Thursday, March 08, 2012

Still drinking the Donahue Kool-Aid



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!

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14 Comments:

At 5:20 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

agree. i'd add daniels to the list as well (despite a bad game today) of a guy who can be a contributor. when he caught fire this season he was able to carry the load offensively, and he's quick enough to make up for his lack of size.

i think the future of this team lies in the growth of clifford and anderson. if both can develop physically and keep working on their games, we will be a tough team to defend given their size and the fact that they'll be surrounded by good shooters.

a really tough season overall, but there were definite positives and it wasn't as bad as a lot of naysayers said it would be. unless you are kentucky and can get 3-4 of the top 20 HS basketball players in the country, its going to be hard to win with when relying on all freshmen, a 23 yr old grad student, and a junior transfer who was playing his first year for the coach. the heckmann-mono stuff also was a blow, as through the first 10-12 games he looked like our best player. that we were able to win in the ACC without him really contributing anything is fairly amazing given how green the other guys looked at the start of the season.

what is this summer trip to spain? who will they be playing?

i really hope we are able to add one more commit this offseason. as of now, i worry we will be too small going into next season, as the only 2 recruits are guards (6'3 and 6'1).

 
At 2:31 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I'm with you Bill. I'm buying what Donahue is doing with the program. This year was the quintessential building year. I want to see what he can do with his own experienced guys in his system.

 
At 11:43 AM, Blogger chicagofire1871 said...

While it's not fair to Donahue, my resentment of GDF and disillusionment with Spaz is tainting my impression of the basketball team.

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger lbkjj said...

How about letting this basketball team rest in peace and focus on the Big East hockey playoffs starting tonight. We have the number one ranked team in the country and you barely mention them. Instead, you give extensive coverage to the worst BB team I can remember.
Don't overlook the women's hockey team, also in the NCAA playoffs this weekend.

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

Right on about both hockey teams. Re: BB team-- it might be the worst team that you can recall, but it is surely the best "almost all frosh" team that ever heard at BC.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger mod10aeagle said...

Atl isn't the only one ignoring the best college hockey program (and current unanimous #1 team) in the world. Don't surprised if the UMass fans outnumber the BC fans at Kelley Rink tonight.

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

According to Grantland, BC was the youngest team in the country this year.

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger Walter said...

It's spring break at BC, the students are not around. Hockey attendance was very strong my four years at BC, I'd be surprised if all of a sudden it's fallen off the map in two years.

 
At 6:06 PM, Blogger William said...

BC has led Hockey (not Big lbkjj) East in attendance the last several years.

But don't let facts get in the way of your argument.

-Claver2010

 
At 6:09 PM, Blogger William said...

But agreed with the overall premise we get essays on one of the worst teams in any of our memories but the team that actually wins conference & national championships gets a link every so often.

I've gotten on ATL on twitter a ton about it but there's nothing here -I love his work but for hockey on the blogs I just go to BCI

-Claver2010

 
At 6:31 PM, Blogger Scoop said...

Atl, you have no excuse for not commenting on tonight playoff game. It's on NBCSN (formerly Versus) at 7:30pm.

I find BCI and thebostoncollegehockeyblog provide the best coverage.

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger chicagofire1871 said...

BC hockey is awesome, but we all have to realize that it's regional at best. No one outside of the northeast or midwest could give a hoot.

Bball and football are where the focus should (rightly) be.

I love soccer (hence the name), but I know it's place, especially in the NCAAs.

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger JBQ said...

While watching the Big 12 Tournament from Kansas City, Brent Mussberger talked about Blake Heslip, the star of the game who hit two big threes at the very end to stymie Kansas. Brent, sitting next to Bobby Knight, stated that Heslip had come from Boston College. Research said that he spent the previous two years with no statistics. This would mean that he sat on the bench at BC and then transferred. I would wonder if any other players left under Skinner and if this had something to do with the coach leaving.

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger mod10aeagle said...

William -- regarding hockey attendance: is that actual butts in seats or ticket sales? There's a huge difference. I've been a season ticket holder for six years and there have been many games when the place was half empty, at least through the 1st period, and then maybe just a third empty after that. That just doesn't happen at Maine, UNH (except perhaps this season), or BU. Of course, some other HE teams have much smaller arenas than Conte. You're right; I don't know the stats. I'm just speaking from experience, and my experience has been, even during some of BC's very best years, the "home ice advantage" doesn't apply.

 

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