Ask the AD Responses - November
What were your expectations for the fall sports, and did the teams meet them?
This fall was very successful for the Terriers. The field hockey, women's soccer and men's soccer teams each advanced to their respective NCAA tournaments, and both men's and women's cross country teams sent representatives to the NCAA Regionals.
In fact, BU was one of just five schools -- the others were Connecticut, Duke, Virginia and Wake Forest -- to participate in the field hockey, women's soccer and men's soccer NCAA tournaments this year. This is a fabulous achievement, and I know I speak for our entire department and university in stating that we are proud of what they have accomplished this season.
For all of our teams, participating in the NCAA Tournament is a primary goal. We expect to compete regularly for conference championships, and by winning those we automatically qualify for the NCAA Tournament. We have a proud legacy of playing a challenging regular-season schedule, which we believe prepares us well for NCAA Tournament competition.
I know that our coaches welcome those expectations, because they have set the bar at the same level themselves and understand what it takes to get there. Their expectations -- and ours -- are not only to qualify for the NCAAs, but to advance in them.
Do you pay attention to the coaches' preseason polls for basketball?
I think the best way I can answer your question would be to say that we do pay attention to the preseason polls, but we do not focus on them.
As an example, the America East coaches, as well as numerous preseason publications, have chosen our men's basketball program as the preseason favorite to win the conference. It is nice to be thought of in this light and is particularly good to be thought of as a strong team. Dennis Wolff and his staff have worked extremely hard to position themselves to have a successful season, and there is a strong, talented nucleus returning from last year's squad. These are important ingredients for success. However, it's the development of our potential in games that counts; preseason polls alone won't win any games. We look for our team to come into form shortly as injuries heal and conference competition nears.
Our women's team finished fourth in its preseason poll. Coach Kelly Greenberg's team is a lot of fun to watch and I am confident that before the season is over they will surprise some people. They are off to a great start so far!
How is scheduling done for the larger programs at Boston University, like the men's ice hockey team?
A large portion -- about 75 percent -- of the schedule each season is dictated by Hockey East, as we face each conference opponent three times every year outside of tournament play. In a league with 10 total teams, that accounts for 27 regular-season contests.
Of course, that does not include the Beanpot, which is on our slate every season for games on the first two Mondays in February.
Whenever possible, we also like to include an in-season tournament that gives our student-athletes an opportunity to play out of region, as we did this year with the Nye Frontier Classic in Alaska. This allows us to face some fresh competition against teams with whom we may not be familiar.
Coach Parker and his staff schedule the remaining non-conference games each season, with "returns" in future years -- that is, playing the same team at the opposite venue.
Specifically in men's ice hockey, we have the opportunity to schedule 34 games per year in total. If we are participating in a sanctioned in-season tournament, that gives us the opportunity to count all of the tournament games as one regular season contest. We can also schedule a U.S. National team or a Canadian team (as we have slated for Dec. 8, when we face the U.S. National Under-18 team) without it counting toward our maximum number of allowable contests.
Thanks to everyone who submitted questions. Keep them coming and we'll talk again next month!
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