Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sleep walking through Wake

There were some good moments in Tuesday's game, but once again the defensive effort and lack of intensity was obvious. I would say any hope of a full turnaround is officially gone. So what's left? There is a lot of basketball to play, so you'd hope that the guys would play for pride and to build for something next year. But I don't know. There is no consistency from anyone. This has been a numbing season...if only this team played to its potential things might have been interesting.


-- Roche's explosion.
Roche played how we've always wanted him to play. He's never really shown this ability against top flight competition. The best part was that he didn't hesitate yet also didn't force things. His points came within the offense. The other players could really learn from him.
-- Ravenel's defensive effort.
He fouled out and didn't do much on offense, but he was our only big man that actually played defense.
-- Corey Raji being Corey Raji. Ten boards, 17 points and making his shots is what we need from Raji ever night. Raji and Roche's success is what is so frustrating. If the other guys played within the system, we wouldn't be in this whole right now.


-- Our big men's fundamentals.
Dunn got the ball close to the basket a few different times and put the ball on the floor before he went up. Even the little guy on the floor knows that he can't come down. He needs to go strong to the basket. The dribble allowed Wake to close and block him. Our big men don't seem to be well coached. How are these things still happening withe experienced juniors?
-- Sanders on the wing. Another terrible shooting night. 1-5 from 3! He should no longer have a green light. Like the big men coaching issue, why is the staff not getting through to him? They should be drilling into his head that he needs to play closer to the basket.
-- Defensive rotations.
These guys were lost. How many times did Wake's perimeter guys have wide open threes?


Claver2010 said...

ATL, I know you are a Skinner guy but after this year it's time for him to go. This team has too much talent for them to finish with 4 or 5 wins in conference. I've never been around a team whose fanbase has such apathy. I have missed 1 home game in 4 years and it's to the point that I don't care any more -I could only imagine what people who aren't die hard are feeling right now. Skinner has absolutely zero desire to engage a fanbase and when results go sour (which they have the past 3 years) there is no base to feed off of.

If you look at the past 4 years we rank 8th out of 12 in ACC standings, and after this year we very well maybe 10th. For us to end the year under .500 (does anyone think we'll have a winning record to end the year?) after having the same core of juniors play the majority of minutes since their freshman year is unacceptable. Can anyone of you name a player on the team who has improved? I can think of Elmore (who we have only seen in the past 5 games?) and Dunn (who went from a deer in headlights to be able to grab the occasional rebound and get some garbage baskets. Rakim has regressed more than anyone else. Josh, Corey, Biko, & Trap haven't improved one lick since they stepped foot on campus years ago.

There is talent on the team -Al just isn't getting it out of them. Thank you for your first decade Al but don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you! And no, you can't still play basketball all day at the plex anymore.

Pearl Washington said...


I appreciate your support of the program but get a reality check. These guys are not that talented and more importantly don't have 3 things. Natural basketball skills - shooting , dribbling, etc., athletic ability to defend and basketball court sense. What is the saying about chicken soup? There you go.

Southern - slow, can't jump, terrible court sense. Al can't help this.

Biko - how Tim Floyd offered this guy is amazing. Slow, can't jump, no shot, no moves

Raji - 6'6" guy trying to play like a 6'9" guy. To me he is their most complete player. But can he take a guy off the dribble, no?

Trapani - Gamer , but again slow, can't jump. Can he take a guy off the dribble?

Sanders - this is all Al's or the assistants fault. He has not improved and he has all the skills

Jackson - overrated by the fan base. Or maybe he is playing out of position at point. Selfish scorer, doesn't understand how to score in the system. No court sense at all, doesn't defend.

The talent was/is overrated. I blame it on the assistants. You can improve some of these things. You are correct in that they haven't improved but if you look deep the basketball talent is not there. Maybe Al needs to change the assistants because the other problem is the talent evaluation is not there

Ry said...

I'd argue that even if it's all on Al, which I don't believe, he still has earned himself a clunker. I'm on board with the assistants argument....since Coen and Cooley left we've been a different squad, but those guys had the benefit of working for years to figure out the system. Cassara and Colson didn't have that luxury as they essentially jumped onto a moving train..

Smitty said...

This is not on Skinner. I will agree that he's made a mistake not adjusting his system to these players, instead he's trying to force kids who don't want to run the flex. Square peg round hole.
But the bottom line is the team is shooting terrible from 3% and trying to battle in the ACC with two big men who are low-level D-1 players, if D-1 at all (Dunn). Absolutely no shot-blocking presence the opponent knows they can attack the paint with no threat of even having their shot altered.
I also agree with Joey and Ry that this is on the assistants for not developing the talent the way Coen and Cooley did. Plus- Cassara came from the prep circuit, where are all these prep school standouts we were supposedly getting?

ATL_eagle said...

I am a Skinner guy for sure. That said, this has been a terrible season. In my mind this is worse than his early years. Those teams had holes. This team has talent to be better. I think the biggest problem (other than not having 1 elite player) is that these guys are not playing to their strengths. Jackson, Sanders and Trapani are the biggest culprits. The effort and failure to improve are also disheartening. Al will need to shake things up with the roster and/or staff for next year.

CT said...

I can't believe it. In what other sport do the assistants get called out for an underachieving team? Huh?

As head coach, this is Skinner's responsibility. Not the assistants. Skinner. He's the head man, the buck stops with him. Give me a break. Skinner gives his assistants the responsibilities they have, he oversees recruiting I would think, he targets the guys--he's in charge of the team!

We've all seen it this season. As ATL and many others have said, this team hasn't improved in some very basic basketball skills. The communication is awful. It's not the kids' fault they're horrible at 3's, if they continue to shoot it, they should sit. That's on Skinner. Whether it's inbounding the ball, breaking a press, or, more importantly, INTENSITY, this team stinks. It's sum is less than the parts.

You can point out all the liabilities of each player that you want, but it's Skinner who brought them in, didn't recruit last year, and has them, at too many times, bumbling around to the likes of Harvard and Maine, etc.

Claver2010 is right. I'd give Skinner next season to right the ship, however, and if he can't take the same core group that's been together for 3+ seasons to a better place, he, contrary to what his apologists are saying--assistants? Really??--has hit the proverbial ceiling.

There is no excuse for this season. None. We should be better and we aren't. Skinner has earned a window, that's it. He certainly hasn't earned the right to walk when he wants to--that's inane, unless BC grants lifetime contracts for one Sweet 16 appearance a decade. For me, that window is almost shut.

Erik said...

I've been on board for a while blaming assistants for a share of the problem. We all talk about how Al is too relaxed, but there are what, 5 assistant coaches at practice every day? It's not like the head coach could demand that his assistants not develop player talent, or make sure they don't try to focus guys.

"Coach Cassara, do not help Biko with passing drills today," exclaimed Al Skinner. "Help me find the phone number for Lucky Wah"

The staff is collection of people who are all responsible, including Al, but not limited to him.

I will say this. They're at least playing closer that that earlier stretch with Maryland & Clemson & Duke. They might be making headway on a work in progress, but certainly we're not there.

Bravesbill said...

You can't blame the assistants for Al's coaching failures. It's not the assistants' fault that Al is inflexible, refuses to call timeouts, does not make game to game or in-game adjustments, draws terrible plays (esp. ones to break the press). As the head coach, Al is in charge of each and everyone of his assistants. If the assistants are doing such a crappy job like the Al apologists claim, Al has a responsibilty to get rid of them and find more effective coaches. The buck is supposed to stop with Al. However, Al has taken zero steps to make this a better team. Blame it all you want on the assistants, but the responsibility for this mess clearly falls on Al (given in large part that he is the boss of the assistants who supposedly suck).

WI_Eagle said...

There is a clear line of demarcation for the BC basketball program and it occurred in Feb. '07. Since joining the ACC in '05, the team went 0-3 to start, then 20-4 (.833) through Feb. 11, 2007, and have gone 17-30 (.362) since. We are now exactly .500 (37-37) since joining. Going further back, starting with Bell's magical sophomore season in '00-'01, we went 72-35 (.673) through 6 1/2 seasons of conference play (ending in Feb. '07) and never had a losing season. Not sure there is any one thing to point to as the culprit (Williams had just been dismissed around that time) other than the loss of two All-Americans in two seasons and the loss of solid role players like Byrd and Marshall, but man it would be nice to get back to the good ol days.

mmason said...

Once again, I've got to say that this team has no bigtime player. There may be ancillary coaching issues, but without a "go to" guy at crunch time to take the ball and consistently defy other good teams, we won't win more than half our games with talent that doesn't learn. No one on this year's team is a solid winner, an individual who fires up the supporting cast every night. Is there anyone on this team who could put up the numbers Rice shot against a great UNC club? A Dudley who could bring them back from 20 down and play great D, hit the 3 and fire up the house? A guy who's scary anytime with the ball in his hands and ten seconds on the clock when we're down two points? A young man for whom it is difficult for opposing teams to prepare? This is a BC team without 3 crucial elements: senior leadership, a clutch player and a team character that exhibits fire-in-the-belly intensity every night.

This year's Eagles are hard to watch because individual talent is not enough. Where's the chemistry?
I love these guys individually--but together they're not very connected to each other. If they were merely poor players it would be less painful. But this is promise unfulfilled. They don't get the flex, for one thing. Eagles 2010 improves in starts and fits, but doesn't have breakaway speed. They allow our expectations to be entertained and then fall short. Painful stuff.

I had a car like this team once. It looked good standing still, but had bad timing, a weak battery, and that talented big engine misfired and stalled all the time. I never knew if I'd get to where I needed to go when I turned on the ignition. Every now and then it would run beautifully, but it was hard to enjoy because it could break down at any time...Looked good in the driveway, though.

Dan said...

Sounds like you kept trying to drive it like other cars that worked well Al, I mean MMason.

Pearl Washington said...

Guys with regard to the assistants
I was fortunate to be around Leonard Hamilton's Miami program in the early 90's and learned allot from him.

I have no idea how Al structures his staff but usually you have one guy who is a balls out recruiter and identifies targets. You have a couple of guys responsible for offense and defense but in this case since the flex is what it is I imagine there is no offensive coach. Every assistant is responsible for player development and scouting.

These players have not improved from day one and that is a fact. This is on the assistants. Biko, Southern, Dunn are not ACC Caliber players but whose fault is that. Everybody wanted Southern, some good squads wanted Biko.

In game coaching does nothing when Reggie Jackson travels up 1 with 22 seconds left vs Va Tech. In game coaching does nothing when Reggie Jackson tries to dribble through a crowd with his head down tied with 54 seconds left vs FSU, then travels on the next possession with 30 seconds left. Or when Reggie Jackson is not aware the f'n shot clock has been off the whole game vs Duke. That is unless you want Biko in there

But if Dudley, Rice, Hinnant, Smith, Troy Bell are there they win those 2 games and Al is a hero. Players make plays.

Al is a figure head. Al is a strategy guy. It seems to me he doesn't get his hands too dirty with individual players. But unfortunately I never saw Leonard do it either. The head coaches do not have the time.

CT said...

Blaming the assistants amuses me. Okay, who hired the assistants, if they stink so much? By the way, where was the anger toward the assistants after Harvard or Maine or Robert Morris or UW-Mil. or USC (2x), etc. This seems to be a new trend. I missed the memo. You don't blame the vice presidents when the company goes down, you fire the CEO and the VPs follow. Pointing out individual circumstances at the end of a few games misses the point. Hugely. Maybe I need to look up the word "accountability" again to refresh my memory.

Unknown said...

My issue with Al is that it seems that some guys get unlimited minutes despite performance while other guys don't get a chance to vie for minutes at all. In my opinion Roche, Raji, and Ravenel had the best games yesterday so you have to reward that. You have got to change guys out if they aren't getting the job done. If BC wants to have any chance of making a run in the ACC tournament they need to go with a lineup of:


That lineup provides good size, and some good energy off the bench.

At some point Al has to understand that Trap, nor Roche are bangers. Use Ravenel to bang and if he gets in some foul trouble you still have Southern or Dunn, but Ravenel has shown (in limited minutes) that he is clearly our best banger.

The ACC is not that good this year(so who knows what could happen in the tournament), but major personnel changes have to be made. I like Reggie's fiery personality but realistically he is a ball hog that kills the team chemistry when he is on the floor.

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matthew2 said...

ravenal.... not convinced, really. Calling for him is more of a slight to the other options than a compliment to him.

I know Reggie has his shortcomings... but c'mon, man. He is a baller, he is our best player, he needs to be out there 25 - 30 minutes per game.

Unknown said...

That's my problem with BC right now. The other "options" that I am slighting are Southern and Dunn. Look @ their production in the amount of minutes they get and then look @ Ravenel's. There isn't much difference at all with the exception that Ravenel has gotten far less minutes.

In regards to Reggie being a "baller". That sounds pretty juvenile, b/c being a baller has nothing to do with being a good teammate or making your team better. Fact of the matter is if he is going to dominate the ball (like he does everytime he gets in the game) then you need someone that isn't all about self. Like I said I like Reggie's attitude and athleticism, but when he is in the game the rest of the players suffer. He has NO point guard skills at all. Be realistic Matthew and stop drinking the Kool Aid and watch the games. He is way over-rated and I blame the coaches for thrusting him into the lead role so early. If BC lives and dies with Reggie then this team will continue to flounder as they have been this year thus far.

matthew2 said...

thanks for reminding me to watch the games, I knew I was forgetting something.

that sounds like the same argument people used to use with Tyrese... everyone just couldn't wait to get him away. Does anyone miss him at all? He took this same team to the tournament last year.

Tyrese was out of position at first as a PG, and he developed into a pretty good one. Why did Tyrese... and now Reggie... dominate the ball? Because they look around and see slow oafs standing around, not bring their defenders off of screens/creating viable windows to receive the ball.

Yes he flounders out there sometimes, but I pity the man who is thrust into this PG role. Rather than making a case against Reggie.... make one for Biko.

I'll take my chances with Reggie all day, thanks. Pining for Biko and Ravenel.... yikes, what is the state of BC basketball right now?

Unknown said...

You can sit around and slurp Reggie all you want. Results are results. The Reggie/Tyrese argument is so old, and unfair to Reggie. He is no where close to where Tyrese was when it comes to shooting jumpers and carrying his team. Tyrese was not a leader but was way more skilled with the ball in comparison to Reggie. Stop making excuses for the kid. Either you make your team better or you don't. Tyrese did, Reggie doesn't. You said it yourself, Tyrese took this same team to the tournament, so with him as the "leader" they went to the NCAA's. With Reggie as "the leader" we are scraping the bottom of the ACC and probably won't make the NIT. I'm not pining for anything but for some common sense changes. If some guys aren't getting it done, try out other guys.

I guess all that Reggie chest thumping and yelling (particularly when BC is still losing) has made quite an impression on you.

eagleboston said...

I can't believe anyone still cares about Skinner and his crappy team. It's all about hockey and counting the days until football for me.

I gave up on Skinner 2 years ago and until the rest of you apologists do the same, BC b-ball is going to be pure crud. BC deserves way, way better than this.

matthew2 said...

You are beating around the bush here.

You say "I'm not pining for anything but for some common sense changes. If some guys aren't getting it done, try out other guys."

That is why Reggie is in the lineup. BIKO WASN'T GETTING IT DONE. Now... I don't want to hear an argument that Reggie isn't getting it done either.

I want to hear an argument that says this team will be more successful with Biko at the point.

Anything outside of that, I'm not interested in reading.

Unknown said...

Biko definitely distributes the ball more. Trap would get better shots, Rakim could stop rushing and shooting BS shots everytime he touches it. The offense is terrible because the ball doesn't move. That's not Biko's fault. Reggie stalls the rest of the players out and turns it into the Reggie Jackson show.

Have you ever played with a ball hog before? If you have you know how it is for kids when they don't touch the ball or trust their point guard. Shots get rushed and no one runs the offense. I'm not knocking Reggie b/c he isn't a pg trying to play that position. Realistically both Biko and Reggie get a bunch of turnovers, and play sub-par defense so I don't mind playing Biko @ the point over him. Atleast the ball would move around so the other kids (which do have a little talent) can get involved and make plays as well (much like last year).

This team was going in the right direction last year. The only thing that changed was who was running the show. Neither Biko or Reggie have proved to be the PG answer, but atleast Biko can run an offense.

floocher said...

I have been a strong Al supporter fro 13 years - but this team leaves me fuming. I can no longer avoid pointing the finger at the legendary Coach - he seems to be mailing it in!

Does anyone really feel that a new, energetic coach could actually convince talent to come to the Heights? (I know they can run the show vastly better - can they get the talent to come to this cold, sinking ship?)