkable job of not giving the ball away without at least getting up a shot. How good? Here are the national turnover rate ranks for Northwestern from 2006-07 to 2012-13: 17th, 20th, 34th, 30th, 5th, 7th, 37th. That’s pretty damn good, no matter what the competition.
(Some irony in the fact that turnovers were not the reason Milan Brown was canned after last season. Holy Cross finished 14-16 and 8-10 in the Patriot League, but were 50th in offensive turnover rate.)