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Time may be right for BU and coach Wolff to go separate ways

The college basketball season came to a close this week with one thriller and one massacre. As I was watching Florida's romp of UCLA, it was hard to imagine that the season was still going on a month after the 2005-06 campaign came to an end for the Boston University men's basketball team.

After such a disappointing season, you can't help but wonder what needs to be done to get the basketball team playing deeper into March. You can't help but wonder if Dennis Wolff and BU are no longer a good fit. Perhaps it's time for the two to go separate ways.

First, let me say this: Dennis Wolff has had a great ride here at BU and he has coached some very successful teams. It was only a couple of years ago that BU was considered one of the hottest teams in the country and even received votes in the national polls. But despite all of Wolff's success, he has little to show for it. During his 12 seasons at BU, the Terriers have only made the NCAA Tournament twice.

Granted, it can't be blamed entirely on Wolff -- strength of schedule hurts BU a lot when compared to many other teams, and Wolff has done the best he can to overcome that by scheduling teams such as Duke University, Boston College and George Washington University. But if BU really wants to take the athletic program to the next level, it can't have basketball dragging it down.

Still, after winning consecutive America East regular-season championships in 2002, 2003 and 2004, a spot in the tournament seemed to be BU's to lose. Time and again, BU was dogged by its inability to play well in the postseason -- for which the coach has to take a significant amount of responsibility. Regular season accolades are nice, but they lose a lot of their value when you're unable to follow them up in the postseason.

Recently, the situation worsened as three players -- Tony Gaffney, Bryan Geffen and Brendan Sullivan -- were released from the team. A player leaving the team for one reason or another has become all too common in recent years. In the past four years, eight players have either left or been released from the team. While the players might have been dismissed for reasons off the court, and Wolff deserves credit for releasing players who might be detrimental to the team, these are players Wolff himself recruited, and he deserves some of the blame if these players can't make it at Boston University.

As Gaffney told The Daily Free Press at the time of his release, he and Wolff "weren't on the same page." While it's a shame it didn't work out, it's ultimately the coach's job to make sure the players he recruits will be on the same page as both the coach and the rest of the team.

The biggest effect of the departures is the huge hole left in the Terrier roster. Next season there will be only two seniors on the team -- neither began their careers at BU. Barring any transfers, there will be no junior class next year, as two would-be juniors were among those released a couple weeks ago, and Matt Wolff, the only surviving member of the sophomore class will most likely retain his sophomore eligibility after playing in only four games due to injury. It all adds up to a roster that's devoid of leadership and leaning heavily on the incoming freshman class.

In Wolff's defense, those players who do stick around generally improve from their freshman to senior year. The best example this season was Kevin Gardner, a player who averaged only 7.4 minutes per game as a freshman but blossomed into an America East first-team All-Conference selection as a senior after leading the team in points, rebounds and blocked shots.

Still, I don't mean this as a knock on Wolff, rather as an opportunity to jumpstart an ailing program. At this point, Dennis Wolff and Boston University just aren't working well together so it might be best for both to move on. With his credentials Wolff would have no problem finding another head coaching position, and once BU's current turmoil is in the past, we just might have a thrilling mid-major basketball program that is a staple in the NCAA Tournament.
 

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WOW, one sub .500 season and this guy thinks its time for Wolff to pack it in! Thats laughable. Everyone knew coming into this past season that this was going to be a rebuilding year for the
Terriers. They were the 2nd youngest team in the conference. Wolff stated himself prior to the season beginning that he felt that being picked to finish 2nd in the AE was certainly a generous prediction. I think it's funny when someone says that if a player is a bad fit for a team then the coach is responsible because he is the one who recruited him. When a player is recruited he is typically recruited on talent. The coach usually meets once or possibly twice with the prospect and rely's on the the prospects high school/AAU coaches for info on what type of kid he is. Do you think these kids come to these schools on there official visits and say "oh by the way coach, I like to party alot and prefer to skip classes whenever possible". It is now and it will always be a crap shoot as to whether the chemistry will be there between a player and his teammates and coaches. It happens every year in every program from D1 through D3. For a team to be succesful you need players to buy into there coaches system and to abide by whatever guidelines that coach sets for his program. If you are not willing to do that and the chemistry is not right then you as a player look for a new program or you as a coach encourage that player to look for a new program. I for one am excited about the future of the program. I think they have some great talent coming back and they have some solid recruits coming in. I think the AE conference as a whole will be up next year and I think BU is no exception!! I'm so tired of the negitive vibes people are putting out there towards the team and hope more fans of the program will choose to do as I am and looks towards the positive of this team. This young team played very well down the strecth of the season capturing 3rd place during the regular season. They lost a hard fought play off game to a UVM team that peaked at the right team. I look forward to watch the players like Corey Hassan, Ben Coblyn, Marques Johnson and Ibe Konate develope and see what red shirted freshman Tyler Morris has to offer. I also am excited to see what the incoming freshman bring to the table. I, for one, am excited about the future of this Terrier team and look forward to next season.
 

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Re: "Time may be right for BU & Wolff to go separate ways" Another piece of BU journa

Wolff has the job as long as he wants it. He did some very good things with BU, however, I challenge anyone to prove to me that he has gotten the most out of the tremendous talent he has recruited to BU over the years. I feel really depressed when I think about what could have been: No offense to Vermont, but in my opinion had BU made the NCAA's 3 years in a row (which they could easily have, and in my opinion should have) there program would have reaped much greater rewards from it. THis is not a knock on vermont at all, but had BU established that kind of winning tradition on the national scale, together with being in the heart of boston and the new arena, they could have brought in some tremendous recruits and really put their program on the map. I don;t see any team wolff puts together anytime in the future being as good as the 02-03 team that had Butt, Bell, Collins, J Groch, Seymore, Carr, Turner, Fitz, and Gardner on it. And that team wasn't as good as the team the next year in 03-04. I think that this is as good as it is going to get with Wolff, which sure hasn't been bad, but I think those dreams of the A10 aren't exactly close now. 3 straight 1 and done's in the tourney makes you scratch your head, especially one with the best team BU has ever had (03-04).
 

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An overly simplistic and one sided article.
Although I would be VERY careful about my recruiting this year if I was Wolf. Losing three players in one year looks bad even if there are good reasons for it.

He needs a Pat Filien.
 

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Re: "Time may be right for BU & Wolff to go separate ways" Another piece of BU journa

bu_bball_girl said:
Originally I wasn't going to respond to this because my views on Wolff (positive and negative) are well documented here, but I recently heard that at least two of Wolff's assistants are actively looking for new jobs because they can't work with him anymore. This just adds more credibility to the article's point.

What may be even more disturbing is this: there are probably several posters here who hold a similar view to that of the article's author, but if the author is NOT a poster (or reader) of this board, that means that others are starting to have the same thoughts about the program as some of us. It's not just a few people anymore who feel this way.

I admit that Wolff has several positives on his side (see, I don't just concentrate on negativity): he runs a clean program, he's a fantastic recruiter and talent evaluator, he's a great defensive coach, and his teams have consistently--except for 3-4 years--won more than half their games.

However, on the other side: his offensive schemes have consistently been mediocre to poor, he does not (in my opinion) use his talent to best advantage (he consistently tries to change players to fit his schemes, instead of adapting schemes to the talent he has at hand), he NEVER admits (at least not publicly) he was responsible for a loss even when he was (i.e., Stony Brook in the 1st round of conference playoffs--to him it's always the players who did not execute), and he over prepares and over thinks, therefore he has a lot of trouble winning big games in the post season.

I agree 100% with the author that if BU wants to move to the "next level," Wolff may not be the one who should do that. I also agree with Ginzo and others that Wolff probably has the job as long as he wants it, and with the posters who say BU can do more to get the college community involved in going to games. What this says to me is that BU really isn't as committed to moving up as they say they are. And that's pretty sad as BU has all trappings of a high major program: large student body, major university, first class facility, etc.
 

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Re: "Time may be right for BU & Wolff to go separate ways" Another piece of BU journa

I want people to understand that I am not blaming BU basketball for the poor attendece (BU students suck as fans, at least of baseketball). However, had BU made it to more than just 1 NCAA game, I feel that their attendence would be much, much better than it has been. Had BU stung together several years of NCAA's (which they should have) coupled with the New Arena... However, BU's program's severe downward spiral over the past few years, coupled with three straight one and done's in the AE tourney, coupled with their really brutal to the eyes style of basketball has basically killed any chance of bringing in a consistent fan base. (I know, things come in cycles, and it was bound to happen, I'm just saying its effect on the BU fans).
 
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