SUPER SENIORS: After leading BU Men’s Basketball to fifth-straight win, Anthony Morales and Miles Brewster are ready to have their moment in March

By Sam Robb O’Hagan

BOSTON — There were flowers, there were tears. There was a career milestone. There was an offensive explosion in the first half, there was a near-crisis in the second. There was Domino’s Pizza. But in the end, there was Anthony Morales and Miles Brewster, doing what they do best on their big day — keeping this beautiful disaster chugging right along.

The big play: A steal from Morales that he tipped in the air three times as he stumbled down the court before flipping a pass to a streaking Brewster, who himself bobbled it thrice before finally, at the last second, gathering it and finishing with a backhanded layup. BU took an 83-69 lead with under five minutes to play. A senior day dagger. The Terrier Way.

And breathe.

How’s that for a metaphor? In the final ride of a roller-coaster regular season like no other, it was BU’s two seniors who once again stayed composed through all of the stumbling and fumbling to guide the Terriers across the finish line. Morales finished with 20 points, Brewster with 17, to not only lead BU to its fifth-straight victory, but to the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Patriot League tournament. 

BU will skip the first round. It will host the quarterfinal. It will host the semifinal. And, after so very nearly crashing so many different times, BU will be three wins away from the dance.

It’s March, and the Terriers are fully dreaming now.

“The sky’s the limit,” senior guard Brewster said.

No, BU’s 94-84 victory over Holy Cross on Saturday at Case Gym was not perfect. But what has been? The Terriers are not here, at 15-16 overall and 10-8 in the Patriot League, because they’re “good enough that we can just roll people,” head coach Joe Jones said. 

They are here because they are calm. Resilient. And mighty tough.

“I feel like we’re one of the toughest teams in the league,” senior wing Morales said.

It’s nearly impossible to argue with him. A brief recap:

BU finished the non-conference slate 5-8. It started Patriot League play 2-3, and in those first five games, the Terriers were dead last in basically every offensive category. It was so bad that, after a practice this week, junior guard Ethan Okwuosa mistakenly recalled BU going winless in those games. The Terriers eventually fell to 2-5. Then they won. Then lost. Then won, then lost. Then won again. Then lost again; before, all of a sudden, exploding on a five-game win streak — one that included, but was not limited to: a halfcourt buzzer-beater, two game-saving chasedown blocks, another buzzer-beater, BU’s first consecutive overtime victories in 15 years, and this win over Holy Cross, in which the Terriers very nearly blew a 17-point halftime lead.

But here they are. The 2-seed. Three games away from winning the whole damn thing.

How have they done it? “The biggest thing,” Brewster said, “is that the guys have the right mindset.”

For that, BU can thank Morales and Brewster. The Terriers roster eight Division I rookies, four of them freshmen. This group was not supposed to be this composed this quickly. They were not supposed to be winning because of their attitude. They were not supposed to be wise beyond their years.

But they are. And ask anyone around here — it’s because of Morales and Brewster.

“With Miles, it’s the way he’s been allowing me to hold him accountable,” Jones said. “And having that, it keeps everyone else in line.”

Seriously. Where would BU be without him? Don’t think the Terriers didn’t encounter their fair share of tough love while in the valleys of this roller-coaster year. There were points this season when, simply, the team wasn’t very good. In the moments when the finger was pointed at this group, it was pointed at Brewster, the team’s leader and top scorer, first. 

He has responded time and time again. And his younger teammates have followed right along.

“I’ve never had a kid that I could really go at the way I go at him and not have it affect the way he plays,” Jones said. He explained that watching Brewster take Jones’ heat showed the rest of the team how to take it, too. “Sometimes,” Jones said, “it’s got to be said in a real forceful way to get them freakin’ ready to go.

“And Miles allows you to do that.”

As for Morales — all he has known this year is adversity. He didn’t play the first month of the season with a knee injury. He returned, carried BU to a dramatic win over Loyola Maryland in January, only to go right back down with a back injury. “Finally got my footing back,” Morales said. “Then I got hurt again.” That’s not all. A natural scorer, Morales’ role has been reduced to papering over the cracks, filling in where needed instead of being a go-to offensive option with a set role. He didn’t start a game until Saturday.

What an impact he has found a way to have. Those two game-saving chasedown blocks? Both from Morales.

“He’s doing whatever we need him to do to win,” Jones said.

No team has needed a senior day more. A chance to acknowledge, out in the open, for everyone to see, just how much Morales and Brewster have meant. “I was really happy for them,” Jones said. During the pre-game ceremony, Brewster cried. During the warmups that followed, he cried some more. When he gathered himself, it was Morales’ turn to hear his name announced in the starting five for the very first time. Saturday was their moment. The two leaders of this bizarre, impossible team. The two seniors guiding the sudden contender that shouldn’t be.

“It was a special moment, for sure,” Morales said. “Meant a lot.”

Said Brewster: “I mean, I cried. So whatever that means, right?”

They have waited so patiently for this. The pair arrived in the summer of 2020, just a few months after BU won its first Patriot League Championship. That team, like this one, was young. Ahead of schedule. Javante McCoy, a future NBA G-Leaguer, Sukhmail Maton, a future conference Player of the Year, and Walter Whyte, a 1,000-point scorer, stayed around. Morales and Brewster, stuck in those shadows, did not play early on. When they did as juniors, they came off the bench.

“I want to take a trip down memory lane,” Morales said after a 26-minute outing on his senior day. “You know, I’m old.”

“Me and Miles, our freshman year… it would be late night, we just had a game and we didn’t play that much or whatever, and we were like ‘yo, when we’re older, we gon’ do it. We gonna get there.’ We manifested it.”

Their moment has arrived. They are each playing the best basketball of their lives. They haven’t lost in over two weeks. And they are playing for BU — leading for BU — as the calendar has turned to March. 

Anthony Morales, Miles Brewster, and BU men’s basketball, legitimately, have a chance to make it to the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s everything, bro,” Brewster said. “That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”