head McKeon jump-starts the season with a trey
How does a basketball coach solve the problem of losing her best player
-- a star who ended her college career with 1,648 points -- to graduation?
She can try to recruit another outstanding player to fill her star's sneakers.
Or she can recruit three of the most highly regarded young players in
the country -- which is what Margaret McKeon, the Terrier women's head
basketball coach, did.
Following a disappointing 2000-2001 season, which resulted in a dismal
10-19 record and the graduation of BU legend Alison Dixon (MET'01), McKeon
restocked her team with two future cornerstones from Wisconsin and a towering
Spanish center. Power forward Larissa Parr (CAS'05), six feet tall, and
small forward Adrienne Norris (CAS'05), an inch taller, were both Wisconsin
Associated Press all-state first team basketball players as high school
seniors. Parr, who played at Eau Claire North High School, was named Big
Rivers Conference Co-Player of the Year, earning a spot on the all-conference
team for the third straight season. She averaged 13.9 points and 5.7 rebounds
for the 19-3 Huskies, who advanced to the Wisconsin Division I final.
Norris, who played at Kettle Moraine High School, helped lead the school
into the Division I quarterfinals. She was named the Classic 8 Conference
Co-Player of the Year after averaging 13.9 points and 8.7 rebounds during
her senior season.
Photo by Kalman Zabarsky
Photo by Kalman Zabarsky
Photo by Kalman Zabarsky
Acquiring the two players caused BU's recruiting class to be named 24th
in the nation, according to the All-Star Girl's Recruiting Report. BU
is the only America East program ranked in the top 25.
Then McKeon inked a 6'5" rebounding force, sophomore Amparo Lopez
(SAR'04), in last spring's late signing period. A Nassau Community College
transfer from Madrid, Lopez was ranked near the top in a poll conducted
by womenscollegehoops.com. She was among the top 30 for the 2001-2002
season because of her potential immediate impact for the Terriers. At
Nassau, Lopez averaged 10.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 4.0 blocked shots
per game, leading the team to a 16-4 record and its first-ever trip to
the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 15 title game.
She was named to the NJCAA Region 15 All-Tournament team and garnered
Second Team NJCAA Region 15 All-Region honors. While in high school, she
was a member of the national team of Spain.
So how did McKeon end up with such a great trio of talent? "Boston
University is so unique," she says. "Academically, the University
sells itself. Too, the big-city location makes it a very popular school
not only nationwide, but worldwide."
Lopez is red-shirting the season after back surgery, but Norris and Parr
are expected to contribute immediately. "They're going to have opportunities
to get their playing time," says McKeon. "They're fighting for
a starting spot, though it's not guaranteed. But they're skilled enough
to be able to play a number of different positions."
McKeon is accustomed to coaching a fresh crop of young players on the
hardwood. Last season she had five freshmen in uniform; three were starters.
But her new recruits are going to be hard-pressed to fill the void left
by Dixon. Her 1,648-points make her the second all-time scorer in the
history of the BU program.
"You just can't replace a player like Alison," says McKeon.
"She brought different things to our team. But I think we have well-balanced
scoring and great leadership this year. We just need to complement each
other and pick up the slack. We can have a different hero every night,
a different player stepping up to the plate."
One heroine capable of stepping up to the plate just about every game
is sophomore sensation Katie Terhune (CAS'04). Last year the 5'11"
New Jersey native was the team's leading scorer, averaging 16.2 points
in conference games. According to McKeon, Terhune is one of just five
BU women to be voted an America East Preseason First Team All-American.
Her scoring and poise are two elements that really excite McKeon about
her team's upcoming season. The third element is the team's chemistry
"It's a really special group this year," she says. "Not
only are they talented, but they really like each other. They enjoy playing
together and competing. They really deserve to win because they've worked
The Terriers work hard in the classroom as well as on the court. Seven
players made the America East Honor Roll last spring, earning a grade
point average of 3.0 or higher, making 53.8 percent of the team academic
as well as court high scorers.
"That makes me extremely proud," says McKeon. "At Boston
University, you not only have to max out on the basketball court, but
also in the game of life. Basketball has been an avenue to Commonwealth
Avenue for these young women. We tell them not to sell themselves short
either on the court or in the classroom. And they have succeeded thus
On November 25, the Terriers defeated Lehigh 75-71 in the finals of the
Christmas City Classic, their first tournament win since 1989. Terhune
scored 22 second-half points. The team is off to its best start since
the 1994-1995 season.