Sunday, February 09, 2014

If you can't say anything nice...

When things are falling apart, there is not much a coach can say to the media and fans to make it better. The less said the better. The biggest problem with explaining what's going wrong is that the most loyal fans either already know or have already heard it. With Duke in town, I am sure the post game media mix had some new faces and some national guys. It led Donahue to say this:
"We have the No. 1 hardest schedule in the country and I don’t think it’s even close, and it may have been a little bit too much to bite off for this group,’’ Donahue said. ‘‘That being said, the next three weeks is critical. We've got to play and play well. We've got to have fight and can’t have those moments we had tonight. The next three weeks we've got to play and got to have some success, and I feel confident this group will."
It is nice that Donahue owns up that the team had moments they shouldn't have against Duke. I hope the next three weeks are great. But stop talking about the schedule. Like the Clifford issue, it is over. The team didn't respond, but that doesn't excuse the ACC play.

This quotes reminds me of other BC situations that have gone bad. I don't think many BC fans think ill of Donahue now. And I don't think sentiment will dramatically turn if we end the season with a whimper. However, I do think he will lose some good will if he keeps talking about what went wrong. It may not be intentional but is sounds like excuse making. Instead I hope he focuses on fighting hard and trying to win over the next three weeks.

(HT to the EO boards for pointing out the quote first.)

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20 Comments:

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Hoib said...

Of course Onahue will put a spin on things. He's not going to tell the truth and say he's a terrible coach.
My whole focus now as a long time fan is what comes next. We are now at the point in this season where we were w/ Spaz w/ a few games to go in his last year. Maybe this team will win another game or two, which I doubt, but what will that matter.
I want to see if Leahy and Bates will go all out to rectify this situation. I have my doubts as to whether they will be willing to come up w/ the funds necessary to do so.

 
At 8:14 AM, Blogger Claver2010 said...

BTW Onahue, Kansas has the toughest schedule in the country.

Didn't know the toughest schedule in the country caused us to get blown out by Purdue, Auburn, & USC all of which are near the basement of their conferences.

Wish someone in the media would ask him about recruiting a big guy, we're currently 340th out of 351 in rebounding and he knew this was an issue. Though it would probably give him a reason to trot out the Clifford excuse.

He's a bad coach, oh well only a month left till the rebuilding starts again.

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger Napolean Bonaparte said...

He should place the blame on all the academic requirements our kids have to meet that nobody else has to meet other than the Ivies. Then he should jump on the cold weather. Last but not least - he should blame the youth issue and how our players are young for their ages and haven't matured normally due to the stringent academic requirements.

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

The guy is a failure. He whistling stinks.

 
At 10:25 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

Donahue's record as HC before BC:

1. 2000–01 -- 7–20
2. 2001–02 -- 5–22
3. 2002–03 -- 9–18
4. 2003–04 -- 11–16
5. 2004–05 -- 13–14
6. 2005–06 -- 13–15
7. 2006–07 -- 16–12
8. 2007–08 -- 22 –6
9. 2008–09 -- 21–10
10. 2009–10 -- 29–5

How did BC hire a coach who had a losing record in the Ivies for 7 years before starting to win? GDF is why. Man had no ability to select HCs.

Q: Who were the 2-3 most successful HCs hired by GDF?

Here is a comical aside on GDF aboutwhy he hired Jags over John Harbaugh!

-----

The Eagles, according to DeFilippo, interviewed Harbaugh for the job in a downtown Philadelphia hotel, as Harbaugh was employed by the Eagles at the time as their special teams coach. DeFilippo, in fact, was thoroughly impressed by the now Super Bowl-winning coach.

"Leo Sullivan (Vice President of human resources) and I interviewed John Harbaugh in Philadelphia," DeFilippo said when reached by phone. "To my recollection, we interviewed him at a hotel in Philadelphia. I’m almost positive of that."

His impression?

"I thought he was great. I thought he was a great person, and a great coach," DeFilippo said. "(Former Eagles coach) Andy Reid told me he was as good a coach as he had on his staff. So to the best of my recollection, we interviewed John Harbaugh. He was very well-organized. I can’t say enough good things about him. I could not have been more impressed.’"

There was no second interview, however. The Eagles did not bring Harbaugh to their Chestnut Hill campus for a follow-up.

DeFillippo wound up hiring Jeff Jagodzinski, the former Packers offensive coordinator who was fired two years later. Why Jagodzinski over Harbaugh?

"I knew Jeff better," DeFilippo said. "Jeff had worked here for two years as our offensive coordinator in 97 and 08. So he knew Boston College. But John Harbaugh, I have nothing but great things to say about John Harbaugh."

 
At 11:17 AM, Blogger TheFive said...

Donahue has not worked out at BC, and certain of the reasons why (e.g., his inability to recruit, his inexperience in a major conference) were predictable when he was hired.

That it took him 7 years to turn around a Cornell program --- which he then led to the tournament several times, including to the Sweet 16 --- did not predict this failure. That school was (and, now that he's left, remains) an absolutely atrocious basketball program. And Donahue took that program as far in the tournament as Al Skinner had ever taken BC.

You want to say that Gene failed to pressure Donahue to hire the proper staff, particularly after Joe Jones left for BU? Valid criticism. Or that Gene shouldn't have taken a chance on somebody without major college basketball experience? Also a valid criticism.

But that it took Donahue 7 years to build a program at Cornell? What he did there was a freakin miracle.

It's too bad he hasn't worked out. He's represented the school well in nearly every public forum. Part of him has to see the writing on the wall, and he minimizes it by hyping the difficulty of BC's schedule. It's too bad. But there's no parallel to the disaster of Spaz, who turned into a cornered dog when he realized he was in over his head --- lashing out at everyone and everything within his reach.

 
At 11:38 AM, Blogger mod10aeagle said...

The clip from a BC practice that was shown during the first half of the Duke game, in which Donahue told the team that Jabari Parker was highly inefficient and that Duke was winning because of the scoring from all the other players, was really not a good TV moment for Donahue. Immediately after it, one of the commentators asked, "What did he mean by that?" I don't recall a response to that question, but I think the right answer is that he was simply confirming his inadequacy as a coach.

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

And remember mod, GDF also could have hired Jim Harbaugh out of USD, which I implored BC to do at the time. Alas, Harbaugh wasn't even a candidate. He then proceeded to go to Stanford and turn that program into a national powerhouse before leaving it in the hands of an able coach in Shaw.

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger Tim said...

#1 ranked hockey team plays in beanpot title game tonight. Why are we talking about a basketball press conference?

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Lenny Sienko said...

I saw one moment from the Duke game that epitomized what has happened with Coach Donahue at BC.

BC was having a good first half. It was clear that Donahue had added a few flourishes to his system for the game. We actually saw a couple of well-executed back door cuts and Hanlan was back in the offense as he hasn't been since late last year. The kids were doing some free lancing and seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Rahon is bringing the ball up in what looks like something we haven't seen much of; i.e., a delayed fast break. Rahon is about to make his move when there is a whistle. He stops like he was shot, turns to the BC bench, looks at Donahue, nods, and then goes into the ineffectual perimeter weave.

For someone who has not been to a live game, comments on here about whistling and what seemed like ref's whistles interrupting play finally made sense. Donahue has his team conditioned with a Pavlovian response to his whistling. the players are on a short string, which Donahue pulls way too much. React to the whistle of get yanked.

We keep asking "What's happened?" Its the coach's control.

A coach needs control; but there has to be an element of freedom and creativity to the players' game or we end up with what we've been seeing this year. Donahue, in his increasing anxiety, is over coaching and micromanaging to the point of stifling the team. He has to loosen up and let them play.

I don't think he can undo the damage with this group. They need someone else-quickly. My fear is that the BC administration won't do the necessary.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

You hit it on the head with the over-coaching, Lenny.

"Rahon is about to make his move when there is a whistle. He stops like he was shot, turns to the BC bench, looks at Donahue, nods, and then goes into the ineffectual perimeter weave."

Just from a personal point of view, I couldn't stand any coach who over did it - especially my basketball coach in high school.

Even Bob Cousy was prone to over-coaching. We were ahead of Providence and the great Jimmy Walker by 18 points midway through the second half in the old Roberts Center(I think 66/67 season) when Cousy ordered the slow-down. We went from 18 points ahead to 3 points down with a minute to go - thank goodness we somehow pulled out the 1 point victory or I would have assaulted the Living Legend.

If I were able to attend basketball games now, you'd hear me screaming at Donahue during the whole game - especially when he whistled.

Coach the players in practice and during time-outs - and let them play to their natural rhythm.

They and the fans deserve it.

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger JBQ said...

The word "succinct" comes to mind with the comment of BJK.

 
At 6:58 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

The 5

The fact that Onahue is a nice guy and Spaz a prick is a distinction w/o a difference. They are both losers.


mod

That Gene was just the worst. He takes Jags because he knew him, so if you follow that logic why didn't he take Cooley or Coen over Onahue?

He just made it up as he went along.

 
At 7:50 PM, Blogger Knucklehead said...

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At 7:52 PM, Blogger Knucklehead said...

Leahy is from Wisconsin and he wanted the Catholic guy with ties to Wisconsin(he was the fraud, non-play calling OC with Green Bay before BC). Simple as that.

Said it when they hired the clown.

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

the Five - what Donahue did at Cornell was NOT a miracle, it was an extraordinary amount of luck. i am good friend's with a guy who played at Harvard during Donahue's tenure. Cornell had always been a sub-par IVY LEAGUE program with Donahue. what changed? he got lucky with 3 players - Louis Dale the PG (Ivy League POY in 07-08), Jeff Foote (best big man in the Ivy Leagues) and Ryan Wittman was Ivy league POY in 2010. by chance, Donahue had the 3 best players in the Ivy League at the same time, and his team finally moved up the standings. he had 7 years of mediocrity prior to that, and another 4 at BC right now.

Fire Donahue. can't wait until the team is under new leadership.

 
At 10:28 PM, Blogger Tim said...

#1 ranked hockey team wins 5th straight Beanpot.

 
At 12:44 AM, Blogger CT said...

He doesn't get credit for recruiting those guys? Isn't that sort of the whole point? I'm not arguing for the guy, after all, the ACC is the big leagues, but having three of the best in any league isn't all luck. Can't have it both ways.

 
At 7:51 AM, Blogger Alexandra Rothwell said...

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At 9:48 AM, Blogger Hario said...

His Cornell record is pretty irrelevant at this point.

If he had a winning record in the ivies for 10 years before coming to BC -- it wouldn't change the fact that the BC program is drowning right now and he has been a failure.

His excuses and defensiveness about this season really just make him come of as worse... may even sour employers for his next job.

The team he built isn't good, the scheme doesn't work and he isn't a coach ready (may never be) for major conference basketball.

Month left and we can really move on.

 

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