D.J. Irving and the Boston University Terriers got off on the wrong foot against Northeastern on Friday night but look to rebound against Big 12 foe Texas on Sunday night.
By Seth Orensky, Contributor.
Event: Boston University Terriers vs. Texas Longhorn
Date/Time: Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 7 p.m. EDT.
Location: Frank Erwin Center (Capacity: 16,734), Austin, TX.
Broadcast Info: Sunday's first round of the Ticket City Legends Classic will be available on the Longhorn Network with the game being streamed for free at espn.go.com/longhornnetwork/ .Mark Followill will have the call with Jeff Van Gundy serving as his analyst.
All-Time Series: This is the first time the two teams have met. Both teams did play at the BOK Center in Tulsa for the second round of the NCAA Tournament in March.
Last Time Out: The Terriers dropped a tough 82-74 overtime contest against rival Northeastern in both team's season opener Friday night. Boston University trailed by double digits with under five minutes to go in the second half before going on a 12-0 run to take a lead with 65 seconds to play. Despite numerous opportunities over the final minute and throughout the overtime session, the new look Terriers proved unable to put the game away, falling to the Huskies in their opener for the second consecutive season.
Darryl Partin led Boston University with 25 points in the Terriers first game playing without second all-time leading scorer John Holland. Joining Partin in double figures were D.J. Irving(17 points) and Matt Griffin (11 points), though the back court mates shot just 5-20 from the 3-point line. Overall the Terriers poor 3-point shooting (17.9 percent), uncharacteristically poor free throw shooting (56 percent) and poor performance on the boards combined to ruin the debut of new head coach Joe Jones in front of an over capacity crowd at Case Gym.
Storyline: Boston University will be playing their second game in fifty hours to start the season against a very talented but inexperienced Texas team. With 10 returning players from a squad that toed the line against Kansas for 30 minutes in the NCAA Tournament, the Terriers will look to take the next step towards proving they are more than just a perennial contender in a low-major conference.
It won't be easy for Jones and the Terriers who showed they had plenty of things to work night including rebounding. A BU front court that was projected to be one of the program's best in recent years was out gained on the boards by 20 which led to 22 Husky second chance points. It won't get easier against a Longhorns squad that includes four players standing at 6-7or taller.
On the other side, Texas head coach Rick Barnes can't wait to get his young team out on the court. Texas features the fourth ranked recruiting class in the nation (six new players) but lost their entire starting five and returns fewer than 16 percent of their scoring, rebound and minute totals from last year's team. Three Longhorns were drafted in the first round including fourth overall pick Tristan Thompson from a team that reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament, leaving Texas as a big question mark in the Big 12 Conference.
For the Terriers it will be their third straight season competing in a preseason tournament. In each of the past two years BU has come away with at least one victory including a 2009 win over Indiana University in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tournament.
Players to Watch: Dom Morris is a big boy, heck he's a huge man at 6-7, 240, entering his sophomore year forthe Terriers. But Morris proved that he's still a long way from proving his potential Friday, as he patrolled the perimeter and missed all five of his 3-point attempts. For BU to have a chance to hang with teams from better conferences, the Philadelphia product will have to attack the basket and spend less time acting like a guard in a big man's body.
Myck Kabongo out of Canada is the biggest piece of this Texas freshmen class and is drawing comparisons to former Longhorn T.J. Ford. Kabongo will likely be one of a handful of players Terriers point guard D.J. Irving will face in his lifetime who are as fast if not faster than him.Kabongo won't have to take it all on at once, but could be a guy who wreaks havoc amongst the Terriers defense in transition and attacking the basket.
Darryl Partin will likely be the number one focus of opponent's defenses and this list each game because of his tremendous skills and his lack of consistency. Without Holland, Partin is the Terriers most capable all-around offensive player, with an ability to score from anywhere on the floor. The question still remains if he can stay focused mentally and shrug off opponent's best defenders.
Prediction: If Texas had retained Thompson and other players who left early they would be National Title contenders, instead they're a big unknown. Still, after watching the Terriers shoot themselves in the foot Friday, an upset seems a bit extreme even if they do play a much better game. Final Score: Texas 73, Boston University 59.