Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Northeastern’s maturity wins out in their opener

November 17, 2014 Columns No Comments
northeastern

BOSTON – You could see it coming for a lot of the second half. There were interruptions, as the upstarts always had an answer and at times the veteran team shot themselves in the foot. Still, the momentum was unmistakably with the veterans, and eventually they broke through and later took control.

Yes, it was a rivalry game, but in time the mature Northeastern team played like a veteran team and rode the performance of those steady veterans to a season-opening 71-65 victory over Boston University.

“This tremendous rivalry, I think, brings out the best in everybody,” said head coach Bill Coen. “We played a more energetic second half, we played much more like we’ve been practicing.”

It’s not hard to tell it was a season opener and a rivalry game. For a lot of the game, the much younger Terriers looked more like the experienced squad than the Huskies, moving the ball well to get good shots and playing good defense, while more importantly answering every charge by Northeastern. They even survived some early momentum in the second half by the Huskies and built the lead back to ten points.

But the Huskies persevered, hanging in there before they finally got enough momentum to take over. They have now won four of five and eight of 11, though there hasn’t been a double-digit margin since 2006.

Besides that, the Huskies showed how they could win in terms of what individuals did. David Walker has often deferred to teammates in his first two seasons, and while he always finds ways to be effective it’s rarely been with a big shooting game. On Sunday, it was his turn to impact the game that way, and he had career highs with 23 points and six three-pointers. He understood that’s what was there and what he had to do, and on this day, making the right decision meant putting up the shots he did.

“I like the new Dave,” quipped Quincy Ford, playing in his first game after redshirting last year due to back surgery. “The aggressiveness, the shots he takes, the stuff he’s done all summer working on his game, the one-on-one moves.”

Scott Eatherton, a CAA Player of the Year candidate, didn’t have a banner game. He scored just eight points on 4-10 shooting, and with BU playing an effective zone, scored just two points on 1-5 shooting in the first half. He remained effective, though, getting rebounds often and being in plays, and then he scored a big basket down the stretch to help the Huskies close it out.

“I thought he really gave us the backbone of our defense with his effort on the backboards,” Coen said. “He had ten rebounds and really solidified our defense and allowed us to get out and run.”

The most important Husky of all is probably T.J. Williams. The sophomore point guard played very well late last season, and he has a lot of options to get the ball to. He quietly had eight assists on Sunday against just two turnovers, and was a big part of the decisive rallies. If he plays like this often, the Huskies will have a good chance to win the CAA. With the scoring options he has, he has to manage the game for this team, and he did on Sunday.

Then there was Devon Begley, a freshman on this veteran team. He came into the game and injected some energy, attacking the basket and getting chances there. The time was right, and he gave them a spark they needed and perhaps a little bit of fearlessness. His numbers – seven points on 3-6 shooting, two assists – were relatively modest, but his impact on the game was not.

“I thought we played tentative in the first half,” said Coen. “Devon gives us that spark. He’s very, very quick, he’s crafty with the ball, and he’s able to get to the basket and get into the lane.”

You wouldn’t expect a freshman to be a difference-maker, and that might not happen often this season. The Huskies will be a team driven by their veterans, especially if Ford can return to pre-injury form. Physically, he looked good on Sunday, though there’s undeniably some rust there. That’s not a bad start, though, and in time the rust should wear off.

Last season, the Huskies lost a lot of tough games in non-conference play. They’re a little more experienced and mature now, so in theory they will turn some of those into wins this time around. They know how to play through adversity, they have a team full of guys who buy into the team concept, and on Sunday that and the growth they have had were all ingredients to a victory to start the season.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Your Phil of Hoops

Thanks to a big backcourt boost, Gonzaga should be even better this season

November 7, 2016 by

gonzaga

Gonzaga might have needed the West Coast Conference title they won in Las Vegas last year in order to be in the NCAA Tournament. With better guards, there should be no doubt about that this time around.

For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

October 21, 2016 by

big12

The Big 12 has been on a great run to be the top conference in recent years, including last year. This year will be a challenge due to a big loss of experience throughout the conference.

A year later, Cal has a different team and something to prove

October 7, 2016 by

california

With some big-time additions, much was expected of Cal a year ago, and the season did not end well. This time around, expectations may be reduced, but the Golden Bears have a chance to end the season better.

Hoopville Archives

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!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

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.

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

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

hoopguy-yellow

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

hoopguy-cyan

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

hoopguy-cyan

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

hoopguy-cyan

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.