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Boston University’s Paul Seymour

March 7, 2003 Columns No Comments



America East Profile: BU’s Paul Seymour

by Phil Kasiecki

Paul Seymour loves playing Northeastern, the cross-town rivals of Boston University, and not just because he’s had some big games against them.

“It’s always fun to play the cross-town rivals,” he said after scoring 21 points to help the Terriers closed the regular season with a 76-65 win at Northeastern. “You know you’re going to get their best effort every time out.”

In a season where young talent, especially newcomers, took center stage often in America East, regular season champion Boston University is home to a story with a former America East Rookie of the Year. If the conference had a Comeback Player of the Year award, Seymour would be a shoe-in for it.

The native of Liverpool, New York entered college with high credentials. He finished his high school career as the all-time leading scorer at Liverpool High School with over 1,600 career points. As a senior, he earned 1999 Central New York Player of the Year honors after averaging 24 points per game, and was a McDonald’s Honorable Mention All-American.

Seymour was the top rookie in the conference as part of a rebuilding process his freshman year. The Terriers went 7-22 overall, but Seymour was one of the real bright lights, leading the team in scoring (12.1 points), rebounding (3.7 per contest) and assists (2 per contest) and shooting over 36% on three-pointers. The 6’6″ guard looked like a star in the making, and he kept his numbers up as a sophomore while the team improved to 14-14. He was also one of the conference’s best clutch shooters.

Then came his junior year. Seymour struggled to find his touch, and after scoring in double figures just twice in non-conference play, his minutes fell dramatically. But he started to pick it up when February arrived, scoring a team-high 19 points and grabbing 8 rebounds in an overtime loss at Vermont. In the America East Championship game against Maine, Seymour had 15 points to key the balanced attack that put the Terriers into the NCAA Tournament.

His finish gave head coach Dennis Wolff plenty of reason to think his senior year would be a good one.

“He has been a very effective player in his time here,” Wolff said. “By the end of last year, he was back to playing the way we thought he was capable.”

Even with the struggles, Seymour didn’t lose sight of the most important goal.

“It was frustrating to a point,” he says of the struggles he had. “The winning kind of eased that frustration, knowing that our team was winning was the first priority. So it wasn’t that big a deal in my mind that I was struggling.”

The senior season has been a satisfying one for Seymour, who first seemed to find his niche as a sixth man before starting the final eight games of the regular season. In addition to regaining his shooting touch and contributing at both ends of the floor, Seymour became the 24th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points with a 15-point effort against Stony Brook in January. He will enter the America East Tournament just two points shy of 16th on the all-time scoring list, and cracking the top 15 is not out of reach.

The Terriers are deep, balanced and experienced, primary reasons they were the preseason favorites in America East. Fellow senior Billy Collins, one of the team’s tri-captains, was a first team All-America East last season and among the top three-point shooters in the conference, while leading the Terriers in rebounding. Sophomore forward Rashad Bell turned his play up a notch in conference play, averaging over 15 points per contest against America East foes and earning conference Player of the Week honors twice. Junior Ryan Butt is the classic blue-collar role player; he won’t make the highlight films or be the first player mentioned in the recap, but is solid on the low post and can step out for a three-pointer. Fellow juniors Jason Grochowalski and Kevin Fitzgerald are key role players who also don’t get much press, the latter a solid floor leader since his arrival on campus. Junior Matt Turner, who missed most of last season with a left shoulder injury, is a dangerous shooter who has exploded for big games, and sophomore guard Chaz Carr has struggled this season, but remains a dangerous guard with his quickness. The Terriers go 10 deep, and their bench has outscored opponents 727-466, an average of 26.9-17.3 per game.

Seymour, whose grandfather played in the NBA and uncle, Pete Holohan, was a good NFL tight end for several seasons, has seen the conference from the days before four teams departed for the Colonial Athletic Association. While the departure set the conference back initially, he feels the conference is in good shape as he finishes his career, especially with the young talent in it.

“I think we lost four very good teams, but we have three teams that are going to be very good,” Seymour says, alluding to newcomers Albany, Binghamton and Stony Brook. “Hopefully, over the next couple of years, it’ll continue to grow and be one of the top mid-major conferences.

“It’s really a young conference, and I’ll look forward to watching these guys play over the next couple of years.”

Seymour has enjoyed Boston, and says he will miss it when he’s done. He’s undecided about his post-basketball plans, but those who have seen him play and progress over his career can figure that he will succeed at his next stop in life. His head coach is certainly among those who know what he can do, as he talked about his perseverance after Seymour reached 1,000 career points.

“He’s a kid that has stuck with it for the last four years and he’s been playing very good basketball of late,” Wolff said.

Indeed, he stayed right with it, and now looks to finish a nice career with another trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Back to the America East Profile index.

     

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