Although Boston University finished the 2007-08 season by winning nine of its last twelve games, their 5-14 start in addition to a string of injuries kept the Terriers from winning their first conference title since 2001-02. The good news is all five starters return for BU as they are expected to make a run at the title this season. Junior guard Corey Lowe could be in the running for America East player of the year. Lowe was second in the America East Conference in scoring last season averaging 18.1 points per game along with a conference-best 3.5 3-point field goals, 3.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds. Lowe is joined in the backcourt by junior Tyler Morris and sophomore Matt Wolff. Morris recovered after missing the first 11 games of last season with a broken foot by averaging 6.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game after winning the conference’s rookie of the year award as a freshman in 2006-07. Wolff had averages of 5.6 points and 4.3 rebounds last season. Sophomore forward John Holland averaged 11.4 points and 5.0 rebounds last year and figures to build on a freshman season that saw him succeed Morris as the America East rookie of the year and making the all-defensive team, while junior forward Scott Brittain averaged 10.0 points and 6.3 rebounds last season.
Junior guard Carlos Strong is a scoring threat coming off the bench, after a season in which he averaged 11.1 points a game. Adding veteran depth to the roster is senior guard Marques Johnson and junior forward Valdas Sirutis. Boston University is scheduled to play their first six home games at Agganis Arena, the 7,200-seat building and new home to the Terriers’ hockey team. They lost the Nov. 14 opener against George Washington (58-53), but went on to defeat St. Peter at home (67-62) as well as Bucknell and Northeastern on the road. Saturday’s loss to Mount St. Mary’s (69-78) snapped their three-game losing streak. Upcoming games against Marshall, Holy Cross, Vermont, Albany and Hartford in a “Bracket Buster” contest in February will also be played in the new arena. The rest of the home schedule will be played on campus at the 1,800-seat Case Gym.
Boston University has plenty of experience with all five starters returning along with their top scorer coming off the bench. To be taken seriously however, the Terriers need to get more efficient on offense by improving their field-goal percentage by creating better shot opportunities and limiting the amount of turnovers per game. Head coach Dennis Wolff (career 260-202) in his 15th year at Boston University (230-184) said earlier this season “I really believe it will be a wide-open conference race, which should make for a very entertaining season in the America East. The parity among the teams in our league will make for a competitive season.” Last year Dennis Wolff led BU to a 14-17 overall record and 9-7 record in the America East Conference.
Even though Boston University took a step back last season because of a slow start and injuries, the Terriers are poised to make a run at the America East title this season after a couple of good recruiting years with Veteran coach Dennis Wolff providing stability and leadership. BU also has the advantage of playing two of its toughest non-conference opponents (George Washington and Marshall) on campus at the Agganis Arena. The most difficult test this season by far will be a Dec. 13 visit to Notre Dame, currently ranked 8th in the nation. If the Terriers can put together some mid-season victories and play well in the conference home stretch against Albany, Vermont and UMBC then I think their conference title hopes are very much alive – along with hopes for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in March.