Monday, March 30, 2009

Basketball Season Grades: Dallas Elmore and Evan Ravenel



Life as a player under Al Skinner is usually straight forward. You either play regularly or you don't. Skinner keeps a tight rotation and it only gets tighter as the games get more important. This year offered a variation from that model in the form of Dallas Elmore and Evan Ravenel. They played in 12 and 14 games respectively. Often when a young player gets benched like that in Skinner's world, their BC careers are over. They know future playing time is not coming so they transfer elsewhere. However, that doesn't seem to be the case with Elmore and Ravenel. Both didn't play for particular reasons and both have opportunities heading into next year.


Elmore only played 110 minutes. Most of it was against the weaker portion of the schedule, but when he played, he played well. He was productive enough and was a capable defender. He didn't convert many of his few 3 attempts (which was supposed to be a strength) but didn't seem lost or hopeless. He would have played more on a team that was less crowded on the wings. His PT was also hurt by the unexpected rebirth of Tyler Roche. If Elmore works on his handle and improves his outside shooting, he should see the floor more next season. Rice's departure means that minutes Jackson and Paris logged at the 2 spot will now shift to the point. Elmore will be behind Raji, Roche, and Sanders for minutes, but he can still be add a bit of size and a mid to long range touch that Raji doesn't have. If he needs a role model, he only needs to turn to Courtney Dunn. Dunn played even less than Elmore during his freshmen year, yet logged 368 minutes this season and saw action in 29 games.

The other player to get an incomplete was Evan Ravenel. He also looked promising in his debut stretch. In the second half of the season he didn't see the floor. The school will never provide an official reason for the DNPs, but the recurrent rumor was his bench time was related to struggles in the classroom. When he played he showed good defensive instincts. If he can become an efficient rebounder, BC would suddenly have more options on the front line.


With no impact player scheduled to arrive at the Heights next fall Elmore and Ravenel are all we have in the way of new blood and new looks. If they do the right things on and off the court there is no reason to think that they won't both be regular contributors next year. For now they get a pass on 2008-2009.

Season Grade: Incomplete

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27 Comments:

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Erik said...

Keep hope alive boys, and keep working on your game.

 
At 4:04 PM, Blogger mod10aeagle said...

Yikes. What does it mean when Courtney Dunn is your role model?

 
At 6:05 PM, Blogger matthew said...

tyrese (and many others) named honorable mention all-american

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/11569784

 
At 9:34 PM, Blogger Greg said...

OT: Anyone else having trouble with the layout of this site? The text is all squished on the lefthand side!

 
At 10:03 PM, Blogger Schruender said...

I don't see Jackson being a point guard at all. Of course when Rice was a freshmen he didn't have it either, but Jackson seems to be more of a slasher only - Rice had the ability to make teammates better he just chose not to when he was younger.

I really think this is Paris' team at the point next season and he will get the Dudley/Rice treatment from Skinner in that he will play 35+ minutes per game.

 
At 11:10 PM, Blogger joet said...

OT: Anyone else having trouble with the layout of this site? The text is all squished on the lefthand side!

Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.

 
At 8:53 AM, Blogger Erik said...

I'm with your Shruender. Even though Biko is out 6th best player, he should start at PG. It creates a log jam with Jackson, Raji, and Sanders, but I'm sure they've got time to set expectations for the players that the 6th guy will get lots of minutes and be an impact guy, even if he isn't starting.

That might even be a great motivator over the summer for Reggie and all the super sophs to battle each other for starting positions.

Hey Reggie, wanna start? Earn it. Raji, wanna keep your starting role, prove it.

Meanwhile, Skinner and Duquette should do a summer tour talking to the best coaches in the land about indbounds plays, beating presses and traps, and they should talk to Jay Wright about running a 4-guard offense.

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Lally said...

I believe one of the reasons Reggie came here was we talked to him about playing point. I saw him make some nice passes last year and he's got great basketball instincts...

Someone needs to backup Biko if he starts. The nice thing about Jackson is he gives us versatility in our lineup - he can play the 1 or 2, Sanders can slide over to the 3. Whether or not Al gets creative with these options is a different topic altogether, though.

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger BCNorCal07 said...

I agree with Lally on this one. Jackson may never be a true point, but that's okay. Tyreke Evans isn't a pure point and he nearly got Mizzou into the Elite Eight. Okay, so it's not a long list in college, but I'm not advocating that Reggie start at the 1, just that he get 10-15 minutes a game there.

Biko isn't one of our top-5 players and shouldn't be playing 35 a game. Having Reggie play point periodically gives us better size and more scoring options on the floor. Hopefully Al will install more drive and kick sets to play to Reggie and Rakim's strengths.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Ry said...

I'm hoping that Al & Co. take to the road this summer and try to land a last-minite commitment a la Dudley.

 
At 11:05 AM, Blogger Opinionater said...

A reasonable assessment, with one notable exception. The statement I gagged on was:

"... His (Elmore)PT was also hurt by the unexpected rebirth of Tyler Roche..."

I have attended every home game during Tyler's career, and I guess I have just plain missed the "rebirth".
When I see him play, I see a guy who works at playing "D", but whenever the opponent isolated and went one on one against him, his lack of size and strength resulted in a major mismatch. I also saw a "streak shooter" who, if he didn't make his first shot, usually went oh-fer. In my opinion he got more playing time than he deserved---not because he is not a "good kid" and doesn't "work hard", but because he didn't have the physical tools to make a positive impact.

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger Lally said...

Opintionator -

The one thing I would say for Roche defensively is he was playing wildly out of position at PF. He's a slow SG, really, who could possibly get away with playing some time at SF.

Defensively, he's probably always going to be overmatched in the ACC, unfortunately. This year it was just comically exageratted as he came off the bench to try to keep up with the likes of Trevor Booker and Hansborough and that kid from GT.

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger Lally said...

Also, offensively for Roche, I'd say you're right that he's a bit of a streak shooter but he didn't take a lot of shots. I think he improved his decision making skills and showed to be a compitent passer on the elbow at times.

Physically, though, he is very limited in what he can do. He hustled, he made some nice shots. But he shouldn't be playing PF for us and, if Ravenael gets whatever it is he needs to get together together, he won't have to.

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger morrina said...

Unfortunately, with only one year of eligibility left, Roche isn't going anywhere. I think Skinner should have told him to transfer before last season, but since the team was so loaded with young guys, Skinner was probably keeping him for insurance. I agree that he got more minutes than deserved, and that he is mostly a liability on the court. My biggest fear is that because Skinner was quoted during the season as saying something to the effect of Roche "earning an opportunity to play", he will continue to get too many minutes next year. Skinner has sometimes had a strange sense of obligation to less talented upper classmen.

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger Brablc said...

I agree on the Roche sentiment. The best thing that Roche will be able to do next year is to stretch the defense with his outside shooting at a low post. Not sure what else he'll be able to do to help us.

And while I think the PG situation is important, I think the season will depend on Rakim Sanders taking the next step. If Rakim learns to drive more to the basket (and get to the line) instead of settling for a contested 3 pointer (ala Duke and NCAA tourney) he will be a beast.

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

I agree with the assessments about Roche. If I were Coach Skinner I would explain to Tyler that his main role next season would be to enter the game in appropriate situations to shoot the 3 ball. Practice, practice, practice all spring and summer and get ready.

There will be times when Tyler could put a dagger in the opposition by hoisting up and making 2 or 3 quick three pointers. Sometimes he passes up wide open 20 footers - a distance that he can make. Play defense hard - but you're in there to shoot!

Other than that, I think his role should be pretty limited, and be based solely on his efforts, not his longevity and loyalty, etc. Or whether other players are in foul trouble.

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger BlockParty said...

ATL, we need the post! im dying over here!

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

BlockParty - too funny. We're all dying over here. Atl - any news from Spring Football Practice?

 
At 6:53 PM, Blogger Sujit said...

ATL Eagle - I am not as well-versed in college basketball history and recruiting as I am with other sports. As such, can you explain why programs like Villanova and Gonzaga consistently get better (even top-rated) recruits and go further in the tournament than BC? It seems that we have the same, if not better, resources from an athletic and academic standpoint, have closer proximity to a big metropolitan city and have similar (not significantly worse) weather.

 
At 8:59 PM, Blogger tuesdaymorning said...

add Marquette and Xavier to that list….comparable Jesuit schools, northern cities, tighter academic restrictions.

 
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At 10:38 PM, Blogger BCMcG said...

What do Villanova, Marquette, Gonzaga, and Xavier all have in common that is different from BC?

For all of them, basketball is the only game in town (so to speak). At BC, basketball trails football and hockey in fan interest. Even when BC is at its best, fan support is weaker than these other schools.

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Sujit said...

Fan support is not a good excuse. There's got to be more to it. USC gets DeMar Derozen, Taj Gibson, OJ Mayo (i understand that Floyd is a pretty shady recruiter) and they have the best football program in the country. I have a number of friends at Villanova and I have spent a great deal of time on their campus. While basketball is the only show in town, they are not into their program like Kentucky fans are into theirs. They have a good fan base that appreciates their team and I could be wrong but I dont think they sellout every home game.

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Villanova benefits from being the best basketball team in a city and area that produces good players and that really loves college basketball. Boston has nothing that can compare to the Big 5 in Philly. Plus, Nova has won a still much-celebrated national championship and Gonzaga has a stronger record of success than BC over the last decade (even as BC has been very good for the last 10 years). I love Al as our coach, but Jay Wright and Mark Few are better recruiters than Al is. USC is a state school and is not a relevant comparison to BC, they accept players that BC would never even touch. And fan support absolutely matters, Conte is often half full even for good games and that impacts a recruit's choice. Plus Nova gets to play in the Wachovia Center multiple times a year and Gonzaga's arena is brand new and supposedly really nice. Those things distinguish those schools from BC.

 
At 10:29 PM, Blogger Sujit said...

Karen -

USC is not a state school. It is a private school and has pretty high academic standard for acceptance. They are ranked higher than BC for Top National Universities by US News. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/college/national-search/page+2

Also, I took a look at Villanova's active basketball roster. Of the 13 players on their roster, only two are from the state of Pennsylvania, with two players from California and one from Cameroon. Generally speaking, BC and Villanova share a similar geographic recruiting footprint. Additionally, since you only recruit less than a handful of players every year, the entire country is open for college basketball. I do not buy your arguments regarding academic standards and love for college basketball vis a vis Philly bballers.

Nova did win a championship...way back in 1985. That's nearly a quarter century ago. My initial question was more addressing how did Gonzaga start their string of success and how does Villanova continue to thrive considering they won a championship so long ago.

 
At 12:23 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Sujit-
I was totally wrong about USC as a state school, my bad on that one. However, do you think there is any chance BC even goes near a player like O.J. Mayo or DeMar DeRozan? Because recruiting players of that ilk has never been part of BC's m.o. USC succeeds in NCAA sports at a different level than BC.

As for Villanova, there top-7 is Cunningham, Reynolds, Redding, Fisher, Anderson, Clark and Stokes They are all from within about 100 miles of Philadelphia and there must have been some appeal about playing in the Big East, the Big 5 and for Jay Wright that kept them pretty local. BC does not have anywhere near that regional recruiting strength. I don't believe that Nova relaxes academic standards for hoops players, just that they do a better job of recruiting top players in the northeast. I do believe that to get into USC as an athlete in the revenue generating sports, the overarching criteria is athletic ability but maybe I'm wrong. I really love Al as our coach and think he does an excellent job. I also think that he is not quite as good as Jay Wright and Mark Few and operates under restrictions not applicable to coaches at USC. Still, I certainly respect that you disagree with me on that.

 
At 12:29 PM, Blogger Karen said...

This is not to say that I don't think BC cannot compete for the Sweet 16 and beyond as these sophomores and Reggie develop into upperclassmen. I really think that is a reasonable possibility.

 

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