Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another frustrating loss

This was a "two steps forward, two steps back" game, but also a "two steps forward, two steps back" loss (in terms of digging out of the schedule) during a "two steps forward..." season. Worst of all, we have another week long layoff before we can fix things. My thoughts follow. Please share yours in the comments section.

-- The starting five. We didn't get great minutes from Oates but Paris and Rice on the floor together is probably our best lineup. It gives Rice more flexibility and is better defensively.
-- Rice doing his best to carry the team. Any time we got in a hole he pulled us out. His instincts on when to assert himself are solid. Just wasn't enough today.

-- The defense. Rotations were off. The interior D was passive. Singletary causes problems but overall it was a poor effort. I really think we should use the 2-3 more often.
-- Freshmen foul shooting. This is actually a big concern heading into the next three years. Our offense is dependant on getting to the line. If three players who are expected to get heavy minutes (Sanders, Paris, Raji) cannot convert, we'll be very frustrated.
-- The crowd. Better attendance than Thursday, but no energy at all. What is wrong with the students? I thought the Super Fan movement had changed the student culture. Make some noise!


Bravesbill said...

There's probably better things to do on a Sunday afternoon than watching a sorry excuse of a basketball team hand VA its only 2 ACC wins of the season. BC has the unfortunate task of playing in Boston, where there's a lot more things to do than watch a bad college basketball team get it's butt handed to them by an even worse team. Like it or not, BC is going to need to start winning, or at least play a whole lot better if it wants any fans to show up at all.

KSchohl said...

how do you explain the fact that the regular fans were out in pretty full force, yet only ~150 students were there? it's only going to hurt the students, as BC will decide not to make as many seats available to them in future years.

The other strange thing is that this is the season where they started keeping track of how many games students attend, as a reward for next year's tickets-- clearly, the students are not motivated by this system, and it's a shame.

if you have tickets, it should be easy enough to take a 5-10 minute walk out of your dorm to go attend the game. if i can take the 45 minute T ride to the games, I see no excuse not to take the 10 minute walk from your dorm.

Tim Epstein said...

Has the recent success of the BoSox and Pats given the current student body a sense of entitlement? Get off your asses and go to the games.

These players are not just a bunch of guys wearing BC jerseys. These are your fellow students. Show some support. Be happy you did not have to live in the Henning to TOB era, and the JOB to Skinner era.

BC is a great academic institution, but the fact that it puts out competitive teams in many sports in great conferences (ACC/Hockey East) makes BC a great place to go as a fan. If you just wanted to go to a great academic institution in or near a city like Boston, there are many more options.

BC is a unique place, get up and go to the game, study, then party. There are a lot of "uninvited students" who would love to take your place at the games; win or lose.

Step it up.

Big Jack Krack said...

Is this a vacation week or what? I haven't seen the answer.

LAEagle said...

don't worry students, bc will devise a plan that works. and here it is. they're going to oversell games, both football and basketball. so now, you are not only going to have to be at the game ON TIME (imagine the horror), but now you're going to have to get to the game 60-90 minutes early. the trojans here have adopted this policy, and it is awful, but it works.

so keep it up students. i hope you enjoyed watching family guy reruns or whatever else it was you did this afternoon. soon you'll be reaping those rewards you've sowed.

Unknown said...

Why does nobody point a finger at Al Skinner here? The flex offense does not exactly make for exciting basketball. Constantly getting outcoached and underachieving on the court is not going to put fans in the seats. Al has always been against doing any sort of Midnight Madness here at BC. All of the other big programs do this. It gets the students involved, and it is a great way to get everybody excited about basketball season.
BC also screwed up the student ticketing pretty badly the last 2 years. I have a half season package which included maybe six games. Either give the students full season packages or sell tickets on a game by game basis. Having a ticket to a game every two weeks is no way to follow a team. It wouldnt hurt the athletic department to do some self promoting either.
The students should not be the only ones blamed here. If the athletic department wants to compete in the ACC it needs to step up and start acting like the other big time schools.

@timstwrt said...

Joe, I think you're completely wrong. Expectations are out of whack if you think Skinner's being outcoached regularly. We're not Kansas, or Carolina, or Kentucky. It's disappointing to not make the tournament this year, but the fact that we've been going so consistently in this decade is a testament to the coaching staff. You also have to look at the way players like Bell, Sidney, Smith, Dudley, and now Tyrese have gotten exponentially better under Skinner's coaching.

The flex isn't particularly exciting, but it's an offense born out of necessity as much as preference. Our talent level is such that we need to run the flex or something similar to be able to score consistently.

Unfortunately, we're just not very good fans. I graduated in '03, and this isn't a new problem. When we're good, people will come, but hockey's the only BC sport that has a rabid student fan base. I don't think that running John Calipari's dribble drive offense would change that.

The one thing I'll agree on is Midnight Madness.....his disdain for it is pretty inexplicable.

Bravesbill said...

Amen to that Joe. Al is a horrible game coach. He consistently gets outcoached because he utilizes horrible game management (how many games in a row can opponent go on a huge run?) and because he refuses to make any in-game adjustments. The attendance problem this week was not just with basketball. The Beanpot champion hockey team drew less than 5,000 fans to its game Friday.

M&M said...

The student ticket policy is an improvement over the previous camping out that happened a few years ago, however I feel like there needs to be some sort of game by game ticket system available, even if it means camping out the night before to get them. Students at BC do not use the ticket exchange system the athletic office set up and many are trying to sell their tickets for $5-$10 over face value for the past couple games. There are plenty of students on campus who did not receive tickets in the lottery who would love to go to games but can't because those who have the tickets only buy them for the big games.

It seems then 2 things can happen to get more students at the games.
1) Allow some student tickets to be sold on a game by game basis.
2) It might seem counter-intuitive, but raise student ticket prices a bit to say $10-$15 per ticket. This is more in line with prices other schools and it will also remove some of the incentive for those who are going buy tickets to simply attend Duke and UNC and skip the rest of the season. Demand for tickets is far more than supply, so perhaps raising prices a bit (not to ridiculous levels, but to fair levels) will let those fans who really want tickets to get them and not at the higher resale prices.

Big Jack Krack said...

Spring Break is March 3-7, so that wasn't one of the reasons for the poor attendance.

Everything being discussed here is a contributing reason for the lackluster fan support. I am not familiar with GD's new ticket policies, but I remember thinking a few years ago that there would be problems adjusting to the "ACC Style" of ticketing. BC must win and be highly competitive, or the fans are not going to show up under the conditions imposed upon them by the Athletic Department, I guess.

I'm too far removed from the situation now to really know. It seems as though we always filled the place for Big East foes.

ACC Football is an easy sell, for the most part - basketball? The jury is still out, I guess.

BCNorCal07 said...

I was on campus for the last two years of the Big East and, really, this isn't a surprise. The only times Conte got filled were for UConn and Syracuse (one of the greatest atmospheres I've ever been in). I remember a Sunday afternoon game against Seton Hall that was very sparsely attended. And it's also not completely attributable to being so below the level of the last few years. Last year Conte was nowhere near full for an important matinee game against VTech. I don't have an explanation, but clearly something is lacking.

Jeff said...

There are 15 home hockey games and 20 home basketball games. Thats a lot of nights for a student to spend in Conte Forum. Now I am not defending the students because it is simply pathetic how few were at the nc state game and the virginia game, but I think the fact that BC is successful hockey hurts basketball attendance and vice versa. When I took a tour before coming to BC I was told that it was real tough to get hockey tickets but to not even bother getting season basketball tickets because they are so easy to get. Well that all changed with the success of basketball since 2000.

I know it sounds like I am defending the students but I do not mean to. Just trying to figure out why no one is attending these games.

But the bottom line is the students have spoken, Gene, feel free to reduce the number of student tickets for basketball next season.

Claver2010 said...

Regarding increasing the ticket prices, that is just ridiculous. Hockey and basketball were already raised 25% this year. I spend about $500 dollars per year on tickets and I have missed two basketball, football, or hockey games in two years. There is no way the increase in ticket price would work.

Big Jack Krack said...

Good points, all. bcnorcal07 - you are right. I remember that Syracuse and Georgetown were probably the craziest, followed by Providence, St. John's, Villanova and CT (not necessarily in that order, depending on the year. Although Seton Hall was an original member, I believe, that game was never a big deal. And with no disrespect intended - who cared about Miami, VT, WVU and Rutgers in basketball?

But we had six good rivals at one time - now in the ACC everyone gets excited about UNC and Duke and Maryland, probably - but the rest are a problem unless they are having a terrific year, and BC is playing well - in other words, it's a meaningful game.

claver2010 is right - note to GD - do not raise student ticket prices.

Jeff makes a very good point - between hockey and basketball there are 35 home contests. Hockey is hockey - which has always been a great tradition at BC. Basketball, however, must win and be highly competitive with an expectation of serious post season play, for the students and fans to show up in force every game, apparently. Otherwise, as bravesbill points out - there are too many other things to do.

This is a problem for BC's Athletic Administrators to figure out and solve.

BaldEagle90 said...

3 day weekend in Boston. Hmmm, what would be an issue that BC would have that say, the rest of the ACC wouldn't.

Oh I know. Ski mountains only 2 hours away.

The only folks I know who were going to this game were families that hadn't left for the mountains yet. I'm assuming the students had already bugged out (best skiing in the East in 10 years). The announcers even noted that the only folks at the game seemed to be a lot of families with little kids.

flutie22phelan20 said...

The general attendance yesterday was pretty good. There certainly were a lot of families, which, I think is pretty easily explained: there have been very few home, day, weekend games over the past two months.

I would love to agree and say that all of the students were out skiing, or at the library or whatever...but, and this is going on only what I learn from my cousins who are current students, but everybody was sitting at home in their dorm rooms, choosing not to go to the games. BC has to come up with SOMETHING to fix this situation. At the start of the game there were, at best, 50 students in either student section. It was embarassing. No excuse, none whatsoever. It takes, at most, 10 minutes to walk to Conte from anywhere on campus. Which is, at least, half the time it takes non-students to get there. I haven't seen student support of the team this bad since the late '90s when the team was 3 years away from success and no future success appeared to be forthcoming. Now we have a team that is coming off its winningest seven year stretch EVER, with a bunch of young talent, and featuring one of the best guards in the country. You'd think that'd be enough to get people into Conte. It certainly was enough to get non-students there on Sunday. I don't know what has to be done, but student support in every sport but football has been waaaaaaaaay down over the past four years. Time to turn that around.

Jeff said...

The students were not all off skiing. Come on. I know BC students are not typically as poor as the average college student but still few have cars and the means to head to the mountains for the weekend.

With the NC State being on Valentine's Day you can kinda understand general attendance being light. I don't think V-day was an excuse for most of the students though.

We're talking about the student section being 10-20% full. 50% would be a problem. This is a major problem.

matthew2 said...

If you ask me, the problem is the type of student at BC. As a recent graduate, I saw a bunch of rich kids with a sense of entitlement that only care about doing what is trendy. I would get angry when I saw people going crazy at Duke/UNC/'Cuse bball games or ND/FSU/VT in football season. People paint their bodies and show up early and whatever for these games, why? Because it's the trendy decision when the game is on TV against a nationally known opponent. I understand it's normal to get more pumped up for these games, but it just bothered me that people pretended to be really into it, when the next day they would barely care if we had won or lost.

The same thing goes for the older fans as well. I don't see a lot of diehards. I see a bunch of people that act like they are going to the theatre... dressed in silly sweater vests, sitting quietly, leaving to beat the traffic (not sure if that fits the analogy). And they are guilty as well of not caring about lesser opponents.

A real fan is excited about every single game and can find an intriguing storyline no matter the opponent.

With all of that being said, I also encountered some really diehard fans. It is a shame that these fans were forced to labor each and everygame to find people that werent using their tickets, or had to buy them online for steeper prices.

I liked what they did when they decided to reward people for showing up to games. However, by the time they get rid of the poor fans from each class, it will be time for graduation. I like the idea of not giving season tickets to anyone. Make students buy single game tickets a few days before each game, and then offer up any that are not sold/donate them if it's a weak opponent. Each game after the first game, the students that have bought the most tickets get dibs on that game. Once all of the loyal fans are accounted for, then tickets can be opened up to the rest of students. That way, by the time BC plays it's first "exciting" opponent, they will be able to tell who deserves the tickets based on who came to the most non-conference games. And then a lottery can be conducted if there are any left.

I know this plan is not likely, because it will probably hurt sales (not all student tickets will sell for the lesser opponents). However, I feel this is the most fair. It is unlikely that the fans will ever get much better, unless the team wins a lot and it becomes trendy again. It's not hard to follow a hockey team that is always in the top 10.

I don't know what it is like at other schools, whether they can get people to support a mediocre team or not. It is my opinion that this will never happen at BC.

Puerto Rico Eagle said...

I'm a current freshman @ BC and I can truly say that I'm extremly frustrated and dissapointed with this attendance situation. When I came to BC I had high hopes for sporting events and thought all students were just as exited about sports as me. When I first went to football games I saw that there is always some packs of rabid fans, but people usually showed up at the end of the 1st quarter, but the stands would eventually fill all the way. Also, I thought students were awesome during the Florida St. games and I expect that type of atmosphere for next year's games with Virginia Tech, Clamson, and Notre Dame. I didn't apply for Hockey student tickets becuase the sport isn't very popular on the island where I live, but I decide to buy a North Dakota ticket off a student on facebook (always tickets available at the site's marketplace... and cheap) and it was a great experience, the fans were great and I have fallen in love with the game. Since then I bought a BU mini pack and was able to get student tickets to the Beanpot. I was able to get half seanson tickets to basketball and was truly exited for this team i large part because 5 of the memebers are my classmates. Veing a freshman and experincing this first hand I'm sad to report that students buy theese tickets "just in case". I have attended every game (except NC St. because I went out to dinner with my girlfriend.) Knowing in advamce I would miss it I placed a listing on Facebook. Nobody bough it. I then placed it on my door saying it was avilable for free... When I returned it was still there. There are few "true" student fans at BC. What I mean by that is that they will attend games no matter what the record or the opponent. For the Sunday game my neighbor decided not to attend because it was cold and he dind't want to. I've been to every game on the other package because my roomate hasn't attended ANY game this season. It's truly disgraceful that people don't do this. Students weren;t skiing or at the library or anywhere else. They were in their rooms watching TV and on Facebook. I can't understand why they prefer this. I guess us real fans, which I know because we are always the same 50 at the games, will nver truly understand. This is the first time I write and I like to thank the ATL Eagele for this great blog...

morrina said...

wow, lots of great points here, and i'm encouraged that so many of recognize this attendance problem, particularly the lack of student support. i wrote a letter to the Heights last year about this, but it's definitely getting worse. i would like to know if we can band together on this and try to make a difference? what if a group of concerned fans, both students and adults, requested a meeting with GD? or better yet, what if the real superfans organized and tried to make a difference with their peers? this IS embarassing for BC, and now the media is starting to report it.

Eagle93 said...

I think at other schools (UVA for example), the students get in free simply by showing their ID (I'm sure price is built into general tuition). Basketball's a little different since capacity is less ... you still show your ID, but they scan it and if you miss a game (or some number of games), you have to buy a ticket or stand in line hoping space is available. I'm sure there's more to it, but it's something like that.

Erik said...

Let's pay cash to 50 of the "cool kids" to show up at the games. Then the entire student body will go, just like how everyone flocks to the same bars they think is the place to be on Thursday night.

(or 50 of the hottest girls)

Anyway, this situation is miserable. I blame the ticket office as much as the students, but at least the ticket office is taking calculated measures, whether that be make the most profit or keep the most seats to important games available for VIPs and out of our hands. The students really don't have an excuse. If you want to have some fun, or want the team to be successful, or don't want to be made fun of by your friends at UMass, Rutgers, and Providence, then show up. Convince 5 friends to go and show up. DO NOT wait to see if other people are going to make your decision.

Big Jack Krack said...

Hello seattleeagle:

I'd like to find out more about the UVA policy and those of other schools.

Showing one's student ID seems like a good idea, with some kind of tab maintained, etc.

As for this "cool thing" that is discussed and alluded to - I don't know what to say about that. When I was a student I was a simple basketball fan(atic). I played Freshman ball and practiced with the varsity with some of the Hall of Famers under Coach Bob Cousy(including Cousy himself, John Austin; Jim Kissane; Jack Kvancz, Willie Wolters, Steve Adelman etc. I played with Terry Driscoll in high school and against Jim Hooley in an alumni game.) The point is, to go to a basketball game for anything other than the pure enjoyment of watching your classmates in big-time competition was unknown to me. There was time to have fun afterwards - or even to be cool.

Come on students - get with the program. I like puerto rico eagle when he states "truly excited for this team in large part because 5 of the members are my classmates." I know exactly how he feels. Let the Freshmen start a new tradition. Remember, change can only begin with oneself!

You have the privilege of watching the present day John Austin (perhaps the greatest player ever to don the maroon and gold), and his name is Tyrese Rice. Be there or be square!

Puerto Rico Eagle said...

I would just like to say that today some members of the Hockey team were in the Cafeterias handing out flyers about today's game. They were urging people to attend and to donate their tickets to people who wanted to go if they couldn't attend. They also place a huge banner announcing tonight's game vs UNH in the Quad. The basketball team and athletic's Dept. could learn from this. UI expect tonight's game to be sold out and the student's will be wild! BEAT UNH!