Home » Columns »Your Phil of Hoops » Currently Reading:

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments

While there have surely been worse days in the program’s history, last Wednesday will not go down among the best ones for Boston University. Three players, including star guard Maurice Watson Jr., will all transfer. All of a sudden, the Terriers will have a drastically different look next year and don’t project to be nearly as good. One of them is a bigger loss than the others.

The school announced the transfers of James Kennedy, Malik Thomas and Watson last week. Kennedy, who is one of the nicest young men you could ever meet, has rarely played in his career, having battled injuries. Thomas has had his moments, and his departure will hurt, but it’s Watson’s departure that is both a little mind-boggling and will really hurt.

Make no mistake: BU was already taking a hit with three key seniors graduating in D.J. Irving, Dom Morris and Travis Robinson. All were significant contributors, with Irving being a four-year starter and Morris starting for three and a half years. So even if all three of the transfers stayed, the Terriers might not project as Patriot League favorites next season, especially with a lot of the league’s top talent returning. Bucknell and Lehigh had a lot of young talent this season, and Holy Cross and Army bring back a lot as well. All four teams played better as this season went along.

The Terriers could live without Kennedy and Thomas. Their departures don’t move the needle in terms of next season’s potential. It is Watson’s departure that will sting.

Thomas had some big games where he filled the stat sheet and could have contended for a starting role. But he could also hurt the team with head-scratching plays, too, so for all his potential he has been something of a feast or famine player. Even if he eliminated those as a mature senior, he would probably be a good starter, but not an all-Patriot League player.

Watson, on the other hand, was arguably the best player in the Patriot League this season. He made the Terriers go not only with his scoring and passing, but with his ability to constantly put pressure on opposing defenses. He could also do damage defensively, helping the Terriers speed teams up at times. Watson was seventh in the league in scoring and led the league in assists by more than one a game. In addition, he was a constant; while other players had ups and downs, including in their energy, Watson was a guy you could hang your hat on.

Put Watson on next year’s team and BU has a fighting chance to contend. He would have classmate John Papale, who can shoot, and Wagner transfer Eric Fanning alongside him on the perimeter. Cedric Hankerson, who showed plenty of promise as a freshman in a limited role, also figures to be in the mix and now may be looking at a more prominent role than originally expected. Nathan Dieudonne would be the primary player up front, and while he’s not an all-league candidate he’s a very capable player who has developed nicely in two seasons thus far on Commonwealth Ave. SMU transfer Blaise Mbargorba will help there, along with emerging reserve Justin Alston.

Certainly, with that group, the Terriers wouldn’t fall far; a top-half finish would be expected. Take Watson away, however, and the Terriers are primed to drop appreciably. They shouldn’t fall all the way to the bottom by a long shot, but this loss hurts. There isn’t a proven alternative at the point on the current roster, so someone will have to emerge at the most important position on the floor.

Although the Terriers fell short of an NCAA Tournament bid, at first glance they appeared to be in good shape for next season. Now, they have a lot less coming back, and they have taken a big hit at the point guard spot. BU won’t be rebuilding next year, but the team’s ceiling has taken a pretty big hit with Watson’s departure.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we touch on a number of issues affecting conferences like Conference USA, as well as a big loss for Creighton, less mystery in Arizona, and more on the ACC as we look forward to the weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a short stint in the top spot of the polls, some developments in the Mountain West Conference, and more of the ACC before closing with the Big East and Atlantic 10.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the great games Kentucky has been a part of lately. We go on to other ACC matters involving arch rivals, as well as some quick hits and a conference race that should be as good as expected.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 16, 2016

December 16, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a coaching legend reaching a milestone, the defending champs looking very good and continuing their winning ways close to home, and some off-court news during a light week of game action.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 29, 2016

November 29, 2016 by

Early season tournaments are the focus in this episode, with a look at how strong a few Big East teams are out of the gate and how strong the ACC could be. Plus one SEC team had a big week outside the scope of tournaments.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.