The Skinner debate rages on
Al is not perfect. But let me address some of the stuff that is being thrown at him. I come off like an apologist in this, but I really do think he is a very good coach. Skinner has legit shortcomings, but I think fans are somewhat misguided in what they are harping on.
In-game coaching. How do you define this? 'W's are the best measure in my opinion. But how about how Al and our team reacts in tight games? If a game comes down to one or two possessions a bad “in game” coach would surely be exposed, right? Use of timeouts, drawing up plays, substitutions…if a head coach has a problem with those things it would come to light with the game on the line, right?
Here is our record in games decided by five points or less over the last four seasons: 29-10. Winning 75% of your close games seems to indicate good “in game” coaching.
Now Al is not demonstrative on the sidelines. But I assure you he is constantly yelling from his seat to the players and the refs.
One problem might be whole sale adjustments. The game gets away from us for whatever reason and Al seemingly does nothing. Well that is not going to change. Al will not drastically adjust what he is doing based on a short period of success or failure within the game. If a team wants to try to bury us with 3s and gets hot, he will let them keep shooting. He just believes things will even out and BC will benefit. If a team presses us from the get go, he believes that we’ll adjust and get some easy points. Now this may be frustrating, but look at our results.
Frustration with the flex. The flex is a simple, high school offense. So what? It is annually one of the most efficient productive offenses in college basketball. The flex is not and won’t be our problem under Al. If you want to get on his system -- take a look at the defense. It is annually one of the worst.
Talent. Once we lost Williams, we were down to two real ACC caliber players. Our shortcomings are on the staff, but they are addressing it. Our incoming class is the best in Al’s tenure. And given his success, we no longer have to rely solely on “diamonds in the rough.” Al and company have been great in finding and evaluating talent.
“40 hour week coaching”. This is another thing I don’t understand based on Al’s results. If he were somehow watching film all night would it have made a difference Sunday? I don’t think so. Every staff works differently. Al has sort of the leader/figurehead role with his assistants doing a lot of the grunt work. It is his formula and it works.
Al is not perfect. We’ve underachieved in the NCAAs. Discipline problems have been a recurring theme, but I think he is nearly perfect for BC.
I want BC to win it all every year, but calling our accomplishments mediocre and whining about Al’s style seems unfair. He is an excellent coach and unless something drastic happens, I will continue to defend him on this space.