GAME ON: Men’s Basketball Hosts BU in Undefeated Patriot League Showdown Wednesday Night
Teams: American (10-7, 6-0 PL) vs. Boston U. (13-6, 6-0 PL)
Date and Location: Wed., Jan. 22, 2014, 7:30 p.m.– Bender Arena – Washington, D.C.
Series: Fourth meeting; AU trails 2-1
Last Meeting: L, 58-56 – Boston, Mass. (Nov. 30, 1998)
Web: Patriot League Network - Dan Laing (play-by-play), Jeremy Huber (analyst)
The first ever men's basketball Patriot League matchup between American University and Boston University sets up to be a showdown as both teams enter Wednesday's nights tilt with perfect 6-0 records. The Eagles and Terriers tip off at 7:30 p.m. inside Bender Arena with sole possession of first place in the conference on the line.
Fans around the world can watch the Patriot League Network stream online via their desktop, tablet or mobile device with Dan Laing and Jeremy Huber calling the action.
It will be only the fourth meeting between the two schools and first in 16 years. The Terriers won the two most recent matchups in 1997 and 1998, both by identical scores of 58-56. American won the first-ever game back in the 1942-43 season, 43-42.
AU set a program best mark, opening its Patriot League slate 6-0 under first-year head coach Mike Brennan. In addition to the greatest start in Patriot League history for the Eagles, it is the best start in conference play for AU since the 1980-81 season when then head coach Gary Williams led American to a perfect 11-0 mark in ECC play and a 24-6 overall record.
The Eagles are out to a perfect Patriot League start thanks four conference road victories. After starting the season 3-7, AU is now riding a seven-game winning streak, with five of those wins coming on the road.
The Eagles have bought in to Brennan's "Princeton Offense" and have put it on full display, especially in Patriot League play, where all five starters are averaging double-digit points. Junior John Schoof leads the way for AU with 14.3 points per game over five contests, with a conference-high 16 3-pointers. Senior Tony Wroblicky leads the Patriot League with 8.3 rebounds per game and is second on AU with 13.3 ppg.
AU is out to a hot start in the conference slate thanks to the sharpshooting of Schoof who was honored as this week's Patriot League Player of the Week. Schoof led the Eagles in scoring in both games last week by averaging 19.5 points in victories at Lehigh and against Lafayette. He was on fire in the first half against the Mountain Hawks and finished with season highs of 23 points and five three-pointers as AU earned a 65-63 win on the road. Schoof then totaled 16 points in a 66-61 win over Lafayette on Saturday, live on CSN+.
American's defensive unit ranks 15th in the nation, holding opponents to 60.4 points per game this season. While the Eagles have been staunch without the basketball, the AU offense has now caught up to its prowess on D, and now ranks ninth in country in team field goal percentage (.493). AU is also 39th in the NCAA with 15.4 assists per game.
The first 500 fans to enter Bender Arena will receive a free Eagles basketball signed team glossy photo courtesy of Wednesday's Official Game Sponsor, TEAM AU Partner Ameritel Corporation. A limited number of premium location sideline chairback tickets still remain. Click here to purchase the best seat locations while they last, 24/7 via AUeagles.com.
Scouting Boston U.
The preaseason favorite in the Patriot League, Boston U., has been rolling in conference play, winning each contest by eight-plus points and five by double-digits. The Terriers are on a six-game win streak and have won seven of their last eight. BU's offense relies heavily on the 3-pointer, ranking 21st in the country in total treys attempted and 38th in triples made.
Point guard Maurice Watson Jr. paces the Terrier attack, ranking first in the Patriot League and fifth in the country with 124 assists, 6.5 apg. Watson is also efficient from the field, ranking 60th in the NCAA with a 53.5 FG%, averaging a team-high 14.8 ppg. Fellow guard D.J. Irving is second on the Terriers with 11.8 ppg and forms a dynamic backcourt for BU. Big man Dom Morris is Boston's only other double-digit scorer (11.6 ppg) and leads the squad with 6.4 rpg.
With 19 years of coaching experience, Joe Jones enters the 2013-14 season in his third year at the helm with the Boston University men's basketball team. Despite being banned from the America East tournament in March due to the move to the Patriot League, the Terriers (17-13, 11-5 AE) had an impressive year, highlighted by their third postseason appearance in four years. They finished second in the league standings and swept both of the conference tournament finalists en route to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
More on the Eagles
This year, American boasts four players in double digit scoring as Schoof leads the way with 13.1 ppg. Second year swingman Jesse Reed is just behind Schoof's lead with 12.2.Following the dynamic duo is Wroblicky and junior point guard Darius Gardner, who are averaging 11.5 and 10.7 ppg, respectively.
"Pee Wee" Gardner played the role of hero in the Eagles' last game, winning at home inside Bender Arena last Saturday against Lafayette, hitting a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:39 left in regulation as AU pulled out a hard-fought victory in front a large "White-Out" crowd and a live TV audience on CSN+.
Wroblicky etched his name into the American record book again, recording his 500th career rebound at Holy Cross, becoming the 28th player in program history to do so. The fourth-year center became the fifth player ever in AU history to reach 100 blocks earlier this season and now ranks third all-time with 118 career rejections.
This season, the Eagle boast three true iron men, as Gardner, Schoof and Reed each average over 32 minutes per game. Gardner is top amongst Patriot League players and 10th in the nation with 37.2 mpg, while Schoof is just behind at 36.5, ranking 25th among DI schools. Reed checks in at 32.1 mpg.
After 12 of its first 16 games on the road this season, AU finally returns home for an extended stretch, beginning last weekend against Lafayette. American plays six of its next eight game inside the friendly confines of Bender Arena.
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