Monday, January 13, 2014

Everything right and wrong in a loss to Syracuse

For long stretches we caught a glimpse of what it was all supposed to be. BC was burying 3s. Conte was rocking. Boeheim pouting. This is what many of us hoped for prior to the season. It was what Donahue sold and what he still seems to think can happen. Most importantly, it was fun. But it didn't last. Syracuse pulled away and won 69-59.

As much fun as those moments were, there were still too many familiar problems. Dennis Clifford didn't play. We had no answer inside. Syracuse had possessions when they were able to rebound, rebound and rebound again. The turnovers were maddening too.

What I did like is that Donahue kept his rotations short and consistent. The best players played the most minutes. This might stunt Owens growth or Magarity's time, but the random rotations of earlier in the year didn't work. Lonnie got hot again. He's a weapon and should have been seeing the floor more this year.

Close doesn't count. Being up doesn't count for much. But there was more fight in the team. Please let that carry over to the UNC game.

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27 Comments:

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Claver2010 said...

Odio getting 36 minutes in year 4 for Donahue is all you need to know about his recruiting.

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger Erik said...

Basketball wise there is no reason to accept a moral victory with 3rd year starters.
However, as a fan base we can be happy we got to experience being "in" a big game against a top team, at home, with good turnout. It seems like its been forever since that happened and is what people were ready for before the season ended before it started.

A friend was at the game. Not a BC alum or fan necessarily, and not a Syr fan, just a hoops fan. He told me the place was deafeningly loud, and "A+ effort from the BC crowd. Never seen it like this. "

Pretty cool. Maybe that atmosphere will get more students to the next game that isn't Syr or Duke.

I wish we won, but I definitely has fun watching. It felt good.

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

It was fun even though we knew the superior athletes would go on their decisive run at some point.

What wasn't fun was watching our free throws clang off the rim.

Thank you for the nice effort, everyone.

The Clifford situation might never get any better, unfortunately.

I think they were saying that Owens has "turf toe" or something.

It seems as though we could get more from Magarity, but I don't watch enough.

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger ModA36 said...

Yes, that was fun to watch, but the clear inferiority of the athletes is striking. They basically had to play perfectly to lose only by 10 or whatever it was. Magarity does not have strong enough hands to catch the ball in traffic against tougher and stronger players.

I always wonder what the beef with Conte is. In the Big East days, it was always rocking and a great atmosphere. It ain't the place, it is the people (or generally, lack thereof).

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Even when BC went on its run to go up 8 with about 12 minutes to go, you knew that Syracuse would go on a run and win fairly comfortably. The contrast between big men on both teams was stark. If BC ever wants to improve, it needs to get bodies to clean up the boards.

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger JBQ said...

About the free throws, BJK is right. Syracuse went on a 16-1 run and BC missed free throws. Against Villanova, Syracuse was down something like 27-8 and went on a 24-1 run. That is what they do. About the bodies, Bravebill is also right.

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Napolean Bonaparte said...

There is nothing wrong with the BC fans or Conte. Just give them something to get excited about for a change. Xavier, Creighton, Gonzaga, Marquette, Notre Dame, Villanova and Georgetown all seem to be able to recruit and field exciting competitive basketball teams. But BC always seems to fall short and disappoint. You'd think it was the smallest Catholic school of the bunch with the least resources. The problem lies with the quality of the adults responsible for the program over the years - not the fans.

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger JD BC90 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger WI_Eagle said...

I agree with Napoleon but with a caveat -- from '00-'01 through '06-'07 we were on par with or ahead of all of those programs in terms of competitiveness, excitement, fanship, etc. But since then all of those programs have passed us up (or more appropriately we have regressed relative to them).

Another thing that is great for BC as a whole but makes for softer basketball crowds is the success and excitement of the hockey program. Unless you have no family, no kids, and no job, it is impossible to get to all of the basketball AND hockey games (although students have no excuse). So folks like me who like both sports end up going to ~50% of each of the home games. I wouldn't change anything about the hockey program obviously, but for a small, private school running two big time programs in the winter season dilutes the fanship. It is what it is.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger ModA36 said...

Another problem with the crowds is the move to the ACC. While it was probably great for football, it is much worse for hoops. We have nothing in common with GTech, Wake, FSU, Clemson, VTech etc., and in fact, most of us know no one who even went to those schools. But with Villanove, GTown, St. Johns, Syracuse, Providence, Uconn, these were all natural rivals. Sure, they drew some fans to Conte too, but the level of excitement in the gym pre-ACC was much better, and mostly BC fans. And it wasn't just quality of our teams.

Remember that through 2009 (or so), BC had the best record in the league over 4 years other than Duke and UNC.

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Napoeleon-
Xavier, Creighton, Gonzaga, Marquette, Villanova and Georgetown are basketball-only schools. No major football or hockey like BC.

 
At 2:34 PM, Blogger Hario said...

This team hasn't been to the tournament since a first round loss in 2009 and are something like 64-78 since & consistently losing games to mediocre programs(Toledo, harvard every year, BU a couple years ago, Yale a few years back)

The fans aren't showing because the product is mediocre at best.

I am not sure more analysis needs to be done why Conte isn't selling out for men's bball every game.

 
At 2:36 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

I'm not sure that I get it about BB only schools vs FB and Hockey and BB. Each of these programs should pay for itself and should be operated independently. What am I missing?

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger WI_Eagle said...

Joseph -- my point is that it stretches the fan base. If you're a Marquette alum and you like sports you go to Marquette basketball games. For BC you have the option between basketball and hockey (in the winter).

But yea, put a great product on the floor and it is much less of an issue.

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

Ok, Now I see what you are getting at. As you say, put a good team out there that gives some excitement every time and the seats will be filled. ND seems to be very good at every sport in which they have a team. Of course, being out in the boonies with no immediate pro competition makes it a lot easier.

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger GP11 said...

Posters have to stop blaming the students. I'm a recent alum who went to every basketball game I was on campus for. I was part of a lot of middling crowds, but I don't blame the students who didn't. The team hasn't made the tournament in 5 years. The longer term history of BC basketball is strong but nobody in school now remembers Dudley, Smith, Bell, etc unless they are BC lifers or college basketball fanatics (and those are the kids going to the games anyway). There's so much going on around campus and enough schoolwork that the product needs to be compelling. We're all sports fans on this blog so that's sometimes hard to understand but not everyone at BC is. Scheduling mediocre teams to start the year (and losing to the likes of Harvard, Holy Cross, etc) doesn't inspire students to think bball is a must see sport. Had the team performed to expectations to start the year and with the solid schedule, this year could have been different and sparked a change. The fact is the team is going to need to put together a top 25 season to start to get students to pack the house regularly, and then back it up the next year. Then the momentum will pick up and word of mouth will get the casual fans (or just kids who want to be part of the crowd) more invested.

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger dixieagle said...

If you win it, they will come. Very simple.

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger Legal Eagle said...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20140114/tyler-murphy-transfer-boston-college-florida/?eref=sihp


On a brighter note, the football program got some potentially great news today.

 
At 5:40 PM, Blogger CT said...

Tyler Murphy to BC.

Just saw that on CNNSI.com.

 
At 7:30 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

2014 will be very interesting at Alumni. Daz knows how to mix it up.

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

the team stinks. and we are the only offense in america the runs the "get the ball close, and then kick it out or retreat" offense. this isn't rocket science.

hario, saying the product is "mediocre at best" is an insult to mediocrity! this is below average in all phases - the system is not conducive or fun outside of the few minutes per half when they are hitting their shots (remember Gene D said he hired Donahue in part because of his exciting style of play), Donahue's whistling is freaking annoying, and the players are below average.

we need a new coach first and foremost.

 
At 9:08 PM, Blogger Napolean Bonaparte said...

The fact that BC has a major sport in hockey going on at the same time and perhaps diluting the enthusiasm/attention paid to basketball was a fair point. But that doesn't apply to Notre Dame. And the Catholic school I hate the most is the one that we should aspire to the most. ND almost does everything extremely well: great academics and great or always good in every sport. So be like ND (excluding the aholes).

 
At 10:15 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Napoleon-
Syracuse is another useful comparison. Similar caliber of football program, same geographic region, but their hoops program is light years beyond ours.

 
At 11:12 PM, Blogger Walter said...

"Be like Notre Dame" sounds nice in theory (both Catholic schools that appeal to the same demographic) but in practice it is very different.

They have a monopoly on the local area they are in for college sports. BC does not. BC should market itself more aggressively at Fenway and at schools/colleges without sports in Boston.

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Hoib said...

El Miz

Loved your post. I'd add 1 more thing. I remember Gene at the introductory news conference for Donahue talking about you'll see guys diving for lose balls, I'm sure it was his snide way of giving 1 last stab in the back to "lazy Al". Having said that, when was the last time u saw one of the current team go to the floor?

To the rivalry point it would be great if we could play hoops in the NBE and football in the ACC. I'm a N.Y.er who still really misses the tournament and being able to go to it. We all know it'll never happen, so we need to make the best of where we are.

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger Claver2010 said...

Stop the NNNNNNBE is dead and has been dead for years.

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger Coast said...

Notre Dame is absolutely the goal for BC's athletic department.

I have a hard time understanding why ND being "out in the middle of nowhere" has anything to do with attracting talent. ND is a winner's school with a winner's mentality. They are able to draw quality athletes to a cornfield. It's not that much different from being a college program in a "pro sports town." Do you think everyone packing the ND stands went to ND? Far from it.

 

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