Saturday, January 02, 2010

New year, same results

I was traveling today, but had the satellite radio feed of the game. We are lucky I didn't run off the road. Losing to Maine or Harvard or a bad St. Joe's team this year could be written off if BC had only lost to one of them during the season. Losing to all three puts BC in a serious hole. The most frustrating part of this debacle is this team is seriously underachieving. Games like South Carolina or Miami show what this team is capable of. They have enough talent to beat anyone in the ACC. But who knows if they will. I count on Al to pull things together, but I am fearful that this season could fall apart once ACC play begins.

The real problem

People like to talk about effort or emotion or being ready, but Maine loss captured the biggest problem -- they are impatient.


We were facing Maine, playing a 2-3 zone and we put up 28 3s!!! Smart, patient Skinner teams would kill 2-3 zones with the flex. These guys don't pass enough, don't move enough and are too quick to settle for bad shots. 28 3-point attempts! Against Maine! Because of the bad shots, we only went to the line 8 times. If BC has as many assist as turnovers, you know the guys are not playing smart.

The cause

I don't have my finger on the cause of our problem. It is not talent. I don't think it is emotion either. I think it is the guys don't know their roles or have a comfort level on how to get points in the offense. Sanders and Trapani need to play closer to the basket. Jackson needs to defer more of the ball handling to Paris while he moves around. I think Raji knows what he needs to do -- play better.


It is also on Skinner and his staff to fix things quickly. Letting guys "play through it" is not working. Get back to basics. Get control of the scheme every possession. Emphasize pass, pass, pass.


Where do we go from here?

I have no idea. There is time and talent here. But can this team rattle off 10 ACC wins? It doesn't look like it. But I never write off Skinner. His track record has earned our patience.

Labels: ,

68 Comments:

At 10:49 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

A Chase Rettig report (i just can't talk hoops)

3) Chase Rettig, Committed to Boston College

Rettig looked very sharp at times and seemed to have a very strong arm. While he seemed comfortable in the pocket, he did have a pass batted down and was sacked twice, fumbling once. But he never seemed out of his element and seemed to make good decisions when the ball left his hand.

 
At 11:25 PM, Blogger BCDoubleEagle said...

BC hoops since the start of the 06-07 season:

ACC record: 24-25 (.490)
overall record: 65-44 (.596)
avg. finish in ACC (based on ACC tourney seed): 7th
NCAA tourney record: 1-2 (2 appearances)

Unranked at the end of each season

Losses to Rhode Island, Harvard (twice), Northern Iowa, Maine, Robert Morris, UMass, Vermont, Duquesne

 
At 11:41 PM, Blogger Sr.Atlanta said...

Biggest problem....Al Skinner.

 
At 11:55 PM, Blogger Anwar said...

Al's gotta go

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

C'mon, don't be so hard on Skinner. He is aware of the problem. He said as much after tonight's game.

What's wrong: It's the players.

Player were unimaginative Robots: "We got to the point where we were hesitant and robotic, so the defense knew exactly where we were going to be," BC coach Al Skinner said.

Players Wathced to many Bowl Games and Were too tired for a non-night game: "This I did not expect," Skinner said of the loss. "I expected us to give a better effort."

Players refused to play offense when it would have been really helpful: “You’re just not going to win any basketball games scoring one point in the last six minutes,” said Boston College coach Al Skinner. “With 19 points in the second half, you’re just not going to win any games playing that way. It’s really just that simple.”


Players did not atack the zone: “It wasn’t like we didn’t have opportunities,” noted Skinner. “We had looks. I didn’t think we did a good job of attacking the zone.”

Players shot too many threes: “For us to shoot that many threes to me is an indication that we weren’t running the offense well,” Skinner said. “Some were good looks, (but) we just did not get the ball in the interior as well as we should have. That has to improve.”


Players did not penetrate: “I can’t remember any penetration, particularly in the second half, and a kick out for a nice jump shot,” noted Skinner.

Players did not prepare tehmselves correctly during the game: “As I tell guys all the time, for 35 minutes you need to study the opponent on their offensive end as far as what the individual would like to do,” Skinner added.

and the Maine players were selfish and just intersted in getting their own way: “I thought that (Maine) continually got what they wanted. That part was disappointing.”

 
At 12:06 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

oh, I forgot one:

Players Did Not Bring a Game Coach: Skinner noted, "What? was I supposed to tell them what to do during the game. That's what practice is for. Geeez. Next question."

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger Claver2010 said...

For some reason I sat and watched this whole thing let me start with: I've never rooted for a team that has consistently cared as little as an Al Skinner coached team. From not knowing game situations to lazy passes to not getting back beyond half court on D (I'm looking at you Rakim).

This team had absolutely zero idea how to attack a 2-3 zone so they stood stagnant, passed the ball around the perimeter and played chuck & duck, as seen by the stats. We are probably the only team above 6th grade CYO that doesn't know how to attack a 2-3 zone and for that I blame Al, but then again it might be too much to ask to devise an offense for the 2-3 as it's been 13 years and we still have no clue how to break a press (throwing the ball to a guard in the corner isn't how you break the press).

I'm growing so sick of the Skinner regime he is TOB 2.0 he brought us to respectability but there is no way we can take it to the next level, does Gene care?

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Gene, please start looking for a new coach, please please please

 
At 12:40 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

There are two big problems with this team in view.

The first is the problem at the point, and it can't be overstated. Let's face facts, Biko Paris is a nice backup pointguard masquerading as a starting pointguard. And compounding the problem is the fact that they have no one to back up Paris. When he sits and Jackson takes over, it's a total disaster. Check out what happened yesterday against Maine when Jackson drove the bus. U-G-L-Y.

The second problem is the lack of a go to scorer when you need a bucket. Rakim Sanders is not that guy, and unfortunately no one else is remotely close. And speaking of Sanders, at this (relatively late) point in his career, Sanders has to be characterized as a huge, huge disappointment. He was quite a heralded player coming out of high school, and he certainly has a lot of athletic talent. But 3 years and 60 or so starts into his career, I would've thought we'd see a little more maturity from him by now. Frankly, he looks like the same rough, unpolished talent he was when he arrived as a freshman. In fact, the only area of improvement I've seen is at the free throw line, and he had no where to go but up after shooting something like 47% at the stripe as a frosh. The big picture? He is a pretty mediocre player when you look at the totality of his game. Yes, he can drill the occasional three, yes he can wow you with some spectaular moves every now and then, yes he can grab some loud rebounds. But he is also an incredibly lazy defender, a poor passer, a sloppy ball handler, he forces shots, and he is apparently a bit of a head case, on and off court (as evidenced by his suspension earlier this year). If Jared Dudley was the poster child for "High Basketball IQ," then he was dunking over Sanders on the poster. Sanders reminds me of Antoine Walker...just a stupid, stupid player that teases with talent, but ultimtely harms more than he helps.

As for Al, see my post on this site from yesterday. I'm hoping he walks at the end of the year and grabs some NBA assistant's job, he's always said he liked the NBA game more than the college one. But I suspect the money is too good at the Heights for him to leave.

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Dan Popko said...

I think the most telling thing is the inability to penetrate. That leads to the poor threes often. You'd like to think that Jackson or Sanders could get into the lane and draw a defender that leaves a legitimate open look for three. It might not lead to many more makes since we have been abysmal from three-point land this year but we make one or two more and we probably win that game.

As for what ATL said on using the flex to break down the zone, that's irrelevant. The Flex is a man-to-man offense. How are downscreens and cross screens going to work against the zone. You screen the middle man and then there is just someone waiting on the other side for the cutter. Unless you can rotate the ball then screen the top or side of the zone for an open jumper or to open up a lane to drive screens don't do all that much against the zone.

All that being said, you'd like to think that against teams like Maine we could break it just with talent and athleticism even if we can't manage legitimate zone offense, but that was not the case. When teams in the ACC go from a 2-2-1 (we can break the 1-2-2, it really just slows you down which is not a problem for us) into a 2-3 we will be lucky to score enough points to be competitive in the Big 10.

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

The flex doesn't really allow for much penetration either which is part of the problem. If Sanders and Jackson were able to just penetrate, things would open up on offense and open shots would be found. I like the fast break BC employed a lot against USC. BC has the athleticism to run with the best of them. They could easily have beaten Maine if Al allowed them to run. However, they are constantly bottled up by the flex. And the flex that BC runs this year is abysmal. Too much standing around. Horrible passing. Terrible shooting. Not a recipe for winning. Too bad Al is clueless as how to make the necessary adjustments.

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger eagleboston said...

ATL,

Why has Skinner's track record of mediocrity earned our patience, but TOB's similar level of mediocrity did not earn our patience? It continues to amaze me that the majority of people on this blog ripped TOB but these same people defend Skinner. I don't get it and it is completely illogical. I feel both coaches developed successful programs that became stuck at a good but not great level. If we called for TOB to go (and for the record, I did want to see a change with TOB) then it stands to reason that we should be as hard on Skinner.

So, should Skinner be fired (it now appears that more people are crossing over from being Skinner apologists)? In these difficult economic times, I would guess that BC cannot afford to fire a coach under a multi-year contract. So we are stuck with Skinner, like it or not. But losing to Maine and Harvard is inexcusable so Gene should be demanding some accountability and probably some changes from Al and his staff.

What is frustrating is seeing smaller Catholic schools such as Gonzaga, Georgetown and Villanova having tremendous success. That should be us.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger ATL_eagle said...

I think basketball and football are apples and oranges. That's why I am less critical of regular season hoops losses than I would be of football losses.

If Al doesn't turn things around, I will call him on it.

And even though the sports are different, Al accomplished more in hoops than TOB did in football.

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger ASDF JKL: said...

the tight flex allows penetration if it is run correctly. when we had duds and craig with lou at the point, the flex was perfect because we had players who were willing to body an opponent, draw some contact, finish the play, and make their free throw. we were tough. and we played some defense. the flex can work if it is run correctly-- that has been proven by past bc teams. we just dont have the patience or the leadership to do so. there is no floor general and there is certainly no general on the sideline. someone needs to step up. stop falling in love with the 3. we arent a john beilein team. drive the basket, get our opponents in foul trouble, make your free throws, get back in transition, and man up. our defense since we have lost S*** W******* has been atrocious.

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Walter said...

I admit I am a hopeless optimist when it comes to BC sports (at least we can't lose to USC in the tournament this year), but I think you guys are overlooking some of our quality wins and seasons under Al, as recently as last year. Yeah, this team drops stupid non-conference games, but it's ultimately going to be our acc record which makes or breaks the deal. As stupid as it is, our ACC record is still perfect and I do think this team is good enough to navigate it successfully if they get their act together.

BCDoubleEagle was careful to point out our (too many) stupid losses, but last year alone we beat both UNC and Duke. This team is very frustrating; when they're bad, they always are; I still think we are a few degrees removed from questioning Skinner's future. If there's one thing I've learned during my four years at BC it's not to take coaches who are willing to stay at BC for granted.

 
At 4:50 PM, Blogger DustBowl said...

As a result of the Maine debacle, Kenpom now ranks us #95, and projects that we lose every single ACC game to come. e.g., 1-15 in ACC. This might motivate GDF to act.


Here is how KenPom see it:

Sat Jan 9 (15 - KENPOM RANK) Clemson LOS, 77-62
Wed Jan 13 (2) Duke LOS, 85-60
Tue Jan 19 (29) Miami FL LOS, 71-60
Sat Jan 23 (42) Virginia Tech LOS, 68-58
Tue Jan 26 (15) Clemson LOS, 73-65
Sat Jan 30 (30) Florida St. LOS, 65-61
Sat Feb 6 (2) Duke L, 80-63
Tue Feb 9 (36) Wake Forest LOS, 75-63
Sun Feb 14 (30) Florida St. LOS, 69-58
Sat Feb 20 (38) North Carolina LOS, 79-75
Wed Feb 24 (42) Virginia Tech LOS, 64-61
Sat Feb 27 (20) Georgia Tech LOS, 75-62
Wed Mar 3 (59) Virginia LOS, 65-64
Sun Mar 7 (82) North Carolina St. LOS, 70-64

 
At 7:26 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Decisions, decisions. Do you root for BC every game and hope they win so they can possibly get into the NIT Tournament and Big Al keeps his job. Or do you root against BC and hope they lose all their ACC games as Kenpom predicts just so GDF is forced to pull the trigger?

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

Can't fire Al, that's ridiculous. Next time you're at Conte, check out how many times BC went to the NCAA tourney in the 80s and 90s (7 total), then compare that to how many times BC has gone in the 00s (7). Nuff said.

Yeah, it's a boring brand of basketball, but he has earned the right to leave when he wants to leave. The comparison to TOB is apt; TOB too earned the right to stay with 8 bowls in a row after the Henning debacle and the perceived gambling scandal ("perceived" because that was the biggest non scandal gambling scandal I have ever seen in 35 years of watching college sports, Rick Neuheisel's NCAA brackets a distant second). But I was fired up when TOB packed his bags.

If Al does decide it's time, then it will be fascinating watching the changing of the guard. The last go around, BC was in a very, very different place. They were absolutely horrible in the late '80s/early '90s under Jimmy O'Brien, had some good teams at the end of O'Brien's tenure with Scoonie Penn at the point, and then O'Brien torched the house on the way out the door, crying racism and quitting in protest when admissions wouldn't let him get 2 academic dopes into the school (Jonathan DePina and Elton Tyler, both of whom had crappy and so so college careers elsewhere, respectively). Then O'Brien took Penn and a couple of BC recruits with him to Ohio State, and encouraged other recruits to go elsewhere, leaving the program in shambles. BC was not exactly a hot coaching vacancy.

This time BC would be incredibly desirable for any hot young coach. We're now in the ACC, have very good recent history, and have a lot of experience. A good coach, a good recruiter could come in here and absolutely kick ass.

But this is just some wishful thinking....I'm sure Skinner is staying right where he is, I would if I were him. There are not many low pressure, $950K/year jobs out there in coaching in any sport at any level. For the low ego types like Skinner, it's too perfect a gig to pass up.

 
At 9:10 PM, Blogger CMondo1 said...

BC Bball: a sleeper NIT squad in 2010.

Losing to Maine in January is a season killer, and this team has ZERO shot at an at-large. It's win the ACC tourney or bust.

I will, however, continue to follow this team this season because running the table in (early) March might be possible. The ACC is down and Duke is overrated.

My thoughts on why this team has four brutal losses:

First, Al's not a motivator and never has been. This Eagles team has no spark plug (think Sidney, Dudley or Sean Marshall, even an angry Tyrese), and if they are not playing a "quality team" they do not play hard. (think Reggie Jackson.)

Second, Al does not make in-game adjustments. Hell, Al doesn't even take momentum killing timeouts--ever. If the team isn't ready to execute the tight flex, play with patience on O and energy on D, when the game STARTS, then the team is dead.

This year's team will beat a few of the ACC's elite. I fully expect them to play with energy throughout the ACC season.

Unfortunately though, the non-conferences losses are damning and will keep us out of Dance.

Regarding Skinner: The Seat won't get hot until next year. And even then, it won't heat up unless BC misses the dance again in 2011.

 
At 12:06 AM, Blogger matthew said...

I don't get the point of the kenpom citations.

Does anyone think they're even close to what the rest of out season will look like?

 
At 12:22 AM, Blogger CT said...

to clarify a point made earlier...o'brien led the '93-'94 team that made the Elite 8 after beating Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse at UNC in the NCAAs. one of the biggest upsets in tourney history--remember, not one person thought UNC wasn't winning that tourney that year.

that was an exciting time at the heights for the bball program. huckabee, eisley, abram, curley, et al.

but i do agree with the sentiment expressed by harry collins and cmondo.

bc CAN compete for nat'l championships in bball. we don't talk about this enough. seriously. there is no reason why or inherent limits on putting bc squarely in the national spotlight in bball. none. we always complain about taking it to the next level in football, but understand we operate there with grad. rates in mind and under the guise of getting "bc kids."

there is no "bc kid" in bball, only unheralded, under recruited guys with chips on their shoulders that many other programs emulate in their recruiting philosophy. the only limit is the head coach, who decides who he wants to target with the precious few scholarships he has to offer. skinner has made dudley and bell the "bc kid." that has never existed before. it won't exist when he's gone, either. check out the grad. rates of the bball team and the offcourt issues there.

we've been successful in the acc, yes. how many times have we won more than 2 games in the ncaas under skinner? where are our expectations and why aren't they as high as they seem to be for the football team?

did they disappear along with our ability to break the press in the last 8 yrs?

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

Hello Gene - make the deal now with Tommy Amaker for 2011/2012.

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

CT - didn't Dudley find BC - Al and staff didn't recruit him, correct?

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

CT - file that 94 run with the BC "gambling scandal," both are recalled with very little context, a circumstance underscored by your misrecollection. That run and that season culminated the Billy Curley era, which was otherwise a notable run of underachievement. Curley's classmates, Howard Eisley and Malcolm Huckabee all played in the NBA, with Eisley having a particularly long and successful run. All were 4 year starters, along with another guy, Gerrod Abram. O'Brien could not get that group to do anything except for the back-to-back weekends in the NCAA tourney you remember at the end of the 4 years. That 4th year was the only year they made the tourney, and BC did so as the 6th best team from the Big East. They were hammered by GTown in the first round of the Big East tournament, and almost exited the first round of the NCAA tourney, down by 10 late to a middling Washington State team before WSU collapsed down the stretch. Then they played UNC. Yes the Tar Heels were talented, but they were also extremely dysfunctional (Eric Montross and other holdovers from the previous year's national champions v. hotshot newcomers led by Rasheed Wallace, et al), and that season couldnt end fast enough for them. Then they played a very mediocre Indiana team, which proved to be the beginning of a succession of very mediocre Indiana teams to close the Bobby Knight era (donlt think they won another NCAA tourney game until after Knight left). Then BC got soundly beaten by a so so Florda team. So I have never been impressed by that run. They basically had 1 kinda big upset, which masked a long stretch of underachievemeny. Oh and by the way, until Scoonie Penn showed up in 1996, that was the only year BC even made the NCAA tourney in EIGHT YEARS (and they finished in last place in the Big East in 4 of those years if memory serves).

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Skinner deserves credit for what he has done here over his career...NCAA Tourney appearances especially, the banner in Conte attests to that. But time to make him more accountable for the present. Losing to these lower teams is just inexcusable. This far into his career, just making the NCAA should not be the barometer of a successful season. Nova (ugh), G'Town, Marquette, Xavier...these smallish, Catholic, good academic, BC-type schools have all had deeper NCAA runs during Al's tenure, and I think less off the court issues too. We'll give him a big thank you on the way out...but the sooner, the better.

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

One other thing on Jimmy O'Brien (and yes I do have a bit of an ax to grind - if you think Skinner is a bad coach then you are too young to recall O'Brien). He took over BC after a great run under Tom Davis & Gary Williams - BC had gone to the Sweet Sixteen 4 times in the previous 6 years, with 1 Elite Eight. O'Brien promptly ran the program into the ground with some of the worst basketball in BC's history, I think they went 1-15 in conference play twice despite having a talent like Dana Barros. Reports were that he was going to get fired in 1991, but then in the offseason his wife died and he landed Curley, who was a McDonald's All-American, so the AD 's hands were tied.

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

I'm with you, Harry - the Jim O'Brien years were brutal. Every one of his teams used to throw up bricks from the free throw line.

O'Brien had no clue how to coach a big man. I remember we had one 6'10" guy (whose name escapes me - Grant?) that couldn't get off the bench under O'Brien. He transferred to Wisconsin and averaged 20 points a game.

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

Paul Grant was the guy you are thinking about, Jack.

O'Brien had this really strong relationship with the local media and his fellow coaches, who were overly defensive about him, which in turn made everyone (fans, media) treat him and his horrid record with kid gloves. I specifically recall Dan Shaugnessy rhetorically asking why no one was calling for his head after 6 of 8 losing seasons, and Shaugnessy then getting vilified by fellow members of the press and Jim Calhoun and Jim Boeheim. It was weird. He must've had pictures of someone. O'Brien's teams by and large suuuuucked, they were the doormat of the Big East for the better part of a decade (and it was incredibly frustrating because there was no blog in which to vent). That's why I will always be a little partial to Skinner because, warts and all, his teams have been very, very relevant in conference play since Troy Bell et al showed up in 2000. They have only had one losing season (14-16 2years ago after Dudley and Marshall graduated, and Sean Williams single-handedly drove Doritos stock through the roof). They've made the NCAA tourney 7 of 9 years, and in one of those missed years, they were 19-11, Big East division co-champs with UConn, and the consensus bubble team that got screwed.

I too think it's about time we got some new blood as a coach, but I will forever appreciate the job Skinner has done, he was the right guy for the program at the right time, and when he moves on, he will have left the program in far, far better condition than he found it. If BC fans don't appreciate all he has done, then they are too young to remember the bad stuff that preceded him, or just plain stupid.

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger InnerPeace said...

Dear Harry --

Your comments are very interesting and you certianly are very knowledgable about hoops and BC hoops history.

However, try to be less of a hemorrhoid -- people are stupid, snotty tone, etc.

I like your posts except for the needlessly arrogant and nasty stuff.

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger Ry said...

i just walked past gene...he was on his cell. as far as i could tell, he was talking about groceries, not tommy ammaker. sounds about right, no?

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger CT said...

ha.

yeah, uh, harry, i was actually on campus, matriculating, you know, around the library though maybe not in it, eating at the rat, walking up and down that lovely exorcist-like staircase between lower and middle, attending a rather unwatchable brand of, ready? hockey at conte on friday nights...and...and...

i'm well aware. but thank you. seriously.

i like the fact that al skinner's agent reads this blog.

or wife.

by the way, that was a huge upset. it was on the cover of SI, when that stuff still mattered. i still remember 75-72 and will forever. don't play that one down...bad move by you. yes we almost lost to wash. state, just like we almost lost to montana a few yrs back. yes indiana wasn't as good as they were in 1976, but the coach was. i also remember duane woodward, an utter end of the bench player if there was one, leading the team in scoring after that class graduated...'96? that would be my senior yr.

not plain stupid. but thank you. and paul grant was awful at bc. uncoordinated. gangly. o'brien tried.

to underscore your misrepresentation of what underachievement really is, i'd refer you to '06.

bottom line is this...skinner, in my stupid out of context opinion, ha that's kinda funny mrs. skinner, was indeed, like tob, the right guy at the right time. i think he's a coach best suited for experienced upperclassmen that need little direction. i haven't bad mouthed your husband or client, but i do have a pinching feeling, kinda like a hemhorroid, that perhaps the school and the coach have, like tiger and elin, grown a bit apart. i'm appreciative. not just of skinner. but also for the admissions dept getting it right and compelling mr. o to find the door. but thanks for essentially telling me i wasn't there.

good talk. go team.

 
At 5:27 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

CT, we're saying the same thing about Skinner. Time for him to go, but he did a very good job, don't see how anyone can argue that with a straight face.

As for JOB, he did not do a very good job. He sucked, no two ways about it. He had a good week in '94, I admit, it was a big, loud upset because UNC was the defending champ, and had re-loaded with some big-time freshmen who had a ton of hype. But anyone could see that team was a walking head case. If BC (with their 4 four-year starters and 2 NBA draft picks!) did not beat them, then Indiana or Florida would have, no doubt. The win over Indiana the following week was a win over a great program, not a great team (I think they were a 5 seed that year, which means bottom of the Top 20). My point is those two wins looked a lot better on paper than they did in reality, O'Brien sucked, sucked, sucked for years and years, and he got a very long leash here.

You're right about Paul Grant, he had no hands when he was here. But he did transfer and became an NBA 1st round draft pick (which was Jack Krack's point not mine).

I think the Skinner wins over UConn and Syracuse in 2000-2001 were far bigger wins for BC than BC over UNC in '94 (an 8 seed over a 1 seed BTW - happens pretty often), though not as big national news because of the stage.

Sorry if I offended you with the straight talk, but thought clarification was in order.

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

Paul Grant did not learn to play hoops on the plane ride from Boston to Madison.


He certainly must have had some ability that was unused at BC. right? The inability top tap into that talent at BC had to reflect somewhat on the BC coach, right?

Grant was drafted #20 (Smith was #36, and Dudley was #22. Troy Bell #16). Grant must have been a a star to some? right?

Here is blurbage from his wiki entry:

"Paul Edward Grant (born January 6, 1974) is a retired American professional basketball player. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Grant attended Brother Rice High School in Michigan, and played at Boston College for three seasons, but then transferred to Wisconsin for his senior year. He was named honorable mention All-Big Ten after leading the Badgers in scoring, field goal percentage, and blocked shots. He also played in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament and the Nike Desert Classic.

Grant was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves as the 20th pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. "

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger almost_paul said...

Basketball and football may be apples and oranges, but mediocrity is mediocrity. In football, mediocrity is the Music City Bowl. In basketball, mediocrity is settling for tournament appearances. Half of the ACC makes the tourney in any given year, for chr!st's sake! It's embarrassing that "Emerald Walnut Bowl" and "Motor City Bowl" are worthy of being plastered on the ring around Alumni and it is embarrassing that a tournament appearance is worthy of a banner in Conte. Al must go.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger Ry said...

thought i would point out that a year ago today, we beat UNC and 9 year ago today we managed to beat UConn...the victory that really marked the resurgence of BC from the depths it had reached just a few years before

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Opinionater said...

Excuse me Harry Collins, the self-professed BC Basketball expert (the rest of us are stupid)---I quote from your anti-JOB rants:

"...Then BC got soundly beaten by a so so Florda team. So I have never been impressed by that run."

referring to BC's Elite 8 status in 1994 playing UFlorida in the regional finals---BC a 9th seed vs. UFlorida a 3 seed in the Regional finals in Miami.
Soundly beaten?! With less than 2 minutes to go, BC had a 1 or 2 point lead and Billy Curley had the ball, he hesitated for just a second undecided whether or not to dunk and unfortunately missed the shot. Florida pushed the ball down floor and hit a 3 at the end of the shot clock, a fall-away "prayer" that was answered. The final score was 66-74. Soundly defeated you say??!! I was there. I think not! A "so so Florda (sic) team"--a 3 seed who upset #2 seed UConn the previous round--Not so. BC, with a JOB coached team was a heartbeat from the Final Four (when was the last time that happened?) But of course, why let the facts get in the way of an anti JOB self-admitted axe-to-grind rant!

Besides, I'm clearly one of the stupid ones.

P.S. I also witnessed the BC loss to Maine---horrendous, unforgiveable, etc. I previously have posted my growing frustrations with Coach Skinner (and was lambasted on this site by Skinner apologists), but the Maine game was yet another example of a rudderless team, with no clue, no leadership (on the floor or on the bench), a coach who with the team down by 1 point, used an entire 30 sec timeout---and we all know how infrequent we call timeouts---arguing with the ref.
We all deserve better than that---or we should file an application for the Patriot League?

 
At 11:52 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

Opinionater, my memory of that Florida game was that BC was down 8-10 points most of the night, and they lost by 8 points as you point out, that sounds right. I call that soundly beaten, your apocryphal anecdote notwithstanding. But that's semantics. And I don't consider a talented but woefully underachieving #9 seed (I think BC was #8 seed actually) against a #3 seed a fair approximation of the matchup. BC had 4 friggin 4-year starters and 2 NBA draft picks! The 5th starter was Danya Abrams, who would score 22/game the next year and earn 1st team All-Big East. They had a huge experience and talent advantage over Florida, and JOB doesn;t get bailed out just because he coached them down to a bubble team and a low seed in the regular season. If you remember things so well, then you undoubtedly remember them getting absolutely hammered by GTown in the 1st round of the Big East tourney the week before. And that wasn't the Mourning/Mutumbo Hoyas.

If you want to pick your spots and talk about being a hearbeat away, then why don't you talk about BC-Villanova in 2006? Nova was a #1 seed after all, and BC controlled the game most of the way until a boneheaded defensive lapse by Sean Marshall. Hell even before that, a loose ball dribbled thru Sean Williams legs with BC up 1 and 3 seconds left. Williams picks up that ball, and your post never makes this blog.

In any event, you and CT are missing my point, which is that the 00s under Skinner have been the salad days of BC basketball - 7 of 9 tourney appearances (should've been 8 of 9), tons of wins over big programs like Duke, UNC, Wake, Maryland, Michigan State, Cuse, UConn, etc, and not 1 but 2 Final Four caliber teams in my view, the one mentioned above and Jared Dudley's senior year, before Sean Williams and Akida McLean got kicked off the team. Yes, it's time for Skinner to go, but to discredit him for what he has done is laughable. Do you have any idea how many programs would kill for BC's success this decade? Ask the people at GTown, St John's, Providence, ND, NC State, Clemson, Miami, Fl State, GTech, Seton Hall, to name a few, and that's just from our former and current conferences.

Again, I agree, I think it's time for him to move on. I also agree that watching BC lose every year to these lesser teams is maddening, as is his in-game coaching deficiencies. But to ignore his accomplishments, particulary when compared to the crap job of his predecessor, is crazy.

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger InnerPeace said...

Harry the Hemorrhoid --

I am still getting a bad vibe.

a pity.

 
At 11:22 AM, Blogger Boyd said...

I don't see why people are complaining about Harry's tone. He hates JOB, but he doesn't hide it, and tries to back up his forcefully made points with evidence. Others are contesting it, and we're learning new stuff and/or recalling stuff we've forgotten. What the hell is this blog for if not that? Enjoy it.

I think, Harry, you underplay how huge the NC upset was -- you JOB hatred prevents you from giving him any credit for anything at all. But the Villanova game would indeed have been bigger were it not for Marshall's brian fart.

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger Opinionater said...

Harry, Harry, Harry.....the Skinner I am critical of is the Skinner of the last two years. BC Hoops is in a "danger zone" and after the loss to Maine, sliding rapidly downhill. I am critical of his lack of recent recruiting (he has yet to bring in a "legitimate" ACC "big man"), his inability to impart to his team the basics (and nuances) of breaking a press, his inability to have a "flex-ible" (pardon the pun) approach to offense--like finding seams and attacking a 2-3 zone (Maine's was very mediocre and "points in the paint" stat was 36 (Maine) 18 (BC)--go figure!), refusing to call
time outs when the opponent is on a 12-2 scoring run, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

The stats you run off on total appearances, upset victories, blah, blah, blah are in the past--and are not to be discredited. But are we to remain in the past? Are we to accept a tournament bid and an occasional upset ACC win as our expectation "ceiling"?

I think not. This team is confused, has no leadership, and is on the verge of a potentially disastrous ACC campaign. And who's "fault" is that?

 
At 12:11 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

Boyd, thanks for the defense, I don't know why a few bloggers are getting so sensitive over my statements here, which are mainly to encourage BC fans to appreciate the solid job the guy has done for your program, while agreeing his time with us is past due. The only reason I bring JOB into the mix (and yes I am on record as being a huge detractor of his for the reasons discussed) is to provide a measuring stick...BC basketball was a conference doormat under O'Brien, whereas BC basketball has been a conference contender under Skinner. I don't see how anyone can argue with that, we can dance out all the records, I think O'Brien finished last or second-to-last in the conference in 5 of 9 years at BC.

The '94 UNC upset was a big uopset, agreed, but it was not an upset for the ages. #8 (or #9) over #1 happens pretty regularly in the NCAA tourney, as does #10 over #2, #11 over #3, etc., the second round is full of upsets typically. And when you look at the talent level and experience of that BC team, and factor in the well documented dysfunctionality of that Tar Heel team, it was not that huge a deal in retrospect. It meant a lot to BC folks because BC had done nothing since Gary Williams' squads in the mid-80s (further evidence that O'Brien was the beneficiary of his own failures in this context), and it meant a lot to the national media because UNC was the defending champion. But if you want to look at a big BC upset, look at BC over UNC last year. A lot (and I mean a LOT) of people thought that UNC team could go undefeated. And BC not only beat them, they beat them pretty easily and at their house. Now that's an upset. Oh and if you want to get hung up on seedings, that BC team ended up being a #10 seed, and that UNC team ended up being #1 and national champions.

CT, I don't even understand the substance of your posts, you keep saying what I am saying, yet chastising me for it. And Innerpeace, you are telling me I write with a "bad vibe" while calling me a hemmorhoid? How old are you?

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger G.A. said...

I couldn't stomach 41 posts by mostly non-fans of college basketball, so forgive me if this point has been made.

The flex offense is an offense run against man-to-man defense. It requires screening. You don't screen a zone defense. Ergo, you can't run the flex against a zone.

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger InnerPeace said...

Harry --

I told you that you were interesting and knowledgable. C'mon, you got some props from me.

But with you, it's just a tone thing. You talk down to people. You are smug. Your post are too long. You use big words that are glaringly pedantic.

Not the worst stuff in the world. Just needlessly annoying. Like a hemorrhoid. But if you are a little sensitive to that word -- and who wouldn't be? -- I'll stop. It wasn't a nice thing to say. Just sort of meant to nudge you off the throne. Sorry.

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

Innerpeace

You are correct, I indeed communicate with grandiose verbiage on occasion, but you err in concluding I do so with patronizing or hubristic intent. I am a former journalist, and presently a novelist, and these words you deem so condescending are merely the vehicles of my vocation; they are designed to illuminate, not to denigrate. If I piqued or affronted you in any manner by simply employing the language with which I am familiar, words I believe most adeptly convey my musings, be assured that that was not my aim, nor my agenda. To the contrary, my missives are drafted simply to articulate my points lucidly and cogently, in a manner understood by both premier and proletariat. If I have unwittingly created a faux aegis of superiority among the masses of this media, then it is I who should apologize. To your throne metaphor, I concede this “emperor” has no clothes.

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

Note to Innerpeace - I was being facetious...err joking... with that last post

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger CT said...

harry, perhaps it was me, but telling some of us that we misrepresented or misremembered or took something out of context...when it was bc's defining win of the 90's...well, you get it.

and your words aren't pedantic, but maybe the tone? i don't know, sometimes i'll re-read a post of mine the next day and go, "that sounded worse than i wanted."

the lesson, as always, i'm an idiot.

one last thing about the '94 unc game. #8 seeds do beat #1 seeds, esp. moreso nowadays when there's more diffuse talent across the 300+ div. 1a bball programs. but nobody, i mean nobody, thought unc wasn't winning that tourney that yr (double negative for the journalist-turned-novelist). montross, phelps, stackhouse, wallace, mcinnis. unc was the top seed in the entire tournament.

bc won 11, 17, and 18 games in curley/abram/eisley/huckabee's first 3 yrs. went to the nit in '92 and '93. the improvement was decidedly there. then the 23 pt loss to g'town, followed by the 3 pt win over wash state, which, if i recall correctly, the guys thought was their toughest opponent. ha! imagine that. of course, abrams knocked phelps out of the 2nd round game early 2nd half on a breakaway foul. that didn't hurt. well, maybe phelps.

i also remember how good a defender huckabee was. how slow indiana's guards were. and the compliments paid to o'brien by bobby knight after the game.

what stood out was bc's quickness and "big east" defense. i also remember gerrod abram, all 6' of him, breaking a backboard in conte on a dunk during a conference game that year. the place almost exploded. there was talent on that team. so too under skinner.

that was a long "last thing." sorry.

you take the good with the bad. maybe you're a bit hard on job's job in the early 90s. yes, skinner has been more consistent. but i'd argue he's also underperformed outside of conference play, to include the tourney.

and really, last but not least, as maddening as his timeout philosophy is, or lack thereof, isn't a coach suppposed to, you know, coach the team on how to break a press and have a plan b on offense when plan a--bowling for baskets--doesn't work? kind of, i don't know, when the problem started back in the eisenhower administration?

p.s. skinner is not hampered by a 90% grad rate. skinner could recruit differently. skinner could shoot for the stars with that program. alas, it appears that bc is content with 18-20 wins, moderate seeds, and early exits in march. and yet we spend more time ripping on uncle dave and tob and haden and tuggle than we do anything or anyone else.

a national championship in bball is quite feasible. and we gripe about 9 win ceilings in football and the "bc rule" and the limitations on recruiting in that sport.

where are the expectations for a basketball program that more realistically than football could deliver us to the promised land?

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger CT said...

that last post was longer than anticipated. apologies. happy new year. merry kwanzaa. where's my sam adams?

harry, your last one didn't help the cause.

be good.

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

CT, I'll try to keep it short and simple, with no big words. The realistic goal for BC is to be at the top of the second tier of the ACC, i.e., beat out the Clemsons, Wakes, GTechs of the world. No way BC will ever out recruit or out-program UNC or Duke, they don't have the pedigree or history, and never will. So that means, ideally, BC goes 10-6 or 11-5 in conference play every year, 20-25 wins, ends up 3rd or 4th in the conference standings, makes the NCAA tourney consistently, and occasionally, every decade or so, catches lightning in a bottle with a team with the talent to make a Final Four run. Like it or not, I just described the Skinner teams of the 00s (the '06 team was everyone's pre-tourney darkhorse favorite to win it all). Perennial Final Four caliber teams are for only a select group of programs, and BC is not one of them. National championships have a lot to do with luck and matchups. Hell, Duke has only won once in 18 years, Kansas once in 20, and I think they have a little recruting advantage over BC.

As for O'Brien, I'll keep that simple as well, everything you are saying about Skinner I was saying about O'Brien in the 90s. The difference - and it's a big one - is that Skinner's teams have actually won.

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

CT, in your last post, you write this in defense of JOB:

"bc won 11, 17, and 18 games in curley/abram/eisley/huckabee's first 3 yrs. went to the nit in '92 and '93. the improvement was decidedly there."

Then you write this in criticism of Skinner:

"skinner could recruit differently. skinner could shoot for the stars with that program. alas, it appears that bc is content with 18-20 wins, moderate seeds, and early exits in march"

A little inconsistent, dontcha think? 17-18 wins with no NCAA tourneys good for JOB, but "18-10 wins" with perennial NCAA berths no good for Skinner? And for the record, JOB won only 1 other NCAA game outside '94 while at BC, and the 7 teams Skinner has taken to the NCAA tourney this decade won 28, 20, 24, 25, 28, 21, 22 games, which shakes out to an average season of 24-10. But hey, don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. He doesn't call timeouts when CT in Section GG wants him to, after all.

 
At 5:11 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

CT you are getting swatted around good by Harry. Ouch.

 
At 10:23 PM, Blogger CT said...

yeah, ouch. must be all the big words. right.

we're getting sidetracked. i'm not comparing skinner with job. in fact, i said skinner has been more consistent. you read that part or skipped it? you wrote about job as if he was just plain bad. he wasn't. hence, the improvement cited. i also said that skinner seems to do less in the ncaas than many of us think he ought to do. if you're content with playing and losing on that first thursday, hey, good for you. 24 wins gets you the seed. that's all. as herm said, you play to win the game. the season is about the ncaas, that's it. you don't put 24 wins a season on banners in conte. but it does get you a new contract and, apparently, the status quo.

again, i'm not comparing the two. i'm thankful job left, even if he did take scoonie.

al should give you a raise. you're representing him pretty fervently. i was a big fan, but now the ceiling appears further away than it used to.

and oh yeah, no matter how much you type, skinner's teams still can't break a press. it's actually quite comical. and his patience is a double-edged sword. all in all, skinner is a net plus, no doubt. but you, to me at least, represent everything about bc fans that discourages me--satisfaction with ceilings. you cite recruiting vs. duke and unc. oh, by the way, moving to the ACC IMPROVES one's chances against those two b/c their names recruit for you. you want to catch lightning in a bottle every so often? wow. blown away with your passion for regular season wins.

and please don't use any more big words, harry. it's all those big words that, after all, misrepresent what i've been saying. or are you, like the rest of us apparently, just plain stupid?

you're not. don't be so much you.

 
At 10:54 PM, Blogger Ry said...

we interrupt this fervent debate to trumpet a 57 point win against D-I newcomer NJIT.

i was actually almost hoping we'd drop this one just for comedy's sake on the board here.

 
At 11:11 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

Well, I'm not getting anywhere here, CT, I think you are a lost cause, like the yahoos who always scream for the backup quarterback to play. For the final time, and stating the obvious, I have just two points: (1) Skinner has done an outstanding job (by JOB's or anyone's standards) and (2) I think things have gotten stale and it's time for him to go. In contrast, you dont seem to have any points, your posts run in circles. So I bid you farewell by giving you an e-wedgie for incoherent blogging, with a couple of extra tugs for punctuation. Sorry to embarass you like that in front of all these fellow bloggers, but thought it necessary.

Oh and sorry for all the "big words" today, I thought this was a blog for Boston College folks, i.e. educated people. I did not mean to send you and Innerpeace scurrying for the dictionary.

 
At 12:00 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

...and the sun set on CT, wounded by the knowledgable stranger, he staggered back to his man, err, miniman cave to heal and hope the stranger moved on .....

....it was a fight all but CT knew to avoid......

 
At 1:22 AM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

I thought I was done CT, but I guess not. Something was eating at me, I knew there was a post out there that thoroughly compared O'Brien and Skinner, providing stats which cut the legs out from O'Brien apologists like you. Here it is (a little dated, it was posted at the end of the 07 season). You may want to rethink your comment "you wrote about JOB as if he was just plain bad. he wasn't.":

In his 11 years, O'Brien finished in the top half of the Big East (or the division within the conference) exactly 3 times. He finished dead last 5 times in those eleven years and won the division only once (his last year, which he parlayed into a big contract at OSU). In fact, his winning percentage in the Big East was .357 (74 - 133), a total disaster by any measure. His winning percentage is the lowest in Big East history for any coach that has coached more than 5 years. Underscoring how bad his BC teams were, going into this season the only Big East coach to have lost more Big East games was Jim Boeheim. It took Boeheim 26 years to lose 166 games, whereas it only took OB 11 years to lose his 133. Truly eye-popping statistics.

Compare this to Al Skinner, who has finished in the top half of his league in 6 of his nine years (including finishing 1st three times), which will be 7 of 10 after this year even if he loses the remaining 4 ACC games. The only years Skinner finished in the lower half of his conference were the three immediately following OB's departure, when all the OB recruits went elsewhere and Penn followed OB to Ohio State. Here's the breakdown:

O'Brien

86-87 - 9th out of 9
87-88 - 7th out of 9
88-89 - 9th out of 9
89-90 - 9th out of 9
90-91 - 9th out of 9
91-92 - 7th out of 9
92-93 - 7th out of 10 (Miami joins conference)
93-94 - 3rd out of 10
94-95 - 10th out of 10
95-96 - 3rd out of 6 (1st year of split divisions)
96-97 - 1st (tied) out of 6

Skinner
97-98 - 6th out of 6
98-99 - 13th out of 13 (back to one division)
99-00 - 13th out of 13
00-01 - 1st out 6(back to split divisions)
01-02 - 4th out of 7
02-03 - 1st out of 7
03-04 - 5th out of 14 (back to one division)
04-05 - 1st out of 12 (Miami and VTech defect)
05-06 - 3rd out of 12 (1st year in ACC)
06-07 - 1st (currently) out of 12

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

It seems like Harry and CT have the same point basically. Skinner brought the program back from the ashes of destruction, however he has hit the ceiling and cannot get over the hump. Hence, a coaching change is in order.

 
At 3:35 PM, Blogger NateA said...

Ive never seen so many people in my life that know nothing about basketball. Its next to impossible to win consistently at BC. They have poor fan support, and awful facilities.

For everyone who wants a new coach--are you OK with a young coach coming in and making a good run in March Madness and then leaving? B/C thats EXACTLY what will happen.

 
At 3:58 PM, Blogger CT said...

harry, did you "embarass" me?

brilliant.

in our two-man play, are you the pot or the kettle?

you've called all who disagree with you stupid and now a yahoo.

well played.

i agree with what you wrote here:

I too think it's about time we got some new blood as a coach, but I will forever appreciate the job Skinner has done, he was the right guy for the program at the right time, and when he moves on, he will have left the program in far, far better condition than he found it. If BC fans don't appreciate all he has done, then they are too young to remember the bad stuff that preceded him, or just plain stupid.

i appreciate the debate harry, and hey, you too bystander matt, but the name-calling and overall insufferability should be traits you wish to avoid. kinda like, you know, what boston college sorta strives to impart in that education we all received. who are we kidding, harry? i ain't no bosten collage grad.

you said bc can't fire al. that's ludicrous. why, b/c we like losing the first weekend of the tourney? he hasn't, as you said, earned the right to stay, he's earned the right to a window and to have program expectations articulated. huge difference. i guess my expectations and the administration's are quite different. maybe with that comment, yours too. tob didn't earn the right to stay, either, as you said, if he, despite being the right kind of leader at the right time, quietly expressed interest in other jobs soon after stepping on campus and further admitted to bc's ceiling (you never make that public, even in what struck me as the petty way he did). what kind of attitude does that engender among the rank-and-file, if you've believed that during your stay? so, no, neither has earned or did earn the right to stay. no, no, and no. quite wrong.

you were also quite literally wrong about washington state and unc in '94, and the upset in '94but that's semantics.

i'm not an o'brien apologist at all. funny, you're the one with the admitted "ax to grind." are you the ohio state a.d., by chance? by the way, as an aside, o'brien was pretty good at ohio state, was he not? yes, he paid the serb. bad move. he also won the lawsuit vs. the school. but that's not the point. was his success at osu due to...? not coaching?

we are, in fact, arguing the same point. there isn't a word you know harry that would send me to a dictionary. i promise. and i don't call for the backup qb. i've already seen him play.

i'd offer that you're probably better than your tone admits.

matt, relax, buddy.

good talk all.

 
At 4:02 PM, Blogger CT said...

natea, so wouldn't that be true of all bc sports?

poor fan support? check. "awful" facilities? i don't know.

i'd disagree. skinner isn't expected to graduate the guys. by your logic, it's skinner in perpetuity?

 
At 6:54 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

CT, what the? Thought we were done? Might have to give you an e-swirly for persistent insubordination.

Yes, BC can't fire Al, if you think they can you are delusional. Can you imagine the national PR hit if they tried? On the heels of the controversial Jags dismissal? One of the winningest coaches of the decade, and you think BC can show him the door because a few bloggers think he doesn't call timeouts enough and they occasionally lose to a lower seed in the NCAA tourney? Man you are naive. No way that happens, no way, so go back to your Skinner voodoo doll and get some exercise. Maybe if he has 3 or 4 sub-.500 seasons in a row, until then it's up to Al, no need to discuss it further.

And check your facts. I am almost certain BC has ever lost a first round game in which they were the higher seed under Al, a couple of close calls, yes, but never a loss. And isn't the first round all about upsets and close calls? That's what makes it compelling TV, it is a tournament of champions after all. You're being a little myopic if you think that stuff only happens to BC, every program in the country has its tortured moments getting thru the first weekend, even the big boys.

Oh, and JOB's record at OSU is a little misleading. First, it's apples and oranges, different leagues, schedules, fan bases, recruiting, they don't compare. And I have always maintained that his success, at BC and OSO, was tied to Scoonie Penn. Penn was a special, special college basketball player, one of the best I have ever seen at the college level, and that gets lost because he did not have the physical makeup to make it in the NBA, like a lot of other great college players. But he was awesome, the difference between when he was on the floor and off, and when he was on the team and off, was incredible. Notable is the fact that the year he redshirted between BC and OSU, JOB's Buckeyes finished last in the Big Ten (sound familiar?). The next two years they were Big Ten champs with Penn at the helm (sound familiar?) and in the Final Four. Penn graduates, OSU starts to fade to mediocrity, and JOB gets caught cheating to keep up. He won his lawwsuit because of the language of the contract (OSU did not afford him contractual due process by firing him before the NCAA investigation had run its course), not because he didn't pay $6K in cash to a recruit BTW.

Little known fact is that JOB sued BC too after he left, albeit a lot more quietly. That on top of the death sentence he gave BC (his alma mater!) by ripping admissions, crying insitutional racism and taking Penn and all the recruits with him, leaving Skinner to resurrect the program from the dead (which he did). You all should have an ax to grind with JOB, not just me. He was not just a horrible coach, he was a total asshole.

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

One more thing...you keep talking about BC's early tourney exits, but I can only recall BC losing to a lower seed in the NCAA tourney twice under Skinner. First, in 2001 - #6 USC over #3 BC in the 2nd round, not a big upset, USC won the next game and then took eventual National Champs Duke down to the wire in the Regional Finals, with Brian Scalabrine leading the Trojans (this was before he became an NBA cartoon figure). Second, in 2005 - #11 Milwaukee-Wisconsin over #6 BC in the 2nd round, not that big an upset either though it involved a mid-major. UW-M had great guards, which was a bad matchup for big and slow BC (think Doornekamp), and Bruce Pearl was the coach. That's it, unless I'm missing something. In all the rest of the tourney appearances BC either held serve or lost to a better/higher seeded team.

In comparison, your hero JOB lost in the first round in 96, and the 2nd round in 97, do not recall the seedings, but I do know one of the losses was in OT to a lower seeded St Joe's team.

 
At 8:43 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

CT please, please stick to football

 
At 10:31 PM, Blogger Tom said...

"And check your facts. I am almost certain BC has ever lost a first round game in which they were the higher seed under Al, a couple of close calls, yes, but never a loss."


Harry, you seem quite knowledgeable about BC basketball history but just this past March BC was a 7 seed and lost to 10 seed USC in the first round.

 
At 11:08 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

You may be right Tom, I thought it was the other way around (#10 BC losing to #7 USC). But in any event, those are three very, very mild upsets, especially for the NCAA tourney, and in the case of '01 USC and '05 Milwaukee-Wisconsin, those were two good teams that were obviously playing very good ball when they played BC, they didn't just upset BC in the tourney, they upset someone else as well. USC beat the #2 seed (can't recall who that was) after BC, and then hung with #1 Duke deep into the second half before bowing out. Milwaukee (who was a #14 seed actually, I was wrong about that) upset a #3 (which I think was Oklahoma) to get to BC. So it wasn't all about BC or Skinner, you gotta give the other team some credit. Every year there are at least a dozen upsets like that, usually more. Can't recall whether USC went on to beat someone last year after knocking off BC.

 
At 11:16 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

After beating BC in 2001, #6 Seed USC knocked off #2 Kentucky, 80-76.

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Harry--That upset loss to UW-Milwaukee as not a mild upset. It was a horrible upset. BC had a much better team but played like crap the entire game, like they normally do in the tournament under Skinner.

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

We'll have to agree to disagree on that one Bravesbill. I remember that game very well, and I remember thinking in the first 10 minutes that it was a bad matchup for BC, because they had quick guards that pressed, and that was the type of team that really killed us that year (this year too).

And like I said, you have to give the other team some credit sometimes, UW-M was 26-5 when they played BC, and had just beaten 24-7 Alabama 2 days before by 10 (I checked). They then lost to #1 overall, 35-1 Illinois in a relatively close game, 77-63. So to say BC was "much better", I don't know about that. Better conference, better history, better program, yeah, but better team? Doornekamp was BC's starting center I remind you.

And even if I give that one to you, 1 (debatable) big upset in 7 trips? You can have your criticisms of Skinner (and I do), but this really shouldn't be one of them. The NCAA tournament is brutal for everyone, there really are no layups, except maybe #1 v #16, or #2 v #15, other than that, the fight's on. Which teams go far in the touney has a lot more to do with matchups and who's hot (e.g., 4th seeded Arizona winning it all in '97, George Mason making the Final Four in '06).

 

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