Basketball, Sports

Men’s Basketball returns core pieces in hopes of a better season

The Boston University men’s basketball team enters the 2019-20 season looking to build off a trip to the Patriot League quarterfinals last year.

The 2018-19 Terriers (15-18, 7-11 PL) showed signs of a competitive squad at many points but were never consistent enough to build any sort of momentum. They never won more than three games in a row and finished in 8th out of 10 teams in the conference.

It may be a different season but a familiar face will be at the helm of leading BU: senior Max Mahoney. The Basking Ridge, New Jersey native earned Preseason All-Patriot League honors by being selected to the Preseason All-Patriot League team. He is the man the Terriers lean on again all season.

The big man averaged 16.5 ppg and 6.6 rpg last season. He also shot 62.9 percent from the field, 11th best in the nation and a BU school-record.

Mahoney became the 37th Terrier to reach 1,000 career points last year in the regular season finale against Navy.

Despite the 8th place finish in the Patriot League last season, BU was picked to finish fifth this year in the preseason poll with 97 points. They were just one point behind Loyola Maryland who was picked to finish in fourth at 98 points.

BU has an opportunity to be a much improved and more consistent squad because it’s a group of familiar faces. The Terriers are returning 10 lettermen including junior Javante McCoy who averaged 12.1 ppg a season ago, third best for BU.

McCoy started in 30 of 32 games in 2018-19 and reached double figures in scoring 21 times. He shot 38.6 percent from behind the arc and finished the season strong during the Patriot League Tournament. He scored 30 points in BU’s opening round win over Loyola Maryland and followed that performance with 20 points at top seeded Colgate in the PL Quarterfinals.

Sophomore Alex Vilarino also returns for the Terriers. His 6.8 ppg last season was the fourth best on the team and started in 21 of the last 22 games. Vilarino scored a season and team high 20 points in last season’s game at Lehigh University.

A core group of players will only help the Terriers in their hopes of success and advancing further in the Patriot League Tournament. The dominance of Mahoney, shooting of McCoy and dependability of Vilarino looks to be the foundation of this team.

One more shooter BU will be relying on is sophomore Jonas Harper. The Stammford, Connecticut native was named to the conference’s All-Rookie team last season shooting 46.6 percent from three.

The Terriers open the season on their home floor at Case Gym on Tuesday night against rival Northeastern University. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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