I hate McRoberts...and I think he just scored again.
Not a great night and very little to like. However at the start I would like to rebut the nonsense Vitale and Patrick were pushing: BC didn’t lose because of effort. Stupid, sloppy basketball? Yes. No effort? BS. About halfway through the second half the two started talking about BC coming out flat. What? The teams were tied and exchanging baskets for most of the first half. And then on the 4 on 1, 5 on 1 breakaways. Not the best effort, but with Dudley and Rice in foul trouble they couldn’t get back and commit stupid fouls. Listen, I am far from pleased, but BC was getting killed by the commentators on something completely subjective. Here are my thoughts and there was very little to like:
-- Sean Marshall’s return. The guy has been MIA since the first Florida State game. He finally showed up and was key to BC clawing back. Unfortunately, we didn’t go to him nearly enough (more on that in a minute).
-- The team fighting back in the second half. They cut the lead to six after being down by as many as 21. Moral victory blah blah blah. Not really hanging my hat on it, but it showed there is still hope.
-- The offense early. Duke’s focus was obvious -- take out Dudley. It is the same thing Coach K did to BC during the Troy Bell years. What BC needed to do was get Dudley the ball and let him find the mismatches, because Duke had no answer for Marshall and Spears' strength. What happens instead? Fucking Johnny Oates ends up taking and missing wide open 3s. Terrible. It is partly on Al for not emphasizing the mistmatches and for not giving Oates the hook. It was also on Oates. Every once and a while this guy wants to be the hero and takes selfish shots. Stop it, John. That is not why you are out there.
-- Not getting Blair more minutes. No surprise on the points in the paint. We’ve always been susceptible to penetration off of good ball movement. But we needed Blair in there to protect the paint. But he was on the bench too long.
-- Not getting into the "tight" flex enough. When things are going bad, you need to get to what makes you comfortable. We never did.
-- Turnovers. Duh. Some were due to sloppy passes. Others due to Duke shooting the passing lanes.
-- Rebounding. Dudley was in foul trouble, so he couldn’t be as aggressive. However, Spears and Marshall didn’t get to nearly enough balls.
The final score does not indicate how bad the game was. Fortunately the team worked their way back. One other thing gives me hope: how we responded after getting smacked down at home last season against NC State. They played better and eventually rattled off a bunch of ACC wins. Let’s see if we can do it again this Saturday against UNC.