Wednesday, February 28, 2007

St. Joe's jumps on BC bandwagon; other links

I am all for non-alumni support, but this is unusual. It seems that St. Joseph’s is trying to adopt Boston College football. They are going to go so far as to buy tickets and coordinate events with our Athletic Department. I don’t think many BC fans will notice, but it wouldn’t hurt if St. Joe’s wanted to buy say 10,000 bowl tickets.


Here is a write up on Beeks at the combine.

Gene held another chat Tuesday. Can people stop with the Lacrosse questions? Under Title IX there is 0 chance it will ever come back.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Perusing the Brackets

I think we are a lock. So does SI.com's Seth Davis. The question is now where will we go and what sort of seed will we be.


CSTV has us as an 8. I think we'll be higher, but of the potential No. 1s, I think we match up very well against Ohio St.


Bracketology 101 slots us at a 7.


Protrade is now ranking college teams heading into the Tournament. Here is their take on BC.

We've arrived: BC Whale Pants!!



I’ve often used this space to bemoan the slim selection of official BC merchandise. Living in SEC country I can find any piece of apparel, any household item and any chotchke imaginable with the logo of an SEC school. Now I have nothing to complain about: we have official Whale Pants! The old-time hand sitting alums (the original Whale Pants crowd), the preppy wine and cheese ACCers (since I wear collared shirts to games, I would probably put my self in this crowd), and the face painting Super Fans (current students) can all join together…in pants. This is big news. Please support our new good friends at Pennington & Bailes and buy a pair of BC “Stadium Whale Pants.”

Monday, February 26, 2007

Spinning about seeds; links

The Herald wrote an article about Skinner's campaigning for the ACC after the Clemson game. It was unusual for Al to talk about that sort of thing. Well, there is an explanation for his stump speech -- it was planned. The ACC has its coaches out there setting expectations for the next two weeks. I think it might help. What is more important, however, is that the conference played a much stronger and RPI friendly non-conference slate.


After playing well their first year in the ACC, the BC Women are really struggling.


The baseball team is also having a rough time.


This isn’t sports, but is so unusual, I had to link to it. Stabbings on campus?!? What’s going on? And two girls to boot. Weird.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Clemson thoughts


Big win. There is now way this team does not get invited to the NCAAs. 10 wins is enough. BC's RPI is solid. There are not 65 better teams than this one. If the get snubbed, it will be twice the injustice that 2003 was. Now my thoughts on the Clemson win:

Likes
-- Dudley breaking out of his slump. Jared has been getting doubled on the low post for weeks now. So what does he do today? Gets the ball on the perimeter. From there he got his looks from 3. He beat his man off the dribble. He found other cutters. This was perfect. If teams want to double him he can just move outside and still generate offense.
-- Rice driving the lane. Clemson's guards are small strong and quick, yet Rice was able to get to the basket. Great sign for March and great sign that he will continue to create his own points next season.
-- The 2-3. They made a big deal of it on the broadcast, but they didn't give Al much credit. Al has his critics, but this simple sort of adjustment shows his skill and insight. He has his preference (the amoeba) but it didn't work against Clemson. BC got out of position, got pushed around and let Clemson get too many open looks. By going to the 2-3 for long stretches, he made Clemson shoot over us...and they struggled. The 2-3 has one other benefit -- it forces someone to be in the lane and prevents easy layups.
-- Sean Marshall. A nice end to a nice career.

Dislikes
-- Oates, the nonfinisher. No excuse. It is one thing to miss a 3. It is another to miss a put back. This should never, ever be an issue for someone his size.
-- The bench points. Horrible production and minutes from everyone else. They all had chances to contribute but did very little.
-- The refs. I hate complaining about this but Dudley is not getting any calls.

Good game. Now the team can rest up and prep for a tough GT team.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Senior Day Serendipity

Saturday is Jared Dudley’s last game at Conte. It will cap a special career that could have been very different…

Senior Day: Dan Coleman

Saturday marks the end of Dan Coleman’s career. While he never achieved the same level of success of fellow Minnesotan Troy Bell, Coleman produced four solid seasons with a few highs and lows.

Freshman Year. Coleman’s first year was his toughest. After spending his summer on campus, he left Boston for Minnesota weeks before school started. Despite his homesickness, Dan and his family made the decision to honor his commitment to BC and came back to school before basketball started. It took him a while to work his way out of Skinner’s doghouse. Eventually Coleman became a valuable reserve averaging 6 points and 3 rebounds a game. BC fell short of the NCAA tournament, but made a nice run in the NIT.


Sophomore Year. After breaking into the starting lineup for the first time, Coleman and BC got off to a great start…until the Villanova game. BC clawed back at Conte, hoping to extend its perfect start. ‘Nova fouled Coleman with five seconds left. Down 65-66, Coleman could have won the game for BC. Instead he missed both. BC lost and struggled down the stretch of its final season in the Big East. A bubble team, Coleman and BC got the invite and easily won its opener. They faced Cinderella San Diego State in the second round and appeared headed for Skinner’s first Sweet 16. However, San Diego State star Jared Dudley (who prepped at Maine Central) lit up the Eagles for 30 ending BC’s march early.

Junior Year. Coleman proved the perfect wingman to Craig Smith in BC’s first ACC season. The Eagles played surprisingly well and Coleman averaged 12 points and 6 rebounds a game. Unfortunately, BC’s season ended at the hands of another Cinderella, this time Pacific. In the final minute of OT, Coleman’s 3 attempt rattled in and out of the hoop.

Senior Year. With the departure of Craig Smith and the expulsion of Sean Williams, Coleman and fellow Senior Sean Marshall carried the team but ultimately fell short of fans expectations. Heading into Coleman’s final game at Conte, BC stands at 6-8 in ACC play and is unlikely to make the Tournament.



No one will ever know how Coleman would have played here, but I believe someone was looking out for BC and Jared during the summer of 2003. Regardless of how this season ends, Dudley’s career was special and he was a pleasure to watch. Fans should enjoy this last game for this great kid (and please send along any pics). Thank you, Jared.

Mamula and an EDSBS link

This time of year you usually read about former BC star Mike Mamula being the ultimate combine sensation turned bust. Well the 700 Level has an update on what he is doing now.


EDSBS took a look at how schools churn schollies. Guess which school known for supporting student athletes has one of the more admirable rates? BC never gets enough credit for honoring scholarships. Other schools push unwanted kids out the door. At BC you may not see the field, but you'll get four years to get your degree.

This is not 2003

Ever since the Vermont loss, people have said this team feels like the 2003 team that underachieved and was eventually snubbed by the selection committee. There are some similarities, but ultimately I think this team is different and will have a different ending.

Similarities:

Losing their big man. 2003: Uka Agbai broke his neck against Holy Cross and redshirted after three games. (While this hurt 2003, I really think Agbai’s presence helped the very young 2004 team that surprised everyone.) 2007: Infamously lost Sean Williams for disciplinary reasons.

An uneven non-conference resume. 2003: Losses to Holy Cross, Northeastern, Kent State and wins over Iowa St., NC State, UMass. 2007: Losses to Vermont, Duquesne and wins over Michigan State, UMass, and Rhode Island.

Short bench with one star as the focal point. 2003: mostly a seven man rotation with Troy Bell as the guy carrying the team. 2007: mostly a seven man rotation with Dudley carrying the team (should be noted, Rocke is getting more minutes of late).

Solid conference record. 2003: 10-6 and 1-1 in the BE Tournament. 2007: TBD, but currently sitting on 9 wins.


Differences:

RPI. I am not a big fan of the RPI, but it is a factor. 2003: Our RPI was 49. Prime bubble territory. 2007: Our RPI sits at 29. Even if we lost our next three (which I don’t see) it is unlikely to fall into the 40s. Plus 2007 schedules plays much better with RPI than 2003. For example our losses to Vermont and Duquesne (and even Kansas) are not nearly as hurtful RPIwise as Kent State and Northeasern were. And our non conference wins over Michigan St and Rhode Island are giving our RPI a bump we didn't get from Iowa St and NC State in 2003.

Conference Reputation. 2003: Although Syracuse won the whole thing in 2003, it was not a great year for the Big East. 2007: Most are saying the ACC is the best and deepest conference in the country. I also think the 10 regular season wins in the ACC means more than it meant in the Big East in 2003.

Last Ten games. 2003: Finished the regular season 7-3. 2007: TBD but unlikely to finish as strong.

Ultimately, I think if we win Saturday or next week against Georgia Tech, we are in. I think the 2003 team started out rough and closed strong against a weak portion of their schedule. I think this year’s team will struggle closing out the season but will have built up enough good will with their early run and RPI to get in.


All that said, if we lose our next three, we don’t deserve to go in.

More Gameday pics

Bosco2BC sent along these pics of Gameday and his shots with Katz and Armstrong.



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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Jags as OC: Game 4, Cincinnati 1997

Stat Line
First downs 13
Rushed-yards 41-186
Passing yards 104
Sacked-yards lost 2-12
Return yards 5
Passes 12-30-3
Punts 10-42.1
Fumbles-lost 2-1
Penalties-yards 5-30
Time of possession 31:08

This was a tough game as we lost 24-6, yet could have and should have won with ease.


So what can we tell about the game? Jags can produce yards on the ground no matter what the situation. Cloud goes down. Lee comes in and runs for 160+. This was the second time in the short season that a RB had come off the bench to surge for more than 100 yards. We weren't nearly as ready to replace an injured Matt Hasselbeck. Scott Mutryn struggled throwing 2 INTs that handed the Bearcats the game. More of a concern? Scoring points. They outplayed the Bearcats for long stretches, but couldn't come away with more than 6 points. Things turned when Hass went down and the Bearcats started returning Mutryn INTs.


After starting the season strong this began a series of games where BC really struggled to score.

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:

Likes
-- 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.

South ACC Park


Courtesy The Fanhouse and Georgia Sports Blog.

Behind the scenes at Gameday and more

Remember Heights Sports Editor Keving Armstrong? We'll he is doing pretty well for himself. He's turned a gig as a SI on Campus writer into a byline Inside College Basketball slot in less than a year. Best of all, he's still got a soft spot for BC. Here is his day with the Gameday crew.


Kevin doesn't control the SI.com's mock bracket. They have us as a 6th seed.


Seth Greenberg is a big fan of Jared Dudley.


Most of the Virginia Tech press is focusing on Duds.


He also got some pub from the usually uninterested Eagle Tribune.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Southern update and a few links

Incoming basketball recruit Josh Southern is featured in Tuesday's Feyetteville Observer.


If you ever get the chance to see BC play the Red Sox in Spring Training do it. I went twice while in school. The Red Sox and Spring Training have become huge business and a tough ticket, but it is fun to see our guys against a few of theirs. This year has an interesting twist -- it will also be the Major League debut of Dice K.


Here is an article on the ACC and how many teams will make the tourney. Nine wins is not a sure thing. However, since the tourney expanded to 64 teams, no ACC with 10 regular season wins has ever been left out.

Monday, February 19, 2007

"Did you see how they looked in their last game?"

Statistically each game is an independent event. One outcome shouldn’t impact the next. I don’t buy it. I think confidence and effort are impacted from game to game. As a poster BCEagle8 on Eagle Insider recently stated: “I'd rather not keep running into teams coming off losses.” I agree with him. UNC and Duke both came into our games off of losses. Both treated their games against us as must wins. We know how the games ended. Virginia Tech enters our game off of a rough loss and will also have extra focus for our game. I don’t like the set up. But are my hunches and worries backed up by stats? Does our opponent’s prior game serve as an indicator for how the team will play against us?

Our ACC opponents’ records prior to losing to BC: 5-4
Our ACC opponents record prior to beating BC: 1-3

Our opponents do have a better record prior to our wins. But the sample is so small and that I don’t think we can truly conclude anything from it. Virginia Tech will be tough. While the numbers don’t confirm my belief, I think getting them after a loss is a bad thing.

Dudley on Gameday

Courtesy huelsebu

How can the bookstore not have a No. 3 jersey?

Brackets and a few links

We haven't fallen very far in ESPN's bracketology.


The guys at Bracketology 101 now have us as a 6th seed.


Here is a blog dedicated to Virginia Tech hoops.


A story on BC and Virginia Tech's impact on ACC basketball.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

UNC thoughts

Sorry for the late post, had other non blogging things to do. As for the game...no moral victories. Here are my thoughts:

Likes:
-- Rice carrying the team. Rice is not a great point guard, but he is a great scorer. Although we didn’t win this game, his play of late has given me hope for next year. I think he can be first team ACC and provide the continuity we need to carry us from the Dudley era to the talented group of freshman Al is bringing in next year.
-- Sean Marshall slashing. As I’ve been saying for two year, he is good going to the basket. If he can do it against a very athletic North Carolina team, he can do it on anyone. He seems to be out of his funk at just the right time.
-- Solid minutes from Oates. He played much better and hit the boards harder than he has his entire BC career.


Dislikes:
-- The foul shooting. This is on Dudley and Marshall. Although there were other contributing factors to the loss, the foul shots will be the things we remember.
-- Spears' hands. I have hope for Spears, but the past two games he’s let good passes slip through his hands near the basket. It is something he needs to work on.
-- Roche’s minutes. He was partially out there because of Dudley’s troubles and his improved play, but he really regressed against Carolina. He cannot be that timid or else he’ll never get off the bench.


We’ve got three regular season games and need one more win. All three can go either way. I think we’ll get one and be okay. Dudley missed his foul shots, but I have a hard time thinking he is going to go out with five straight losses. I'll have more on him and the team all week.

Guest Photographer: Dave C.

Dave was kind enough to send these pics along. He explained that ESPN limited where they could move and sit, so he was forced to take these back of the head shots. I know it is not fun to look back on a loss, but if anyone else has anything cool to share or know how to turn the Dudley-Andy Katz interview into a Youtube Video, please send it along.



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Friday, February 16, 2007

My Carolina optimism and a few links

After getting hammered by the Blue Devils, the mood surrounding the program has certainly turned dour in anticipation of our Saturday night showdown with the Tar Heels. But there is hope. Under Skinner, we’ve often rallied after bad outings. I wish UNC was not coming off a tough conference loss. They will be doubly focused for this game. However, while Duke gives us fits, our style matches up better against UNC as proven in last year’s two wins. Here are some reasons for hope:


-- They probably won’t double Dudley. They didn’t last year. Yes, Smith offset that, but they want to force us into an up tempo game. I don’t think they will try to bog down our half court offense. And last year in the ACC Semis, we killed them with the 3 when they collapsed on the low post.


-- If we control the turnovers we’ll do okay. In our first win at Chapel Hill last year, we played very controlled and dictated the pace. If Rice can do that again, we’ll win.


UNC is favored and more talented than they were a year ago. I still think we have a very good chance. If anyone has any good pictures of Gameday and the game please send them on and I'll try to post them Sunday.


A few links


After losing the Beanpot, the Hockey team bounced back with a much needed win against Maine.


There will be a lot of ACC baseball on TV.

AOL status update

Things have been quiet on the AOL front for a few weeks. They’ve reworked things a bit. Good news: Ian and I have been asked to cover football for all of the ACC. Bad news: my work won’t be exclusively on BC, so I won’t be linking every post I make over there on atleagle.com. However, I’ll still link BC stuff and still produce plenty of original content here.


Overall I am very excited about being a part of the Fanhouse’s continued growth and development. If you are not a regular, I highly recommend reading their NBA and NFL stuff. It is different from the canned stuff on the other major sites and there is no Insider needed.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

In defense of Skinner

Last night was clearly not BC’s best game. As a result, Al is getting some heat from the fans and message board posters. It was clearly not his best night either, but I think people are being too harsh on Skins. The one point where I agree with most people is that he mishandled Oates and Blair last night. Oates should always be on a short leash, but Al uses him for minutes and fouls. Essentially he tries to buy as much time with Oates as he can and was successful with that in the first half. The score was 32-35 with 2:33 to go despite the easy baskets we allowed and Dudley’s rough night. But like the Clemson game and the first Duke game, we let a team build up a big lead right before the half. I believe that if we had gone to Blair earlier we could have improved the defense without sacrificing any strength or production we get from Oats. That is my one big gripe.


But some of the other stuff about Al is off in my opinion. Here are some of the things I’m reading and hearing and my counter to the respective argument.


“Why didn’t he fire them up? This was a huge game!!!” -- This one is silly (to me). Al is not an emotional coach. His style works in the vast majority of our games. The composure helps us during tight games, helps us rally, and keeps the program on an even keel. The tradeoff is that, at times, we seem to treat the big games like any other. I am not happy about the loss, but don’t want Al to suddenly become emotional. In the last two years Skinner has beaten every ACC team but Duke. He is doing something right.


“Where were the half time adjustments?” As I pointed out, we weren’t that off until a little slip before half. I imagine Al just said “buckle down on D and get Jared the ball more.” The first few possessions of the second half we went low post. The half court defense improved too, however, the transition sucked because of sloppy play and foul trouble.

"Why didn’t Al use more timeouts?" He used them more often than he normally does.

“Why didn’t we pressure earlier?" I think it was a last minute resort. He didn’t pressure until the game started to get out of reach. I think he has been hesitant to use it since Williams left as SW was the safety valve.


Like I said, this was not Al’s best moment, but it is not all on him. He gives guys a system and a scheme and say: “go do it.” If we are happy when that style works the majority of the time, is it fair to bash him for it now? We still have some important games to play. If we continue to stumble, than Al will deserve more criticism. I think we steady ourselves and pick up at least two more regular season wins.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

F-in' Duke


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:

Likes
-- 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.

Dislikes
-- 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.

Recent history with Duke

While we have only been conferences foes for one and a half seasons, Duke and BC have had some bad blood during the Skinner era. Here is a quick look back at some of the recent history.


-- BC 75, Duke 97. Jan 16, 2001. Durham, NC. This was Skinner's "turn the corner season." BC went into Cameron as one of the hotest teams in the country. After a plucky effort from BC in the first half, Duke took control and pulled away in the second half. What gave the rivalry a little edge was the conclusion. With the game in hand, Duke Point Guard Jason Williams taunted BC with a couple ball fakes to Kenny Walls' face. Walls responded with a rough foul that sent Williams into the scorer's table. Coach K got all holier than thou, completely ignoring that his player started the incident by taunting. Needless to say, BC fans were pissed.


-- BC 78, Duke 88. Jan 24. 2002. Chestnut Hill, MA. This was supposed to be the revenge game. It wasn't. A loaded Duke team controlled the whole way. Although we returned the core of the 2001 team, the 2002 team played sort of flat. Duke came at the wrong time and the handed a struggling team another loss. Bell and Company would scrap together enough to make the NCAAs, but the Duke game was a microcosm of a flat season.


-- BC 81, Duke 83. Feb 1, 2006. Chestnut Hill, MA. Another Duke game, another huge BC deficit. However, this one had a different ending. Down 18, the team came back and narrowed the Blue Devil lead. The crowd was pumped and ESPN was playing up the jawing between Sean Marshall and J.J. Redick. Late in the game, we were fouling to stop the clock and send Duke to the line. Dudley narrowed the lead to 78-79 with seconds left. We fouled Redick. He made both. BC down 3 with 16 seconds left. Rice raced down the court for a layup. Sheldon Williams clobbered him but they called it a clean block. Welcome to the ACC. Even Vitale said it should have been a foul. Foul shots and a 3 from Hinnant left the final score at 81-83, but the game turned on the bad call.

-- BC 76, Duke 78. March 12, 2006. Greensboro, NC. BC's first ACC Tournament and here they were in the finals. The team played extremely well in the days leading up, with sound wins over Maryland and UNC. The Final was going Duke's way until punk Greg Paulas deflected a ball off of Louis Hinnant to keep a Duke possession alive. Being just the latest floor slapping annoying Duke jerk, Paulus bounced up off the floored and did a few fist pumps -- one which hit Hinnant in the chest. Hinnant responded by shoving Paulus into the Duke bench. Everyone started talking and shoving. Technicals were assessed. BC fans hate Duke more than ever. But the best thing was how Hinnant responded -- he had the game of his life. BC led late until Redick hit a couple of clutch 3s.


So, while these games have been emotional, BC has come up short. Let's hope that the latest Duke game has a different ending.

More links: player ranking, Pete Gaudet and what the experts think

In time for the Duke game, some evenhanded background on the Pete Gaudet story. Dave gives his take on the mini-controversy.


Dave also does the stats thing better than I do, and recently updated his ACC player ranking. Guess who is No. 1?


The bookmakers favor BC. Kenpom's formula has Duke winning.

Morning Links

I'll try to have something up this afternoon. Here are some additional links related to BC sports.


David Glenn interviewed Al Skinner. Nice to get some coverage in ACC territory.


SI's Seth Davis thinks Al is one of the Coaches of the Year.


Jared Dudley has an interview with Pat Forde towards the end of his weekly column.


This is the AOL/AP preview of the Duke game.


Here is an article on current womens hoop freshman and former American Idol Ayla Brown.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Beanpot loss and Duke links

Another Beanpot final. Another loss to BU. Repeat the affirmation: we only care about the National Championship. Let BU celebrate their regional trophy. (I don't buy it though. It always sucks to lose to BU.)


The national focus coming into the Duke game is all on the Blue Devils. They just fell out of the Top 25 for the first time in 11 years. They are even getting lumped in with the Celtics. They are now a true bubble team. Even the Nation of Islam is piling on over at their sports blog (it is satire folks).

With all that said, BC creeped back into the AP poll. We probably won't be at 21 very long. If this week goes well, we'll move up. If we fall flat on our face, we'll be on the outside again.

Here is a feature on BC alum and Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl

Monday, February 12, 2007

Williams who? A simple illustration

I wish things ended differently with Sean Williams, but it is clear the team has moved on and filled the Williams void well. The most obvious example is the work Tyrelle Blair is doing on defense. While he’ll never be as acrobatic and is unlikely to have a double digit shot blocking night, Blair has become nearly as productive as Williams. Just look. When Williams wasn’t blocking in the teens he was just as likely to have 2 or 3…exactly what Blair is doing now.



Two other things surprised me when looking this stuff up. Our overall defense has not been impacted by the Williams departure.

Look at this

StatBefore SW SuspensionSince
Pts per game73.669.3
Shooting Pct.419.448


So, as you can see, we are allowing fewer points and opponents have barely increased their percentage against us. Keep in mind that we have also taken on the heart of the ACC lineup during this stretch.

Hats off to Blair and the rest of the team for rallying back and playing some great basketball the past three weeks.

FSU thoughts


I feel for ya’, Leonard. Dudley makes a lot of coaches feel this way.


You’re down four with less than three minutes to play. A four point play would be nice, but obviously not necessary. Well don’t tell that to Jared Dudley. The smartest player to ever walk the Heights made another Basketball IQ play and a clutch shot. Thorton is a great player, but Dudley is the ACC Player of the Year. With his team down, Dudley made the clutch shot. When Thorton had a chance to answer, he let the pass float out of his hands. No contest.

Great win and one step closer to the Big Dance. This starts a huge week for BC. Duke and UNC at home on ESPN. I’ll try to produce a few extras in advance. BC doesn’t need to win either to stay in the tournament hunt, however a split would be nice. A sweep is not out of the question. But before we get there, here are my quick thoughts on the FSU win.

Likes:
-- Dudley the sportsman. Yeah, he shouts. Yes, the works the refs. But as BC-Hoopla pointed out, he also shows respect to his opponents. Thorton went down in the second half and instead of running with his teammates, Dudley waited and ensured that Thorton was okay.
-- Tyrelle Blair’s stunning progress. Is this guy even the same player? Yeah, he only made one basket (a clutch one) but his defensive contributions are really carrying this team. Amazing. Williams who?
-- Al Skinner’s eye for talent. Why mention this now? It has been said enough. But in his ten years at BC, Al has taken an Ann Arbor kid that Michigan didn’t want and beaten the Wolverines. He took three ignored Southern Californians into LA and beat UCLA. And Sunday, Tyrelle Blair, who played his high school ball minutes from FSU, became the latest guy to have the other fans wondering “why didn’t we know how good this kid could be?”


Dislikes
-- The 3 attempts. What is going on? Some of them were open looks that should have been taken (Roche’s attempts), but Oates' shots were really bad. Rice had to rush a few. The team needs to be patient and continue to work the ball down low.
-- Point guard depth. This is nothing new, but we got lucky Sunday. Rice got in foul trouble, but we have no other answer at Point. Al won’t have time to groom anyone else this season, so it is really all on Rice. Let’s hope he plays smart.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Guest Photographer: Craig M.

Regular reader Craig M. was in Tallahassee tonight and sent along these pics.










Friday, February 09, 2007

Former Eagle links

Ryan Ohliger enrolled at Delaware. I'd wish him luck, but a quote like this -- "I didn't appreciate the way things went down at Boston College," -- just pisses me off. Shut up. This guy got more than enough chances.


Here is a Q&A with TOB. They are not changing their offense. Should make the first game interesting.


The Carolina papers also published a feature on Dana Bible. They list his salary as $225,000. So much for the big pay days. I have not seen any W2s or anything, but I have it from a few good sources that both our coordinators are making more than that.

Breaking down Jags' new staff

After weeks of speculation and rumors, the final spots on Jags’ first coaching staff are public. While he hired two experienced, solid coordinators, most of the staff is either green or new to this level of competition. I really have no problem with this, because of the strength of the coordinators and the consistent theme of hiring recruiters and guys with ties to BC and/or the Northeast. Here is my breakdown of Jags first staff:


Offensive Coordinator: Steve Logan
What he brings to the table: Logan brings clear offensive vision and philosophy, experience as a Head Coach for an inexperienced first time Head Coach, a belief in recruiting, and solid experience as a mentor of NFL QBs from a mid-major program.
Connection to Jags: Jags worked on his staff at East Carolina prior to Jags coming to BC the first time.
Connection to BC: No prior connection although he was a candidate for the Head job after BC fired Henning.
Question mark: Can he adapt to being the second banana after all these years. Logan is known for being vocal. Will he be able to support his former pupil without undermining him?
Overall Assessment: This was a no brainer. Even if Logan doesn’t like being an assistant or even if he retires in a few years, he will be the invaluable during these early days.

Defensive Coordinator: Frank Spaziani
What he brings to the table: Consistency. Transitions are always messy. BC’s should be better than most, because one half of the field will not be facing significant changes.
Connection to Jags: Worked under Jags on TOB’s first BC staff
Connection to BC: Longest current tenure among the coaches.
Question mark: Spaz has not been beyond reproach as DC. Soon we’ll find out if some of the problems were controlled by TOB or Spaz. Also, how well will he work with the new guys?
Overall assessment: I can live with Spaziani coming back. Initially I wasn’t thrilled. The idea has grown on me. At least I know what we can expect from the D next year. But I still hope that Spaziani starts to make long overdue adjustments to offenses like Wake Forest.

Recruiting Coordinator, Defensive Back Coach: Mike Siravo
What he brings to the table: Recruiting. The guy has been the recruiting coordinator at two different schools in his short career. He also got the stamp of approval from Mr. Recruiter himself Al Golden.
Connection to Jags: Played under Jags at BC. Also part of the peripheral BC coaching tree with connections to Golden, Bob Shoop, John Defilipo.
Connection to BC: 1998 graduate (and if I am not mistaken, like me, is married to a BC gal).
Question mark: Has never been a recruiting coordinator at BCS school. Recruiting at Columbia and Temple is very different from recruiting at BC. What sort of position coach will he be?
Overall assessment: I would have preferred a bigger name or a more experienced guy for this slot. This is a real stretch for him. I will give him the benefit of the doubt for now and the first wave of feedback from inside and outside of BC has been glowing.

Tight ends and Special Teams Coach: Don Yanowsky
What he brings to the table: Experience in the ACC. Experience working with Logan. Midwest roots. Special Teams success.
Connection to Jags: He worked for Jags’ mentor Logan at ECU.
Connection to BC: none.
Question mark: What kind of Tight Ends coach can he and will he be. He has held a variety of positions before and was most recently a TE coach but he has also worked both lines and Special Teams
Overall assessment: Not a big name, but Logan’s endorsement carries a lot of weight. He seemed to work very hard recruiting Florida in his first month at BC.

Offensive Line Coach: Jim Turner
What he brings to the table: Toughness and discipline. I am not sure what tone Jags is going to set. Is he going to be the good cop? If so, Turner, a Marine, would probably be an effective bad cop. He also brings deep Northeast roots and is a BC grad.
Connection to Jags: Supposedly they crossed paths when Turner was at Northeastern and Jags was at BC.
Connection to BC: BC grad and former captain.
Question mark: Turner gets the prime position spot at O-Line U. He has good O Line experience, but there is a twist to taking the job under Jags. Jags is going to implement the Alex Gibbs zone blocking scheme. The Gibbs’ scheme is taught in specific ways with specific drills. The cult surrounding Gibbs teachings are unique…you practically have to sign a blood oath to learn his methods. So Turner will to learn a new system and a new way to coach on the job. Will he be comfortable seeding so much authority to his Head Coach?
Overall assessment: While he doesn’t have BCS experience, his BC experience is vital to the new staff. Great addition.

Linebackers Coach: Bill McGovern
What he brings to the table: Stability and a great reputation. He was probably the best position coach on TOB’s old staff.
Connection to Jags: Worked under Spaziani
Connection to BC: Part of both Henning and TOB’s staffs
Question mark: Not many. We know he can teach. We know he can recruit. I guess the only real question is how will he work with the new guys.
Overall assessment: I don’t know how it was established that he wanted to stay at BC, but McGovern was the one name that was on every potential coach’s staff list. I am glad he likes BC and was willing to stay.

Defensive Line Coach: Jeff Comissiong
What he brings to the table: Much needed diversity. New England roots. Experience as a recruiting coordinator.
Connection to Jags: None that I know of
Connection to BC: None that I know of
Question mark: I’ve heard good things about his teaching skills. The only real question is can he recruit at this level? BC is a big step up after Harvard and Maine.
Overall assessment: Willis was a popular figure with the message board crowd, so Comissiong has some big shoes to fill. I think he will be a nice addition. Jags and Spaz were both heavily involved in bringing him onboard.

Running Backs Coach: Ben Sirmans
What he brings to the table: Jersey roots, former recruiting coordinator, coaching experience in the Midwest and BCS experience from Michigan State.
Connection to Jags: Worked with Comissiong (who had been on staff a few weeks before Jags hired Sirmans)
Connection to BC: none that I know of
Question mark: The only thing Sirmans lacks is experience recruiting at a school like BC with its higher standards for incoming recruits.
Overall assessment: A nice addition. The combination of Jersey roots and Midwest connections will be very important moving forward.

Wide Receivers Coach: Ryan Day
What he brings to the table: Enthusiasm, understanding of Florida’s offense, familiarity with BC and glowing reputation.
Connection to Jags: He is part of the Golden, Siravo, Gene D. circle
Connection to BC: Former grad assistant under TOB
Question mark: He’s green and has only been a full-time coach for one season.
Overall assessment: I loved this hire. Day has the stamp of approval of TOB, Golden and Urban Meyer. He is a smart guy (who called the fake field goal in the first Tire Bowl) and has done all the right things along the way.

What I like about the whole staff
1. Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting.
You have two former recruiting coordinators in Sirmans and Comissiong. You have guys like Day and McGovern who are known for their tireless recruiting efforts. Yanowsky worked very hard in this short window before this signing period. And Turner can sell BC as a former player. Every guy on this staff is a salesman.
2. Northeast experience. Everyone but Yanowsky and Logan have deep roots to the Northeast and New England. This will help Jags build his figurative wall around New England and will make us a player in New Jersey once again.
3. BC roots. Jags, Spaz, McGovern, Day, Siravo, and Turner have either coached or played at BC. This will help the transition, build up tradition and ease any battles that might arise with admissions.

What I worry about
1. Lack of roots in the Midwest. Yanowsky, Sirmans and Jags are the only guys will solid Midwest roots. Ohio, and specifically Cincinnati, has been our lifeblood for the past 10 years. TOB’s NC State guys are going to start chipping away at the Cinci foothold. We need to work very hard and hold our ground.
2. Lack of BCS level experience. This is step up for many of the guys. As I’ve said, coaching and recruiting at this level is a whole different ball game. I think they will succeed, but the growing pains worry me.
3. Florida roots. In Jags’ short time we have already grabbed a few names out of the Sunshine State. Most of the guys will be projects. To reach the next level, we need to get the blue chippers. Only Day and Yanowsky seem to have Florida connections.

This is not an All-Star lineup but I think it s a very good foundation. These guys are all “BC Guys” and will work hard to bring in the right student athletes to the Heights. If they coach as well as they recruit, BC will reach the next level.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Recruit links and Dudley feature

After signing day, some of the kids got a mention here and there in their local papers.


Here is an article on Nate Richman and Jim Turner's experience recruiting his fellow Thayer linemate.


Mark Spinney is one of the few New Hampshire products headed to DIA.


Newsday focused on John Elliott and mentioned Ifeanyi Momah.


Steve Aponavicius just earned a scholarship. Now he has to fight for his spot with Billy Bennett.


Here is a nice Q&A with Jared Dudley.

Jags’ first batch of 'BC guys'

While I am a general skeptic of recruiting rankings and recruiting sites, the finding and signing solid football players is the foundation for any programs's success. Jags and BC announced their 18 new commits in a press conference Wednesday. Despite being tired, Jags came off really well. Here were a few of the concepts that jumped out at me. [The transcript is not online so I am paraphrasing here.]

-- “put on weight – the right way”
Jags worked this idea in a few different times. He specifically mentioned looking for lineman in the 6’3-6’6 range weighing 245-265. Big kids, but not the monsters we’ve become accustomed to. The idea is to get them bigger, yet keep them nimble. A nice change from the later days of the TOB era where TOB targeted mammoth kids and asked his Strength & Conditioning Coach to make them more nimble and flexible. I prefer getting natural athletes bigger.
-- “O-line U”
As a former NFL line coach and former line coach at BC you knew this would be an emphasis of Jags’ pitch. I remain flabbergasted at our inability to land lineman the best few recruiting classes. I don’t think it will be a problem going forward.
-- Jags' personality and sense of humor
As he has stated recruiting is about selling your school and building relationships. Jags’ personable reputation continues to shine through in these press conferences. Whether it was his little joke about “soft commit” when talking about poached recruit Mark Spinney or referring to guys on his staff as “Billy” instead of Bill [McGovern] or “Jimmy” instead of Jim [Turner], you get the sense he is an extrovert who will win over kids on the phones and in the living rooms. Winning is not all about everyone liking you (just look at Bill Belichick). Xs and Os still mean more. But I think Jags being Jags will help our recruiting get better each season.
-- “they’re my guys now”
I didn’t hear the exact question that sparked this response, but from how he elaborated, I assume it was something to do with winning or hold on to TOB commits. Jags kept emphasizing he wants guys that want to be here> I say good riddance to the kids that bolted. I don’t want to see any kid transfer away, but if they don’t want to be part of what the new staff is doing, they should leave.
-- New look at QB
With the exception of Paul Peterson, every QB that saw the field under Dana Bible had a similar mold and profile. Tall with an NFL frame. White. From the Northeast. Camped with BC. Could come in and work his way into the system and roster. I think those days are over. Jags signed two guys who are clearly raw but have tons of athleticism and upside. Based on our depth and ambitious QB targets for next year’s recruiting class, I question if either of them will see the field as passers, but it does signal a shift. Jags is willing to take risks and err on the side of athleticism. It should make things interesting.




Who’s who?
As Jags said, they are all “his guys” now. However, TOB’s staff deserves credit for some of this talent. Here is a quick grouping of the new faces.

TOB commits
Lars Anderson
Billy Bennett
Dominick Magazu
Dan Mulrooney
Kenny Plue
Nathan Richman
Nick Schepis
Will Thompson
Dan Williams

Guys that TOB wanted, but Jags closed
Corey Eason (Jags said when he walked into Eason's house he thought "now that is what these guys are supposed to look like")
John Elliott

The first true Jags guys
Anthony Castonzo
Dominique Davis
DeLeon Gause
Chris Johnson
Ifeanyi Momah
Mark Spinney

The Globe had a nice write up and Eagle Insider has a few articles that you can preview.

Finally welcome to the new guys. Regardless of what happens on the field, you’ve all been given a wonderful opportunity and we’re glad you are now a part of the BC community.

Miami thoughts



I only saw portions of the game and relied on Ted and Bill for the rest. Here are my thoughts.

-- Al Skinner’s t-shirt. I like to post substance and analysis. Yet after the game, all I could think about was Skinner’s wardrobe. For those who didn’t see it, Skins rocked a horizontally ribbed shirt that mocked the concept of a mock turtleneck. The collar was so short that it was practically a v-neck. I loved every minute of it. I hope Al dons a SuperFan shirt under his suit for the next game. As long as he is comfortable. He’s earned it.
-- Oates movement. Oates has not had a good year. His production is down. His shot is not falling. Yet Wednesday he looked much improved. He will never be quick, but he moved well on both ends against Miami. This helped open up spots and created space.
-- Rice running the offense. First he is clutch when the other teams start fouling us, but more importantly he played 40 minutes without turning the ball over. Rice just keeps getting better.

Dislikes
-- Letting Miami hang around. The Canes are limited. They played in an empty arena. They are in the middle of a bad losing streak, yet they hung with BC for nearly 30 minutes. BC need to rebound better and protect the ball better.
-- Spears foul trouble. He needs to be careful. As everyone knows, we have a very short bench and cannot afford to have our second best rebounder sitting. He needs to learn how to adjust his style when he gets into trouble.

Ten ACC wins now seems highly plausible. Can we get to 12? Let’s hope so.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

New coaches, new players and new links

Jags announced two more staff spots. Comissiong has been on staff for a few weeks. There is still one more spot that will probably be filled by the end of the week with a familiar name.


Here is an article on incoming offensive lineman John Elliott. This was Jags first big close.


Here is the transcript of Gene's chat. I've got to give the guy credit for taking on some of the more critical questions. I've said my piece on donor based seating. I don't buy Gene's claim of rising expense. While expenses are rising, the reason we are charging more is because we can. Every school is doing it and we should follow and market forces will rule.


Here is an article on Tyrese Rice.


This post goes to bat for Craig Smith. Craig deserved a Rookie game invite.


Recruiting will be on everyone's mind for the next few weeks. Thanks to Blue Gray Sky and EDSBS for finding some of these links.


Here is an article on how the highest ranked recruiting classes performed.


This article sheds light on a study about why recruits pick their schools.


Think you understand NCAA recruiting laws? Take the test that would allow you to recruit.

Rare baseball link and other news

The College Baseball Blog posted a solid Q&A with new BC Baseball coach Mikio Aoki.


We beat Harvard in the Beanpot opener. Next Monday we take on BU in the final…again.

Dudley won ACC player of the week. I am working on a special project regarding Duds. Hopefully it will make sense and be ready for posting this week.


Derric Rossy continues to work his way up the ladder in the boxing world.

Monday, February 05, 2007

New chat with Gene

Gene is holding another online chat on Tuesday. I submitted the following questions. I highly recommend submitting your own as Gene has become increasingly candid with each of these chats.

1. How many ACC teams do you think will make the NCAA Tournament? Who from the ACC is lobbying on behalf of the conference as it seemed the Mid-Majors were overly represented the past few years?

2. The gold uniforms were a nice improvement. Is there any chance we will move away from the italicized numbers and lettering? Also will we be incorporating the profile eagle logo in place of the head-on eagle logo?

3. Can you clarify how donations to the BC Fund impact one’s donor based seating?

4. Is the ACC going to press ESPN to get more Internet Service Providers to carry ESPN 360? The number of participating ISPs was very limited last football season.

Beanpot Guest Blogger: Alex F.

My regular BC Hockey Blogger Mook Williams is letting fatherhood get in the way of good blogging (for shame). With the Beanpot about to start I needed someone to give me and us the lowdown, so I turned to fellow BC blogger Alex F. When not getting arrested by NC State police (true story) Alex blogs over at For Here Men Are Men. If you like what I do here, you should check out his stuff too. Here are my questions and his answers to BC Hockey and Beanpot stuff.

1. BC is in the middle of the pack of Hockey East. What’s going on?

AF: Big thing to me is leadership. It's lacking this year, and it shows. The losses of Peter Harrold, Chris Collins, and Steve Gionta are hurting us more than just on the ice. Captain Brian Boyle and alternate Joe Rooney have both had their captain etters stripped this year for academic issues. That kind of thing doesn't set a good example to our younger players; and this is the second youngest team in the country (last year's Frozen Four team was the youngest at the time). In addition to Boyle's disappointing play up until the last 2 weeks or so, I also put a lot of the blame on Brett Motherwell. This is a kid, a sophomore defenseman, who had an absolutely ridiculous freshman campaign but has been simply terrible this year. He's had a few good games (most notably in a losing effort at Northeastern last month) but for a guy that was considered a dark horse candidate as a sophomore for the Hobey Baker Award (hockey's version of the Heisman), very bad. The kid has talent up the ass and will rebound, but it's just a question of can he do so in time to help save our season??

Another issue has been line chemistry. A second line of Rooney, Benn Ferriero, and Dan Bertram lit it up in the postseason last year but was inexplicably broken up at the beginning of this year; they were reunited for the game at BU and, until Friday night's loss to UMass, were sparking the team to victory just as they did back in the spring.

It should be said that this is a season of unprecedented parity in college hockey--the #5 team in the country, Denver, has 11 losses to date (one more than BC).

Finally, our power play is downright horrific, running at an embarassing 13.8% to date. It's gotten better of late, with 6'7 Boyle finally being posted in front of the net where he belongs, but still isn't great. Fact is that there have been games where we've gotten our shots and they simply didn't go in. The Wednesday night game against BU at Conte a couple weeks ago being the prime example. We don't have any Chris Collins (as a senior)-esque snipers on this team, and that will hurt us, because it means we need to get a ton of chances to score.

2. From what I can gather when this team takes on quality opponents, they either just get by with a narrow win or get blown away. Is it coasting? Adjusting? What’s the secret?


AF: Well, good teams are tough to beat. And I'm not sure I'd say that that's true in every case anyway. We blew out defending national champs Wisconsin twice in Madison, 3-0 and 4-1, back in October. There's certainly no shame in winning by one goal in OT at Maine and 1-0 at BU, even if it is squeaking by. And a 5-2 win at Agganis (BU) can't be discounted either. That said, we have suffered some horrible losses this year, most notably 7-1 at home against Notre Dame and 4-0 at Harvard in October and Friday's 5-3 loss to UMass. Basically it boils down to what I said earlier--the special teams and senior class need to step up, and we need to stop taking stupid penalties. Boyle is our most talented player, and can't be spending 15-20 minutes in the box as he's done in certain games this year.


3. We got smoked by Harvard earlier this year. What will be different this time around?


AF: Well, for starters, Harvard always seems to beat us in the fall. For some reason, we tend to play horribly in regular season play against two of the three legitimate OOC rivals we have (Harvard and Notre Dame; North Dakota being the third). But more importantly, they're simply not as talented of a team as BC is. They're unranked; sitting at 9-12-1 overall and 7-9-1 in ECACHL play. Don't buy too much into their regular season win over us; they've had our number in the fall for a while. It's just one of those things.


4. Assuming we move on and assuming BU moves on, how do you see the Final playing out?


AF: It's called the BU Invitational for a reason. BU hasn't made a Frozen Four since 1997; this is the pinnacle of their year. A Beanpot title is the 5th thing that BC fans want to accomplish (after a national title, a Frozen Four appearance, and Hockey East tournament and regular season titles) but for BU it's the ultimate goal. I'd love to see a BC victory but it's tough to pick against BU in the Beanpot; I'll say they win but we get our revenge in the Hockey East semis. Despite my pessimism I'll be scalping a ticket for the final if BC wins on Monday; this actually might not play in our favor, as the one Beanpot BC won in the last 4 years was the year I couldn't get a ticket for the final.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Stay gold


Shiny happy people! I liked the new look.


Must win and the team dominated. Gotta like that. Probably the best team effort of the season. As I've been saying and as Dudley repeated in Saturday's Globe, if this team gets to 10 regular season ACC wins, they are in the Big Dance. Now they are one step closer. Here are my thoughts:

Likes
-- Jared Dudley's game. 30 points, 11 rebounds, four 3s and that is after missing long stretches with foul trouble. In the second half, anytime VTech cut the lead, Dudley nailed a momentum changer. Performances like this give me hope that we can beat anyone in the country.
-- Tyrese Rice’s handling of the offense. Much more controlled. Only three turnovers and a good job of getting people involved and using the clock in the second half.
-- Tyrelle Blair’s contributions. Three blocks and six rebounds. Great. Give us more of that down the stretch and we’ll be fine. He is leaps and bounds better than he was against Clemson.


Dislikes:
-- Sean Marshall’s chucking it. What was that? Did he use up all of his touch in the Florida State game? I guess what disappoints me is that when his shot is not dropping, the rest of his game shouldn’t suffer. He should still rebound well and still defend well. He didn’t Saturday.
-- Oates’ production. No points...again. This guy should at least be good for an easy basket or two considering his minutes.
-- Too many 3 attempts. I know we made 12, but we have no business shooting 30. This team needs to draw fouls and get to the line. By shooting that many 3s, we get away from what we do best. It worked in this game, but will not down the stretch.


Now these guys just need to take it game by game and show up focused against Miami on Wednesday.


This is what the Goldies looked like in my day. That's Keenan Jourdan, the "point forward" of the JOB era.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Jags as OC: Game 3, Rutgers 1997 [Updated]

[The best thing about this blog is the feedback and cool stuff I get from readers. Thanks to LBI Eagle for catching a mistake in the header and thanks to Ed C. for sending along the box score. ]
This project may be a little harder than I imagined. The stats for this game are not available in the same format as the previous games. I am kicking myself because I called this game on BC radio and kept all sorts of stats and press releases, yet all that stuff got tossed years ago. Oh well. Here is what is available.

Stat Line

First downs 29
Rushed-yards 58-210
Passing yards 314
Sacked-yards lost 3-32
Return yards 29
Passes 21-27-0
Punts 3-38.7
Fumbles-lost 2-1
Penalties-yards 4-35
Time of possession 37:15




So what can we tell about the game? Jags understands getting the ball to your best player. A week after Mike Cloud burst on the scene with a 200 yard day, he hit another milestone by scoring four TDs in one game. Three of Cloud's scores were on the ground and one was a pass. There wasn't as much balance as the Temple game, but why work for balance when you can run so well and control the clock for 37 minutes.

Hasslbeck was very efficient connecting on 21 of 27 passes and completing throws to nine different guys.

I don’t have the complete stats but I also remember Hasselbeck having a decent game and us mixing up the run and pass pretty well.

Through the first three games Jags was really clicking. He would face his first hiccup the next game against Cincinnati.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

A quick note on Hartford and other links

We killed Hartford last night. The big takeaway was the play of Tyler Roche. He's been on the bench in every important game this season, so it is nice to see him play well. I hope he gets some minutes down the stretch, as we need his offense and haven't had a true spot shooter under Skinner in years.


As I've said all year, at the minimum we need to split our series with Virginia Tech. With the way the Hokies played last night, I have a little more hope.


Remember that Whipple guy? Well the Steelers made his termination official yesterday.


Peter Gammons recently spoke at the Heights. Pretty cool. I can't think of anyone as interesting who came to campus during my four years.


What did TOB do for The Sporting News' Tom Dienhart? Pull him from a burning car? Give him a kidney? There's gotta be some explanation for his continued praise of the stoic one. In his latest piece he calls TOB the best offseason hire. Guess who he calls the worst? The message boards have already picked this thing apart, but even if you exclude my Jags bias, how can you put TOB ahead of Saban and Davis?


Finally the blogpoll crew put together some awards. I won best ACC blog. Thanks to all those who voted.

Jags as OC: Game 2, West Virginia 1997



Running a good offense is not easy. To succeed you must be a good game planner, play designer and play caller. I always thought Bible did pretty well with design, was an inconsistent game planner and a poor play caller. Too often I felt Bible either stuck with something that wasn't working too long or moved away from something that was effective without explanation. In Jags' second game he realized when something is working, you stick with it. Look at the stats.

Stat Line
First downs 25
Rushed-yards 52-295
Passing yards 168
Sacked-yards lost 2-15
Return yards 36
Passes 19-24-2
Punts 3-41.7
Fumbles-lost 1-1
Penalties-yards 7-41
Time of possession 34:07

295 rushing yards! Gotta like that. Best of all the game was a huge comeback. We went into halftime down 17-3 after two Hasselbeck INTs. Omari Walker ran well but got dinged up in the first half. In Walker's place Jags gave the ball to Mike Cloud and let him and our very good line go to work. They opened holes up the middle. Cleared out spots on the side. Got a great push. And Cloud ran to daylight. He had 209 yards in the second half! Jags was only in his second game, yet he was impressing people. Here is what Don Nehlen had to say after the game: "They're offense was almost 80% more than it was against Temple."

So what can we tell about the game? As far as trends and tendencies go, Jags called far more runs than passes in this game (52 to 24). But there were good signs, MattHass connected with eight different receivers. The passing TDs were not big plays, but given how Cloud was rushing, it makes sense that we moved into the red zone with ease.

It was only two games in, but things were looking good.

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