Saturday, March 14, 2009

So close

That hurt. Not so much because they lost to Duke and couldn't put together two good possessions in the final 34 second. More so, because they played hard and climbed out of holes twice and didn't finish it off. All that said, I am encouraged about next week. This team can play with anyone and over the past month showed they are more than just Rice.

I'll have photos from the weekend and more thoughts later on Saturday.

P.S. Congrats to the hockey team on their win.


Ted Jablonski said...

So proud of the team for what they did tonight. They never stopped fighting, just couldn't pull it out. Some thoughts...
...loved how Paris played. Starting to show that he could be a key figure if this squad wants to make some noise in the ACC next year
...The lack of inbounds is getting ridiculous at this point. I know it has been brought up, but does Skinner seriously just not practice inbounds plays often? Part of it just seems like a lack of urgency by the players (a la the turnover with 15 seconds to go). But when not under the basket, all they ever do is have someone post up uncomfortably close to the baseline or sideline. They are unable to ever get the ball in comfortably, and I wonder if its just the coaches neglecting that aspect of the game
....Southern's injury sucks. He had just been coming on and was actually banging bodies down low tonight. Hope he is good to go next week. Same for Sanders
...Rice was heartbroken afterwords. I've got a feeling his gonna do some reflecting about his career at BC over the next 6 days and maybe realize just how great a legacy he could leave with a deep tourney run. In other words, come Thursday or Friday (and hopefully a few days after that, he. will. bring it.

Bob said...

I signed up just to say that I have never seen worse consecutive inbounds plays than the three straight garbage attempts we had at the end. Skinner absolutely blew that by not giving us at least a decent chance to win the game

ACC said...

I agree with Bob- those last 3 inbounds plays were terrible, but the first one with about 17 seconds to play that Duke was able to intercept is what really hurt BC. First of all, call a friggin timeout if nothing is wide open, that should be 2nd nature there. If BC successfully inbounds that ball, it makes it infinitely easier to score than with 10 or 5 seconds left- it's almost hard not to score.
All that being said, I'm still very proud of our squad, the way they did not give up, especially after that 8 (or was it 9?) point hole when it was getting late in the 2nd half. I feel like our rivalry with Duke is the opposite of our football rivalry with Notre Dame- we always find a way to win it against ND, and Duke always finds a way to beat BC.
Also, great night for hockey, I didn't get to watch the game, but you love to see that kind of offense. Win the series against UNH, and who knows? Especially with UMass beating Northeastern last night...

@timstwrt said...

I'm with look at this team compared to the one that played Purdue in November is to be proud of how far we've come. Whether it's Southern the other night or Biko last night, guys are stepping into the spotlight. With the right matchups, two wins next week is a real possibility....and who would have said that three months ago?

That said, the inbounding lapses have to be fixed. The turnover didn't hurt because Scheyer missed the FT, but you have to be aware that you have three timeouts there. And with 5.5 left, you have to be able to get a clean look at three or a contested two. But I find it hard to complain too least until we get bounced in the first round next week.

Ry said...

My hockey guy tells me that we still have a shot at getting into the NCAA tourney without winning hockey east. a win tonight and a win next weekend would get us where we need in the pairwise rankings. if we lose tonight we need to win out to get in

Eagle0407 said...

One thing I noticed during that final timeout was that both Al and Duquette were talking over each other. That's never a good sign. When that happens in the huddle, everything falls apart because no one gets a clear picture. Speaking with one voice is so important when you only have a few seconds. It's hard enough to get players to execute something you draw up even when you explain it clearly, especially with a young team.

This is where the fact that we don't have any sideout plays that we try to score out of hurts us, because with a young team in that situation you're better off calling a play they already know and diagramming it just to reinforce it, not to teach something brand new. All of our sideout inbounds plays are designed just to get the ball in at half court, not to create any scoring opportunity. I don't know if anyone else saw Biko's face as he started to walk away from the timeout, but he looked frustrated and like he didn't know what they were supposed to do. Then Rice seemed confused about where he was supposed to line up, and they clearly didn't execute whatever they had been told. People can credit Duke's defense if they want, but we didn't set and use whatever screens were intended because no one knew what to do, and that's not very hard to defend.

The same thing happened in the Gtech game last weekend. Coaches rely way too much on "drawing something up" when they should be working from a play that's already been practiced and at most tweaking it for the situation. In what other profession would it be tolerated to just wing it at the most crucial moment? Hopefully this experience will help prepare the coaches as well as the players for what's going to be needed to win a close game against a good team in the tournament.

We clearly have the ability to step it up from a good team to a great team if we can just improve our execution inbounding the ball, breaking the press, and in the final seconds of a game. Every other facet of the game we are doing so well right now. They're playing really hard and both the players and coaches deserve credit for that. We're so close!!

Greg Frank said...

This was really tough loss. I thought in the 1st half we did a good job on Henderson but he started to get going and ended up having the game winning layup. I agree with Susan. Biko Paris played great 3-3 from 3 and hit a big one just inside two minutes to play. After Henderson's bucket i think coach K just told his players not to let Tyrese Rice beat them and let someone else take the last shot. Grant it Sanders had confidence especially after he hit the game winner as GA Tech but i felt bad for everybody on the team. Al did a great job getting everyone invovled last night. What do you guys think? 7 seed in the NCAA tourney? is that asking too much of the selection comitee?

EagleEye2002 said...

Unfortunately, I dont see any way we can get a seven seed, although I would love it. I think we are most likely looking at an 8 or 9, which would give us a shot at taking out a one-seed (or getting worked) in Round 2.

Tough loss yesterday. After hanging with them all game, it was frustrating the way we handled it at the end. But I have to be a little bit encouraged by how they responded throughout the game and for holding it close. Our underclassmen are maturing and we may have something special brewing for the next couple years to come.

But lets focus on the present for now and hope we get a good seed and win our first round game.

Ryan said...

No one can deny the success Al has had with BC, but honestly do they just not think inbounds plays and press breaking are important?

Everyone knows from 8th grade basketball never to inbound to a corner to break a press, yet that's all we ever do. I'm almost convinced that they didn't even draw up a play during that final timeout either, if Tyrese's quote from the GT game is accurate. I'm very proud of their effort yesterday, but those are the kinds of games that can be won with better than average coaching. That's why Duke is now 6-1 in games decided by 5 points or less.

CT said...

Avoiding an 8 or 9 would be pretty big, if only to get around playing a 1 in the 2nd round.

But with a lack of height, it's really all about matchups, not seeding. Wake and Clemson proved that point exactly--we simply don't match up well with either of those teams, but we do Duke, FSU, etc.

If Paris can carry over that confidence he showed last night (HUGE shots late), to add another scorer...what a new dynamic that brings. And we're so much better with him running the point and Tyrese at 2, rather than Tyrese at 1, dribbling in isolation 40 feet from the basket.

Rakim HAS to know that he MUST drive to the basket in that situation. Maybe get a foul called (against Coack K, doubt it), maybe draw a double team and kick for an open 3 in the corner. Either way, shooting off-balance from 25 feet was an atrocious (and panicked) decision.

Tyrese really should've had the ball in his hands for a drive--but the way the play evolved is sort of a microcosm of our inability to INBOUND THE BASKETBALL!

Plus, Trapani had position at the free throw line and would've gotten off a much better (and closer) shot, if only Sanders had thrown him the ball (he was posting up and was open).

Nevertheless, it was a gritty showing and I'm proud of the team.

Having said that, I don't think Duke is going to make a run in the NCAAs. They're all the same height, rely too much on the drive and kick, and will probably come up against a more athletic team that will contest more 3s. This Duke team reminds me of many of Coach K's teams this decade--highly ranked based on reputation, but exposed come tourney time. Just my two cents.

On the bright least I didn't have to watch Greg Paulus play too much last night.

mmason said...

On the "morning after" the loss to Duke still hurts--even though it's great to see that most of us really appreciate how this team has grown in poise and execution and just plain Heart. But these dumb inbounds shortcomings and glaringly coachable fundamentals that keep eluding our kids at crunch time are maddening.We made far too many purely "high school" errors with three( yes, three) possessions in the last 15 seconds down 1 point that lesser teams would have capitalized on with less time on the clock--and our kids just looked clueless and unprepared to close. This is what makes loving this gutsy team so painful sometimes. They're going to be great in the future, for sure--but right now these Eagles have remarkable talent that seems to suffer from juvenile lack of focus. I agree that they don't look like they really have a plan for inbounding the ball from anywhere under pressure. Where's the stiletto-sharp team execution that these kids need to exhibit when they've got a Duke in their sights and know they can take 'em down?

Regardless of Mike Patrick's ridiculous pro-Duke commentary throughout the game, BC was the best pure team on that floor last night--and Coach K knows that even now--we stopped Duke and bothered them constantly--but we're beatable because we're always in scramble "street" mode, playing with pure talent, but ragged around the edges. It's like we're playing great golf with tremendous natural ability and potential, but without a practiced short game we miss-fire and then we can't sink the 4 foot putt on the 72nd hole...
(my apologies to all for mixing my sports metaphors here.)

All that said--I agree that we can do big damage in the tournament and will survive and advance--if we clean up our act with our inbounds passes and against the press and traps. The practice this weekend might do us some good. Hope Southern and Reggie are okay,too. Go Eagles!

Greg Frank said...

I think we are a seven seed at best. I'd love to get to a 7 because obviously as we've seed you're avoiding that #1 seed and in prior years we've seen #2 seeds lose in the 2nd rd against a #7 seed. When this team is on though, i think they can beat anyone in America.

Ry said...

unfortunately, a 7 seed is definitely not happening. i would rather get bumped down to a 10 than be an 8 or 9 just to avoid the possibility of having to face a team like Pitt or UConn in the second round.

Ry said...

some small game tidbits in Andy Katz's article:

also, looks like neither Reggie nor Josh will miss any time on account of their injuries from last night.

Ryan said...

For everyone who keeps hoping that we "practice inbounding" during this next week, what makes you think that ANYTHING will change since it hasn't over the course of the entire season? This team is who it is, and this will almost definitely make for a first or second round exit against a better coached team. They aren't going to magically get it and say "Wow, you know what? Teams like to press us."

Ryan said...

Basically what I'm trying to say is that this has been an issue all season, the coaching staff is aware of it, and is content to stay pat. Nothing is going to change in the next week.

الفرقد أبو الفرقد said...







bcsuperfan08 said...

hahahahahaha wtf?

CT said...

It's good to see Ahmadinejad is a reader of the blog.

Yo, Mahmoud, whassup?

What do you think of our chances next weekend? Better than yours once you get the bomb?

Pass along my best to that big Ayatollah goofball for me.

Walter said...

Well ignoring the directly above, I know it's a severe optimist reading, but I thought our inbounding was pretty good for most of the game (until when it mattered, obviously).

It could have been because I usually just avert my eyes as soon as we inbound, but this was the first time I noticed the Trapani - Rice - Trapani sequence, or at least noticed that it was semi-effective.

Our team has faced a lot of presses this year, so either they just really really suck at breaking it or they're just constantly met with teams that can pull it off better and better. I think it's a mix of the two. Duke is Duke after all. It's still no excuse for the last play, though.

bcsuperfan08 said...

CT- that was classic

morrina said...

I've frequently been critical this year, but with 24 hours to digest, I really can not fault the effort we gave last night. What a great game. For us to come back from 9 down towards the end of the game was amazing. The last 30 seconds was tough, but had Sanders shot fallen (it did hit the rim), we would all be praising his clutch late game shooting. I like our chances when we get to play a non-ACC team...or two...or three. All things considered, a great year.

morrina said...

btw, has anyone noticed the new Digiorno pizza ad, with 3 guys watching the big east game between Georgetown and....BC! Ha, it's got all the big east fans all riled up! swearing to never buy another digiorno pizza...umm, who eats that crap anyway? i wonder if it was just a stupid mistake, or maybe intentional??? some BC alum's sly joke perhaps?

Ryan said...

@ Morrina

That wasn't a Big East game. That was the NCAA tournament game from 2 years ago that we lost to G-Town. You can see Sean Marshall in the bottom left corner of the screen. Why they picked that tourney game to show, I have no idea.

Ryan said...

Look at this quote from Al. Shouldn't you have a definitive play drawn up for this exact situation?

"We didn't have as much time as I would have liked to have for the play that we were going to run," he said. "I knew what I wanted. I wasn't sure if we were going to be able to get it, but we made an attempt to do so anyway."

He said he had a couple of different options in mind, but none of them came together. The inbounds came in so close to half-court that when Tyler Roche caught it, he had to give it to Rakim Sanders deep behind the 3-point line along the right wing.

eagleboston said...

Eagle in Atlanta has gone global. Our little blog is worldwide G...worldwide.

I'm looking forward to the president of Burkina Faso's analysis of our seeding later tonight.