Saturday, February 04, 2012

Thoughts after seeing hoops team up close

Living in Atlanta makes attending BC basketball in-person a challenge. Saturday's loss to Georgia Tech was my first chance to see Donahue up close and I think it was probably as good a sample as any. BC controlled the tempo, played good defense, yet found themselves trailing late and couldn't pull out the win. I like Donahue and he knows more about basketball than I will ever know, but I think he's making some mistakes with this team. Let me explain.

Doing it all himself.
Steve Donahue is working his ass off during the game. He's pacing, he subbing, he is shouting instructions, he is leading the huddles, he's talking to the players on the bench. His assistants are not as active...especially when compared to how Skinner and JOB's assistants worked during games. I don't know if this is Donahue's preferred method or the inexperience of his staff or if he wants to be the lone voice for these young guys. But sometimes a different voice can make a difference. The assistants should be talking to the bench players during the game. They should be giving feedback to the players who have just come off the floor. Allowing the assistants to do more during the game can free up Donahue and may help the players get better.

The offense doesn't have natural movement.
Every possession is too scripted. The players wait for Donahue's signal and instructions each time in the half court. You would hope that with any offense -- but especially a motion variant -- that guys would move naturally. There should be some flow. Because they don't have freedom I think every one is too stagnant and wastes too much time.

They are passing too much.
I have no problem with the perimeter passing. But these guys need to be more aggressive. Take shots when they are slightly open. Many of our turnovers came when the guys were making one final unneeded pass. There were plenty of terrible passes close to the basket when the guys should have taken the shot.

I think Donahue is a very good game coach. If winning was based solely on in-game coaching and effort, Donahue would have a national championship. But obviously there is more to it. Maybe in order to get better Donahue has to let his players and his staff do more on their own. This team's style of play and W-L record are not pretty, but I think their development over the next month will be interesting to watch.


Big Jack Krack said...

This is not good and will hopefully change as the players get more experience.

"Every possession is too scripted. The players wait for Donahue's signal and instructions each time in the half court."

As we knew, we are at our low point in Basketball (Both man and women).

While we await a new Athletic Director, we can maybe have some innovation at home games - like introducing the fans as well as the players. What the heck, it wouldn't take too long.

And in the 3rd row, a 4 game returnee - Bill Atleagle - let's hear it for the fan! Give it up for the fan!

mod10aeagle said...
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mod10aeagle said...

I was actually encouraged by the performance yesterday. Yes, they still can't hold on to a small lead at the end, let alone pull away and put away an opponent, but they're making more progress than their record reflects, I think. Had Rubin hit that wide open three late, this game could've ended very differently.

They were really hurt by Clifford's absence due to early foul trouble, and they continue to make freshman mistakes -- unnecessarily rushing shots in transition, lazy passes (that they got away with in high school) and the extra dribble or pass in the lane. Clifford needs someone, whether it's Donahue or an assistant to tell him to simply catch, pivot and shoot down low rather than putting the ball on the floor and attempting unnecessary moves. That alone would be worth an additional six points/game.

My conclusion at the end of the game yesterday was that the hardship of this year (and next) could be a major bonding and learning experience for these guys that could result in a resilient, cohesive and disciplined squad for the next couple of years. Or, I'm just high, which is also a nice thought.

Benjamin said...

I think the most encouraging aspect about yesterday's game was the Matt Humphrey. He is truly coming into his own as an on-the-court leader. The announcer noted he takes it personally when the opposing team scores, and he goes into high defense mode. It's great to see that he's becoming the leader this team needs.

As a senior, I think he's going to be clutch. He's clearly trying to take his game to the next level.

dixieagle said...

It's nice to see some reason for hope. Despite the record, I don't have the same feelings of despair and frustration that I feel about BC football and Spaz.

Pearl Washington said...

It is appropriate they played a crappy Ga Tech team.

TRAIN WRECK. Bill made some great points, Donahue is overwhelmed and he has no assistants with any major Div 1 experience. Recruiting or in game coaching.

He would be wise to bring in some big gun assistants or he will be gone with a new AD.

mmason said...

Losing Joe on the coaching side was a bigger deal than many of us can fully understand.