Archive | November 2015

Men’s Basketball: 2015-16 Season Preview

My season’s preview for BU as seen on WTBU Sports. Take a look!

WTBU Sports

By: Chris Lynch

Two years ago, Maurice Watson Jr. led the Boston University Terriers into the conference championship game. After a loss to the American Eagles, the program changed dramatically.

Seniors Dom Morris and DJ Irving graduated, Malik Thomas transferred to Norfolk State, and Watson transferred to Creighton, leaving only four players returned with any game experience at BU for the 2014-2015 season.

BU played a tough schedule in the competitive Patriot League, finishing 9-9 in regular season conference play. They held a lead early in their playoff game, only to be defeated 89-64 by the eventual conference champion Lafayette Leopards.

Since the end of that game, the Terriers have been on a mission to improve their game and make this upcoming season one to remember on Commonwealth Avenue. No player graduated or transferred away from BU, and everyone acknowledges that they didn’t play up to their potential last season…

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Men’s Basketball: John Papale Q&A

I got to talk to one of the captains of that BU Men’s basketball team, John Papale. Here’s the interview I did.

WTBU Sports

By: Chris Lynch

The BU Men’s Basketball team will take the floor for opening night against Northeastern on Friday the 13th, at 7 p.m.

For that game, senior guard John Papale will take the floor for the 96th time in his successful BU career. Now a captain of the team, Papale will look to help the team to a conference championship in his final year at BU.

WTBU Sports got the chance to meet up with Papale and ask him a few questions just after the team’s practice on Wednesday night.

Q: First question I’ve got for you, how was practice today?

A: It was good! It’s a game practice, so there’s a lot more teaching from Coach and less up and downs for today’s practice. And all in all, I thought it was a good practice.

Q: I was going to say, how do you feel about playing Northeastern?

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Lost NFL Fandom

You’ll find few people who is a more hard-line Boston sports fan than me. You’ll find maybe even fewer who are more passionate Tom Brady fans than I am. However, this year has worn my NFL fandom. There was a stretch when football was easily my favorite sport and the Patriots were the team I followed the most closely. That probably lasted from 2005-2011. It started with the Super Bowl victory over the Eagles in Jacksonville, and ended around the Super Bowl defeat to the New York Giants in Indianapolis. I still follow and support the team, setting aside some time on Sunday to watch their games, and still enjoy watching Tom Brady school his opponents on a now weekly basis. I had maybe my most passionate reaction to any game on February 1 of this year with the Patriots’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the Superbowl. See that in the following post.

However, after a summer of Deflategate drama, and a number of NFL scandals and general idiocy, my appreciation for the sport has waned considerably. The ways in which the National Football League has embarrassed itself seems endless. Be it the mishandling of the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson scandals, the Bountygate scandal, the on-going issues involving concussions, or the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin disaster, the NFL has lost me with both the frequent misconduct of its players, the frequent demonstrations of moronic lows in the commissioner’s office, and the general sense of not caring about the safety of the players.

I spent some time thinking of reasons beyond the ineptitude of the leagues in question for my fandom changes, and here’s what I noticed. I’ve moved to being more of a basketball fan, and my love of baseball has re-established itself fully over football. Baseball has always been my top sport, except for stretches where the Patriots supplanted the Red Sox. And basketball has slowly won me over after the job I have with WTBU covering the BU Men’s Basketball team, and with other important factors sprinkled in. I find the other sports more entertaining and more fan friendly than football. They’re much easier to watch in person and have plenty of style and flair to make them fun. Football might have spectacle, but it can be remarkably difficult to watch in person and a bit hard to follow the play unless you have been initiated as a fan. It’s even gotten harder watching on TV due to all the commercials interrupting the flow of the broadcast. Granted, that’s an issue across all sports now, but I can’t help but feel this effect at its worst when watching an NFL game.

There’s one piece above all else that has lost my appreciation for the sport: Player safety. I know that I’ve written on here before about being ok with violent moments in sports that can result in the injury of players. But in baseball for example, the injuries that take place are few and far between, and with the sport going by most times with no injury at all. Basketball is similar, with the sport having some physical moments that can result in some bad injuries. Most of the time, however, the nature of the sport does not result in any significant injuries. The physical nature of football results in multiple injuries in every week. All you have to do is look down the injury list each week of this season to understand that. However, there is one player’s case in particular that opens up my eyes about it all: Wes Welker.

From 2007 to 2012, Welker was the most dependable slot receiver in the NFL for any team, collecting over 100 catches in every season except in 2010, and helped the Patriots to two Super Bowl appearances. When he jumped to the Denver Broncos, he was a staple piece of the most prolific offense in NFL history when Peyton Manning threw a record 55 touchdown passes in 2013. Welker played in, and lost, his third Super Bowl since 2007, but he was still effective and one of the best. He also was badly injured.  He tore his ACL in the last game of the 2009 season, and has three documented concussions as a result of playing in the NFL. Its likely that he has even more due to his playing style. He is a small slot receiver who catches alot of passes on short routes that lead to frequent huge hits. I’ve watched tape of him recently, and he looks absolutely horrendous. He looks like he has been hit too many times in the head, because he has, and will struggle after his career is done. He was recently interviewed and expressed confusion as to why he isn’t employed by an NFL team. I have a good reason why: He looks bad with his NFL career to this point and it will only get worse with the more hits he will take after signing a free agent deal with the St. Louis Rams. I fear what his life will be after playing football.

That thought has me questioning my fandom of this sport. I’m watching players hit each other and hurt themselves on a regular basis. Not to mention that players I follow and like will be negatively effected by their choice to play a game that only caught on because people enjoy the game. I still appreciate the strategy and beauty inherent in the sport, but have a hard time rationalizing the injury rash in the NFL. I also have a difficult time trying to give the NFL the benefit of the doubt when they frequently deny the impact of concussions on their former players. I’ll probably still watch Tom Brady and a few other players, but my football fandom is waning severely.

Men’s Basketball: Fanning Suspended

WTBU Sports

By: Chris Lynch

BU will take the floor against Northeastern on Friday the 13th at 7PM at the Case Gym to open the season. They will do so, however, without Eric Fanning. He is suspended from the team for  breaking team rules. He is currently allowed to practice with the team, but he will not be appearing in any games. Head Coach Joe Jones will have no further comment on the matter.

After transferring from Wagner College and sitting out the 2013-2014 season, Fanning appeared in all 30 games in the 2014-2015 season, and was a leading scorer for the team. He was second on the team and 13th in the conference at 12.3 points a game, and established himself as the 6th man of the team. He topped 20 points five different times, with his career high of 27 coming against BU will now be without both of their…

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Terrier Madness Wrap up

BU Men’s and Women’s hoops is set to start! A fun openening night worth remembering was had by all of us.

WTBU Sports

By: Chris Lynch

Basketball season kicked off on Commonwealth Avenue with a bang on Thursday night. Terrier Madness, a midnight madness style promotion night, filled the Roof of Case Gym to the brim with energetic hoops fans who cheered their classmates playing on the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams. Both teams had long been anticipating the night and we’re excited for the chance to step out on the floor in uniform to the sounds of roaring applause from the fans, and they got their chance. The teams were introduced with each player running through the line up of the cheer and dance team, and under a spotlight. When all the players had been introduced, the most fun part of the night ensued: a dance-off between the two teams. The men and women traded songs and moves until they joined the dance and cheer teams for one big routine.


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Men’s Basketball: Pre Season Q&A With Coach Jones

I cover the BU Men’s basketball team for WTBU Sports. It’s quite a fun job, and one of the best parts of the job is getting to talk with Joe Jones, the head coach of the team. This is a Q/A I did with coach. We talk about the season past and upcoming, and discuss the players and designs for the season.

WTBU Sports

By: Chris Lynch

Coach Joe Jones and the BU Men’s Basketball team will host a midnight event at the Case Gym, Terrier Madness. They then have their first game of the season on November 13 at home against the Northeastern University Huskies. But before that, there is the important work of preseason and practice. Coach Jones has spent the summer preparing his team for a new season. Last year’s team finished at 13-17 overall and 9-9 in conference, and returns the entire starting lineup from last season. I got to sit down with Coach and ask him about the program and the upcoming season.

Q: So, first off, I came into last season knowing that the team was in a transition mode. This season is a bit different. Can you contrast the preparations you had to make last off-season with the preparations for this season?

A: Well we were so…

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