Thursday, March 11, 2010

Done



As a tweeted after the game, this was the most joyless BC basketball season of my time as a BC fan. So it is only fitting that the not fun season ends with a loss to a under-maned UVA squad. I'll spend the following weeks trying to get a hold on the season. Hopefully the staff will also try to figure out what went wrong and how they will fix it for next year. Now let's hope Jerry York and crew can make us forget this depressing season.

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18 Comments:

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Davy Fields said...

It's time for a change. Al Skinner had three NBA first-round draft picks, plus Tyrese Rice on the 2006 tournament team and couldn't get past the sweet sixteen. I don't see any reason we'll improve on this year in the near future.

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Pathetic.

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger Danny Boy said...

I submit this without comment: Does Winningest = Best"

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger Ry said...

ATL - yes this season was awful. but most joyless since you have been a fan? at least this year we beat some respectable teams.

what about '98-'99? 6 wins overall, 3 in conference withlosses at home to harvard and fairfield. we were bar-none, the worst team in the big east that year and only two of the six freshmen from that year stayed past that first year.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

Rough, rough season.

Basketball aside, still optimistic program wide with the HE/national tourny right around corner, and spring football starting up.

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

I disliked this team more than any in recent years, but not nearly as much as I absolutely hated the Ryan Sidney-Andrew Bryant squad - 19 ugly wins in a bad Big East (2002-2003 I think). Those guys were awful, bad to watch, and played with no effort.

This team was bad to watch and played with (more often than not) no effort, but they weren't awful. They had decent talent, which is what makes them so goddamn frustrating. 9-7, perhaps 10-6 in league play with 20 overall wins was very, very doable, especially with the ACC down and BC returning everyone except Rice from a 20 win season. I expected them to contend for the league title. Whatta missed opportunity. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this was all about Biko Paris' play, with Rakim Sanders' injury/head case being the substory. Paris is simply an atrocious D1 point guard, and he played waaaaay too much this year. In fact, the game today was a little bit of a microcosm - as soon as Paris entered midway through the first half with BC leading, the ball totally stopped moving, and BC went on one of those 6-7 game minute scoreless streaks that plagued them all year; UVA grabbed the lead and never looked back. I'm glad Paris is no longer starting, but he really should be limited to 6-8 minutes a game, even when Jackson is playing poorly.

One more gripe - when is Sanders going to learn the rule on traveling? He has at least one stupid "happy feet" shuffle a game. Today's came at a particularly bad time, killing BC's last run.

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger Dan said...

I've been very quiet for weeks.

Now can I say, Spring Game Countdown Clock??

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger John said...

Trapani/Roche/Southern 2 for 17 - huge efforts, eh?

Roche is now gone, and Southern should be gone - Trapani can be a puzzle at times.

Glad I missed this one - and most of them. This team and coaching staff are putrid.

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger ATL_eagle said...

Ry:

The difference for me between this season and 99, is that in 99 we knew things were going to be bad. I thought we would be a sleeper to win the ACC this year. We have a ton of returning talent and showed we could play with anyone. Yet we didn't play with any consistency or passion.

 
At 4:53 PM, Blogger Erik said...

Here are out "good" wins this year OOC:

UMass - finished #11 of 14 in A10

So Carolina - finished #5 of 6 in SEC East

Providence - finished #15 of 16 in Big East

Michigan - finished #8 of 11 in Big T1e1n

Maybe we were consistent after all. Consistently below average. Consistently less than mediocre. Not sure where that Va Tech win came from.

 
At 5:01 PM, Blogger BCDoubleEagle said...

"Now let's hope Jerry York and crew can make us forget this depressing season."

Absolutely. And don't forget that our women's team has a shot at the NCAA's, too.

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger WI_Eagle said...

I am going to wear my Skinner apologist hat for a second. I preface this by saying that this season was an utter disappointment in terms of results and in terms of effort. It was really painful to watch.

I also agree with Davy Fields that Skinner has underachieved in the tournament (3 losses to lower seeds, no wins over higher seeds), but the sample size is so small that one can draw no meaningful conclusions from his tournament record. If you look at his body of work (I give him a mulligan on his first three seasons given the state of the program) from '01-'07 he was in the upper echelon of coaches in America. Made 6 of 7 tournaments and were surely the last team out in '03. Had seasons of 28, 27, 25 and 23 wins and never had a losing season in conference. First place in the conference/division (regular season) three times. 20 game win streak, #3 ranking, 3 All-Americans. That was as good as any non-blue blood (Duke, UNC, Kansas, etc.) coach and program in America over those 7 seasons.

Now, there is no doubt that two of the past three seasons have been major disappointments, etc, etc. and that Skinner and BC's tournament performance has been subpar. But other solid coaches, like Gary Williams as just one example, have had droughts like that. It happens. Unless you're blue blood like Coach K or corrupt like Calipari its awfully tough to do what Skinner did from '01-'07 forever. I think he has a lot longer leash from Gene D than people realize. I, for one, think he can turn this team around as early as next season and get us back to the dance. You can quote me on that.

 
At 8:18 PM, Blogger Lenny Sienko said...

Our current players have talent. What they don't have is a coach willing or able to fit that talent into his system.

Coach Al is not flexible or adjustable. Call a time out to stop an opponent's run? Never! Come up with a new out of bounds play? Only after years of failure.

The compressed flex, or what ever it is called, is an offense which no other D-1 team in the country uses. It requires specific passing and ball handling skills, which are not the emphasis in today's game. It also requires preternatural patience on the part of teenagers, who obviously find it hard to believe in.

The stuffed flex can be countered, as we have seen in many games, by the defense jumping out to cut off the passing lanes. How many steals did we see at the foul line? The timing is predictable. The defender can anticipate the ball and where it is going. There are opportunities for back cuts, etc.; but these depend upon the players without the ball moving constantly and the point guard being able to distribute the ball. How many times did we see the defenders jump out to double or even triple team Jackson? Its easy to say that he should sense the double team and drop the ball off to the open man; but not so easy to do if everyone else is standing around watching you.

Jackson is a 2 guard, a slasher, a shooter. He has tremendous ups and quickness. Putting him into Coach Al's system as a point guard is a round peg in a square hole.

In defense of Paris, I do not blame him for the drop off in his game. As with other promising point guards before him, he does not function well in this offense. It was sad to see his confidence diminish and his scoring go down as he was asked to do that which he was not capable of doing under these circumstances. He is not suited for the stand around flex. He is too small to be successful in penetrating from this offense. Paris might be a Muggsie-type guard if he were in another system. Now he seldom shoots and he does not get the benefit of the doubt for foul calls when he does his duty and tries to go down low.

Defense shows a similar lack of flexibility. BC will play man to man, no matter what the situation. It is an article of faith in Coach Al's system, similar to not using time outs, that his team must play man to man, even when they are getting beat off the dribble-game after game after game. How many times can you allow your opponent to run a simple pick and roll and get rubbed off for a lay up before you make an adjustment? Why can't Al get somebody to coach a zone defense? A zone press? A press?

If we do not have the players to fit Coach Al's system, whose fault is that? Who failed to recruit a single player for this year's roster?

I know the AD will not move on this now and we are probably going to see a few more bad years before Coach Al "retires"; but one can hope for quicker action.

BTW what's the over/under on Paris "voluntarily" transferring? This has been the m.o. for Coach Al for years. I hope Paris thrives somewhere else as others before him have.

 
At 9:09 PM, Blogger DustBowl said...

Lenny -- terrific, thoughtful post. I enjoyed reading it.

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger Ry said...

lenny, i disagree with most of what you said. call it playing devil's advocate if you want, here is my take.

Our current players have talent. What they don't have is a coach willing or able to fit that talent into his system.

talent? yes. top of the line d1 talent? no. maybe jackson and rakim...and if you want to stretch, raji. but that is it. i am all for expecting the most out of the guys on the floor...but i am not into deluding myself into thinking that we have a team capable of making a deep run when it is clear that we don't. under skinner, we have always benefited from diamonds in the rough...gambles. by definition, gambles don't always pan out, there will be boom and bust. we have been really lucky to have had a nice series of booms and if we didn't see a bust coming at some point, then we haven't been paying attention.

Coach Al is not flexible or adjustable. Call a time out to stop an opponent's run? Never! Come up with a new out of bounds play? Only after years of failure.

say what you will, skinner has a system and it has worked in the past so he sticks with it. he has won with different types of players and probably had reason to believe it would work again. i am sure he is not the only coach in the country who sticks with a style that has proven results in the past. i will agree that it is annoying when he doesn't call timeouts, but i can't remember the last time a coach got fired for it.

The compressed flex, or what ever it is called, is an offense which no other D-1 team in the country uses. It requires specific passing and ball handling skills, which are not the emphasis in today's game. It also requires preternatural patience on the part of teenagers, who obviously find it hard to believe in.

This may be the case, but it has worked for us for a long time...and coming into this season, there is no reason to think it wouldn't continue.

The stuffed flex can be countered, as we have seen in many games, by the defense jumping out to cut off the passing lanes. How many steals did we see at the foul line? The timing is predictable. The defender can anticipate the ball and where it is going. There are opportunities for back cuts, etc.; but these depend upon the players without the ball moving constantly and the point guard being able to distribute the ball. How many times did we see the defenders jump out to double or even triple team Jackson? Its easy to say that he should sense the double team and drop the ball off to the open man; but not so easy to do if everyone else is standing around watching you.

this has a lot to do with the fact that reggie was given the keys to the offense late and didn't have the game-experience running it requires. i also seem to remember a lot of standing around and watching rice last year.

Jackson is a 2 guard, a slasher, a shooter. He has tremendous ups and quickness. Putting him into Coach Al's system as a point guard is a round peg in a square hole.

agreed, but the alternative is biko paris and we saw what happened with that.

In defense of Paris, I do not blame him for the drop off in his game. As with other promising point guards before him, he does not function well in this offense. It was sad to see his confidence diminish and his scoring go down as he was asked to do that which he was not capable of doing under these circumstances. He is not suited for the stand around flex. He is too small to be successful in penetrating from this offense. Paris might be a Muggsie-type guard if he were in another system. Now he seldom shoots and he does not get the benefit of the doubt for foul calls when he does his duty and tries to go down low.

what's this dropoff you are referring to? i must have fallen asleep for "Biko Paris: The All-American"

continued....

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Ry said...

Defense shows a similar lack of flexibility. BC will play man to man, no matter what the situation. It is an article of faith in Coach Al's system, similar to not using time outs, that his team must play man to man, even when they are getting beat off the dribble-game after game after game. How many times can you allow your opponent to run a simple pick and roll and get rubbed off for a lay up before you make an adjustment? Why can't Al get somebody to coach a zone defense? A zone press? A press?

false, we played zone a bit during the second half of the season, most notably in the win vs VTech.

If we do not have the players to fit Coach Al's system, whose fault is that? Who failed to recruit a single player for this year's roster?

again the stupid argument about not bringing in a recruit. they recruited plenty of players and no one came...that is different from not recruiting. i would much rather they sign no one than sign a tavio hobson or daye kaba, just to say we have a recruiting class when in fact they will sit there for a year or two and then transfer.

I know the AD will not move on this now and we are probably going to see a few more bad years before Coach Al "retires"; but one can hope for quicker action.

damn right he won't move on this. this year is an anomaly, not the standard. i'm no huge fan of GDF, but if he pulled the plug on Al this year he'd be no better than Al Davis or the mid-80s George Steinbrenner.

BTW what's the over/under on Paris "voluntarily" transferring? This has been the m.o. for Coach Al for years. I hope Paris thrives somewhere else as others before him have.

how do you do an over/under on an odds bet? when was the last time you saw someone transfer with one year of eligibility left anyway?

 
At 10:40 PM, Blogger eagleboston said...

To live is to change. To be perfect is to change often.

 
At 10:52 PM, Blogger Lenny Sienko said...

Ry:

You are correct that we played zone against Va Tech and darned if it didn't work. Inexplicably, we went away from it and the zone was not seen again.

When Biko Paris was a frosh, he had a distinctive 3-point shot. It caught my attention because it resembled and I am old enough to remember, what we used to call a "two-handed set shot". Sorry, too many "Chip Hilton" books as a kid.

Paris averaged 5.7 points per game his first year. That was his highest point production. Of course, last year was the year he regressed; but we did not notice it as much because we had Tyrese Rice.

You are correct about the transfers--Haynes, Spears, Kaba--all had 2 years of eligibility left. So did Tavio Hobson.

I guess I didn't see anything about offers made by Al for recruits for this season, just the result.

Let's hope things get better.

 

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