The Terrier Twelve - #5: Men's Basketball Rides Fast-Paced Offense to the NIT

GO TERRIERS As a senior, D.J. Irving (12.4 pgg, 3.4 rpg, 2.3 apg) helped lead BU to its first conference regular season title since 2004.
As a senior, D.J. Irving (12.4 pgg, 3.4 rpg, 2.3 apg) helped lead BU to its first conference regular season title since 2004.

July 29, 2014

This summer, will once again count down the top 12 achievements of Boston University teams and student-athletes from the previous year. Check back each Tuesday and Friday as we reveal this year's Terrier Twelve. Fans can purchase season tickets for the upcoming men's basketball season by clicking here

Coming in at No. 5 in this year's Terrier Twelve is the Boston University men's basketball team earning its first conference regular season title in a decade and its fourth postseason bid in five years. The Terriers finished the impressive year with a 24-11 record for the second most victories in program history.

Guided by head coach Joe Jones, they entered the inaugural season in the Patriot League with high expectations due to the return of the top seven scorers from a 17-13 squad that reached the Postseason Tournament.

That experience proved invaluable, as the driving force of the team's success was the offensive production. BU averaged 71.2 ppg and led the conference in scoring margin (4.2 ppg) while finishing the year shooting 45.2 percent from the field, the team's highest mark since 1992-93. The team set two team records with 64 points in a first half against UMass Lowell and a 66.1 shooting percent mark against Lafayette in the Patriot League tournament.

BU had plenty of confidence heading into the Patriot League schedule after capturing seven non-conference wins for the first time since 1993-94. Highlights included a thrilling come-from-behind 72-69 win against crosstown rival Northeastern at TD Garden and 83-77 victory at ACC member Maryland in front of over 10,000 hostile fans.

The first game of the Patriot League schedule was a memorable one, as BU faced off against Holy Cross as fellow conference members for the first time since defeating the Crusaders in the 1983 ECAC North title game. The Terriers pulled out a 70-60 victory and would later end the regular season with a 68-64 victory at Holy Cross to claim sole possession of the regular season title at 15-3.

By finishing atop the PL standings, BU clinched an automatic berth to the National Invitation Tournament. After coming up short in the conference tournament title game, the Terriers hosted their first-ever NIT game after five previous appearances in the event and battled Big Ten member Illinois to the final seconds on ESPN2.

Individually, Maurice Watson Jr. set a school and Patriot League record with 248 assists in a season while also tallying 74 steals, second most in a season. Highlighted by his 25-point performance against Maryland, D.J. Irving capped his stellar collegiate career ranking in the top 10 at BU for points, assists, 3-pointers, free throws, steals and minutes played. Fellow classmate Dom Morris also left his mark becoming just the sixth Terrier in program history to reach 1,000 points and 700 rebounds.

Though the offense provided fans with many spectacular highlights, the defensive effort was also critical in the team's success. BU went 17-3 when holding opponents below 70 points and led a conference in turnover margin for the first time since 2005 at +1.91. Season highlights included holding fellow Patriot League member Navy to its lowest offensive output (32) since 1943 and limiting the league's top scoring offense (Lafayette) to just 54 points in a 91-54 rout. The margin of victory over the Leopards was the largest ever for a Patriot League quarterfinal game.

The Terrier Twelve

No. 6 - Women's Rowing Returns to NCAAs with PL Title

No. 7 - Women's Tennis Ends Army's Reign at the Top

No. 8 - Peters Races to All-American Season

No. 9 - Men's Rowing Finishes Sixth at IRAs

No. 10 - Taffur Closes Out Great Career

No. 11 - Nasson Makes NCAA Debut

No. 12 - A New Era Begins

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