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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Terriers bailing on us

Well, it needs to be discussed.

Immediately following the Terriers' '04-'05 season, three players -- Tony Gaffney, Bryan Geffen and Brendan Sullivan -- announced that they were transferring out of the BU program. None of the three were considered HUGE losses. Sure, Gaffney is athletic and talented, but in two years was never able to come out and show it (except while defending on the full-court press). Many people (including myself) thought Geffen had steadily improved and brought us a more consistent offense than Brian Macon. And Sullivan, who was just a freshman at the time of his transfer, never truly got a chance to show what he could do. Taking into account Sullivan's and Gaffney's suspensions, the trio contributed a whopping 7.25 points per each Terriers game.

So by the numbers this wasn't a huge immediate loss. The common thread running through, however, was conflict with coach Dennis Wolff. Both Gaffney and Sullivan were suspended last season, presumably for team rules-type reasons. For the time being though, I was willing to wait and see if maybe we weren't better off without "cancers" in the clubhouse. [FYI - I do NOT know all of the circumstances surrounding these players' departures, nor I suspect do anyone who are not the parties involved, so I am making a big assumption in this case that the players are at fault for not abiding by Wolff's rules - I do not have any direct evidence for this.]

Then the bomb dropped.

In August, it was revealed that Corey Hassan, the Terriers' leading returning scorer and America East All-Rookie team selection (AKA the future of the program), would not return for his sophomore season. (This deserves, and likely will get, several blog posts of its own in the near future.) This would be a major blow to the program. He cited the fact that he did not enjoy "city life" as his reason for departure. I'm no mind-reader, but I don't quite buy what he's selling there. Hassan is a scorer when it comes down to it, and it's tough for someone like that to thrive in an extremely defense-focused system like Wolff's.

The question is, does Wolff's style rub his players the wrong way so much that it adversely affects the program? By all accounts, Wolff runs a tight ship and don't take no crap from nobody. It's his way or the highway - which means, shut up and play defense. If he can't keep his star players happy (like ones that start every game and have the green light to shoot every trip down the court despite being a freshman), who CAN he keep happy?? Maybe not even his own son!

As I mentioned in the comments section of a previous post, this is certain to remain one of the subplots to watch this season.


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