June 13, 2012
Interview with Coach Jones
BOSTON - With the return of 2009 America East Rookie of the Year Jake O'Brien from a nearly two-year absence and the addition of four incoming freshmen, the Boston University men's basketball team will embark on a six-day trip to Montreal in August, head coach Joe Jones announced Wednesday.
Making their first summer foreign trip since visiting Taiwan in 2007, the Terriers will depart Boston on Thursday, Aug. 16 and return on Tuesday, Aug. 21. During their stay in Montreal, BU will face Bishop's University (Aug. 16), McGill University (Aug. 17), Carleton University (Aug. 19) and the University of Quebec at Montreal (Aug. 20).
"There were several reasons why we elected to go on this trip now," said Jones. "With Jake coming back from an injury, this trip will give him four games with our team and the opportunity for the younger guys to practice with him. Also, with us losing five seniors and the addition of the freshman class, everyone will need to learn new roles.
"The trip will be wonderful for our maturation as a team and program," he added. "I've done this before with other schools, and these foreign trips have always been a great experience for the students and coaches. We will have four competitive games and more importantly, we'll have 10 practice days before leaving for Canada to gel together as a team."
Coming off a third-place finish in the America East with non-conference wins over Boston College and Rhode Island, the Terriers will feature only one senior in O'Brien and a total of three juniors. Standing 6-foot-9, O'Brien was averaging a team-high 5.8 rpg and 11.6 ppg while shooting a personal-best 42.4 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from behind the arc when he fractured a navicular bone in his foot at Massachusetts on Dec. 31, 2010.
With 1,020 career points in 79 games played, he required season-ending surgery. Unfortunately, he needed a second one before the start of the 2011-12 season. Instead of trying to return midyear, he elected to redshirt. Rising juniors D.J. Irving
, Travis Robinson
and Dom Morris
only had the chance to play 14 games with the 2010 America East All-Conference Third Team honoree before the injury.
Playing key roles during BU's 2011 America East championship season, the three men elevated their games during their sophomore campaign. Earning All-Conference Second Team honors, Irving averaged a personal-best 11.4 ppg and became the first Terrier since 1990 to lead the league in assists at 5.4 apg. Morris averaged 6.8 ppg and a team-high 5.9 rpg, while Robinson shot a team-high 39.7 percent from behind the arc and increased his scoring average from the previous year by four points to 5.3 ppg.
With the graduation of 2012 America East Player of the Year Darryl Partin and two-time All-Conference Defensive Team honoree Patrick Hazel along with Matt Griffin and Jeff Pelage, rising sophomore swingman Malik Thomas (4.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg), sophomore guard Zach Chionuma (2.0 ppg, 0.7 rpg), and sophomore forward James Kennedy (0.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg) will have the opportunity to see more playing time in their second year with the Terriers.
They will face strong competition though from a freshman class recently heralded by ESPN.com as one of the best from a non-BCS conference. Only one of two in the northeast alongside Temple and one of 12 overall to be recognized, the group consists of guards Maurice Watson Jr. and John Papale along with forwards Nathan Dieudonne and Justin Alston.
Named a 2012 Parade All-American and currently ranked No. 91 in ESPN's top-100 poll, Watson averaged 21.8 ppg and 7.5 apg in his final season at Boys Latin H.S. in Philadelphia to conclude his career with 2,356 career points, the second most in the Philadelphia Public League and more than all-time greats like Wilt Chamberlain. Tabbed the 2012 New Haven Register Player of the Year, Papale was named one of the nation's top-25 three-point shooters by ESPN.com after shooting 45 percent from behind the arc this past season. He left Choate H.S. in Wallingford, Conn., as the leading scorer with 1,310 points in just three seasons.
Dieudonne guided Trinity H.S. in Louisville, Ky., to its first state title this past season to earn Gatorade's Kentucky Player of the Year honors. Averaging 14.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg and 1.4 spg, the 6-foot-7 forward was also chosen as Kentucky's Mr. Basketball, becoming the first player from a private school in 50 years to receive the award. He is joined in the front court by the 6-foot-8 Alston, who averaged 11.4 ppg last year at Archbishop Carroll H.S. in Washington D.C. He was invited to the Capital Classics All-Star Game and was a Maryland All-League Honorable Mention selection.
The 11-player squad will make the Terriers' first trip to Canada since BU played Miami University (OH) in a regular season game on Nov. 27, 1998 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The 2012-13 non-conference schedule will be announced later this summer.