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Friday, June 12, 2009

The Stamp: Comings and Goings and Stayings

Let me first say that our absence from this blog since Coach Chambers took over has ZERO reflection of how excited we are about the team. In fact, I can't remember being as pumped about BU basketball as I am right now (in the off-season, anyway).

There's lots to talk about these days, starting with the changes to the roster that we'll see next year. Every one of these has been impacted by the new coach's arrival, which shows just how quickly he's managed to put his own stamp on the program.

~~~ COMING ~~~

G BJ Bailey

Bailey isn't really coming to BU because of Chambers, he's coming despite Dennis Wolff's firing. As a Wolff recruit, Bailey was said to be "distraught," but as we reported in March, decided to honor his commitment to BU. I'm excited about it. I followed BJ's run to his high school title game and watched a lot of video of him. He's tall and athletic, and at BU I think he will fall somewhere between Carlos Strong and Corey Lowe. I'm hoping he chooses 5. Btw, the nickname possibilities for BJ are extensive - I'm leaning toward Beetle. Better ideas?

G Darryl Partin

Partin comes to us as a transfer from the A-10's LaSalle, and will be welcomed at opposing AE arenas to the sweet serenade of "Daaaaaaaarryl, Daaaaaaarryl." He didn't light up the stat sheet most of the time but has enough talent to shine -- in his 28 games (3 starts) as a soph, he had 27 "ehhhhh" games and 1 amazing game, an impressive win over UMass in which he scored 30 points. Darryl will have 2 years at BU to fulfill the promise he showed but never quite achieved at LaSalle.

F Patrick Hazel

Another junior transfer, Hazel is coming to us from Marquette from the B-EAST. Pat's another guy who never put up the numbers he was expected to, and will try to turn that around at BU. Our two recent Big East incoming transfers -- the Big O, Omari Peterkin, from Notre Dame and Billy Collins from Rutgers -- came under similar circumstances and they worked out pretty damn well for us. Patrick went to Marquette with some fanfare, but left without making much of an impact. John Borneman of the Marquette newspaper wrote an angry, scornful article about Hazel after he announced he was transferring in which the author comes off as particularly dick-ish. To sum up Hazel's career with the Golden Eagles, he features a quote from coach Buzz Williams: "I've stopped practice more times as it relates to Pat Hazel's mistakes, maybe, than the rest of the team combined."

Well, I don't care. I've got a reply for John Borneman: STFU. Nobody cares what you think. Way to trash a guy who's already out the door. Obviously Marquette wasn't a good fit for him and he's a Terrier now. Welcome to Boston, Pat - we look forward to seeing what you contribute for us.

G Gary Correia

Gary was released from his commitment at UMass and told Coach Chambers he was coming to BU. This was cool because normally the pipeline of transfers goes from BU to UMass, not the other way around. Gary has had an undistinguished career so far at UMass, being stuck behind a few other players at the guard position. But I won't spend too much time writing about Gary because...

~~~ GOING ~~~

G Gary Correia

Nice knowing ya, Gary. He was a Terrier for all of a month. At first we were hearing that he simply was returning to UMass because incoming Minuteman transfer from UConn Doug Wiggins got kicket off the team, which would leave plenty of unclaimed minutes and assuage Correia's playing time concerns. But it seems there is a little more to the story. According to a story from the Springfield Republican (MA), Correia said, "I had (verbally) committed to Boston University. If everything had gone the way it should have, I'd be there. But some of the information given me ... it didn't go the way I had expected." Huh?? Was he recruited over, maybe by Partin? Was it a run-in with a current Terrier, or Coach Chambers' first conflict with one of his players? Either way, by the time Wiggins was given the heave-ho, the article states, Correia "was already souring on BU." We probably won't find out what really happened, but in general I don't like incoming recruits souring on the program before they even get here.

PG Danny Munoz

Munoz was a prototypical Dennis Wolff point guard in the Kevin Fitzgerald/Brian Macon/Marques Johnson mold: very headsmart player, good passer, good floor leader, but limited physical traits and scoring ability. He was perfect for the system Wolff ran, and was an early commit to BU. After Wolff was canned, it was easy to see that Munoz wouldn't get the same opportunities under another coach and de-committed. It's probably a good turn of events for both parties. Munoz landed on his feet and we'll see him next year at American University.

F Jake O'Brien

Ahh, as if the soap opera of BU's off-season couldn't get any more compelling, Jake O'Brien annouced after Dennis Wolff was fired that he wanted to transfer out of BU. His stated reasons for leaving included something about the "different goals" of Wolff and Chambers, even though there were rumblings of his exit even before Chambers was hired, leading some (like me) to believe that he just wanted a bigger stage than BU. Now, there's a difference between wanting more of a challenge and thinking you're too good for a team or a league. I don't know where Jake's thoughts fell on that spectrum, but I do know that he wasn't "dominating" the AE and that there were significant holes in his game that would have come out at a higher level. We heard about flirtations with Providence and BC and others, and read about visits to Xavier and St. Joe's. But just two days ago, we learned that...

~~~ STAYING ~~~

F Jake O'Brien

Jake decided to come back to BU. I have no idea why. Maybe it was all the hard work that Chambers was no doubt putting in to get Jake to stay -- and if so, well done Coach. But he obviously had options - the Rookie of the Year could easily find a good landing spot. And announcing your desire to play elsewhere is certain to cause friction with teammates and fans.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to have Jake back on the team. He's a very good player, with a chance to be a great one. But I hope he didn't expect to spend the whole spring acting like he wanted to play anywhere but here, and then come back like it never even happened. As fellow fans, are you convinced that Jake won't try this again after his sophomore year if he puts up even bigger numbers? I know I'm not. BU fans (and teammates) may never be totally comfortable with Jake's commitment to BU until he's being celebrated on his Senior Day.

I suspect this will not be the last time we hear about or talk about this issue.

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At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

great update!

At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, I was really scared there for a minute that we weren't going to be able to cheer for JOB anymore.

"With these hands, I will dunk the shit out of Marqus Blakely!"

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Tall-boy said...

hahahaha, I have no idea what you were referring to but it's amazing.

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great update. Is there a chance Chambers picks up anymore players? By my count, that is only 12 scholarship players. And are there any OOC games announced yet besides the tournament in Puerto Rico?

At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm hoping for 5 as well, kind of a natural number for a point guard (Jason Kidd, for example)

At 4:18 AM, Blogger The Hot Dog said...

From what I heard Correia wasn't accepted by the school because of grades.

If you're Chambers how mad are you...you get all these great transfers then the school doesn't even work with you to let them in!

I thought the decision would be changed and Correia would be allowed to come, but apparently not.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Tall-boy said...

Thanks for the info HD!

If the school doesn't think he's up to par academically, I'm fine with it. I'm glad we have our standards and I'm not down with selling our school's soul Binghamton-style.


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