Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Virginia Tech thoughts

Ugh, that was horrendous. As everyone and their brother have said, we are working our way back on the bubble. Not much to take away from this. Here are my two cents:

-- Solid minutes from Roche. When I was on the 'ZBC show before the Kansas game, I speculated that if Roche didn’t get into the rotation soon, he would be on his way out of the program. Well he is finally getting minutes and playing well. He had trouble defending in the low post, but we worked the boards hard, moved well in transition and made a few shots. It is promising.
-- The comeback in the closing minutes of the first half. It certainly didn’t mean much considering the second half, but it did show some signs of toughness and some composure. The second half was a flat out collapse (more on that in a minute) but it was the best close of a first half in many games.

Dislikes (the list is long)
-- Spears' defense. Wow. He was really bad and Tech exploited this mismatch. Spears is built like Craig Smith, but he is not nearly as far along as Smith was as a Freshman. In this game he was slow to react, out of position and had trouble with a smaller perimeter players. Rough night.
-- Marshall’s shot selection. I guess we cannot expect a consistent stretch from him. Now he couldn’t beat these guys off the dribble so he started flinging up shots. What was that? Post up. Look to pass. Do something. He was good in transition, but too impatient in the half court offense.
-- The refs. When a score is this lopsided most wouldn’t blame the refs. I do. They were terrible. Oates’ goal tending? Letting Roche get stepped on and tackled and not calling traveling? Seeing Dudley get mugged! BC went to Dudley early in the second half when the game was close. He was fouled repeatedly without a call and VT converted on the other end. I do think it changed momentum and changed the game.
-- Mike Patrick. He had nothing to do with the loss, but he is making these games unwatchable. He had the score wrong for long periods of the game. He gets caught up in stupid subjective stuff like “BC is playing on its heels and the Hokies are on their toes.” What? That is why the game is changing, Mike? What about things like rotating defenses or hot shooting. Sure he picks on BC, but I also think he calls a bad game and is a grating personality.
-- Oates close to the basket. He got lost on switches and allowed guys to glide to the basket. He still has trouble boxing out and he could not finish easy baskets. The guy is not getting better. I think what we saw against UNC was his ceiling. He’ll never be any more and will most likely be a lot less for the remainder of his BC career.
-- Rice’s passivity. Sure he was more controlled, but he needs to step up when the other teams close in on Duds. Our inability to score early in the second half is on him.
-- Dudley’s defense. He did a lot and worked hard and wasn’t getting the calls, but he did not have a great defensive game. Duds needs to box out better, hit the boards harder and be a little more careful on his help defense. Virginia Tech passed well when he got out of position for some easy baskets.

We need a win against Clemson. It is Senior Day. Despite this rough stretch, I really think Marshall and Dudley will show up and close out their careers with a much needed W.


ClassO10 said...

I could not agree more with your comment on Kirkpatrick. I muted the game it was so bad. I also agree with the Spears comment. Vassalo is strictly a 3 point shooter and he kept giving him space to pull up. Either he wasn't paying attention to the scouting report or the scouting report was off. We need to beat Clemson big time.

Andrew said...

I came to the conclusion during the Duke game that Patrick is worse to listen to that Vitale. What about his assessment of the intentional foul at the end of the game? He called it "scary", but loved when the same kid hung on the rim earlier in the game. He should have been on his ass way before that.

I have no idea what was "promising about anything Roche has done this year other than knocking down wide a wide-open three.

ATL_eagle said...

Roche couldn't get on the floor six weeks ago and looked timid. Last night he played well, physical, and moved well with and without the ball. Plus he gives us another shooter. He'll get good minutes next year.

BCNorCal07 said...

The way they played last night I wouldn't be surprised if they lose the next three and miss the NCAAs. I thought it was impossible going into last week. Now (as in, after the start of the second half last night), it's looking more and more likely. And why can't Shamari catch the ball?

sammie said...

These guys are dead tired. They have been playing with a short bench and under great preasure since Williams left. Spears has hit the wall. They have been doing it with Dudley, Rice and smoke and mirrors for over a month. It catches up to you, especially since the refs allow Dudley to get mugged and he keeps getting early 3rd fouls.

I hate senior day games. U think they are only .500 over the past 8 years and have been blown out at least three times.

That said, I think the big win is after a week off at GT.


Andrew said...

Hope you are right about Roche. I just haven't been as impressed yet.

They'll pull out of this and get reenergized.

McCabe said...

How about Patrick's comment comparing Washington to a 'big storm' immediately after noting that Washignton's mother lost her house in Katrina? Jerk.

I disagree re. Roche. he doesn't have the quickness to play in the ACC. Not just foot speed, but the speed with which he makes his decisions.

eagle0407 said...

I also like Roche. If only he were two inches taller we would never have to see Oates in the game. For a guy who is really a 2 or 3 I think Roche has done a nice job holding his own underneath and is gradually shaking the freshman nerves.

I also think the ACC officiating has become a serious problem. We are getting jobbed pretty consistently. I don't think they know how to referee our style of basketball. Opponents are allowed to bear-hug us and shove us while we try to move the ball in the flex, particularly at the foul line. Then Duds breathes on a player trying to get a rebound and that's a foul. The kicking Roche in the face last night, immediately followed by a double dribble, directly in front of the official, was just too much to stomach.

But aside from whatever these bad calls cost us, I think the bigger problem is that it is killing our morale. Whining about the refs is for everyone else besides the players to do. Every time a call doesn't go our way, we either get demonstrative or start to sulk. Where is the mental toughness?? This always leads to us letting up huge runs and forces us to dig ourselves out of a big hole. It has to also be pissing off the already terrible ACC refs, nevermind how it looks to anyone on the selection committee. It's hard to fault the players for being upset because it has really been bad, but that's where the head coach comes in. Skinner has been much more vocal himself which I think is a good thing, but he's got to put an end to his players doing this and get them focused.

beantownman60 said...

I am sure FSU feels the same way about the refs. When a team gets blown out please don't place blame on the refs or TV announcers. BC is not an ACC elite team. They had the biggest BB week in their history and laid a Dud-ley. I am so sick of watching these guys whinning over calls. Bottom line, when you let Duke out hustle you in your building, miss three key free throws to pull ahead of UNC in your building, and than fail to show up at VA TECH you are not an ACC elite team. Please tell me what signature wins does BC claim? If they don't win one of the last two and have an early exit from the ACC tourney they will be playing in the NIT rather than the NCAA. Sadly to say, that's the road BC is on.

beantownman60 said...

I cut and paste atleagles predicts.

Right now the Eagles are sitting at 4-5 with two very tough games coming up. Clemson matches up well with BC. With the showing the past week, I am not sure a win is in the cards. GA Tech is always a hard place to play. Tough road to hold. They really need to win the Clemson game to get back on the winning track.

Remaining ACC games and my predictions

-- At Clemson. W. Clemson got off to the best start in the country and we’ve had trouble at Littlejohn, but I think we are playing them at the right time. (LOST)

-- Florida State. W. They gave us trouble last year, but I still like our chances at home. (WON)

-- Duke. L. Yes, I know it is a down year for the Dukies but Cameron is still one of the toughest places to play. (LOST)

-- Virginia Tech. W. When the ACC determined that we would play Miami and VT twice every year, I thought it was a huge boost. Who knew how good the Hokies would get? We need to at least split this series. I say we take the home opener. (WIN)

-- At Miami. W. They played us tough there last year, but I still like our chances in this one. (WIN)

-- At Florida State. L. The ‘Noles are struggling but still have talent (Thorton) and can still pull off an upset (Florida). (WIN)

-- Duke. W. After last year’s games against Duke, I think we can, will and need to win this game. (LOST)

-- North Carolina. L. College Gameday is supposed to be there for this. I would love to see a win, but I think UNC’s transition game and pressure on Rice is going to be a problem. (LOST)

-- Virginia Tech. L. As I said, I predict a season split with the Hokies. (LOST)

-- Clemson. W. Last home game of Dudley and Marshall’s career. I bet they go out on top. (TBD)

-- Georgia Tech. L. Tech gave us real problems last year. They have plenty of talent, but are still learning how to play together. By the end of the season I think they will be a very tough matchup for us. (TBD)

So my prediction has us finishing 6-5 in ACC play. Not stellar. It will guarantee an NCAA bid. Our seed would really be determined by how we played in the ACC Tournement.

Bravesbill said...

Al Skinner is resembling TOB more and more. Both revive struggling programs and make them annual Top 25 teams. Both coaches can't get over the hump and win their conference. TOB couldn't make it to a BCS game and Al can't get past the Sweet 16 no matter how talented their teams were. Both coaches choke away or lay an egg in huge games with everything on the line. Both coaches have numerous WTF losses. Both seemed to have maxed out any progress in the program. And both are awful in-game coaches who refuse to make adjustments. I love how TOB was going to be run out of town but Al is still seen in the eyes of BC alumn as a Coach of the Year candidate.

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