Monday, November 17, 2008

First impressions of the basketball team

I was able to watch the basketball team tonight courtesy of ESPN U. They beat Loyola (MD) 90-57. The game wasn't as crisp or as clean as the final score might lead you to believe. Here are my initial thoughts on the young team's second game.

Good news
-- The offense looked much better than it did all of last year. Rice got in foul trouble early so they played without him for much of the first half. Without him they ran plenty of plays from the flex and generated good, balanced offense.
-- Trapani looks to be a solid contributor. Raji gets "it" and knows how to make the most of his garbage points. When you think back to last season at this time and watch Southern now, it is a different person. His touch around the glass is very encouraging.
-- Once Rice returned, the transition game took off. Rice also got hot with his own shot late in the game.
-- Raji showed decent post moves. Jackson looked very fluid running the floor.
-- Ravenal held his own in limited minutes.
-- The flex looked good and Southern can make the pass to the baseline cutter.

-- We are going to have defensive issues. The score wasn't close but Loyola moved the ball with little pressure. Their guards killed ours off the dribble.
-- Sanders' traveling habit returned. This guy needs to figure out what type of player he wants to be.
-- The full court trap flustered us a bit. Imagine what it will be like under a team of real athletes.
-- Southern's touch is nice but he needs to attack the rim more or he'll keep getting blocked.

At the end of the day this was a game at home against Loyola (MD). Tuesday we play St.Johns. After that we'll have a better idea if the team's struggles were part of a bigger problem or just rust.


LAEagle said...

Jackson will be a monster. He looks like he would fit right in on UNC. I think this team is going to be a real competitor in the next couple of years.

Matthew said...

i agree.... 2 years from now the team will be very solid.

jackson... can really hop. kid had 2 highlight dunks. he is more athletic than he is a basketball player.... let's hope bc can harness that, as this system prefers basketball players to athletes.

trapani is a legit scorer. he shows no hesitation on the 3-ball. i'm still interested to see how he will perform against a big powerful PF. Maybe the mismatch that he presents will supercede the one that he receives.

I agree about Southern -- I am most encouraged about him. It seems like he and skinner work well together, and al might just turn him into a legit nba prospect. What a nice touch he has (shooting... passing too).

raji will never shoot well from the line, which is too bad because he will probably get there more than anyone. sometimes i see dudley-light when I watch him... his feet are a bit slow on defense.

ravenal looks like he definitely has some shot bocking capabilities. if we can get 20 minutes combined from elmore and him, that would be really nice... dunn... is done.

I feel like we will be talking about Sanders potential for 4 years (sean marshall anyone?). there will definitely be flashes, but I dunno if this system is ideal for him.

Rice really looks like a leader out there -- he threw some assists and then got his points at the end, just because he could. He has a great rapport with raji, and all of the players seem to look up to him. He is also a good face for the program, like Dudley was. During the Cornell/St. John's game, he was walking around the crowd posing for pictures with little girls, shaking hands and talking with a lot of other fans.

Some concerns remain about this team. They played one half of fundamental-less ball followed by a very fluid one. I know Rice is a catalyst, but there were other issues than that. We will never ever have a good press break and atl is right about our possible defensive woes.

I think we will do fine against St. John's. Against Cornell it was tough to find their offensive identity (an ivy league zone can do that I guess). However, they have 2 scorers (#1 and #2), one of which is anthony mason jr. Think more Darius Rice than Anthony Mason Sr., though. They have a couple of big bodies inside, so let's see how southern/trapani handle themselves on both ends.

let's gets this to the Garden and hope for a good matchup.

BCMike said...

Nice post, Matthew.

will said...

So am I right that the game is on ESPN2 at 7:30 tonight against St. John's?

marcos said...

As the opening minutes indicated, I think Al could've crushed Loyola if he wanted but chose to sub in some of the younger guys to get a better idea of what the rotation will be. Playing Loyola afforded BC that luxury. Once he did this, it seemed that Loyola clawed back into the game.

ORDEagle said...

ATL - I share your same concerns about the perimeter defense after watching the game. Over committed and then they just blew by. There was no need to challenge those shooters that far from the hoop. They were also able to drive and dish - and we couldn't recover on the shooter. However there was also a lot to be encouraged by.

LAEagle said...

yes espn2

JP said...

For anyone interested in Live Stats for the St. John's site, you can get them here...

St. John's/BC Live Stats

That link has tempo-based stats, shot data, graphical game trends, as well as the typical box score data that you'll get.