With last Friday’s win over Indiana, the Boston University men’s basketball team accomplished a number of feats: they got their first win of the year, they won in a foreign country (Puerto Rico sends its regards), and as a team, BU showed that it could win coming from behind. However, most importantly the Terriers got Coach Patrick Chambers his first Boston University program win.
BU had struggled through the three games prior to the win on Friday. They were expected to win big in their opening game against Iona; instead, they dropped that game 82-73. They then lost to George Washington by ten, and to Kansas State, even though they lead for most of that game. Before traveling to Puerto Rico, BU was 0-3 and sinking fast.
Winless in three games? It had people scratching their heads. With the disappointment of men and women’s soccer and the hockey team off to a slow start, it was basketball that was supposed to buoy Terrier Nation’s spirits. Pat Chambers was supposed to bring in a new era for basketball, we were told. The underachieving days of coach Dennis Wolff were long gone. Replacing him, Chambers had the Boston Globe singing his praise on its cover. He promised energy, optimism, and a winning season. He stood on a freakin’ chair and screamed at the top of his lungs at the Terrier Tip-Off, saying “When I say BU, you say Pennant!” for crying out loud. We were promised change.
Through all the bad, Chambers kept his chin up. He acknowledged that the team was struggling, but focused on the positives. Chambers always commented on how “hard” his team was working, and how they were “grinding” and relentless. He knew that the win was coming, he just didn’t know when.
This is why BU’s win against Indiana was so important. To start out the first four games without a win would have been awful. A team that had so much encouragement from its coach should be able to salvage a win in four games, despite the injuries that BU has been suffering. And it looked like the Terriers would be able turn it around when, with 2:19 left to play, they took the lead after Jake O’Brien’s foul shot.
O’Brien didn’t get the game ball however, despite his impressive play and his fourteen points. That honor went to coach Chambers. Check out the BU Athletics interview with Chambers after the game:
Chambers looks like a kid in a candy store with his game ball and an ear-to-ear grin. When asked what the ball meant to him personally, however, he shrugged it off and talked about the importance of the win for the team. Most guys would have given an Academy Award acceptance speech. This guy actually wants to talk about his players.
“It means that this program is taking the steps in the right direction,” Chambers said. “To beat a quality team with the rich tradition Indiana has is great for the program, but more importantly it’s great for these seniors. They’re going to have this for the rest of their lives.”
Since then, the Terriers have gone 1-1 in an expected loss to Georgia Tech and a close win against Northeastern. Despite this, the team looks better. They seem to have the confidence that they lacked prior to their win. By no means are they the powerhouse that they were expect to be, but maybe BU will find more luck with in-conference opponents. Regardless, we now know that Pat Chambers’ Terriers are serious about winning, and will keep going with the vigor and enthusiasm of their head coach