BC lost an ugly game to NC State in the first round of the ACC Tournament today. The loss wrapped up BC's worst season in 14 years. It was the type of season that makes you question everything. Yet I am really optimistic about the future. I really believe in Steve Donahue.
The guy can coach...
Basketball can be a tough sport too coach. I always preferred college coaches who found the right players, gave them the right system and then let them play. I think too many coaches overmanage a game. I think Donahue is one of those rare college guys who can make in game adjustments without confusing his players and throwing his lineup out the window. I don't always love his decisions (like his willingness to deemphasize offensive boards in exchange for better transition defense) but you know that they are well thought out, backed up by stats and for the most part worked.
I like our talent...
These guys looked skinny and confused, but there is obvious talent and basketball skill there. Dennis Clifford moves well and has really good post moves for someone his size. As he matures, those skills combined with his height will make him a very good college basketball player. Ryan Anderson has a really good offensive skill set. At little more strength and he'll be All ACC. Lonnie Jackson's upside is more limited, but what he does can be very valuable to a good team. Heckmann is a big unknown. But if he returns, stays healthy and gets stronger, he can also be a very good ACC player. The remaining guys are solid enough and can be good role players on a winning team. Another season together will make a huge difference for all of these players.
Donahue is a hard worker. He's smart. His players seem smart. The biggest challenge he and the players will have is the patience to keep improving together. Losing will wear on everyone. Being together all the time will either create a closeness or resentment. I am predicting the former. The summer trip to Spain should only help.
Donahue's made some mistakes and I think he's got to make some assessments of his approach. But we are on the right path. Pass the Kool-Aid!