Monday, November 21, 2011

Basketball has a long way to go

The basketball team got whipped by UMass. If you are into pain, you can rewatch it on As for what went wrong -- everything. The defense was lost. The ball handling was sloppy. We couldn't shoot. The shooting is what hurts the most. I understand if the guys don't work well together yet. I know that will take time. But I don't understand why their foul shots and open shots are not falling. Hopefully it is something a little more measurable and fixable than nerves.

I have not given up on this team at all. They still have a lot of basketball to play. At this point I just want to see small improvements.


Mike said...

Agreed we cannot give up on this group of freshmen. Glad to see we had 5 of them starting this time with Cahill's minutes declining (nothing against Cahill but developing the young guys is more important). Still I am surprised how bad this loss was, which makes me more worried for when we actually get to ACC play. Never thought we'd get more than a few wins in the ACC this year, but after this and Holy Cross, it could be worse than expected.

BCDoubleEagle said...

If the bball team continues to be this terrible, especially into next season, it will be interesting to see how much people blame Donahue. Folks around here are not tolerant of the "we have a young team" excuse from a third year coach. Donahue better take us to the NCAA's next season or else...

Ry said...

Mike, it was four freshmen and a senior starting. Humphrey is a transfer.

Rob said...

Anyone think Donahue's decision not to hire an experienced assistant was a mistake? Simply getting back on defense seems like something even freshman should understand.

Mike said...

Whoops, yeah I overlooked that. Still, he has a future with the team while this is Cahill's last year. Same idea still applies. Hopefully Humphrey can develop into a leader for next year.

Erik said...

Free throw shooting is atrocious.

Two questions:
1) How bad is UNH? They must be utterly terrible.
2) If we played North Carolina in Chapel Hill tomorrow instead of Jan 7, what would the spread be? My serious estimate is BC +61.5

That said, I'll continue to watch this team and look for improvement. Humphrey has a long way to go, which is disappointing after practicing with BC as long as he has, but the potential is there. We need him to step up and be a go to guy.

mod34b said...

0-for-ACC is likely.

But it is hoops so I really do not care all that much. I find it difficult to care about any of the following ACC games: BC v GT, BC v Clemson, BC v VT; BC v FSU, BC v MIA, BC v NCSU, BC v MD, BC v Wake, BC v UVA.

And in the other two ACC games(UNC, Duke) we will embarrass ourselves. let's hope those game are not televised and no print media or bloggers are permitted at the games.

Can expectations for BC hoops be any lower? Have they ever been this low?

Patrick said...

BCDoubleEagle, I presume that was meant as a joke; if not the attempt to draw a false equivalence between Donahue and Spaz is inaccurate and unsupported.

Let's recall that Skinner left Donahue a .500 ballclub that immediately improved upon Donahue's arrival. Contrast that with the Atlantic Division championship team that Jags left Spaz; Spaz's teams have regressed every year over the past three to the lowest point in more than 15 years.

Let's also recall that Skinner quite literally did not recruit a single person for the 2009 recruiting class, meaning that the sophomores on this team were picked up at the last minute by Donahue. Skinner also took off most of the recruiting season for the 2008 class, and there is not a single person from that class remaining on the team.

Donahue actually did inherit an empty cupboard. You wouldn't hear it from him, though. The team is young. Very young. And it's going to struggle. But he's doing things the right way, and he deserves some leeway. I'm an avowed Skinner fan, but I think even he would recognize that the program was set for hard times when he left. And those hard times are here. If Donahue's squad continues to REGRESS over the next two years --- like, oh, I don't know, Spaz's squad --- then we'll talk. Otherwise, give the man, and the nine guys who have played their first college games over the past two weeks a break.

Lastly, Steve Donahue does not view his job at Boston College as a burdensome cross to bear. Unfortunately, the depressing face of our university, Frank Spaziani, carries himself as the unluckiest man in the world, cursed to hold a job in which he cannot possibly succeed.

matthew2 said...

The fact that expectations are low isn't necessarily a terrible thing. A culture change was necessary with this coaching transition, and it will take a couple of years. I don't think that this will hurt recruiting, as I believe Donahue can still sell the program, and BC represents a unique choice for many recruits.

With that being said, it was painful to witness that game last night. I think the players just need to get to know each other a little better. Hopefully we can establish some sort of player rotation that will allow that. Once the offense runs smoother, and we aren't surprised by the fact that we have an open shot, I think they will begin to fall. That doesn't really explain the poor free throw shooting, though.

I was happy to see Daniels starting last night, but he struggled. Too many turnovers, and not enough direction.

It was tough to tell whether Heckman was careless with the ball, or just better than his teammates. Some of his non-chalant passes ended up being turnovers, but I'm tempted to blame the other player for not anticipating the ball. Caudill especially comes to mind.

Odio has some ups... but he looks nervous as hell at times.

I think Clifford could develop into one of the better big men we've had in recent memory, but he is not there yet (obviously).

We are going to be in trouble when we play teams with two athletic big men. Clifford and Caudill don't see the floor together all that much, and after that, we have NO big men. Anderson is closer to a guard than he is a power forward/center. I wonder if we will see more zone/help defense from Donahue. But then, of course, we will get killed on the boards.

It was nice to see Reggie Jackson courtside last night... I wonder what he was thinking about during the 2nd half?

BCDoubleEagle said...

My post was roughly half joking and half serious. I actually agree with much of what you posted, but I would clarify one point. That "Atlantic Division championship team that Jags left Spaz" won the division on a tie-breaker, got killed in the ACCCG, lost to Vanderbilt in the bowl game, and finshed with five losses, unranked. The team that Spaz inherited was hardly a powerhouse. That said, as you pointed out, the consistent decline under Spaz (8-5, 7-6, 3-9?) is very troubling.

STLEagle said...

Bring on Bruce Pearl baby!

10 new players and not enough talent to stay within 20 of HC or 35 or UMASS, that is pathetic guys, no 2 ways about it.

Joseph said...

Pearl? Seriously? And what is the experience of the ten new players? Of the entire team?

Jeff said...

The team is almost literally all freshmen. Give them time. If it's too painful to watch, then don't watch it. =)

STLEagle said...

There are lots of other teams that are very young, but they are at least competitive.

What does it tell you about these 10 new players? They are not athletic enough to even compete with the Cross. Any NBA prospects out of those 10 guys?

I am not asking for much, just a little bit of talent. This was never a problem with Skinner.

Bruce Pearl - BC Alum, great recruiter, great motivator, would fill the stands.

Joseph said...

Name these teams that have a similar makeup of freshmen, and have no really experienced and accomplished upperclassmen. It was Skinner that lft the cupboard bare what with poor recruiting and then having taken guys who bailed as soon as he left with no team loyalty or honor. Ever to excel was not part of their makeup.

Joseph said...

STLEagle, Is this the kind of person you want to associate with BC?

He may be a great coach, but as a person.......

STLEagle said...

Kentucky comes to mind.

Bottom line is this group looks weak. Skew it however you want, we have Ivy league talent in the ACC.

It's going to be a long year playing in front of 1500 people at Conte and getting beaten down every night. I hope we improve quickly and I am wrong. I will be watching against SLU on Thursday. SLU has a solid team this year.

G.A. said...

This is the repost from the EA Board. I am tired of the lie that Al left the cupboard bare:

Flashback to day Skinner was fired:

When he was trying to fill the 13th schollie in March 2010, this is what things looked like:
The six seniors (let's just say Rakim was leaving no matter what, so leave it at five)
three juniors: Rav, RJ, Elmore
no sophs
three frosh: Noreen, Heslip, and Ndao

Assuming that RJ doesn't get to show his talents as much in the flex, and that his best friend on the team wouldn't have gotten buried behind a walk-on, we have a solid core of six players, plus whatever transfers, additional players in the Noreen class, and new frosh that would have come in.

No matter what, when you lose a senior class of six, you have a lot to replace. But Coach D didn't inherit a disaster. Firing Skinner and the chain of events resulting therefrom made this season what it is. BC probably achieved more than it would have last year if Skinner stayed. Tough call. But clearly the team would be much better this year if he hadn't been canned. Let's not spin it otherwise.

That being said, Cap'n was a great hire and I'm confident he'll create a winning program.

Just stop saying the cupboard was bare. Skinner overrated his big class, and didn't want to bring people in in 2009 who would ride the bench. So he only went after elite players because the 2010 class was deeper. The three who left have all become rotation players, and Heslip is starting for #10 Baylor.

WI_Eagle said...

G.A. is spot-on. It's short-term pain for (hopefully) long-term gain. No question that we would be better this year with Skinner at the helm (given that we'd have more experience on the floor), but over the next 5-10 years is the question. I really liked Skinner but he wasn't getting any younger and did nothing to sell the program. It was probably just the right time to bring on Donahue. The next five years or so will tell us the answer.

canttakeit said...

These are not talented freshmen. I am not sure Donahue was the correct hire. I really think we needed and black coach.

It is correct to say that the cupboard was not bare when Skinner was fired. It became bare when Donahue was hired. Other schools lose coaches and dont have an entire recruiting class leave. Something was not right. It would appear that Hislip would be a perfect player for Donahue's system, yet he is now playing 25 minutes a game for Baylor. Noreen and Papa are at least contributing for Div 1 teams. Noreen is coming back from injury at West Virginia

Big Jack Krack said...

Why did Noreen, Heslip and Ndao leave BC? Did Donahue run them off?

This only makes sense if Coach D brings us a highly competitive team down the road.

In order to make room for better players, he'll have to drive off some of his present players. This will be interesting.

Stay tuned for news. We are not a Div 1 BBall team this year - wow.