Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hoops hits their wall against Wake

Every team has lapses. When you are predominantly freshmen those lapses can come at inopportune times. Yesterday's bad, bad loss to Wake Forest was the basketball team's bad loss. I think the guys have hit a wall. They seemed to being going through the motions at times and the laissez-faire defense was another sign that they didn't come to play. I hope they can regroup in the final week and a half of the season. These are my other thoughts.

-- Ryan Anderson driving to the basket. If he can make that part of his regular game, he'll be an elite ACC scorer.
-- Caudill's post moves. He looked decent on offense. The hooks and fade aways against taller guys show potential for growth in his offensive game.
-- Moton's minutes. Pretty solid overall. He provided good defense without holding the team back offensively.

-- Ryan Anderson's foul shooting. Let's hope it was a one game aberration.
-- The defense. It was pretty terrible all around. Not that we should be guarding big men tight on the perimeter, but we weren't even in the same zip code. The rotation and help was terrible. Wake guys had too many open looks or clear paths to the basket.
-- Jordan Daniels not being an offensive threat. If he is not going to drive nor shoot then it makes the offense less effective. He needs to take the ball to the basket more and either take the shot himself or find an open man.
-- Too much passing without purpose. You pass and you pass and you pass like that hoping for a defensive breakdown. But if the guys don't cut or shoot on decent looks, then the offense becomes stagnant. Anderson, Humphrey and Jackson were the only guys who will consistently force/create. The other guys need to start doing that too.


nheagle said...

Didn't see the game, but for a team full of freshmen playing an ACC schedule we shouldn't be surprised that they have hit the wall. This season was never about W's and L's, but more about development and Donahue's ability to teach these kids how to play. I think that until these kids hit the wall the growth has been better than I had anticipated.

Saw Olivier Hanlan run the point last night for New Hampton School against Nerlens Noel and Tilton School. Olivier was the best player on the court, making threes and pull-ups, finishing at the rim and driving and kicking the ball out with a number of assists. He will be a great addition next year.

ModA36 said...

I have come to the sad conclusion that Donahue's recruits are simply not athletic enough to compete at this level. Anderson is a future star with a very high basketball IQ and very good skills. Other than that we have big trouble. I disagree with ATL that Caudill looked good; he is incredibly slow and will not be able to compete at this level. As I said in a prior post, Daniels is a very good ball handler and very quick, but due to his height simply can't get to the rim. He is not an offensive threat, and therefore requires no attention. As a result, Jackson can't get open and can't get a shot off. Hopefully Hanlan will help with this issue.

I haven't looked at the box score, but I don't think BC got one offensive rebound. This is a result of lack of athleticism. The Freshman class, outside of Anderson, appears to be like a mid level Ivy team. Anderson is probably the only player who would get meaningful minutes at Harvard.

In conclusion, it is not enough to say they are simply young and need more time. In my view, they are very good basketball players, but just not good enough (except Anderson) to play at the high level of Division 1. As Bob Cousy says, what you see is what you get.

BC12 said...

I disagree with you, ModA36. Multiple players on this squad, aside from Anderson, have demonstrated the capacity to play in the ACC. Look at Clifford's efforts from the beginning of the season--if I recall properly, he was named ACC Freshman of the week more than once. Big men like Clifford need time to build into their bodies; dont be so quick to judge and condemn. Secondly, in regards to Daniels, declaring him a non-acc player based on his height alone is a poor argument. Have you already forgotten Tyrsese Rice? Or Daniels' 21 point, 5 assist, 3 steal, 1 to performance against then #15 Florida State, who sat atop the ACC? Players other than Anderson have demonstrated their ability to play with the top players in the ACC. I do believe that fatigue and a lack of conditioning are beginning to affect the players now. That will change after they mature and strengthen.

Now I am not saying that there are certain individuals on this team who are not ACC-caliber players. For the most part, I do not expect them to see the floor much in the coming years (Odio). I hope they recognize this and decide to transfer, and consequently open up some new spots for scholarships. But to say that Anderson is the only ACC-caliber player demonstrates that you have only watched the past few games, and have inexplicably forgotten the teams' early efforts. Anderson seems the most athletic and fit out of the entire group, which may explain why he is continuing to excel while Clifford, and others, have played worse as the season has progressed.

ModA36 said...

Bc12 you make some good points. I have seen live and tv over 10 games. Sure Clifford will improve and others will as well. But this level of talent, once they mature and play together for 2 years, will be no better than mid level acc. That should not be the goal. Do you disagree that they have a severe lack of athleticism?

I didn't see the fsu game and obviously Daniels had a great game. But if a point guard isn't a threat to get to the hoop the wing defensive players don't need to help and therefore shooters like Jackson can't get open.

It isn't that they aren't good basketball players. But other than Anderson and Clifford I just don't see the upside at this very fast level.

Lenny Sienko said...

ModA36: I must disagree with you about Caudill. In yesterday's game he played meaningful minutes in relief of Clifford. Caudill played hard, running the floor on each sequence. His effort is unquestioned.

He had limited offensive attempts; but was successful on two shots, one of which was a nifty left-handed jump hook. Caudill's improvement over the season was evident in that move. He didn't have that move when he started; but he has developed it.

You can see the same thing with his defense. At his size and stage of development. Caudill is slower than the more mobile, more mature players he is asked to guard; but he has maintained his form, trying to stay vertical for the block, to avoid the foul. Caudill works at trying to improve his defense.

I like his attitude toward improving his game. Caudill will continue to grow into a valuable role player, winning games for BC.

As for Daniels' size in the ACC, I have two words for you: "Muggsy Bogues"!

BC12: I disagree with you about Odio. He, too, has accepted the role he was asked to play. Odio has major leaping ability for his size and a ton of energy. Coach Donahue recognized this when he installed Odio as the chaser in the zone trap. Odio did an excellent job with what he was asked to do.

Time, growth, increased strength, and stamina, with the many minutes played this season will show dividends next year. We will be surprised, pleasantly, I hope, by who emerges as much improved. Most importantly, our Frosh will gain in confidence as they hear the whistles they looked for in vain this year. It is difficult to continue driving the lane, getting hammered, and not getting the call. You can see our guards shy away from the penetration because they have no confidence they will get the call. Officials expect to see the under-sized freshman guard get his shot blocked and that's what they call, without regard to what actually occurred.

All of that will improve. A bona fide "go to" shooter would help.

What really needs to improve is the lack of focus on passing. The Globetrotter, drop pass, may look good; but it doesn't work in Donahue's system. The passes must be sharp, crisp, accurate--no floaters- no lackadaisical tosses. Right now, the sloppy passes are the equivalent of Skinner's failure to inbounds the ball. The players have to believe that these passes are important and each pass could lead to a basket. I don't see that now. I suppose that is one disadvantage of taking the air out of the ball from time to time. You can't fall in love with it.

As for Cooz, I think he would have loved working with these kids. Johnny Austin, Evans, Driscoll, and JOB weren't always the polished players they ended up to be as Seniors. They worked hard and persevered. Hell they didn't even get to play on varsity until they were Sophs. They played freshman ball with Frank Powers.