Saturday, December 08, 2012

We have a basketball team too

The basketball team beat St. Francis today and it served as a reminder that they've had a rough couple weeks. Fortunately for Steve Donahue, most BC fans have been paying attention to the football coaching change. And many of those who have been paying attention have written off this basketball season. I haven't reached that point yet, but I have serious concerns about how things are progressing. Even with the win today, some of the same issues kept popping up.

This team is still prone to long defensive lapses. They also have possessions when guys seem to be going through the motions. Heckmann is getting better but still has moments where he makes multiple mistakes. Our frontline is not ACC caliber when Anderson and Clifford miss time due to injuries.

The good news is that the St. Francis game could have been another collapse, but the guys rallied. The freshman made some big plays and Lonnie Jackson made a few "3's." They also started playing defense.

After the Harvard loss (that no one wanted to talk about) Steve Donahue said experience wasn't an excuse any more. He also put the team through a tough practice. Maybe they will start to improve. I don't want to read too much into Saturday's game. St. Francis is not very good. But the next few non-conference games should serve as a good barometer of what we can expect during ACC play.

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35 Comments:

At 1:34 AM, Blogger WestCoaster said...

Let's face it - the recruiting situation is alarmingly tepid. It's December - we are not likely getting anything behind another one or two star for next year so unless the Notre Dame transfer is an All-American there is nothing to suggest we'll do much next year either. Hope I'm wrong but this assemblage of talent doesn't look like anything but ACC bottom feeders. Alas, how I pine for the buzz of f-ball and b-ball only 5 years ago; it seemed the sky was the limit...

 
At 3:52 AM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Surprisingly, given my history of bitterness and negativity that most can attest to, I haven't given up on Donahue at all. Looking at this year's team gives me hope for the future. Donahue really has only had 2 recruiting years to bring guys in (Skinner left him with absolutely nothing too). He brought in Anderson who is a legit ACC player. This year's class of Hanlan and Rahon looks pretty good too. I'd love to see how they do in 2 years. I don't expect much from this year's team but the next 2 years will be crucial for Donahue. If he can't pull it together then, then I'll jump off the bandwagon. I think BC will surprise some people though moving forward.

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

Actually, Skinner left plenty including a good recruiting class and some solid players. Those recruits and players decided to jump ship once Skinner was fired. If you want to blame anyone, blame Napolean Gene. As for Donahue, you really want to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, but fact is, this team stinks. His recruits stink. Over the past couple of years there has been a ton of talent come out of the high school systems in New England. Donahue has signed NONE of those top players.

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger dmyankees said...

bcalum2000, other than the mistake which led to heslip's transfer to baylor, what recruits are you talking about "jumping ship"?

you can't write off donahue's recruits as "stinking" either - clifford has been hurt but shows talent, hanlan and rahon look really good, and anderson has shown flashes of acc caliber as well. give it a little while - if by the end of the year the team is still sitting around 9-10 wins like last year, then we can all question donahue.

bigger question - why did anderson sit basically the entire second half yesterday? i didnt hear anything about an injury, so was it a discipline/lack of hustle issue?

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger John said...

When was the last time we were this putrid in both football and basketball?

It's really an embarrassment and this is Donahue's last excuse year as far as I am concerned.

Losing to Harvard (5 straight) and Bryant at home. Donahue's good will is about gone. I wrote this season off long ago and it hasn't even started.

Pitiful.

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

BC Alum--the year before Skinner was canned, he signed 0 players. He basically phoned it in. All he left really was Reggie Jackson (Sanders transferred). His sophomore class was extremely weak as well.

 
At 10:53 AM, Blogger Ry said...

All three recruits Skinner had coming in prior to getting canned went elsewhere, it wasn't just Heslip.

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger TeddyE said...

1989. I think hoops was 8-20. Football was as awful as this past year, david emma led hockey team was excellent, but typical in the len ceglarski years choked. It was either a frozen 4 loss to wisconsin or a first round upset loss to alaska at home, if memory serves me right. My junior year.

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

i hate the people who act as if we had a team of MCD's all americans with Skinner, only to lose all of them when Donahue took over. losing Heslip was the only one that stings and is a head scratcher since he fits in this system so well. if Ravenel (OSU) or kevin noreen (WVU) were here i'm not sure we'd be any better.

the flip side of that argument is the 1st year Donahue had a bunch of jrs and seniors and won 20 games and got snubbed by the tourny, and had a bunch of scholarships. from those players we recruited, only Anderson, Clifford, Jackson, and Odio are contributing. Daniels transferred, Caudill stinks, nobody else has gotten any time. St. Johns was in a similar situation with a 7-freshman recruiting class and they are playing well this year.

i really don't know what to make of this team -- we competed for the entire game against a good Baylor team 3 weeks ago and I thought we'd have a decent team. then the next 2 games nobody showed up and we lost to CoC and Dayton. we were either going through the motions or tired but either is unacceptable so it really doesn't matter. lose to Bryant at home, then go to Penn State and beat them with Hanlan the freshman carrying us down the stretch. lose to Harvard (For the FIFTH freaking time in a row -- but the first two were on Skinner's watch) after their freshman completely outplay our freshman. really struggle to beat St. Francis (2-5 on the year).

RE: Anderson -- Donahue said the team started to go on a run with him on the bench so he never put him back in. i was confused to as to why he didn't eventually make it back in the game.

that said, without Anderson or Clifford in there our front line is very weak. even with Clifford and Anderson we are one of the worst rebounding teams in the country, and seem to get overpowered by every team, whether they are from a big conference or a team like St Francis (we got outrebounded yesterday by them).

i disagree with West Coaster -- playing a team of all freshman and sophomores will naturally lead to improvement from within, even if we don't add any other recruits. in 2 years this team will be all seniors and juniors

i'm just not sure about Donahue -- he once again made comments of implementing too confusing a system (he said this after last season, and again after the Harvard game this year). the Defense is rarely good for 40 minutes, we almost always have lapses. moreover this is supposed to be a smart team that can shoot it, and more often than not they make many reckless turnovers and struggle shooting it.

i will say, having watched most of last year's games and most of this year's games, i think we have some decent ACC caliber players on this team. Anderson and Clifford each have had flashes of good play, as have Hanlan and Rahon. Jackson's shooting slump looks over and he has been OK, and Odio is finally emerging as a contributor.

i'm just confused about the system, as are the players it seems. i don't think we've EVER had a night where everyone played well -- at the beginning of the season Anderson was having huge games but nobody else was playing well, then Hanlan had a stretch and nobody else, now Jackson and Rahon are playing consistent and Hanlan has tailed off a bit but anderson has given us nothing. ultimately, inconsistency is a hallmark of bad coaching, as is asking your players to do too much. if Donahue keeps making these coaching mistakes, after 10 years coaching at Cornell and 2 at BC, we're gonna have to show him the door and find someone who can at least get the players to perform consistently and play to their strengths.

 
At 12:20 PM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

It was the entire class that went elsewhere once Skinner was fired including Noreen. Heslip stayed only to be pushed out by Donahue. Additionally, Ravenal, Sanders, etc. transferred. Outside of Anderson, Donahue has literally not signed another recruit who would play on any of the top half ACC programs and possibly the entire ACC. To make it worse, over that time there have been a good dozen true blue chip calibur players come out of the New England area who have signed with the likes of Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, and even Providence (who's coach btw is the person who should be leading BC right now). To make it even worse, Donahue's own recruits are bailing on the program. The program is a disaster. To try to argue otherwise is delusional.

 
At 12:23 PM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

Again, I wish things were better for Donahue. He appears to be a top quality guy trying to build a program the right way. The problem is, he appears to be in completely over his head. He is continuing to recruit Ivy League type players/talents while trying to compete in the ACC. The results have been disastrous. We might have to simply concede at some point soon that like Spaz, Donahue was overhired and is simply in over his head.

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Why are we yearning for Noreen? Is this a joke. Heslip has really only looked good when he has NBA talent drawing significant attention on the inside. So since we can all agree we dont exactly have a lottery player in the next two seasons on this roster, Im not sure what Heslip would have done. Skinner left the cupboard bare, his string of successes were great from Troy all the way to Reggie, but the law of averages came back to haunt Skinner.

As for Donahue, I think he has 5 ACC level players on the roster. When one or two of those five are hurt/miss time, he is left to plug holes with an undersized shooting guard who struggles on d, a plus athlete who seems lost at times on the court, and a fifth year who didnt get time at an Ivy. Thats not too good.

I wasnt a huge fan of the long term prospects for Hump or Jordan Daniels, but Hump defended (he might have been the only one) and Daniels could at least handle the rock. Losing those two meant this team was playing projects.

For Donahue to succeed, he needs more size to come in next year. Garland Owens provides some, but he could use some more. If Drago is ACC level, Garland can play and Donahue brings in two others (one that is ACC ready), we can look like a different team next year with largely the same core.

And as for why Anderson didnt see time in the second half, he wasnt playing defense. And when I say defense, I mean any semblance of defense. He was getting worked by an undersized, undertalented front line. If he wants to be an all acc guy, and wants to lead our Eagles, he needs to bring the effort on both sides of the floor. I kinda think he would be a great third option for a team... I like Hanlan and Rahon a lot, I think they are going to have a fun 4 years by the time they are done at the heights.

 
At 1:44 PM, Blogger Mr. Tambourine MAn said...

I've been really disappointed in this year and the seeming lack of progress. I was very concerned with Ryan Anderson's on court demeanor at the Bryant game, yapping at refs, showing up teammates after mistakes, and just generally appearing down. Random prediction, but I'll predict that he'll transfer at the end of the year.

Anyway, I was happy to see the team not fall apart yesterday when St. Francis went on its run (note: this all occurred with our best player benched).

One last note regarding our improvement.

Last year, we finished the year in the 250s in Kenpom and Sagarin computer rankings. This year, we're in the 180s at the moment. This is still embarrasingly low for a ACC program and much more progress is needed.

But it was nice to see that at least from some unbiased standards, we may actually be progressing upwards.

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

BC Alum, I agree that we are fast approaching the point of no return with Donahue. this team looks like an overmatched Ivy league team against Harvard, not to mention other schools.

i do disagree about the individual players though. i think clifford, hanlan, and rahon would all get minutes at good ACC programs. it seems like whenever one person has a good game, the rest of the team doesn't. Anderson had a few big games where nobody else showed up; Hanlan played superb against Penn St., a game where Anderson disappeared.

speaking of anderson, its not like he's Mr. Consistent. 3 pts 7 rebounds v. auburn, 6/9 v. penn st., 6/3 v. st. francis. we won all those games, which tends to support that there are a few other good players on this team.

Rahon is putting up 11 pt 4 ast 3 reb 1 stl. Hanlan's corresponding #'s are 13/3/2/1.

i think this season is going to look a lot like last season -- something like 10 wins but 1 or 2 upsets during conference play.

the Don's seat is hot though, and if it gets bad I could see him getting axed this year. i think chances are he gets one more year to see if the kids he brought in are any good.

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

BCAlum--your assertion is completely delusional. Anderson and Hanlan would easily play on at least half of the ACC teams. Further, Rahon was recruited hard by SDSU. Last time I checked, SDSU was a Top 15 program the last 3 years(including this year) and even reached #2 two seasons ago when they had Leonard.

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

You realize your post just made my point right? Read it again, "Outside of Anderson, Donahue has literally not signed another recruit who would play on any of the top half ACC programs and possibly the entire ACC".

You mentioned one other guy and said he, like Anderson, could play on half the teams in the ACC.

Donahue had one good year ... his first ... with Big Al's recruits. Did Al get lazy? Maybe. Was his offense terribly dull? Yes. He still won though and he still recruited diamonds in the rough who turned into studs like Troy Bell, Craig Smith, Jared Dudley, etc.

As for "stealing" recruits from SDSU, I am sure glad BC, as an ACC member, is able to "steal" recruits from SDSU! BTW, Jared Dudley's only other DI offer was SDSU so its not like Donahue somehow started some new trend.

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

Lets look at Donahue's recruits and who else offered them them shall we?

2010
Gabe Moton - Air Force
Danny Rubin - NONE

2011
Ryan Anderson - Colorado, Northwestern, San Diego St, Washington St, Miami
Kyle Caudill - Harvard, Northwestern, Oregon St, UPenn
Dennis Clifford - NONE
Jordan Daniels - NONE
Patrick Heckmann - Colorado St, Michigan, San Diego St.
Lonnie Jackson - Arizona St
Eddie Odio - NONE

2012
Oliver Hanlan - Dayton, Rice, TCU, Virginia Tech
Joe Rahon - Fresno St, Georgetown, Loyola Marymount, New Orleans, St. Mary's, San Diego, San Diego St

2013
Garland Owens - Hartford, NJIT, NH, Seton Hall, UTEP

So like I said, only Anderson and Hanlan had offers from ACC schools and those were two bottom half schools in Miami and VT ... and no, there records at this moment do not make them top-half teams.

Additionally, seems San Diego St pops up time and time again. Why dont we switch the kids we actually signed that they offered with the kids they actually have ... then we might at least be able to beat Bryant and Harvard at home ...

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

Craig Smith had no offers. Jared Dudley had one. sometimes offers don't tell the whole story.

Anderson, Rahon, Hanlan, Clifford -- i'd say those 4 are the only sure-fire "ACC" players.

also, i'm not sure i understand the dissing of SD St -- Rahon is from San Diego. they are currently ranked and were a tournament team last year. getting him was a good get the way I see it.

 
At 4:09 PM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

Craig Smith actually hand a handful of offers including Oregon St before he opted for one year of prep school at Worcester Academy. And while you are correct that offers dont always translate to success, while Skinner showed the ability to develop these unheralded guys (Bell, Sydney, Smith, Hinnant, Dudley, etc.), Donahue has shown no such ability.

Additionally, while star ratings dont always translate, just like in football, there is a clear correlation between 4 and 5 star guys and subsequent college success and then pro careers. We need to get over this notion that we should be satisfied with unheralded, unrecognized, and unwanted players in both football and basketball, and then hope to turn them into something. When Providence is signing 5 and 4 star players, something needs to be done ASAP at BC. BC has too much to offer from education to location to conference affiliation, to be an after-thought in big-time recruiting. I am frankly sick of it.

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger Knucklehead said...

They lost Ravenel who has been playing for Ohio State, Reggie Jackson and Heslip.

We need a Danya Abrams Craig Smith type of player.

What ever happened to passing the ball into the post and working the defense for a layup, foul or pass out for a three.

Basketball has changed in the last 10 years but I think if we went back to passing into the post and working from there we could be decent. Obviuosly that requires Clifford and Anderson being healthy.

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Your Jared Dudley comparison is absolutely moronic. SDSU didn't become a stud basketball program until the lates 2000s. The Rahon get over SDSU was clutch. Looks like Anderson also turned down SDSU in favor of BC. So using your list: both Anderson and Rahon were offered scholarships by a Top 15 program the last 3 seasons and Anderson was offered by an ACC team. Heckman was offered a scholarship by Michigan who is the #3 team in the country right now. Hanlan was offered by an ACC school. And Caudill, Jackson, and Owens were offered by BCS conference schools. So that's 6 players who received scholarship offers from legitimate schools. Your argument is ridiculous. Further, why are you holding up the ACC on some sort of pedestal. The ACC has been quite mediocre in basketball the last few seasons and, outside of Duke, looks pretty weak again this year. In fact, I'd say the MWC's Top 3 teams could give the ACC's a legitimate challenge.

 
At 8:05 AM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

In the same breath that this invalid tries to proclaim the greatness of a never-been SDSU program, he talks down the merits of the ACC. You are a funny, delusional, child.

 
At 8:09 AM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

And yes, the sooner BC goes back to its root of tough, interior post play, the sooner we will return to relevance. BC has never, nor ever will be able to recruit enough of the type of swing players to be a purely perimeter team. Every period that BC has been dominant, with the exception of the year before Smith came to campus, there has been strong/dominant post play. It is no coincidence the team has stunk ever since they moved away from this model.

 
At 8:11 AM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

BTW, notice how the silly invalid didnt bother trying to dispute the fact that only two current BC players had offers from ACC schools ... those schools being Miami and VT.

BTW, love the "BCS offer" argument. Congrats for all those offers from Northwestern ... the school that has NEVER made an NCAA Tournament appearance!

Stupid child.

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger Joseph said...

Wow, how many "ad hominem" attacks can occur in one thread?

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

he did dispute the ACC fact, by saying that ACC offers are irrelevant since there are other good basketball conferences.

like most arguments, the truth is somewhere in the middle -- most of our good players had some legit offers from d1 programs, none were elite, and we need to recruit and play better. can we accept that and move on?

BC "Alum" 2000 -- are you sure you graduated in 2000? if you're in your 30s...grow up dude.

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

I'm sorry, but the fact that I disputed what some clueless person posted makes me a child? Its not my fault he knows nothing about college hoops and in his failed attempts to reinforce his points, was obnoxious. He clearly has some agenda which includes trying to dispute the reality that BC's roster is full of players who would barely, if at all, see the court on other ACC squads. He also has some bizarre infatuation with SDSU.

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger @timstwrt said...

Everyone needs to retire the "Skinner left the cupboard bare" argument. It's just not true.

Also, in addition to all of the recruits named, if Donahue had tried to keep Rakim he probably would have been enough to put that first Donahue team into the Tournament and capitalize on whatever momentum Donahue had as a hot name coming off the Cornell Sweet Sixteen.

I've been pro-Al and very skeptical of Donahue from the beginning, but I started to change my mind in the middle of last season. There was clear growth from the freshmen, and you could see the basic outline of a potentially good team down the road. Since about Groundhog Day last year, there's been almost no growth. They don't play defense, the offense is incoherent and often unwatchable, and for all the love that Donahue gets for stomping around the sidelines and yelling a lot....the team doesn't play very hard.

I actually think there's some legitimate ACC talent on the roster. Anderson, Hanlon, and Clifford can all be players. Donahue just isn't a very good coach. But maybe if we wait ten years he'll get one lucky run, like he did at Cornell.

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

Agreed. Blaming Skinner is tired and false. Again, while he might have gotten "lazy", he had a pretty decent squad in place and some solid recruits. If he was given that additional year, I think he would have won 20+ games and made the tournament. I think Napolean Gene knew this as well and that is why he canned him before that as he knew it would have been very difficult to do so after that kind of year.

 
At 3:33 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

after the 05-06 sweet 16 run (al's best year), his best recruiters and assistants left -- ed cooley to Fairfield, and Bill Coen to Northwestern. i think that more than anything else contributed to the decline of the program.

Skinner's last 3 years (07-08, 08-09, 09-10) were:

14-17 (4-12 in ACC AKA the same record Donahue had last year)
22-12 (9-7)
15-16 (6-10)

in 2009 (his second to last season), skinner had zero recruits. those zero recruits would be seniors this year.

if we could do it over again, I think Cooley was the guy to hire instead of Donahue. Gene didn't want him b/c of his ties to Skinner, but Cooley could always recruit and his providence team this year looks good.

that being said, i laugh sometimes when people act as if we forced out a guy who went 22-10 every year and had final 4 appearances. al had one memorable tournament run, another memorable season when they won the big east, and by the end of his tenure looked/coached/recruited like he didn't care. it was time for him to go. the best evidence of this is the fact that skinner (currently only 60 yo) remains retired to this day! if he was such a good coach, someone would have hired him by now, right?

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

Agree completely with El Miz.

It was Al's time to go, but GDF may have made another big blunder with Donahue.

Time will tell, but next year he had better show some results.

I'm rooting for him, just like I rooted for Skinner. No progress or going backwards = the unemployment line.

 
At 11:30 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

BCAlum, the fact that you are in your 30s and resort to ad hominem attacks is pretty childish. I'm also not sure where you get the obnoxiousness from. If pointing out the fallacies of your arguments is obnoxious, then I'm guilty. The only reason why I bring SDSU up is because two of BC's players passed on scholarships from a Top 15 program which you think is no big deal. Further, the fact that you hold the ACC on some pedestal when it has been quite mediocre the past few seasons is beyond absurd. Using your logic, your failed attempts to reinforce your points proves that you know nothing about college basketball. I'll refrain from calling you a silly little invalid because it's beneath every poster on this blog.

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

It was likely time for Skinner to go. That said, the hire of Donahue is proving to be a terrible mistake as he is in way over his head. As for degrading Skinner, its like trying to degrade TOB. For those with short memories, Skinner was brought in after O'Brien left due to a fight with administration/admissions. When he left, he took Scoonie Penn with him. The team was gutted and literally a kid I used to play ball with at the Hut on Newton Campus was the starting point guard the next year. It was bad. What he managed to do was pretty miraculous in winning Big East regular season and tournament titles as well as pretty much ringing up 20 win seasons almost annually. Things had started to decline, but he deserved another year as his biggest recruiting class was set to be seniors and he deserved the chance to coach them out.

As for the other person who continues to flaunt his ignorance, SDSU, under known cheater Fisher, is a two year wonder. Even still, they have accomplished nothing. To even mention them in the same breath as ACC schools is laughable and is proven by the fact that BC, despite being awful right now, can still get recruits over them ... including local SoCal kids who would go cross-country to play at a bad ACC school over staying home to play at SDSU. Why you continue to refuse to admit the obvious, that BC is full of kids who for the most part would not see the court on any other ACC squad, is baffling. Not only were they not recruited by any ACC schools, they were barely recruited by any BCS schools and the ones that did offer them were perennial garbage programs like Northwestern.

Ed Cooley should have been named head coach at BC. Instead he is at Providence and is somehow managing to sign 5 star prospects down there while Donahue continues to get passed over by every big-time NE recruit including kids with BC lineage. Its embarassing.

 
At 8:28 AM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

BTW, lest we forget that "powerhouse" SDSU got stomped in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year to 11 seed NC St who was one of the last teams in last year with a 9-7 ACC record boosted by two wins over BC I might add.

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger @timstwrt said...

MIZ - I'm not sure it helps Skinner's chances at finding another job that BC and DeFilippo firebombed his reputation on the way out the door. The way the school treated the winningest coach in its history (whether or not it was time for him to move on)was/is shameful.

 

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