Sunday, February 28, 2010

Combine news and notes

Mike McLaughlin is using his face time with NFL folks to remind them he can long snap too. It is not a bad strategy. Because he played hurt last year, McLaughlin's 2009 tapes are not NFL caliber. If he thinks he can be a good linebacker in the NFL, using special teams to get your foot in the door might be the best path. The NFL Network's Mike Mayock thinks McLaughlin's bloodlines will also help him get noticed.



Matt Tennant is also talking about the ability to play multiple positions including either guard spot. A San Fran blog had the 40 times of high profile linemen. As you can see, Tennant was on the fast side.

Here are the unofficial times of other offensive linemen of note. West Viriginia's Ed Wang 5.46; Cal's Mike Tepper 5.37; Notre Dame's Sam Young 5.19, LSU's Ciron Black 5.49, Iowa's Bryan Bulga 5.26; Iowa's Kyle Calloway 5.51, Rutgers's Anthony Davis 4.38, UMass's Vladmir Ducasse 5.21; Idaho's Mike Iupati 5.26; Ole Miss's John Jerry 5.18; Oklahoma State's Russell Okung 5.17; Arkansas's Mitch Petrus 5.29; Boston College's Matt Tennant 5.13 and Texas Tech's Brandon Carter 5.36. Unofficial times are typically slower than official times.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just not enough against Jackets

I don't get to see that many games in person. Fortunately when I do go, I get a unique perspective of sitting very close to the bench. Earlier this year at Clemson, I witnessed the team's frustration and confusion. This game, while still a loss, was much more encouraging. The guys worked hard throughout, the defensive confusion was limited and the offense had more purpose. The reason we lost wasn't because the team gave up or didn't fight back. Tech was a bad match up and just played better. I don't think we will steal the ACC Tourney in some sort of miracle run, but I do think we will end up with a record above .500 and in the NIT. Here are my thoughts on the game. Leave your own in the comments.


Likes

-- Jackson playing like a point guard. 10 assists for 3 turnovers is very encouraging. He's still letting too much time expire on certain possessions and still chucked a few too many, but he is developing.
-- Trapani's big shots. I have killed him for taking too many 3s, so I have to give him credit for making them today. In fact, his shots closer to the basket -- including an awkward finger roll -- were more forced. Trapani's D was also good.
-- Our 3/4s press with Elmore. It threw off their timing. I wish we would use it more.



Dislikes

-- Interior Defense. Southern, Ravenel and Dunn all struggled against Tech's talented big men. We were coming with late double teams, but it wasn't enough help.
-- Turnovers in transition. This cost us some easy buckets.
-- Forcing shots inside. Like the FSU game we too often challenge their shot blockers instead of waiting for the extra pass.


P.S. Those who follow my Twitter account know that Matt Ryan and Dr. J were both at the game. It was nice to have their support and a reminder to keep the faith even during rough seasons.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Baseball loses in walkoff and other links

After a strong showing last week in New Orleans, BC started their weekend with a rough loss at Auburn. The Tigers won in extra innings with Brian Fletcher's walkoff home run. Even more frustrating, BC left 12 men on base.


BC Hockey swept their season series with UMass with a 2-1 overtime win over the Minutemen.


I am sure most of you read this, but here is a nice article on Herzy's comeback.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

How high will Tennant's stock rise?

This article includes Matt Tennant as a potential first round sleeper. I've been singing Tennant's praises for three seasons and I think he will make a great pro. Yet I would be very surprised if he sneaks into the first round. There are two big obstacles to working against him.

1. His size.
You can be on the small side and still play Center in the NFL. However, being small limits his ability to switch to another position. Could he play OG in the NFL? Maybe. Could he play Tackle? Highly unlikely. One position means less value and limited upside. With a first round pick, teams want franchise players. Matt might become one, but doesn't seem to have that upside on paper.

2. Undervalued Centers.
Few teams spend first round picks on Centers. Since 2000, only six centers have been drafted in the first round. Despite the Center's importance in picking up coverage, teams like to build around Tackles. Centers are often afterthoughts. Is Matt a big enough name or have enough upside to use a first round pick?


What can he do at the Combine help his draft status?

I don't think the Combine will change much about Tennant's status. I am sure he'll do well in the interviews. BC guys always seem to impress with their smarts, attitude and interview skills. But assume teams know about his personality already. To continue his momentum, Matt will need to blow teams away with his performance in the drills. A Mamula-like performance combined with interview skills and his tape would make it easier for a team to use a high-value pick on Tennant.


But being a Combine warrior has its downside too. Teams and fans expect too much. In the end, I think the second round might be the best solution for Matt. He'll have a chance to play right away and grow without the heightened expectations that come from being a first rounder.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good interviews and other links

BCI interviewed Mike McLaughlin. He talks about Jags and getting ready for the NFL.


BC Draft interviewed Troy Bell. Bell has some interesting thoughts on European basketball vs the NBA.


Former Eagle Daye Kaba is on the move again. He is leaving Marist early for European basketball.


As expected, Gene promoted from within to fill Paquette's duties.

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Hamming the Hokies

This hospital doesn't have ESPN U, so I was left with Ted and Bill on the Internet feed for the first half. I watched the second half at home on the U. Regardless of the format, the results were very good. I won't get fooled again on this season's team, but I think they may finally play up to their potential. Here are my thoughts. Feel free to share your own in the comments.


Likes

-- Jackson distributing.
He looked like a point guard tonight. He got the offense started earlier and was willing to pass to the wings.
-- Hitting the boards hard. The rebounding limited VT's chance to make any sort of comeback. We should have been (and can still be) a very good rebounding team.
-- Extending the lead in the second half.
Instead of letting them back in, we made good decisions and took advantage of easy transition baskets.


Dislikes

-- Way too many turnovers.
There was still plenty of sloppy play. If VT hadn't missed so many shots, this game could have gotten away from us.
-- Raji's rebounding. He had a solid game but he didn't seem to get near many rebounds or lose balls.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The newest Eagle in Atlanta


Baby boy ATL_eagle arrived this morning. Mrs. ATL and son are both doing well. His sisters are excited to have a boy around. Now that we have three kids, my wife and I are switching from man-to-man to zone. Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Could Boston (and BC) host an Olympics?

I know BC has to sell its soul to the neighbors just to get a Thursday night ESPN game, but with the Olympics on every night, I've been wondering should Boston put a serious bid together for a future games? The city could join with a New Hampshire resort to host the Winter Games, but I think the Summer Games would be ideal. The Olympics are an infrastructure nightmare, but Boston could pull it off precisely because of all the colleges in town. The city also benefits from having an international airport, plenty of hotel rooms and decent public transit. Think about, BC alone could potentially host basketball and/or boxing at Conte. Field Hockey could be played Alumni. BC could also host softball. I assume the Marathon would use the Boston Marathon's route and run right by campus.

Fenway would probably host all the baseball events. Gillette could host soccer. The Garden could host gymnastics and/or basketball. And most local colleges could get in on the sports we only care about during the Olympics: badminton, wrestling, weight lifting, etc.

The three things Boston would need would be a Track & Field Stadium, a Swimming & Diving Center with significant spectator seating and an Olympic Village. But instead of building three "white elephants" a Boston bid could follow the lead of my current hometown of Atlanta. Atlanta built a Olympic Stadium and converted into a baseball stadium. They turned the Olympic Village into dorms. The Aquatic Center was built on Georgia Tech's campus and then renovated to remove some of the stands.


I am sure UMass Boston would gladly "host" the Village in exchange for new dorms. Many local schools would gladly take a brand new swim complex. The tricky Boston venue would be the Olympic Stadium for Track & Field. The only current complexes near the city that might have the space to convert to an Olympic Stadium and then convert back to a more appropriate permanent space seem to be Alumni, Harvard Stadium and Nickerson Field. Would any of the schools be willing to go through four to six years of building and reconfiguring just for the honor hosting the Opening Ceremonies and getting a face lift to their current stadium? I think BC would pass. I don't know about the politics or logistics at the other schools.


Just because Boston could be a good host doesn't mean it ever will. To secure the Games, you need a major driving force. The Fenway Sports Group would seem like a logical leader, but my guess is that they would rather invest in sports and events that have a more predictable and immediate return on investment.


For now I guess it is just blog fodder but certainly let me know what you think.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hockey beats Northeastern and other links

Sunday was a good day for hockey. The US and Canada played a classic in Vancouver and BC smashed Northeastern in Boston. Brian Gibbons led the way with a hat trick.


I assume most people read the Globe and Herald's coverage of the UNC game, but this ESPNBoston story might have been overlooked.


The baseball team had a nice weekend in New Orleans, but couldn't close out the sweep. Former Eagle Tony Sanchez is adjusting to his first big league camp.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

BC finally wins in February

When you are drowning, any lifesaver will do. The fact that BC beat up a terrible UNC team shouldn't take away from the fact that they played their best 40 minutes of basketball in a month. I'm glad they won, yet the win raises the same disappointments we've all shared this season. How come this team could play well today and look so lost and listless at so many other times this season? Here are my thoughts. You are welcome to share your own in the comments.

Likes

-- Evan Ravenel's play.
When Andy Katz spread word this summer of Ravenel's improvement, I thought we would see immediate impact. Instead he road the bench for most of the season. Now he is finally getting a chance to play. He's not an ideal big man, but he plays with energy and uses his weight well. While not a shot blocker, he is probably our best low post defender. He needs to see more minutes in the coming weeks.
-- Reggie Jackson maturing.
If the final two weeks of the season are going to be better, it will all depend on Jackson. Today he showed more patience. He made good decisions and actually got us into offensive sets early. His shots weren't falling, but he rebounded well and didn't force too many. He was also more careful.
-- Starting the second half with Jackson.
Al is a creature of habit and will often start the second half with his starting lineup regardless of how they played in the first half. By leaving Jackson in the game, we kept up the tempo and sent a message.[CORRECTION: Jackson started the game too.]
-- Running the Flex.
Are the guys finally getting it? They looked good running it today. I would like to see some more interior passing, but at this point I am happy with any possession that has structure.



Dislikes

-- Too many missed shots close to the basket.
We've got some terrible finishers. It has been that way for three years. Today we are lucky it didn't cost us.
-- Trapani from 3.
When he's off, he is really off. I don't know why he has the green light. As I've said, it is not like he even has a nice stroke from outside (like Roche). His shots are a little flat and his release is a bit low. He needs to work closer to the basket.
-- Letting UNC back in the game.
With under eight minutes left, UNC went on a run with Jackson on the bench. I think we should have reacted faster and brought Reggie back in the game.

This team could win or lose all of their remaining games. My hope is that they build off of today and finish strong.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Baseball wins opener and other links

The baseball team picked up where they left off with a nice win over Tulane in New Orleans. It was Tulane's first home opening loss since 1990. The teams play again Saturday afternoon.


It wasn't that great a day for some of BC's other teams. BC Hockey lost to Northeastern, despite outshooting the Huskies. The two teams will play each other Sunday on ESPN U. The BC women's basketball team fell below .500 in ACC play with their loss to NC State.


As the Patriots approach the NFL Draft, the Brace as a bust talk is heating up. To silence his critics, Brace will need to get on the field this year.


Harris made SI.com's "two star" All Star team.


The Tar Heels will have Tyler Zeller back for their game at BC. That's bad news for our defensively challenged big men.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Colson case dropped and other links

FSU police are not moving forward with any charges against Bonzie Colson. Fortunately it is over. I don't expect BC to say anything. The lesson here to the assistans is always be careful and cautious when in the arena. You never know who is watching or who might be trying to set you up.


The BC softball team lost their season opener. BC takes on Centenary College on Friday.


Boston College forward Allie Thunstrom is a nominee for the 2010 Patty Kazmaier Award. This is the top honor in women's college hockey.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Paquette leaving for Loyola and other links

Jim Paquette, one of BC's key athletic fundraisers, is leaving the Heights to become the AD at Loyola. While this might be under the radar for many BC fans, this is a big deal. Paquette and Gene's other fund raisers have been a critical part of BC's success and now Gene will have to find a replacement who can bring in big dollars in a down economy. It will be interesting if Gene promotes from within or brings in an outsider. Speaking of revenue, this SI.com article lists the revenue of most of the major Athletic Departments.


Four BC football players made the All-ACC Academic Football Team. Congrats to the guys and keep up the good work.


Mike McLaughlin is getting ready for the Combine. In this Q&A he credits Coach Loscalzo for a real change in attitude around the program.


This article with Kuechly is a few days old, but he shares some of his likes and dislikes and talks about his freshmen year and playing with Herzy next year.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Skinner model: what is going wrong this year

Things are bad on the basketball front. I remain one of the Skinner loyalists, but a large portion of the fanbase has checked out of this season. They join a smaller group of fans who have long been critical of Skinner's approach. Do these factors and the pathetic play threaten Skinner's job? Not really. Al is secure at BC for now and with his girls approaching college, I don't think Al wants to go anywhere. But Al doesn't have lifetime security. He will enter next season with pressure to improve. I don't know if he will make staff changes or encourage some veteran players to leave, but the current mix is not working. But what went wrong? All that is missing from last year's team is Tyrese Rice. Rice was a very good player, but his absence doesn't explain all the issues.

In my mind these are the problems. Unfortunately there are no quick fixes. (As always, leave your thoughts below.)

1. The current Juniors.
Ironically Skinner's most heralded recruiting class has been the biggest disappointment of his tenure at BC. As configured, the current Junior class is deep but severely flawed group and their personalities don't seem to mesh. The only guy who seems suited for the flex is Corey Raji, but nagging injuries and his teammates lack of passing has limited Corey's contributions. Trapani and Sanders could be very good players, but one has forced to much this year and the other has been terrible in his effort, passion and decision making.

2. No one great player.
Sometimes one great, or very good player can cover a lot of mistakes. This roster doesn't have one. The closest thing might be Jackson, but he is not at the Bell/Smith/Dudley level or even at the Rice level yet. He may be that piece next year, but I don't know if he can blossom into a Rice like player coming off the bench and playing with so many other guys who are selfish and impatient.

3. Defense.
Al's defenses have always been bad. This year is not any worse but the offense isn't filling the gaps. If Al had a good defensive scheme to fall back on things might not be so bad.


4. Rotations.
We are now going 10 deep. That doesn't seem to work for Al. All the problems, whether it been guys forcing things, guys checking out, guys blowing assignments, all come back to playing time. If you had 8 engaged guys, things might not be so bad.


5. No high basketball IQ guys.
Do you get the sense that any of these guys live basketball? Or are basketball junkies? Jared Dudley didn't have the best physical gifts. Rice was too small. But both of those guys lived in the gym and had a great sense of the game. Skinner is not a rah rah guy. He needs to have driven players that will maximize the system's potential. If Rakim Sanders shot as many jumpers as Tyrese Rice and didn't shoot line drives, he'd be in the NBA now.


My biggest fear in all of this is that next year will be more of the same. Will any of these guys changed their attitude over the summer? Will any of them improve their games? I hope so, but I fear some will check out at the first sign of adversity. I've long said Al is a great coach. If he is then turning around this mess won't be a problem.

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The Andrew C. Marsh Fund Golf Tournament

The BCI guys wanted to raise awareness of a golf tournament honoring their friend and Boston College graduate Andrew Marsh. The first annual Andrew C. Marsh Fund Golf Tournament will be held on August 5, 2010 at Dunegrass Golf Club in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. All proceeds benefit the Andrew C. Marsh Memorial Fund going towards educational scholarships and the fight against cancer.

This is open to all so if you are a golfer, a BC friend or fan or just want to support a good cause, you can learn more at AndrewMarshfund.org.

Donations to the fund can be made via Paypal or to the following address:

The Andrew C. Marsh Memorial Fund
PMB 117
11 Main Street, Suite 7
Westbrook, ME 04092

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Complaints against Colson and other links

With everyone surrounding the basketball team stressed and frustrated, emotions are going to boil over. It sounds like hoops assistant Bonzie Colson lost his cool and shoved an FSU band member after the game. BC released a statement saying we will look into it. I imagine some sort of apology and slap on the wrist is forthcoming. With the challenges we are having, you would hope the embattled assistants would be on their best behavior.


Former BC assistant Tim O'Shea continues to struggle at Bryant. I hope they give him time considering the challenges of making the jump to DIA. I would always welcome him back at BC.


BC is one of many ACC schools with QB questions in 2010.


Here is a look at our baseball team. They begin play on the 19th against Tulane.


Hockey East named Chris Kreider Rookie of the Week.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Is this rock bottom?

I've always said this blog captures the highs and lows, but this stretch of basketball beyond a low and I think this loss may be rock bottom. In my mind a low is when things don't go your way or the pain of a close loss. This group of guys is just not fun to watch. They don't play smart. They don't play hard. They don't play in a style that is fun to watch. They don't work as a team and don't seem to like each other. Worst of all, they don't seem to care. Now the barring a miraculous finish, we will finish below .500 in conference play. I guess the biggest part of my frustration is that they played decently in the first half and then put up a 17-point stinker in the second half. These are my hollow thoughts. Leave yours in the comments.


Likes:
-- Ravenel's effort. He not an ideal big man, but he played hard. Maybe he's a piece to the puzzle next year.


Dislikes:

-- Very little flexing. Every time Sanders hits a long 2, or Jackson takes it to the hole or Trapani shoots off a screen we get further and further from what we need to do. We need a set offense and these guys are selfish and impatient when we have the ball.
-- Seven offensive rebounds. How does this happen? A big part is guys chucking it before anyone is in position. Another big part is effort.
-- Challenging their shot blockers. You don't have to just shoot jump shots when facing a bunch of swatters. However, going one on one or driving into traffic won't get it done. You need to screen the bigs over and over and wait for the high percentage shot.
-- Terrible bounce passes. This is an effort and focus issue again.

I dream of a spark or turnaround, but the secondhand stuff I am hearing leaves me pessimistic. My guess is that this season will remain a jumbled mess. Hopefully we and Al will see enough to figure how to make it work next year.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Catching up with 'Quez and other links

Former Eagle Marquez Haynes continues to make the most of his time at UT-Arlington. Transferring has been good for his game as he has been able to show more skills on offense. Let's hope he turns this all into a nice career in Europe.


Hockey got to avenge Friday night's loss with a win Saturday against UMass-Lowell.


Former BC grad assistant Sean Ryan is now a WRs coach with the Giants.


Florida State views Sunday's game as a must win. I hope our guys view it the same way (for an NIT shot).

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Another rough Friday for the hockey team

After closing out the Beanpot you would hope the guys would start a nice run. No such luck as they lost to UMass-Lowell 4-1 Friday. BC got more shots off, but couldn't get them in while Muse struggled. They have a chance at revenge on Saturday back at Conte.

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BC women are giant killers

Earlier in the season the BC women and BC men hoops squads looked like they had a lot in common. Both had head scratching losses and roster issues. Things got so bad some felt that like this year would be a wash for all. While the men kept their end of the deal, the BC women just pulled off another big upset by beating North Carolina.

Congrats to the Coach Crowley and her team. I hope they can finish strong because their rough record will hurt their at large campaign.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

HD's getting on the BC bandwagon early

Maybe the media is coming around to BC. Hedging that we might actually be good again, HD ranked BC 5th in her power rankings. I think it seems about right. We have the tools to be 5-3 or better in conference again. She also seems to have a good grasp on our needs and questions. Now let's hope that the respect we have earned doesn't cause some sort of reverse jinx.

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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.

Likes

-- 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.

Dislikes

-- 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?

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Flutie could be key benefactor in O'Bannon case

For those not following it, former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon is suing the NCAA for not sharing revenue generated from his likeness. This is a potential huge lawsuit impacting thousands of former college athletes given the millions of dollars of royalties at stake. As for Fluite, being part of one of the most famous plays in college football certainly has its benefits, but Doug does not receive any money from the NCAA. So every time that highlight is shown, ever time his picture is put on some memorabilia or he is used in a video game, he does not get paid but the NCAA does. Heck even Phelan and Bicknell Jr could be on the receiving end of some nice pay days due to their involvement.


I know there are many lawyers who read this blog, so feel free to chime in in the comments. Although O'Bannon brought the case, I imagine the class action nature of the suit will complicate things and dilute some payouts. But Flutie definitely should have money coming to him given how much others have made off of his play over the years.


I don't think this will change the nature of paying current student athletes. Hopefully it will be resolved with some clear guidelines for future use. These kids put a lot on the line and deserve to share in some of the wealth they generate.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Beanpot Champs and other links

The Beanpot can often be sort of a Groundhog's day for BC Hockey. If we win it can be a springboard to a strong finish. The season is not over if we lose the Beanpot, but we've yet to win a National Championship without winning the Beanpot first. So BC's closer than it had to be win on Monday was a good start to the end of the season. As I tweeted after the game, let's roll from here.


The team is deferring to Reggie Jackson more as the season progresses. Jackson will have to step up against Wake since Trapani did not make the trip due to illness.


HD thinks Rettig will have an impact early at BC.

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Beanpot Game Watches

A few chapters are hosting Game Watches for the Beanpot. It is a great time to meet fellow BC fans and get more involved in your local chapter. Here are the ones that sent me notes. Add yours if need in the comments section.

Charlotte
Brazwell's Pub
1627 Montford Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28209



Denver

The Pour House Pub
1435 Market Street
Denver, CO 80202

San Francisco

Shanghai Kelly's
Broadway at Polk



Washington, D.C.

Porter's Dining Saloon
1207 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
202-775-3797

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Congrats to Carmichael, Dunbar


Congrats to the two BC guys who just picked up Super Bowl rings. With the win Pete Carmichael Jr (on Payton's left above) will enter next offseason as a hot coaching name. Who knows though, maybe one day he'll be back at the Heights.

I hope Dunbar gets another shot at the Super Bowl too. The ring is nice, but I would rather see him healthy.

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

BC storylines in the Super Bowl and other links`

We are nearing game time, so here are a few Super Bowl and BC links...


Jamie Silva has a professional cut his hair for the first time since 2003. Seems like bad luck to me, but this is the Super Bowl -- you want to look good.


Jo-lonn Dunbar won't play Sunday, but he will be across the field from one of his high school friends.


Recent signee Aaron Kramer has the right frame to be one of our Olinemen. Now he just needs to add some weight and strength.


New signee CJ Jones is expected to be a DB but also may get some touches on offense.

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How a newspaper should blog

Great piece this morning on the BostonHerald.com. Instead of just reposting the game story, Steve Conroy used the expanded space to breakdown BC's last second 3-point attempt. He used good quotes and sprinkled in his own analysis. These local newspaper writers have access and a huge platform. I wish they would use it like this more often.

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Still not good enough

I am a sucker. I keep waiting for things to click and the team to put it together and make a run. In fact, that's what's so frustrating about the past few weeks. The team is playing better but still not good enough. Today's loss to Duke was just another example of where the team was too impatient, didn't play smart defense and got bogged down too often in offensive possessions.


Likes

-- Raji hitting midrange shots.
We have so little diversity in this offense and with these possessions. I hope Raji can become consistent enough to knock down those 12 footers. If he does it will open up things for others.
-- Making free throws. It is simple but it kept us in the game. If we were flexing more, we'd be getting to the line more.
-- Sanders driving to the hoop. Sanders played well. Instead of forcing things, he drove when he had space and a path to the basket. He's strong enough to get through most guys. Now if he could only improve his handle.




Dislikes

-- 3-point shooting. There is not much to say. We are terrible from outside and the misses are symbolic of the core problems on this team. We don't have enough good shooters and guys rush things.
-- Dealing with Duke's size. How many times were we going to force things inside against two or three Duke defenders? Also, we let them control the boards. Our guys were did not box out well or close on long rebounds.
-- Trapani's play. I kill Sanders, so it is only fair that I point out how inconsistent Trapani can be. He wasn't hitting his shots and didn't play particularly strong defense.
-- ESPN's scheduling. How many of you missed the first ten minutes of the game as Nova needlessly fouled Georgetown in the noon game? I did. Yet we are so dependent upon ESPN that BC nor the ACC can't say much about the disruption. The games are too stacked and there was no way we were going to see the beginning live.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Thoughts on the new schedule

BC only has so much control over its schedule...yet that doesn't mean we can't pick it apart! As a reminder, here is the schedule:


Sept. 4 - Weber State
Sept. 11 - Kent State
Sept. 25 - Virginia Tech
Oct. 2 - Notre Dame
Oct. 9 - @ NC State
Oct. 16 - @ Florida State
Oct. 23 - Maryland
Oct. 30 - Clemson
Nov. 6 - @ Wake Forest
Nov. 13 - @ Duke
Nov. 20 - Virginia
Nov. 27 - @ Syracuse

Here are the issues (good and bad) surrounding the schedule and my thoughts.

Herzy comes back against Weber State. Labor Day weekend has always been an awkward Saturday for BC football. Many students are not on campus yet. Many locals use it as a last weekend of the summer getaway and the Boston sports scene is distracted by the Red Sox and a major golf tournament. With Herzy's pending return, we could have used our opener to turn the game into a major event. Instead we have a cupcake in Weber State. The game will probably not be on TV and there will be 20,000 fans in the stands. Another wasted opportunity.

Soft opening.
If you look beyond the marketing and momentum, opening with Weber and then Kent State will be a good for the team. Like last year we will still have some questions around our passing game and some key spots to fill on defense. Playing two easy games and having a bye prior to a home game against VT is a nice way to start the season.
October could be scary. It is a brutal five game stretch that includes our two toughest road game. The middle of the schedule also includes four of the five division games. One month will make or break the season.
Syracuse back where it belongs
It will be nice to close the season with the Orange. Closing with a Big East team also means we will know our division fate well before the final weekend.


Overall this is a very fair and forgiving schedule. If we go 3-2 in October, we will certainly finish with a winning record. I won't make a final prediction yet, but we should be bowling again.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Down goes Duke and other links

The BC women hit another high point in an uneven season by upsetting Duke Thursday night. Congrats to them. It was the first time we've beaten then since joining the ACC.


Syracuse fans are excited to have BC back on the schedule.


The Boston media is paying attention to Pete Carmichael, Jr.


Jamie Silva will be surrounded by BC folks in Miami.


Here are some additional recruiting links:


HD talked to recruiting coordinator Mike Siravo.

Pierre Louis is one of the keystones of this class.


Jaryd Rudolph thinks he might move to the defensive side of the ball.


Spaz placed a premium on character in this year's class.


Sean Sylvia's extra year of high school paid off.

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2010 Schedule

Here is the first look at the 2010 schedule.


Sept. 4 - Weber State
Sept. 11 - Kent State
Sept. 25 - Virginia Tech
Oct. 2 - Notre Dame
Oct. 9 - @ NC State
Oct. 16 - @ Florida State
Oct. 23 - Maryland
Oct. 30 - Clemson
Nov. 6 - @ Wake Forest
Nov. 13 - @ Duke
Nov. 20 - Virginia
Nov. 27 - @ Syracuse




I'll have more later today.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Mega recruiting roundup on Spaz's first full class



With a full year under his belt, Spaz signed and announced his first full BC class. Although I am repeating myself, let me say that I try not to get caught up in the emotion of recruiting. We won't know the impact or success of these guys for two or three years. There are some definite positives though about this class as well as a few areas of concern. This is what I like:

-- Closing on QBs.
When BC's first QB commit started to hedge and eventually switched to Michigan State, Spaz and team didn't waste any time and still landed two solid prospects. As the season progressed, one of those QBs, Chase Rettig turned into a real sleeper.
-- Solid Linebackers.
Two of the highlights of the class are Kevin Pierre-Louis and Steele Divitto. A position of strength just got stronger.
-- Staying strong in New Jersey. The Garden State has been and should continue to be our most important recruiting territory.

Not all was rosey. I was concerned about the following:
-- Too heavy on New England prospects. I know the quality of New England football has improved, but I still feel like this class was too reliant on the low hanging fruit in our backyard. We need to continue to hit Ohio and Florida and look high and low for great recruits.
-- Not using all of our scholarships. There are two schools of thoughts on this. One is that if you don't like your the last few prospects there is more value to holding a few scholarships for transfers or next year. My opinion is that BC should always near the maximum number of scholarships and recruits every year. My belief is that there is so much attrition, you need bodies in your program. I also believe that you never know if that last flyer will develop into a great player (see Jamie Silva).

Spaz has now put his own imprint on BC recruiting. These guys will be part of the future and are now part of the family. I wish them all the best.

What does everyone else think?


Rivals ranked the class 47th overall. Scout slotted BC at 44th overall.


The ACC had a roundup of all the conference's recruits.


The focus of this article is Pierre-Louis but it also contains a quote from Spaz regarding our open competition for the QB job.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Signing Day eve and other links

Wednesday is National Signing Day and we will finally meet Spaz's first full recruiting class. Look for a variety of analysis on our class, the ACC and New England recruiting. BC will also have their usual PR and profiles on the incoming recruits. Once everything is settled, I'll give my thoughts on the incoming guys.


In the later discussion on this roundtable, one of the Rivals guys already labels BC's class a disappointment.


These guys think Rettig will challenge Shinskie for the starting position. All the practices have been "informal" so far, but there is very good word of mouth on Rettig so far. Let's hope his back doesn't act up.


Tennant and McClaughlin were the only BC players invited to the NFL Combine.


Jim Noel's brother will go to Maryland if he can eventually qualify.


BC keeps talking to Matt Ryan's cousin.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

BC cruises in Beanpot opener and other links

BC got up early over Harvard and never looked back. This is the fourth time in the last five years they have advanced to the Beanpot Finals where we will play BU...again. That is the joke -- the "BU Invitational." Now let's hope we have a slightly different outcome from most years.


Dr Saturday is using Signing Day as a chance to rehash his defense of the recruiting systems. I disagree with him, but understand his point and analysis. My arguement is that All America teams are often selffulling based in part on recruiting hype.


One of the last recruits BC was focusing in on decided to commit to Syracuse.


The Herald had a good article on Sanders' struggles this year. I think the injury is part of the problem but Rakim is forcing things and has yet to show that he understands his own weaknesses.

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