Sunday, December 08, 2013

This is not fun

The basketball team lost to USC Sunday. It didn't follow the established script for this BC season (shooting was the big issue today as opposed to just defense) but the feel is still the same. I hate using a subjective concept like "feel" to explain what's wrong but I don't know what else to do. Donahue is throwing anything he can up against the wall and it is not working. We have our moments, but once the other team goes on an extended run, we give up. The defense is primarily an issue of coaching and roster, but the guys don't seem to have any fight. 

Barring a miracle turnaround, Donahue is done. Does he have any answers and will the players fight for their coach? I don't know.

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31 Comments:

At 11:42 PM, Blogger dixieagle said...

What has happened to Olivier Hanlan, wunderkind? He's had his moments, but I was expecting spectacular play from him this year.

What a truly disappointing season, with little hope of a turnaround, from what I can see. God help us when we start ACC play.

 
At 12:29 AM, Blogger Napolean Bonaparte said...

No energy, no confidence, no defense, no leadership - just the motions. Its all so weird and unexpected like some plague descended on the team from nowhere. Bates needs to do a 360 and talk to players and coaches and make sure he isn't missing anything. I just wish somebody would interview some players and find out what the hell happened here. This team has turned into one big head case.

 
At 1:31 AM, Blogger Bando '87 said...

Brutal. Just brutal.

 
At 7:18 AM, Blogger Hoib said...

Out rebounded 38-27. All u need to know. These guys are as soft as it gets.

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger Erik said...

Besides the obvious size issues and rebounding issue and athleticism issues ---I don't get that Hanlan can be having such a bad shooting year, Rahon can be having such a bad shooting year, Drag can be having such a bad shooting year, Rubin can be having such a bad shooting year, Heckmann can be having such a bad shooting year, Jackson can be having such a bad shooting year, and Owens can be having such a bad shooting year. No one hits shots. They have on the past. Is it the way they practice? The strength program?

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

The only positive out of all of these horrible games is that it will help us get a new coach sooner.

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger mod10aeagle said...

According to the Globe, Hanlan was "held out of the starting line-up for undisclosed disciplinary reasons". He still played 29 minutes. Most damning, I think is Donahue's conclusion that "bottom line -- we have a group of kids who are not playing with confidence." I interpret that to mean "I have no clue how to fix this."

 
At 9:06 AM, Blogger Mr. Tambourine MAn said...

I start this by saying that I was a huge Donahue supporter, and was very optimistic regarding this year. But with some hindsight...

We had losses to teams like Bryant, UMass, Harvard every year, Holy Cross blew us out, URI, etc, etc, etc.

The recruiting was mediocre at best, with several WTF players like Odio taking up roster spots.

The team never, even in the best of times, seemed particularly energized.

Little to no improvement in major areas. Seeing the same mistakes repeat themselves without improvement over and over again.

A lot of "trust the process" and things will get better comments.

Running quality guys off the team in his first year.

I mean, is it me, or has Donahue just been Spaziani, but with better media relations? I think we'll all look back at the end of last year the same way as Spaziani's five game win streak in his 2nd (3rd?) year, where everyone grasped for hope because we were able to beat up on mediocre competition.

Anyway, sucks to have your season completely over in December. Also, when people start going off on our tough schedule, USC and Purdue are NOT good teams.

What a disaster.

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

BB might have to run this coach before the schedule is half over.

I just don't know who the interim coach would be.

Thanks Napoleon Defildicko.

 
At 11:05 AM, Blogger Hario said...

What have Donahue's post game comments been like... has anyone heard?

This season is a complete nightmare...I usually don't think there is a real advantage to can a college coach mid-season but in this case I really would not mind out. Our season is over the first week on December in Don's 4th year. There is no reason to watch this team anymore

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

Mr. Tamborine Man

Comparing Disaster Don to Spaz does Spaz a diservice. Spaz had 2 winning seasons, that's how bad DD is. Bring back Al!

 
At 12:21 PM, Blogger ATL_eagle said...

I view Spaz and Don as two different situations. Spaz was a disaster and never should have been hired. Regardless of his record the first two years, his relationship with the players, media and staff was not good. Spaz's attitude and work ethic were issues. He never should have been the face of the program. And he was hired as a puppet for GDF.

Donahue was an established head coach and had built Cornell. His failures here are frustrating but he's never been the embarrassment that Spaz was and has done anything asked of him to build up BC. There will be full autopsies ahead from me, but I think at the basic level Donahue bit off more than he could chew with the BC job and with this schedule. He's a smart hard working guy but doesn't have the right people around him to supplement his issues. He's juggling too many plates and it has all come crashing down. Say what you will about Al's style, but he let his players play and his assistants contribute. That led to growth for all involved. Donahue has a bunch of people looking around at him.

 
At 12:21 PM, Blogger BigM said...

I was at the game, and it was a embarrassing. I don't get it. How can you be D-I athletes and have absolutely no drive, no leadership, no charisma, no heart, no emotion, and no pride? It seems like they are just going through the motions. No one is picking the team up and carrying on his back. I've seen more will to win in my pick-up games than in these guys.

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger I'm copping two... said...

I was at the game with a few other BC friends and we happened to be sitting a few rows behind Craig Smith. Boy do I miss those days.

I used to be a Donahue supporter, but this is just ridiculous. The team lacked intensity and energy. 8 offensive rebounds off of 37 missed shots. This loss is completely on the coaching staff.

If you want to blame the talent we have, that is on the coaching staff. And in my opinion, we still had the two most talented players on the floor last night (Hanlan & Anderson), but their strengths are not to stand around the 3 point line all game. Hanlan needs to penetrate, Anderson needs to post up all game long. We cannot consistently win when we shoot 3s all game long. Sure, we might beat Duke or Cuse on the one night we hit 18 3's, but those nights are going be very rare.

Donahue made zero offensive or defensive adjustments throughout the game. And his rotations do not make any sense. I understand if we lose big to a top 10 team. But getting run out of the building by a bad Pac12 team in a full rebuilding year is bad. It's sad that in year 4 of Donahue's tenure we still had a shorter bench than USC.

As a diehard BC bball fan, I want him to succeed and turn this around. But the product on the court is just getting sad. I really hope we can get something going. But I fear a 10 win season coming our way.

 
At 1:13 PM, Blogger Napolean Bonaparte said...

Oh, by the way, don't forget that Donahue is a great guy.

 
At 1:39 PM, Blogger andrew britt said...

I am a former Donahue apologist that has, like everyone else rationally watching, turned the corner.

That being said, Hanlan scored 41 points in the ACC tourney last year. Where is that Hanlan? Not sure how much of a personal regression you can put on The Don.

There is enough other issues that it doesn't matter if Hanlan was playing just as good, Donahue would still be screwed, still curious though.

 
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At 2:14 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

Well, it's one thing to move the ball around, but it's another to move the ball around with no real purpose, but to bleed the clock and throw up a deperation shot or drive at the last second.

Skinner's system was to move the ball in - let's say that again - to move the ball in.

Onahue's is to move the ball out and around - a system where we can't even get open hanging around 20 - 25 feet from the basket.

We really need Clifford inside, but I haven't heard anything about him lately.

This team is unwatchable, and that's sad.

Completely unwatchable.

 
At 2:32 PM, Blogger I'm copping two... said...

The last couple years I was kind of able to give the glaring holes in our team like rebounding and defense a pass by using the excuse "we are still really young" or "they are adjusting to a new system." But when you have a team lead by juniors and sophomores and they still don't rebound or play defense, that means that the coaches don't emphasize rebounding or defense.

These players are not dumb. I don't think it takes more than a few years to learn how to box-out or put your hands up on defense. The reason they don't fix these issues is because the coaches don't emphasize it. Do they just have 3point shooting contests during practice? The team seems frustrated and uninterested.

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger eagle1331 said...

1) Big apologist for Donahue the last few years, and even early this season. I'm off the bandwagon completely. It's a shame. He seems to be a great guy, he does all the right things for BC off the court, and he was a good hire at the time... his success and system at Cornell just haven't translated to BC and the ACC. ATL may be right on biting off more than he can chew. Personally, I don't think he ever really hired ACC caliber assistants, and I don't think he's ever changed his recruiting to "step it up" to ACC caliber players.

2) Even Craig Smith was tweeting during the game (or actually re-tweeting other people) saying things were not good...

 
At 4:34 PM, Blogger Lenny Sienko said...

I agree that Donahue is personally suited to be a coach--a good coach. He says and does the correct things. He is sincere. Donahue is a seemingly perfect fit for BC basketball, except that he isn't.

I don't think the problem is anything personal. The problem is that the system he used at Cornell, with the talent he had there was sufficient unto his purpose. That system has not translated well to BC, its talent, or its opponents.

I have never seen kids playing basketball so reluctant to shoot. Its as if there is some sort of penalty for shooting.

We also have a bad case of waiting for the referee's whistle, rather than finishing the play. The knock on toughness is part of this. Our dribble penetration is so lacking in confidence that the player is looking for the whistle-not the basket. It is no coincidence that we lead the country (at least pre-USC) in free throw shooting.

Last night K.C. Caudill was a leading scorer, in large part because he was trying to play the role of the traditional big man. He gave his effort and made some points; but we went away from what was working--in disbelief-no confidence.

The regression has been overwhelming. Odio finished last year as someone to influence games with his athleticism-both offensively, in close, and on defense, blocking shots. None of that is happening this year.

Hanlon's play seems to be to spite somebody...not sure who. He disappeared last night, deliberately?

I'm sorry that Donahue hasn't worked out; but coaching BC basketball is not his "dream job", at least not with his system.

Maybe we can lure Paul Westhead away fromr the U. Oregon Women's team. I know the games wouldn't be boring. [grin]


 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger JDK said...

ATL - any chance we could get Cooley away from Providence? Not a splashy hire but Skinner's main man could put us back on the map.

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

More mentions of nice guy. You need to google Leo Durocher.

 
At 10:09 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

what a great thread this is, its like a self help board for recovering junkies. "former steve donahue apologist here" "i'll admit it i always was behind the Don."

great comments all around and its clear that the public sentiment has turned 100% against this guy, as it should. the system is baffling, its like a 3 man weave passing drill. every time a guy drives they kick it out, its bizarre. watching the team live at MSG, its strange to see Donahue whistling and yelling stuff literally on every possession. hey man, how about letting these kids play a bit? during the Rebuild I thought, "hey, slow the game down, get everyone set up" but now, these guys have been in this system and played MAJOR minutes and they still need handholding and instruction on literally every part of every possession. i have never seen anything like this.

the season's end last year couldn't have been a bigger fools gold, especially Odio. he was a difference maker in about 10 games down the stretch. what happened?

Hanlan, as someone mentioned earlier, looks angry and the whole vibe of this team is just off. nobody has each other's back, nobody seems to care, it is strange to watch. something HAS to be going on behind the scenes, there's just no other explanation for the complete lack of chemistry amongst a group of guys that have been together now for 3 years.

Anderson is a nice player, but he would've been taking out to the woodshed and whupped by guys like Craig Smith, Sean Marshall, Birdman Lou, and Jermaine Watson (remember the story of him leaping out of an 2nd floor apartment in Cleveland Circle to avoid armed robbers?) -- Skinner's teams were TOUGH MFers who were not messed with and not intimidated. those guys wanted to win and wanted to bully people. this team is so boring and passionless, its almost shocking they are scholarship athletes.

Hanlan was on a tour de force this summer - was apparently the best player at Lebron's summer camp, the best player at Deron williams summer camp, was getting major praise from natl media guys. why is he not the focal point?

Donahue, i got an idea -- run Pick and Roll with Hanlan and Anderson every time down. if a guy complains about a call you pull him. spread the floor with Rahon, Jackson, and Heckmann. we can't defend anyone anyway, so just play a freaking zone. i don't see why this is so complicated. instead we get this nonsensical "drive and kick" ad nauseum to set up the shooters that we don't have.

another thing - its too bad the run at the end of last season likely saved some assistants jobs, and wound up costing Donahue his job. you would be hard pressed to find a more poorly qualified group of assistants in a Major Conference. look at these guys resumes! none of these guys played legitimate D1 basketball, none of them coached at a legitimate D1 coaching stop, none of them have AAU ties. why even have a coaching staff? what do they do if they can't recruit, don't know how to put a team together, and have never tasted an ounce of success on a major level? had last season ended poorly, perhaps Bates could have said "you get another year, but you need to can one of these losers and hire a local AAU coach" - something along those lines to shake it up. whatever. it is nice having such a definitive end - i cannot fathom how Bates would bring this guy back. the chemistry is brutal, there is no passion, fan apathy has to be at an all-time low, and next year is the perfect year to bring someone new in - you have a huge senior class so the new coach will have a bunch of scholarships, and i actually think there are some decent players on this team (Hanlan, Anderson, Rahon) that, with a new system and a coach that instilled an ounce of fire in the bellies of these kids, we could at least compete.

who knows, but i literally checked out of the basketball season last night after we got our asses handed to us again.

 
At 10:09 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

i had posted this too but the comment box for the first time posting on this site said my comment was too long. here is part 2:

"gee, i didn't know we needed guys over 6'5" who can bench their body weight to have a chance to rebound" - steve donahue

"we don't practice offense, all we do is the 3 man weave." - steve donahue

"we had no idea the rules were changing this offseason." - steve donahue

"we knew the rules were changing and prepared for it" - every other coach in the country

"i have no competent big men on my staff, the one 'big' i have is a 6'6 sofite [anderson]...hmm, let me send my Hobart assistant whiz kids to recruit the toughest point guard they can find, preferably one with an ivy offer" - steve donahue

if you couldn't tell, totally fed up with this garbage product.

#firedonahue
#fireonahue (because they don't play D, nice one BJK)

the Addazio hire has me dreaming big, hopefully Bates can go 2 for 2.

oh, and ATL, when can we get a post about what Bates' list may look like, that is the ONLY thing to look forward to with this sorry bunch.

 
At 1:00 AM, Blogger CT said...

Ha.

I have to admit.

I look forward to El Miz and basketball posts. I love ball as much as anyone. El Miz is spot on.

Play. Zone.

Rebound.

Something HAS to be going on that we don't know about. Harlan was benched? Why? Just curious.

Sounds like Italian captains fleeing a sinking ship.





 
At 1:44 AM, Blogger nceaglefan said...

What a fiasco, this guy is clueless. Time to be bold and put BC hoops back on the map, get Bruce Pearl! He is exactly what we need, bring some excitement to the program

 
At 3:09 AM, Blogger CT said...

Hanlan. Whatever.

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger Napolean Bonaparte said...

El Miz's comments about Donahue's assistant coaching staff were spot on. You'd think someone making that kind of money would have protected himself more. It all makes you wonder about his judgment. I also agree with those who are concerned about some problem in the background to explain the regression here. That's for Bates (and the Heights) to investigate.

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger Hoib said...

I was never a Donahue appologist. W/ every passing game it seems that Gene was interested in a not Al coach. He succeed particularly in one aspect. Al was a good coach Don is a bad coach. I'll leave Joni Mitchell to sum up "Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone"

 
At 7:58 AM, Blogger BMas90 said...

Rumors here in Philly are that Donahue might be the next coach at Penn. Current Penn coach was a star guard at the University but had little experience when he was brought in to replace the disaster before him, but it's pretty certain that he will be gone after this season. Don has history at Penn and his local so they are starting to talk about him as the next coach. Even outsiders think he can't handle the ACC.

 

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