UK Men's Basketball

UK notes: Boston U. dines 'like regular people' at home of Kentucky Mr. Basketball

Boston University forward Nathan Dieudonne, a junior from Louisville, went to the basket in a game against Maryland.
Boston University forward Nathan Dieudonne, a junior from Louisville, went to the basket in a game against Maryland. AP

Kentucky may win the game, but Boston University won the night-before-the-game dinner.

The Terriers ate Thursday night at the Louisville home of junior forward Nathan Dieudonne. The menu included four beef briskets, eight slabs of ribs and uncounted chicken wings.

The player's father, Carl, did the cooking for an expected party of 30.

"My dad, he's really a master at the smoking and grilling art, if you will," Dieudonne said.

The player's mother, Marie, rented tables and went to a nearby restaurant for bulk supplies of macaroni and cheese, and vegetables.

"Definitely some fruit," Dieudonne said. "She's very conscious of healthy eating. That's hard to do when you're cooking up all that meat."

Boston U. Coach Joe Jones said the game in Rupp Arena is part of an effort to play in the home area of every player. The Terriers practiced Thursday at Trinity, where Dieudonne went to high school. The dinner was a welcomed bonus.

"We need to do more things like this," Jones said. "Try to live just like regular people."

When asked why he wanted his players to interact with regular people, Jones said, "Because we play basketball doesn't mean we're any different from anybody else. When we're in the midst of our season, we're so self-absorbed with what we're doing, and it's good sometimes being able to appreciate life and appreciate relationships, and understand what is important."

Dieudonne (pronounced Jude-doe-nay) led Trinity to the 2012 state championship and was named Most Valuable Player of the state tournament. He had 70 points and 33 rebounds in four games in Rupp Arena. He posted a double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds) in the championship game against Scott County on St. Patrick's Day.

Dieudonne averaged 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds his senior year at Trinity and was named Mr. Basketball. He picked Boston U. over Lehigh and Yale. He's averaging 8 points and 9.5 rebounds in Boston's first two games.

"Without him, we'd have a hard time functioning," Jones said. "He does so many things for us on both ends of the floor. He's one of the best defensive players. He's a team defender. ... He does a great job covering up mistakes our guys make."

When not grilling, his father, Carl, is a pilot for UPS. His mother, Marie, works as a business consultant in the health-care field.

Of the feast she and her husband prepared for the Terriers, Marie said, "Hopefully it gives them some energy for the game tomorrow night."

Twos, you lose

With so many big men guarding the basket, Kentucky figures that defending the three-point line can make its defense air tight.

"If we can keep (opponents) off the foul line and off the three-point line, it's going to be tough to score," assistant coach John Robic said. "So teams are going to come in with the theory, 'We have to beat them from the three-point line.' If we can do a good job of (defending the three) and make them drive into our 'bigs,' ... "

Boston U. might test that theory Friday night. The Terriers made 17 of 40 three-point shots in their first two games and make no secret of their reliance on three-point shooting.

"What's good for us is that it is probably one of the things we do best is shoot the three," Coach Joe Jones said. "We have a lot of guys who can make them."

Junior John Papale made six of 13 three-point shots in the first two BU games.

"One of the best shooters in the Patriot (League)," teammate Nathan Dieudonne said.

Papale made 41 percent of his three-point shots last season. "A great shooter," Jones said. "And he's more than just a shooter. For our level, he's a very good all-around player."

Freshman Cheddi Mosely has made five of seven three-point shots.

UK's first three opponents have made barely a quarter of their two-point shots: 28 of 108 (25.9 percent). Kansas made only eight of 41 shots from inside the arc Tuesday.

Noting how UK Coach John Calipari has talked about strengthening the three-point defense, Dieudonne said, "Hopefully, we can exploit that for some stretch of the game."

Contrast and compare

When asked how UK's 3-0 start this season compared to the stirring run in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, Andrew Harrison said, "You can't really compare. That's really two different teams and two different styles of play."

'Why change?'

UK's platoon system was again the topic du jour.

Robic lauded the cohesiveness of each of the two five-man units.

"Each guy feels really comfortable playing with one another," he said, "And why change it?"

Etc.

■ UK is 3-0 against Boston U., with the average margin of victory 29 points. UK won 91-57 in the last meeting, Nov. 30, 2010.

■ Dave Baker and Mike Jarvis will call the game for Fox Sports South.

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