By Martin Kessler
The head coaches from Boston University, Boston College, Harvard, and Northeastern gathered in a large room tucked beneath the bleachers. Just outside, a fresh layer of ice was freezing on the surface of the rink at the center of the cavernous arena. The Boston media swarmed.
The scene looked familiar on Thursday morning at the TD Garden—the site of Boston’s annual college hockey Beanpot. But when all 6 feet 9 inches of UMass forward Raphiael Putney walked through the door into the Legends Room, it became quite clear that the crowd wasn’t there for hockey.
On the cusp of the start to the 2013-14 college basketball season, representatives from Holy Cross, UMass Amherst, and UMass Lowell joined their peers from the Boston area’s four Division I programs for the third annual Commonwealth of Massachusetts Media Day.
In a city known for its historic college hockey rivalries, college basketball is looking to establish its own tradition in Boston. For now it will settle for sharing center stage.
The TD Garden—site of the hockey Beanpot since the arena opened in 1995—will host a college basketball tripleheader on Nov. 10 featuring matchups between Boston University and Northeastern; Holy Cross and Harvard; and Boston College and UMass.
“We’re trying to see if we can gain some traction and some momentum for college basketball in the New England and Boston area,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker explained. “We think it has an opportunity to carve out a little bit of a niche a la what the Beanpot has done in hockey. You know that’s been going for years and years and years, but we think this is the right time.” Continue reading “Mass. Basketball tips off at the Boston Garden — site of opening triple-header”