Friday, March 20, 2009

Done

We played our style in the first half. They played their style in the second. It didn't help that we spent long stretches in a daze. Thank you Tyrese Rice for four good years. I wish your era had a different ending. I'll have more on him, this season and the future in the coming weeks. More thoughtful game commentary this weekend and hopefully some good hockey news (the hockey game took a turn for the worse quickly).

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43 Comments:

At 10:13 PM, Blogger matthew said...

I just get pissed at people who say generic and inconsistent things. These include but are not limited 1) Rice doesn't play with heart and 2)Skinner is an awful coach.

Addressing Al Skinner: Earlier today, people were reminiscing about the 60-59 loss to Nova a couple of years back. It seemed as though many thought that if we had won that game, we would have been a favorite to win the national championship. I guess Skinner was a much better coach back then... Right?? Your counter argument? He had at least 3 NBA players on that team. Mine? He gave them a scholarship to his program, and help mold them into NBA players. So give him credit for something.

For the last few years before this, everyone ripped Skinner for his teams not being able to shoot free throws. I haven't heard one comment about that this year. Because of this, I would like to know: Did Skinner all of a sudden start paying attention to free throws? If so, give him credit! If he didn't, and we just have players going to the line that are good free throw shooters, then exonerate him from the blame of the past, and put the poor shooting on the players back then.

This transitions nicely into Tyrese Rice. When we win and he puts up 20+/6, he's got swagger and ice water in the veins. When we lose, he doesn't care. If you'll notice, I'm not even expressing my opinion on this subject. I'm just saying that his demeanor is a reflection of the coaches, and AL has praised him for the role he has adopted this season.

Where are the comments about demeanor and attitude when our players hit HUGE shots (Dudley vs. Nova at Conte Forum during our 20-0 start, drawing a foul on a 3, en route to 37 points. Marshall's GW buzzer beater vs. FSU. Blair's GW shot vs. FSU. Sanders' game winners. And my favorite and most overlooked moment in the past few years -- Craig Smith hitting 2 CLUTCH FTs to send our early round tourney game into OT with just seconds left, en route to victory.)
Maybe they hit those because of how their coach prepared them... maybe not.

All I'm asking for is consistency with comments, and not reciting things that the "national media" says. Andy Katz knows what he is talking about with BC. So does Bill Evan, who does the color commentary on the radio. Most other guys know nothing. When I come to the BC blog, I hope for expert analysis from fans that watch every game -- this is what prompted my comment about mindless anlysis.

Tonight I thought it was plain and simple, and some different posts have touched on this. Southern played scared and awful. His interior defense and rebounding is very subpar. He just isn't athletic enough for those guys. Dunn isn't quick enough. And Sanders... has a lower basketball IQ than most guys on our team. Let's hope he or the coaching staff figured out how to harness the ability that he does have. Rice? He got points early because the D didn't focus on him. No one should have been surprised about the defensive minded Floyd going with the box and one.

With Rice way out of the play, four offensive guys should have been able to find holes in a 2-2 zone. This was the problem -- they didn't attack it properly. My bet is that they have been given the tools and know what they should do, but hadn't seen it much. Also, it's easier to stay out the lane with shot blockers and athletes, but jump shooting is not an offense that we want to rely on. Yes, Trapani is a decent enough shooter. But being that he is one of our bigger guys, if he steps out, we have no offense underneath. Raji doesn't have a move on the block, Sanders could, if you make him. But all of our guys felt more comfortable outside. This led to poor offensive shot selection.

I think the bottom line is that we were mismatched. We aren't a consistent team. We just aren't good enough to defend the likes of those big, athletic players. That USC freshman is coming into his own, and will be a force to be reckoned with as time moves on. I'll be interested to see how they do against MSU.

I apologize for calling out commenters -- Some peope definitely have good things to say. I was just sick of hearing Len Elmore, and then I came on here, and saw some mindless posts. I can't stand it when people just complain for the sake of complaining. Only one team cuts down the nets every year. Our coach and team overachieved this year, in my eyes. Let's see how we do in the next two years. All in all, it was a fun 5 months.

 
At 10:35 PM, Blogger ibinsocal said...

This was one of the toughest game's I've had to watch as a BC fan. Not one of the toughest losses, because nothing will ever surpass the loss to Villanova in 2006 (don’t get me started on that inbound play), but just a tough game to watch.

I am tired of seeing BC be out-coached by the Tim Floyds of this world. BC has been out-coached for years now and it is hard to watch. Before I go off on Skinner, I’d first like to recognize what Skinner has done for the program: he has made BC into a perennially competitive basketball program. We get good, undervalued recruits with upside, and sometimes they actually develop into great players (Smith, Dudley, Bell). We are consistently in the middle of the pack with some surprising wins against better teams but with losses against extremely inferior opponents. We are consistently decent. So it is not without gratitude that I criticize Skinner. But all things run their course. This is the case here.

He is TOB 2.0. As long as he is our head coach BC will never move on to the next level as a basketball program. The thing that especially bothers me is Skinner as a game coach. As a game-coach, he fails to provide guidance or direction to his players during tough stretches. He lets them play lethargically and passively and refuses to call a timeouts to get his players back on track, thus letting opponents go on long runs. And I know it's part of the flex offense, but it also continues to bother me that our offensive spacing is pathetic. There never seems to be any fire and though sometimes we play up to the level of our better opponents, we very often play down to the level of the inferior ones. Don’t let this year’s Duke and UNC wins pull the wool over your eyes. We won those games despite Skinner. Just like TOB, Al has brought stability to the program, but I for one am not satisfied with mediocrity. This program needs to move in a new direction. It’s time for a change.

 
At 10:59 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Sure Skinner might be able to make year to year adjustments but where the hell are the in game adjustments or even the game to game adjustments? How many months has BC struggled in-bounding the ball and breaking a press? Yet Al does nothing to fix that. Absolutely atrocious. And like I said earlier, USC was more athletic than BC and BC had no one to stop Gibson in the interior. Brutal loss.

 
At 10:59 PM, Blogger John B said...

I'm not about to defend the job Skinner did tonight, but I really hope anybody calling for his head is just speaking from the emotion of the moment. He took a young team picked to finish 11th in the conference and got it to the Tournament. That's worthy of a contract extension, not a dismissal.

 
At 10:59 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

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At 11:58 PM, Blogger CT said...

Matthew, I am assuming you've been reading this blog all season, because if you have, I have been but one of several posters who have repeatedly commented on the fact that this NCAA berth should be viewed as a learning experience--not as an opportunity to have a legitimate "run" in the tournament. Skinner, like any coach, has strengths and weaknesses. His strength, I think, comes from his patience, and that is reflected well in how his teams face adversity, both in-season and in-game. His weakness, in my opinion, is his inability to adjust on-the-fly and, truth be told, at times, his patience. It's the proverbial two-sided coin, and a few may think his weaknesses outweigh his strengths. I'm of the opinion that we're still on the right track with the bball program and Skinner has earned enough capital to draw some out when the going gets tough. Tonight, he doens't have to make a withdrawal, though. We're young and learning. I think there's a bigger picture than USC.

Al may have praised Rice for his role this year and I have no doubt that Tyrese has matured from a 3 pt shooting freshman to the leader on this team. Skinner has also thrown his hands up at times wrt Rice and some of the on-court decisions he's made, but just as Skinner has earned some capital, so too has Rice. My main problem with Rice ALL YEAR has been his inconsistency. Though not an NBA player, Rice is one of our all-time leading scorers and I suppose I've raised my expectation level for him as a result. At times, he took the bull by the horns and willed this young team to more energy, to momentum, to victory. But, for a four year starter, he's also frustrating in the sense that he goes for stretches at a time when he cedes to passiveness, to deferring almost for the sake of deferring, and to, well, plain inactivity.

The huge shots that you mentioned in your post were all terrific highlights, but have little to do with coaching, in my opinion. Too much credit and blame goes to the coaches these days, I suppose b/c the salaries and press coverage demand it. You know what contributes most to clutch shots? Experience. I think it's really that simple.

I don't know if you'll always get "expert" analysis by fans who take the time to type an emotion on a blog. Often times, we're very emotional, and the press guys who do choose to pay attention to BC (and there aren't many of them that watch as much as we do, of course) aren't encumbered by any sense of loyalty. That's typical of any fan blog. Too often we're subject to the roller-coaster of emotions that typify a BC season.

That's why it's important not to let this loss detract from the larger picture. Yes, it's sad to see Rice go. I'm very thankful for the time and committment he made to BC. He wasn't a troublemaker, so far as I know, he didn't flunk out, and he didn't embarrass the school. We were very lucky to have him. But let's not miss the forest for the trees here. I suspect something pretty good is going on at The Heights and we've got the next two years to prove it. The experience gained tonight should help the team next year when it hits a rough spot as it tries to get back to the Dance.

To be more specific about your comments, I've been saying all year that Southern doesn't play to his size--he plays smaller, for sure--and his performance tonight was not a novelty act. Been there, bought the t-shirt. He needs to deveop a nasty streak and he needs to get a go-to move on the blocks. Dunn just needs to specialize in something, it doesn't matter what. We did tonight what we've done a lot this year--pass the ball around for 30 seconds and then ad-lib for the last 5. USC dictated that to us b/c Floyd had them ready for the flex. My complaint is that we too often have no counter for teams that aggressively defend us, even 25 feet from the basket.

You said we aren't athletic and consistent.

Well, yeah.

Hello, flex.

Nothing showed up tonight that the team hasn't demonstrated to us already this year. I think the two Duke games gave some a false sense of security. The game is about matchups, and we didn't have the right one tonight.

All in all, I'm happy with the results. It's about as good as can be expected, given the talent. The young guys played young for a reason. It was their first time on The Big Stage. Let's not get too down--there's hope yet in Chestnut Hill.

 
At 12:12 AM, Blogger WI_Eagle said...

If Florida State ends up losing that will be 4 ACC teams losing to double digit seeds in the first round. Ouch.

 
At 12:19 AM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

ACC=overrated!

 
At 12:20 AM, Blogger NYCeagle said...

Tyrese Rice is a poor leader and an inconsistent basketball player. His shot selection is very poor and he is not aggressive at times. I, for one, am very happy that he is gone. His lack of leadership is the very reason this team was up and down this season. Next year will be a good year and two years from now, we will see a championship caliber team.

 
At 12:38 AM, Blogger matthew said...

CT --

Thanks for addressing my post. As I said at the end of the last thread, you know what you are talking about. You furthered my points, whether I articulated them well or not.

I agree whole-heartedly about Skinner. I usually defend him more than I should because I feel like he is under-appreciated... though he does have his faults.

Agreed about Rice, agreed about the offense, agreed about the "clutch" shots. I guess I was trying to prove your point about how coaches get too much credit AND too much blame.

thanks for your post. You took my ideas, subtracted the emotion, and added some serious analysis and thought.

I understand what you mean about posting with emotion. I suppose I did the same thing. It sure is nice to share some serious analysis, so I guess I got what I wanted.

 
At 1:14 AM, Blogger mmason said...

Our young BC basketball team went as far as they were going to go in the tournament when they lost by 1 point to Duke, with 3 chances to inbound the ball with lots of time on the clock in the ACC tourney, and embarrassingly no plan for closing the deal.

CT's right about emotional BC fan bloggers--I'm one, and all the fondest hopes and "Believe in BC" stuff aside, I have to say that this team was never easy to watch this year--they could have flashes of brilliance followed by staggering outbursts of just plain stupid play. No lead was ever safe, no game was easily locked, and they played as who we knew they were, a bunch of great raw sophomores and freshman, with an elfish old man as their point guard--the only senior left from the glory years of Sir Dudley and King Craig. They played like sophomores--bad judgement and inconsistent execution cloaked with bravado and moments of performance that inspired a glimmer of what the team will be when they grow up some.

The kids snuck into the dance this time with enough style to fool the bouncer at the front door, but not enough moves to dazzle anybody after the first song.

Yeah, it's embarrassing...but this team will be back, wiser and stronger next year and scary in two years. Because they knocked off a Duke and a UNC the expectations were maybe way too high--alot of people who aren't often BC fans bought into that, too. It was exciting to hope for BC. Truly, Bright Things are in the future, though. These BC guys will be a bigger surprise again--to everybody but those of us who will have watched them get there. Al's day will come, too. He knows this gang of Eagles ain't done yet...
Believe that. Go Eagles...there's always football until then. Have a great vernal equinox!

 
At 1:22 AM, Blogger morrina said...

Call me crazy, but aren't platforms like this the precise kinds of places where you freely express your emotions and opinions. Not everyone is going to be so thoughtful and articulate. So what. Most of us are really passionate about BC and want us to be successful. I don't begrudge anyone who is disappointed.

My two cents. The year was rough with two incredible wins, but overall not better but about equal to rational expectations (dismissing pre-season media predictions that were off). Rice's year was a disappointment, and his attitudinal roller coaster can not be ignored.

 
At 3:14 AM, Blogger Michael said...

I think it is time for EagAtl to take a real hard look at our move to the ACC. Since we left the Big East, the following has happened:

* We seem to get bashed constantly in Boston and its press
* We are constantly labeled as "doesn't travel well" because in fact we have to travel by plane to EVERY game.
* Certainly this year the Big East is The conference of the tournament. Playing in a dome in Georgia is a far cry to playing the Big East tournament at MSG in NYC
* If we don't win the ACC in football, which is tough for any school, we get sent to a third tier bowl.
* ACC football is not the SEC
* We have no rivalries in either football or bball. One win against Duke does not qualify.
* We smoke ND in both the ACC and Big East.

Can somebody really defend our move to the ACC? I mean it has some interesting positives but it is not the holy grail.

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger DH said...

Couple things:
1) Rice does play with heart, he is just undersized and doesn't have another real star to lean on to help him out, so I understand how he could get frustrated and give up.

2) Skinner isn't an awful coach, he is a decent coach, but in college coaching most schools will tolerate only so many years of mediocrity before they try to change things up. BC for better or worse, has a lot of patience with Al.


On the move to the ACC, it was all about the money. Yes mixed results with the ACC football conference not as strong as one would hope, but BC is at the top and is generating more money for its football program than it was in the Big East.

The game last night was very frustrating, but not surprising. We were beaten by a more athletic team and refused / couldn't make any adjustments. Our inability to go inside left us jacking up off balance jumpers and threes, which was a joke. Southern is a real problem. He is slow, plays soft and almost makes me miss John Oats / Nate Doornekamp who could at least hit a three for us or provide an energizing dunk (Oats).

Al has a host of issues to address in the off season (replacing rice, teaching inbounds plays, breaking the press, etc...) but having a decent core of young players does give us something to look forward to.

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger John B said...

Michael, most of what you mentioned would have been true had we stayed in the Big East. The Boston media still wouldn't be showing us much love. We still wouldn't be traveling well, and we'd have plane trips to Louisville, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Tampa on the schedule. We'd still be going to third tier bowl games, and we'd be in an even worse football conference.

Yes, I miss the short trip to MSG, but so many positives have come from the move to the ACC, not least of which has been an increase in fan interest. We might not have the most interested fan base, but it is leaps and bounds ahead of where we were. Alumni and Conte never were as loud in the Big East as they have been in the ACC when UNC or Duke has come in for basketball or Florida State for football. I was a student at the time of the switch. There was a major spike in interest.

Maybe we've lost some rivalries, but it's not like any of them were ever Ohio State-Michigan. It is a shame we don't play say UConn in football, but old rival Syracuse is returning to our schedule in the next few years. In the mean time, we are developing new rivalries. Take Clemson in football. With all the close games we've played, it's becoming a good one. There's also the annual TOB Bowl. Then there's Duke in basketball. You may scoff at the notion, but we've played them in some classics, and there seems to be legitimate bad blood. Throw in the other dynamics of our battles (elite Northern Catholic school vs. elite Southern Protestant school), and you have a nice budding rivalry. Maybe it won't be the level of their feud with UNC, but it could become another Duke-Maryland. These rivalries don't just grow overnight. It takes longer than four years to fully develop them.

Also you have to remember that we can't make decisions with the benefit of hindsight. At the time, there was a realistic possibility the Big East would lose its automatic BCS bid, which would have been devastating for the athletic department. Leaving that up to chance by staying would have been a very irresponsible decision.

I'm not the biggest fan of Gene or Leahy, but they got this one absolutely right.

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger eaglefbfan said...

"We aren't a consistent team." matthew, don't you think that has to do with the head coach? This team has athletes who want to get out and run. Skinner has a system that is built for half court sets that get the ball down low. That's why this team is inconsistent. Skinner doesn't want to change to the talents of his players.

I don't think he realizes that Southern and Dunn are not Agbai, Smith, Dudley, or Sean Williams. The flex offense worked wonders with those guys because they could hold their own in the post and were patient. for some reason, this team does not have that and it is a reflection on the head coach.

 
At 11:20 AM, Blogger Opinionater said...

NYCeagle says, "Next year will be a good year and two years from now, we will see a championship caliber team."-----Yikes! I need a pair of those rose-colored glasses!

Just how do you figure that will happen?! A team with no effective "inside presence" loses it's All-Conference backcourt star, and to date, has no impact recruits to announce--is all of a sudden going to get better?!!

Does that mean Tyler Roche is miraculously going to morph from a Patriot League caliber player to an All-ACC star? Does that mean a backcourt tandem of Jackson & Paris are going to play shut-down defense on much taller backcourt opponents? Does that mean Al Skinner and his 5 "suits" (Assistants) are going to be going for Advanced Degrees in "Breaking a Press and Executing Inbound Plays in BC Summer School? Are the rest of the ACC teams going to take next year off?

Just how do you figure "next year will be a good year"?! Is that just wishful thinking? Or, do you know something the rest of us don't know??

Please enlighten me. Can I at least borrow your glasses?!

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger NYCeagle said...

Opinionater:

We have a good number of young players who have shown significant potential for next year. Tyrese Rice was detrimental to this team because of his lack of leadership and his inconsistent play. Note that this year's team had no juniors and only one senior (Rice) - the rest were freshmen and sophomores. Next year, the younger players will have NCAA tournament experience under their belts and some monumental wins from this season. They will develop over the summer and we will see Sanders and Trapani work well together with Biko Paris running the point (who is a much better ball handler than Rice - Rice has absolutely NO handle). Two years from now, hopefully, we will pick up a big man and if that happens, we will have a very potent team on our hands.

 
At 12:38 PM, Blogger NYCeagle said...

I completely agree with you that BC is an embarrassment when inbounding the ball or trying to break the press.

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Ry said...

Opinionator, tone it down for a second. There's really no place for talking that way on here. We're all here because we're bc fans and obviously pull them hard. Condescension shouldn't be a tone we have to read.

you're right, personnel-wise our team will look the same. What you are discounting is the experience gained this year and it will be meaningful i think. I think the schizophrenia that happens when your best player is expected to run the flex at the point is something that was always a problem. Next year, i think that problem goes away. I think that we have seen that biko is a guy who can run the offense well and also score within it when need be. Southern is improved from last year and i think there is the expectation that he will again next year...same for dunn. Do i think we'll be championship caliber in 2 years? No. But i don't think you can dismiss out of hand the idea that experience counts for something.

 
At 12:52 PM, Blogger NG21 said...

My thoughts on Skinner:

1. One Sweet Sixteen appearance in 12 years.
2. Hey do you all realize we were picked 11th in the ACC? Um, has anyone wondered why we were picked 11th in the first place with a coach on the job for 11 years...oh yeah Al can't win or recruit.
3. Al Skinner plays pickup basketball games on campus every day...oh that makes me feel warm and fuzzy when our teams get to the Big Dance and show no heart.
4. Al has no passion for the school.....ibinsocal is right TOB 2.0.....OK that's not fair I loathe TOB....let's call Al TOB "light" instead.
5. But Al recuited Dudley, Bell, and Smith!....Fine players all of them but so what? He is a head basketball coach for over 10 years in a power conference. Why do we make such a big deal out of these guys....You are supposed to occasionally have NBA level players in your program! How hard is it to recruit 3-4 college players a year out of a pool of 1000.
6. Al has an endorsement deal with a local suit store. Good to know. I hope Bob Ryan and other Al apologists remind me of this next year when we are picked to finish 10th in the ACC and we finish 5th. Yes!
7. Do you realize how impossible it is to coach at BC? It is awful dealing with admissions. And Boston as a city? Who would want to go to college there? Its also a pro sports town!!!! How does Al even get up in the morning?
8. Elite 8 appearances from Al....ZERO...why does this guy have coaching tenure again?

 
At 1:06 PM, Blogger John B said...

>>Hey do you all realize we were picked 11th in the ACC? Um, has anyone wondered why we were picked 11th in the first place with a coach on the job for 11 years...oh yeah Al can't win or recruit.<<

I really don't see what point you're trying to make. The team's progress this year doesn't count because a bunch of sportswriters didn't pick it to do well before the season?

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger John B said...

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At 1:12 PM, Blogger John B said...

And could everybody please stop with this nonsensical TOB comparison? Al's won three regular season conference titles, a conference tournament championship, and was within a contested J.J. Redick 28 foot shot of winning a second.

 
At 1:18 PM, Blogger CT said...

I think NG21 has a fair point, cloaked in disappointment and anger as much as it is.

I find myself at times too quickly giving in to the standards I think most of us have for the football team--extremely high graduation rates, recruiting disadvantages--and applying those to the basketball team, as well. That is, we usually overachieve or achieve to expectation in football compared to what we're up against in the ACC.

But basketball is different. The two programs shouldn't be held to the same standard. We don't pay much attention to basketball graduation rates. Basketball is played indoors in a decent arena (given the school's size), and, in fact, has as an advantage the opportunity to play UNC and Duke each year.

My head tells me that we should expect more from Skinner. That we CAN win a national championship in basketball much more readily than in football.

But I'm not convinced that getting rid of Skinner would be a step up. While I certainly acknowledge the loss of Rice may hamper scoring to a certain extent, I saw enough of the lineup without him this year to be encouraged. Trapani is better than I thought he was, and if Sanders and Sanders can make improvements, we'll be able to hold our own against most of the conference. Yes, UNC and Duke are bringing in HUGE recruiting classes again next year, but those are the top two programs in the country. It's not like we're losing ground to the Washington's and Notre Dame's of the basketball world. Again, beating USC would've been nice, but we weren't a dangerous team on the court this year. The rosiest colored glasses I have on tell me that this was all about experience.

As an aside, I think it's obvious that more frontcourt depth would be beneficial--someone who plays nasty. I don't know if Southern has it in him to come out and say, "not today" to the guy he's guarding. Dunn didn't show too much when he had an opportunity, either.

We don't talk about it much on here but I would be curious if others felt the same way--i.e.
BC basketball CAN win a championship.

But I don't think Skinner should go unless and until he regresses with the sophomores.

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Michael said...

BC can win at the highest levels in football AND basketball. It's about expecting to do so at the top o the organization (Gene, Leahy, Spaz, and Al)...getting the right players (don't always have to be the super recruits but a few help)...and getting a little luck when needed.

BC's '06 team that lost to Villanova was as depressing as anything because with Sean Williams making it through the tournament without getting high was our best chance at a Final Four.

Winning the ACC Championship Game in football or the numerous chances we've had in the Big East days to go to a premier bowl (remember Syracuse loss and loss to WVU in 1993 for example) would do wonders for public perception about being able to win at BC.

We win a game or two like those and even these "diehard" BC fans might believe we can win as well.

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger NG21 said...

I agree with CT completely on the football versus basketball comparison. Just seems easier to recruit 8 athletes in your hoops rotation than 60 for football.

I do think that BC could compete for a hoops title and I do think Al should be evaluated on his entire 12 year BC career and his 7-9 record in the NCAA tournament.

We have a slightly above average basketball program and I have a feeling I will be saying the same thing five years from now. By all accounts Al seems like a solid guy but given his recruiting preferences I really wonder if he can get us to the Final 4. I mean even our loaded 2006 team barely survived our first round game.

 
At 4:29 PM, Blogger ibinsocal said...

There’s a lot to digest there. First off, let me start with the easy one and say that the move to the ACC was the right one. It’s tough to justify the move when the Big East had one of the most dominant basketball years in memory, if not ever. It’s tough to lose the UConn, Syracuse, Villanova, Pittsburgh rivalries (real tough) but let’s not be so down on the ACC. We still have UNC, Duke, Wake Forest. And if nothing else, I think we will have a better chance to win an ACC title before we would’ve won a Big East one. Football, there is no comparison. Louisville was a fluke because they had a good coach who was going to leave anyways. They’re not a football school. Rutgers isn’t that good either. They had one good year, EVER. Penn State left. That, and the ACC has had a few down years. I don’t know about you, but I expect Miami and Florida State to be competitive again…sooner rather than later. Let’s be honest here, when it comes to football there is no comparison between the ACC and Big East. The other facts: we never traveled well. Students never packed Conte during the bad games (I have been a constant advocate of the Maryland point program which gets students in the seats during bad games too). That said, its tough to lose Big East basketball, but that’s life. Maybe if we schedule a better non-conference schedule and not cupcake games we could find a happy medium.

Now to move on to the important stuff: Skinner. I agree that I was posting yesterday with a great deal of emotion, but the facts remain the same. As long as Skinner is our head coach, we will be stuck in mediocrity. If that’s what you want, then you should be happy with Skinner. I for one wouldn’t mind taking a chance on a new coach. Maybe he’ll be worse. But then we can fire him (though Gene seems incapable of firing people when they suck). But maybe he’ll be better and we move to the next level.

Skinner is stuck in his ways. He consistently misses out on home-grown local recruits. Sometimes he finds gems like Smith, Dudley and crew but what coach doesn’t. But for me, what’s inexcusable is his game coaching. The fact that for 5 years now, we have not been able to break a simple press (most notably Wisconsin-Milwaukee—your welcome for the Tennessee job Bruce Pearl) and that we constantly get beat on inbounds plays under the basket (both offensively and defensively) is something I can’t overlook—especially when it costs us a game of such importance as the ’06 Nova game. A good coach realizes these things and works on them. Skinner does not. The flex pisses me off and Skinner can’t adjust to his players. He is stuck with the same coaching philosophy regardless of if he has the type of players that fit the system or not. I cannot overlook these things. It’s time for a change.

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger ibinsocal said...

Oh, and as for us overachieving. We are always ranked at the bottom of the conference, so if you consider overachieving as doing better than our pre-season predictions, then you should be happy...BC will always overachieve.

And to end, I like Reggie Jackson. He has shown a lotta upside and promise. Him and Biko will be a good back-court. I like Sanders' athleticism but I'm convinced that his basketball IQ is about as low as you can get...which makes it tough because he has so much potential. Trapani is the only guy on the team that shows consistent basketball smarts. And as for Southern, he is soft down low and looks like a muppet. Ladies and gentleman, your BC starts for 2009-2010.

 
At 5:14 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

Good posts all - thanks. I'm not too unhappy with the loss last night. USC is a very good team - should have been the 7 seed instead of us, and they're very hot right now. I'm not unhappy as long as we didn't quit.

I'm sick of the flex offense, and I'm sick of the fact that we can't seem to adjust. The flex was especially bad this year, because we didn't have the type of players to make it effective. I think those are points against Al and I would prefer that he show some flexibility.

Concerning recruiting - some of these players find us, or we get lucky. I'm not 100% certain, but I think Dudley found us - maybe Rice as well. I really don't think Al is a standout recruiter - I think he and his staff are adequate. There are players every year who can't quite get into the schools they want to attend, and then they start looking around - they find us almost as much as we find them, perhaps.

I think our move to the ACC was actually good for both leagues. It forced Tranghese to get up off his duff and raid a few leagues to keep the Big East as a viable football league. He and Dave Gavitt made their big mistake not allowing entry to Penn State back in 1980/81. Imagine if we had both Penn State and Miami in football - heck, ND may have been tempted to join. No, they missed the boat, and the Big East was not a very good league in football.

I find the ACC to be very fun and interesting during the regular season, as every game is like a playoff game - I never had that feeling in the Big East. I'm glad Syracuse is coming back on our schedule, and their program will come back. I truly wish ND would not drop us in 2010 - I think they will be favored this year - rightly so.

The Big East basketball conference is weird because it has 16 (or is it 17) teams - that's too many. There's no question that half of them are very good teams - every year. The ACC basketball needs to toughen up. I never believed it to be the best conference necessarily - certainly we can see it's not this year - in terms of tournament performance anyway. But it's still a great league.

Come on Al - you can make some changes even at your age :-)

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger Ry said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger Paulus for Three...No Good said...

Eesh - reading some of this shit makes me depressed. 'Rose-colored glasses' is one thing, but man, there are some extremely pessimistic rants here. Wow.

I agree with pretty much everything CT has had to say - most notably, when he has said in past comments sections "get the younguns a game in the tournament for experience" (I paraphrase, obviously). Tim Floyd shut down Rice and made anyone else try to beat him, and everyone else looked nervous. Reggie played like a freshman, Sanders committed stupid fouls and Trapani disappeared down the stretch. Thank God for Corey Raji or the game would have been turned off by 8 oclock.

I do think, despite the awful result, that a game in the Dance, however brief and excruciating, is huge for the future. Now (presumably) they can look to next year's Dance with an "Alright, let's get shit done" attitude, as opposed to a "Holy shit, I'm playing in the NCAA Tournament" attitude, the latter very much on display last night.

And while I don't think we're going to be "championship-caliber" over the next two years, I do think we have the chance to be really good. Rakim Sanders, as he matures and learns to not tear himself to shreds with the slightest bad play, has the potential to be a star in the ACC.

And let's give some credit to USC as opposed to viciously ripping everyone associated with the team we root for. How on earth was that team 21-12? They were one of the few BCS conference teams that I hadn't had the chance to watch the entire season - it just seems unfathomable that they could lose 12 times. Obviously Taj Gibson isn't going 11-11 every game, but man, they looked incredible down the stretch. I think they have a huge chance to take out Michigan State tomorrow.

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger Paulus for Three...No Good said...

Oh, and also - what the hell happened to Wake Forest? They might have the most talented team in the country, and they weren't even in that game last night. Gaudio would be murdered if he coached Boston College. My goodness.

 
At 6:52 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

@ Paulus
I felt the same way. I don't know if it was a result of our matador defense, but USC looked better offensively than most teams I've seen in not only the ACC, but also in the country. They were patrolling the glass like it was their job.

 
At 8:54 PM, Blogger ibinsocal said...

Ry:

Chill out kid. Your coming across as a dumbass. Your freak-out is especially amusing because it follows one of your earlier posts which reads:

"Tone it down for a second. There's really no place for talking that way on here. We're all here because we're bc fans and obviously pull them hard. Condescension shouldn't be a tone we have to read."

hahaha get a life douche bag.

 
At 9:39 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

1) Josh Southern needs to learn how to dunk the ball, he is KILLING us by not getting any junk points. He had 1 field goal and 4 fouls. I'm not comparing him to Craig Smith or Tyler Hansbrough, but notice the difference an inside presence can make!

2) We shot 6 of 23 from three and I don't remember a SINGLE offensive rebound on the 17 misses. WTF?

 
At 10:29 PM, Blogger CT said...

If you check out USC's results this year, you get the feeling that with a couple of lucky bounces they'd be a 4 seed or better. They lost a lot of close games. I guess they saved their best for Friday. That's what the NCAA tournament is supposed to do. Bring out your best.

For some teams.

All year long we struggled rebounding the ball and Friday was no exception. We desperately need athletic height on the team. Please. Just a Sean Williams-Lite. Clog up the middle. Alter shots. REBOUND. It would make a HUGE difference. Too often Trapani was looking around going, "um, help me, please," after losing another rebound to three guys draped all over him.

As for the move to the ACC, wow, that's a big one. But, ultimately, the TV money for football probably makes it a good call--we remember Syracuse nearly sneaking in with Miami and Va. Tech in the move, and didn't want to be left playing Cincinnati for the Big East football title, right?

Right?

Come to think of it, why did we leave? Ha. (Although, knowing BC as we do, they'd probably lose the big game they were favorites in.)

I know, I know, the BCS bid paranoia...getting into the south...becoming perhaps a more national university than a northeastern one. But, football money, for sure. I like the move. Give these here Rebs some culture shock.

As for Skinner, I guess what matters is not what sportswriters think we'll do before the season starts, but how we do in comparison to the previous year, given essentially the same core. This year showed marked improvement.

 
At 10:36 PM, Blogger CT said...

Duke may have salvaged a little ACC pride tonight.

I still think they lose to Villanova.

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger eaglefbfan said...

Agreed. Duke will lose to Villanova.

The problem with Southern is that the guy is EXTREMELY soft. He called out USC's frontline the other day, yet he looked scared the entire game.

Sanders is what he is. He is an athletic freak with potential through the roof. However, he is one of those guys that you never know when/if they're going to show up during a game. He had a reputation on the AAU circuit for walking off the court in the middle of games when things weren't going his way and he still shows some of that now. He also just isn't disciplined on the court as shown by the reach-in fouls he commits beyond the 3-point line.

As for USC, they have talent and are much better than their record indicates. The game on Friday was just their fifth game where they had their full rotation healthy for the same game. It also helps that Derozan has started to play like the hyped recruit he was.

 
At 5:59 PM, Blogger Opinionater said...

"Ry" posted this response to my reaction to NYCeagle:
"Opinionator, tone it down for a second. There's really no place for talking that way on here. We're all here because we're bc fans and obviously pull them hard. Condescension shouldn't be a tone we have to read."

A few posts later "Ry" adds this beautiful post in response to another atleagle blogger:
"If by basketball smarts you mean Trapani consistently has problems inbounding the ball, then i agree. Otherwise, shut your fucking mouth. Southern looks like a muppet? Fuck off asshole."

For a fleeting moment, I regretted that my post was interpreted as condescending--and was willing to accept Ry's reprimand to "tone down"! ...until I scrolled down to see his next post (above). Isn't there a moderator who deletes such vulgarity?

Ry, your credibility and "class" is obviously non-existent...I'll take my condescension anytime over that filth.

 
At 8:38 PM, Blogger Ry said...

sorry about the vulgarity, i was ticked off about the amount of chicken-little talk that was going on and i didn't think a cheap shot at southern was really what i needed to hear at that point. i realize that it was hypocritical to talk that way...i shouldn't have gone there.

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger Opinionater said...

Ry, apology accepted. We move on...

As the Boston Globe just reported yesterday, BC has NO recruits at this time. How's that grab you?! To the people putting all their chips on "a year under their belt" being the guarantee of bigger and better things next year, I just don't buy it. If we can't re-load with some inside talent, we are in for the "same old same old".

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

After going a perfect 10-for-10 with 24 points and six rebounds in the Trojans’ opening-round victory over BC on Friday, Gibson scored just three points with no rebounds and five blocks in 23 minutes against MSU.

 

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