On Tuesday night the Villanova Wildcats will play their first regular season game at the Wells Fargo Center against the Boston U. Terriers. This game was most likely put on the schedule because former 'Nova assistant Pat Chambers was the head coach there just last year, but he's since moved on to State College (I'd also bet we see Penn State on the schedule in the near future).
Now, BU employs another ex-Jay Wright assistant in Joe Jones, who came over from Columbia in the off-season. Pat Chambers didn't leave the cupboard bare, as early indications are that BU could be in contention for the America East conference title, and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
More on Boston University after The Jump.
Don't let their lofty conference status fool you too much though - this doesn't feel like a team that should give Villanova too much trouble. Villanova has been burned by the mid-majors this year that can shoot the 3-point shot very well, and BU doesn't look to have that in abundance. As a team they are shooting under 30% for the season - or in other words, they are Dom Cheek from the outside.
That bodes well for 'Nova, since we love nothing better than to give teams open looks from beyond the arc. Darryl Partin is the main man on offense for the Terriers, as he's averaging 22.7 ppg this season and averaging nearly 35 mpg. The former La Salle player is joined by point guard D.J. Irving, who averages 12.8 ppg. No other player on their roster averages double-digit scoring. Easy to say, this is not a high-scoring outfit.
I feel like I keep repeating myself each time out, but it's time for Mouphtaou Yarou to dominate. Former Marquette forward Patrick Hazel stands just 6'6" and is leading the team in rebounding, and 6'7" forward Dom Morris isn't far behind. Those are some serious height advantages for Yarou, Markus Kennedy, and the rest of the team. They should dominate the glass (something they didn't do against Temple) and limit BU's second chances.
For Villanova, the main key is going to be sticking to an offensive plan that relies heavily on getting to the basket. Sitting back and jacking up jumpshots (I'm looking at EVERYONE on the team) just hasn't worked. It hasn't, and it's not going to anytime soon.
Dominic Cheek, James Bell, Maalik Wayns, Ty Johnson and company need to attack, attack attack. I'd rather see us doing that than going 15-20 from downtown. Because the former can help you every game (we're a great FT shooting team) while the latter helps you once in a blue moon. We're just not good enough shooting the ball to rely on the outside game.
BOSTON U. PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Prediction: We just have to win right? I don't even have a score. Just f*cking win.
The game airs on ESPN3 at 7:00 pm ET. We'll have our game thread up at 6:30. See you there!