Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thoughts on the basketball schedule

BC released its basketball schedule Thursday. Most of us knew the opponents already but it is nice to see all the dates lined up, especially those in the ACC. Here are some thoughts:

Perfect out of conference schedule
Given the creep of conference play, special tournaments and some historical match-ups, there is less freedom in filling out the non-conference schedule than there used to be. This year is a very nice balance. We've got plenty of respectable teams (Purdue, VCU), some trips to Alumni friendly spots (USC, MSG) and a few softies to help pad the win total. The traditionalist in me would like to see a Holy Cross game, but this a solid list of games.

The other benefit of playing a respectable out of conference schedule is that it will help our tournament resume. BC should get a minimum of seven out of conference wins.

Exciting home games
Attendance has been in a long, embarrassing decline since our first season in the ACC. Everyone has a pet theory as to why. I attribute it to a variety of factors. One way to change things is to build some excitement and anticipation around the good games we have at home. This year Maryland, Duke, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pitt and Florida State come to us. Steve Donahue and the team can help by playing well, but filling the seats at this game is really on Bates. He's now had time to prepare for this season. The team will be better. If we cannot draw our own fans, we will need to readdress our whole approach to basketball marketing.

Must finish strong
The most critical part of the schedule is the final six games, four of which are on the road. How you finish is important for your tournament resume. That stretch will also include our first return to Syracuse since leaving the Big East. We must win at least four of those games.

I am excited about the schedule and the season. I hope the team lives up to expectations.


dixieagle said...

That's a pretty ambitious and interesting OOC schedule; I hope they play the Hoosiers (daughter #1 and SIL graduated from IU, and that will make things lively...)

I am thrilled that the Eagles will be playing just a few hours up the Interstate from me at Auburn, and at a time that we will actually be able to attend! I will be most disappointed if BC doesn't win that one, as Auburn has been flat-out terrible. Cannot wait to rep the maroon and gold!!!

BCDoubleEagle said...

"Steve Donahue and the team can help by playing well"

That's an understatement.

CT said...

Wait a minute. Maybe a new basketball marketing campaign? I'm getting tired of running out of excuses for BC's lukewarm basketball support. As I've always said, we play in the preeminent conference-a recruiting boost akin to SEC football-this is not a marketing issue. Switching conferences was. Moreover, we don't seem to be all that encumbered by the Jesuit requirement to graduate nine out of ten basketball players, as we seem to be in football. If BC were to be a national power in any extra-regional sport, it would be basketball, not football, not sailing, baseball, chess, or physics. Hockey is nice, but there are essentially less than 50 serious programs nationally. We have built-in excuses ready-made for football. Basketball is different.

Knucklehead said...

This may be counter intuitive but it takes brains to play football.

Need to learn a playbook, language, schemes, watch tape etc.

Basketball especially is more theoretical ie play slow, run the flex, run the triangle. Some set inbound plays but not many these days. Coaches would rather have morons with athleticism than players with passing and shooting skills.

If you can learn a football playbook and then apply what you learn to the field then you can graduate from college now a days.

I think attendance and our talent level in basketball will continue to improve. However, with the addition of Lvill, Cuse and ND our record will hover around 500. A new coach cannot fix that. Donahue is very good; we should lower our admissions standards to get a couple guys that we would not get ordinarily. Not revamp the philosophy, just get a couple and balance them out with a couple Independent League(Mass Super Prep School League) walkon's.