Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Despite numerous connections through friends and alumni, BC never really took advantage of ESPN's headquarters being down the road in Bristol. Our coaches and players were nonfactors on national TV. It was only after Addazio came on board that we finally had a coach willing and able to do the dog and pony show at ESPN. During his Heisman push, Andre Williams also spent a day down in Connecticut and it was all topped off with Addazio joining the Coaches Broadcast during the BCS Championship game. I know College Football is a bigger deal than college basketball and Addazio is a TV friendly personality, but I hope BC follows the same ESPN-friendly model with Jim Christian.
Despite the coaching change, Christian has some ESPN ready talking points that should carry him through any interview. He's a new coach taking over. The ACC is adding Louisville. Hanlan is coming back and BC should be better than we were last year. Plus there is bound to be a hot topic whenever he visits, that can fill an interview (see: Addazio's Tebow timing). It is not critical what he says or even what shows he gets on during his trip. What matters is the credibility and association with the ESPN family of shows and reporters.
Right now Christian should be focusing on recruiting. He still needs to find a player or two for next year and potential transfers for down the road. But come this summer -- when recruiting hits a quiet period -- Christian needs to get down to Bristol. Those relationships help our recruiting, help public perception and help market the program. Winning games is the most important thing Christian can do, but winning over the Worldwide Leader in Sports is not a bad move.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The Giants brought KPL in for a workout. As we know there is a long history of the Giants taking BC guys.
BC is also the first to offer Cincinnati-area WR Chase Pankey.
As expected Joe Rahon will complete his college career back on the West Coast.
Monday, April 28, 2014
But if the team closes strong and plays well in the ACC Tournament, does that mean we were all wrong about Gambino? I don't necessarily think so. BCI posted a fair take that is a little more optimistic than my opinion. I think that when the season ends, you judge the Coach on the totality of his time at BC and the trends. It looks like things are trending up. And if they keep at this pace, Gambino can claim that he turned the corner. But only once the season ends will we have proper perspective on this hot streak. Writing anything now about Gambino's future is premature.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Saturday, April 26, 2014
St. Xavier Athlete Ben Glines (6-1, 200) verbally committed to Boston College today, per St. X coach Steve SpechtWhen you have certain productive recruiting territories, you need to do you best to harvest and defend them. The Cincinnati area -- with its strong Catholic School league -- has been a great source of talent through the years. I worried that Addazio might not place the same emphasis on it that TOB and his successors had. However, we got some good news Saturday when Ben Glines committed. He's listed as an athlete now but will probably play on the defensive side of the ball. He might not be as heralded as some of our previous St. X recruits, but it is important that we stay relevant in the area.
— Mike Dyer (@MikeDyer) April 27, 2014
Welcome aboard Ben.
Friday, April 25, 2014
More talk of the Falcons' interest in Chase Rettig.
Some BC students got caught running the Marathon with fake bibs. I still don't understand the fuss. I know plenty of people who ran without numbers in the past. Did tightened security keep those without numbers out this year?
BCI went through a list of potential new Baseball coaches.
Johnny Gaudreau will be part of Team USA at the IIHF Men’s World Championship this May.
22 at 22 pic.twitter.com/eqE2mEHVeF— DOUG FLUTIE (@DougFlutie) April 22, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Although most of the big names are committed elsewhere, Jim Christian's new staff is working hard to find a player or two who can make an impact next season. To get a better feel for what to expect, I asked Eric Hoffses for a quick update on Christian's recruiting. Here's what he said:
Eric Hoffses: There aren't a lot of guys left in 2014. Probably the biggest target remaining that the new staff is going after is Idrissa Diallo. He originally signed with Cal but requested a release with their coaching change.
Diallo is kind of opposite of what Donahue looked for in big men in that he lacks offensive skills right now. The positives are that he is long and athletic and an above average defensive player. He's fast for his size too. There's lots of upside with him.
Diallo is visiting, but I think its more realistic the new staff will find a 5th year transfer that can make an impact for next year rather than an incoming recruit that can make an impact.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Due to attrition and lack of talent, BC's needs Wide Receivers. There is some talent among the incoming freshmen, but a freshman is still a freshman. The staff looked for 5th years and even got to the point where they let the current players know that any leads or recommendations on potential WR transfers would be welcome. Nothing of note turned up until reports that a familiar name was back on campus. Phillips would be a nice boost in the arm. He's familiar with Ryan Day and some of the team and showed flashes at UConn when healthy. However, things are never that simple.
Phillips has not graduated according to UConn. For him to be available to play this fall for BC, he needs to finish his degree with UConn this summer. These sort of transfers happen often enough, but Addazio cannot count on Shakim for anything until he is on campus and cleared by the NCAA.
In the meantime expect more 5th year rumors. BC needs help and there should be a few more guys floating around once players graduate this May.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
AUDIO: @BCCoachAddazio talks spring practice/game & "Boston Strong". https://t.co/V6c6fR0Ad6 @JackOnSports @CoachNeuheisel #SXM91
— SiriusXM College (@SiriusXMCollege) April 21, 2014
BC also put out a video on the football fan experience. I'm a sucker for this stuff, but it has me ready for Fall.
Monday, April 21, 2014
Congrats to Patrick and Jess for completing the Marathon one year after the bombing injured them both. Patrick is a BC grad and met his wife via another BC friend. They are just one of many Boston stories shared over the past year. I hope crossing the Finish Line to together ends this chapter of their lives on a high note and that they have many happy and fulfilling chapters ahead.
I don't know what the mood will be like today during the Boston Marathon. The Finish Line will have a new sense of importance and heightened security. But I don't think the part of the race that runs along BC will be all that different. My suggestion for those BC students lining the course is to enjoy the day and cheer like crazy for those passing by. In my opinion it is the best way to honor those impacted by last year's events and those who are running today.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
The donation per foursome is $2,500. The event starts at 11 am, and is followed by a dinner, awards ceremony and auction. Each foursome will be joined by a celebrity guest.
The list of Celebrities will have the usual BC and New England feel. For BC fans or those just looking to a fun excuse to golf, this is a great event. Check out the site for more information.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
The Baseball team tied up their series with NC State on Saturday. They have a chance to win the series on Sunday.
The Softball team lost to NC State.
Women's Tennis defeated Maryland.
Friday, April 18, 2014
FYI, Arnold and Gaudreau's debuts pushes the Eagles' total to 26 that have skated in the NHL this season. The most in college hockey!— BC Hockey (@BCHockeyNews) April 14, 2014
Because of his show-cause, Bruce Pearl literally left town last weekend when a recruit made his official visit. http://t.co/PkdrZ3gHKH— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) April 16, 2014
Spinelli is an AWESOME hire for BC. He has done a great job recruiting New England in recent years— ERIC HOFFSES (@EAHoffses) April 15, 2014
Thursday, April 17, 2014
The first hire was Christian's long-time assistant Bill Wuczynski. BC will be the third school where the two of them have been together. That sort of continuity is valuable when taking over a program. Refreshingly though Christian didn't just move his Ohio staff over. Following the Spinelli model, he also hired Preston Murphy to be his last assistant.
Murphy might be the best hire of the bunch for what he brings to the group. He's young. He's recruited New England extensively and most importantly he's worked at BC before. Christian lacks that connection to BC tradition and the BC basketball alumni community. Although Murphy didn't play at BC, he's been around the program long enough to help Christian adjust.
NCAA rules cap the staff at three. Christian still has to announce a Director of Operations. The Director of Ops is essentially another assistant coach, but there are limitations on what the Director can do with regards to recruits. But Christian is off to a good start. He's got two bulldog recruiters in Spinelli and Murphy and his trusted aid in Wuczynski. On paper it should work. Now they have to get some players on board to fill out the roster for next season.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Olivier Hanlan quietly announced his return to BC. That's the best news of Jim Christian's short tenure. Who knows what sort of feedback Hanlan received from the NBA or what his true motivations are for returning, but I think this can be one of those cases where everyone's interests line up perfectly for one season.
Hanlan is a great talent. He's got an inside and outside game and can score at will. He's shown he's capable of taking over games -- much like he did in the ACC Tournament last year. In basketball -- especially at the college level -- one great player can carry a team. However, that didn't happen this past year. The schedule the offense, the chemistry, and the coaching all muted Hanlan's ability to take over. If Jim Christian is smart, he won't let that happen this year. He should just let Hanlan take go crazy every night and let the other guys fill in around him.
While letting one guy score at will is never a great way to build chemistry, I think it can work for one year. Olivier can have the type of season the NBA wants, BC can get to .500 and Christian can generate some excitement with fans and recruits.
It would have been nice to have Anderson around for the Olivier show, but what we probably need is a 5th year who is immediately available and can just bang and rebound. Hanlan's return also points to Rahon leaving. But if Hanlan is the ball handler next year there wasn't much room for Rahon to be the "true point."
For BC to be great again, we will need a lot more than Hanlan. But he does give hope for being good again and that's good enough for Year 1 under Christian.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Wilkes University named former BC assistant Izzi Metz as their new head coach. Although it is D3, this is still probably a good move for Metz. He gets to rehab his career while also learning how to be a head coach. Best of luck.
BC named Johnny Gaudreau Eagle of the Week...one last final honor as he turns pro.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Spinelli’s deal, the specific terms of which were not disclosed, will make him one of the highest-paid assistants in ACC, a source said. During the 2012-13 season, the last season contracts were made available via an open records request, Spinelli made $202,000 with the Terps. According to the source, Boston College offered Spinelli a significant raise.
BC doesn't release salaries and as a private institution, it doesn't have to release anything (at least until tax filings a few years from now). But this validates some of the speculation that BC increased the budget for the basketball program. We know that Ohio received a $500,000 buyout for Christian's contract. We know that Spinelli got a "significant raise" from his $200,000 salary. All this talk of money raises and answers some questions that have lingered since the basketball season ended.
It appears BC is ready to make a financial commitment to basketball. Spinelli is a nice piece, but I hope we compliment his strengths and Christian's needs by increasing the recruiting budget too. Facilities upgrades would also help. Yet we still don't know Christian's salary. I hope we didn't overpay for him. Not because I don't like him, but because there wasn't a market demand to overpay him. Spinelli is a lead assistant at a ACC/Big Ten school. He can demand an big salary to move. Christian had no such leverage when making the jump from Ohio.
Christian didn't have leverage, but other coaches did (Wright, Howland, McCaffery?, Chris Mack?, Chambers?). Could BC have upped the budget just a bit more to get one of these guys? Should they? I would have but I am not Brad Bates. But looking at the troubles Cal is also going through on their search, maybe some of these guys just decided to wait this cycle out.
The money shows a commitment from BC. It is the first step. Now BC and the Christian staff need to come up with a shared philosophy with regards to admissions.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
BC target Scott Patchan, but he's decided to follow his father's -- not his brother's -- footsteps to Miami. Meanwhile, Matt Patchan is visiting the 49ers this week.
Lacrosse beat Virginia Tech.
The Softball team lost to Maryland.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Gaudreau wasn't the only Eagle to receive accolades. Kevin Hayes and Matthew Matheson also earned All America honors.
As for the guys returning, York was quick to point out how young the team was and how solid they should be next year.
Friday, April 11, 2014
BC Coach Jerry York: Union is an excellent hockey team. My hats off to them.— Union College (@UnionCollegeNY) April 10, 2014
Thanks everyone for all the support over my last 4 years at BC. It was an incredible experience that i won't forget. I will miss all of you— Bill Arnold (@BillDaHurricane) April 11, 2014
If it's over, and I think it is, thanks to Johnny Gaudreau for being the most exciting hockey player I've ever seen. Good luck.— BC Hockey Blog (@bchockeyblog1) April 10, 2014
One key difference between Steve Donahue and Jim Christian is that Christian is going after proven high-major assistants for his staff.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 8, 2014
Not feeling the NCAA hate with regard to UConn’s APR troubles. Not a high bar to clear. Their program fell woefully short and paid the price— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) April 8, 2014
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Immediately after the game the focus shifted to Johnny Gaudreau. BC's leading scorer will soon decide if he will forego his remaining eligibility and turn pro. I am sure York will give him sound advice. While this is not the storybook end, Gaudreau did about as much as he could at the college level.
-- BC's official Media Preview
-- How Union plans to stop our top line
-- USCHO on Jerry York
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Another top target, QB Brandon Wimbush, shared his thoughts on BC with 247.
Rich Gunnell took a Head Coach position with a local High School Football team.
The ACC named Sarah Mannelly Player of the Week.
Baseball lost to Dartmouth.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
The latest rumor is that Maryland Assistant Scott Spinelli is poised to join Jim Christian's first BC staff. Spinelli would be great. He's recruited for an ACC program. He's recruited New England. He would be instant credibility on the recruiting trail. I hope the rumors are true. But Spinelli is only part of the puzzle.
Christian's introduction to BC went well. He said the right things and hit the right notes. But ultimately it will be about wins. I hope that given his history as a head coach he knows this and will adapt. Hiring Spinelli is a sign he gets it. Talking to Hanlan about staying is another sign. Now he needs to get the others to buy in and he needs new players ASAP. I remain optimistic and look forward to staff announcements. But I know the staff is only the first part of building a winner.
Monday, April 07, 2014
I have decided to transfer from BC. Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the last 3 yrs. Proud I was able to be an Eagle #RIPDK
— Ryan Anderson (@_AndersonBC12) April 7, 2014
I usually don't worry about transfers, but this is unfortunate for many reasons. I hoped that everyone would come back, Christian might pick up a late flyer, produce a super soft schedule and get us into the NIT. That seems less likely now. I assume Hanlan will declare for the Draft too, leaving an eight-win team without its two best players.
Rahon was also part of the rumors. However, one rumor I heard was that he was waiting to see what Hanlan does first. If Hanlan leaves, Rahon would supposedly stay, knowing that he would be the team's true point guard. I don't know. The last month has left me very distrusting of rumors.
I also think this is a bad move for Anderson. What's the upside? One year with a better team closer to home? Maybe. But he has to wait a year and the mix at whatever team he picks now could be very different by the time he hits the court in 2015. Anderson was the face of the program during a downturn in BC basketball. It would have been nice for him to stick around for any potential rebirth.
Putting the potential departures aside, long-term this shouldn't hurt Christian. Hopefully it just speeds up his roster churn. While this is not an ideal time to pick up recruits for next year, it has been done (Jared Dudley for one). Transfers are pretty commonplace in college basketball and very expected during coaching changes. Good luck to Ryan. I hope he has a happy ending to his career. Now let's hope Jim Christian is working the phones for someone to replace him.
Sunday, April 06, 2014
Baseball lost their weekend series to North Carolina.
Demko will be blogging about the Frozen Four for NHL.com.
Lacrosse beat Duke.
Two team showed up for ALJ's Pro Day in Brockton. That's two more than I ever would have predicted.
Softball lost to Pitt.
In case you missed it, Dominique Williams will be the McGillis scholar again.
BC has interest in Georgia recruit Daniel David. However, South Carolina looks to be in the driver seat.
Saturday, April 05, 2014
Friday, April 04, 2014
Hiring is not easy. Anyone who has a perfect record in hiring hasn’t made that many hires or holds his/her employees to a low standard. Plenty of great Athletic Directors have made bad hires. None of us knows what Jim Christian will do at BC. Given his track record, he’ll probably be decent. Jim Christian’s record and future is Brad Bates’ problem. Our problem as BC fans and members of the BC community, is different. Our problem is Brad Bates. Given how he has gone about this process and what we’ve seen on other fronts, I have real doubts about Bates’ ability to get other big things done.
Brad Bates knew in January that a basketball decision -- and likely change -- was coming. I know he solicited input from alums and BOT members. Bates might not be quick to show his hand or share all his thoughts, but during these conversations it was implied and agreed that barring a miracle finish, Donahue was gone. Now if Bates had a change of heart or didn’t have buy-in from all the decision makers, then he needed to start working the politics of the decision then. You start building consensus:
-- “what do we want to be as a basketball program?”,
-- “what is our budget?”, and
-- “what are we looking for in a coach?”
Those are basic questions but have a million different answers. It is Bates’ job to find that consensus and win over the impacted parties. Then as the season closes, you quickly make your announcement on Donahue, have a solid list of interested candidates lined up, and go through the hiring process in a clear manner and you hope the coach you hire turns out to be great. As we know, that’s not what happened.
Donahue and his staff were given the impression they were coming back and then they weren’t! Agents reached out to BC throughout the winter and then deeper into the process and never given much insight into what BC was doing or what we wanted or what we were paying. Board members were all over the place with opinions, desires to make a big hire and those who had their personal favorites. Some candidate were deemed worth the price. Others not. Supposedly some Board members reached out to high-profile candidates directly! Bates paid Eddie Fogler to advise the process and just muddled it that much more. Players were told to be patient and led to believe that a big name was on the way. All the while BC preached patience. And yet the whole search wore on and on and it started to become clear the process got away from its owner. In the end we ended up with a coach whom Bates and Fogler knew yet left the fans, boosters, media, ACC, basketball community, recruits, players and even some within BC saying “who?” and “why?”
The Addazio process burned some bridges when it went down. Fortunately his personality and winning season converted some of the doubters. But this process reopened some of those wounds and made them worse. Some big donors will give to BC because they always do. Others will now have second thoughts. You don’t give big money to a guy you don’t trust or who nods like he’s listening and then does the exact opposite. But a big part of this job is having a vision, shaping that vision and selling it to the BC community. The two coaching searches and the long delayed Master Plan, leave all sorts of questions about Bates' ability to navigate and sell. And if he thinks Jim Christian is what BC basketball is all about, then maybe Bates’ vision of BC isn’t what it should be.
Marquette, Wake Forest and Washington State fans are all looking at each other wondering if they are better off than they were before the coaching change. The only schools that seem happy are Auburn and Virginia Tech. Those schools and their ADs moved decisively and didn’t fumble around with regards to money or direction. And many of the mid major guys elected to sit this coaching cycle out, betting on better jobs to come. Howland’s delay in returning to coaching seems more about him asking for too much money. So maybe even with a better process, the results would have been similar. But BC deserved a better strategy since we’ve known it was coming once Donahue’s final year fell apart.
This is not an easy job. Some of the politics and intrusions are the aftermath and overreaction to how things used to be run with Gene. But it is on Bates to step up and manage his constituents better. I don’t mind Bates attempting to do things his own way or on his own time as long as the end result makes sense and everyone is united. I fear this process just drove things further apart.
Basketball won’t be an issue Bates has to address for two or three years. Football looks okay for another two years. But that doesn't mean that Bates doesn't have future landmines to navigate. We have to push for major fundraising and construction projects. We have to address the baseball facilities and the baseball coaching issues. Also, Jerry York is not going to coach forever. Can Bates learn from his mistakes? Can he take better control of his Board? Let’s hope so, because if he doesn't BC is going to have to ask ourselves: “what sort of Athletic Program do we want?”, “how much do we want to spend on Sports?” and “who is the person to lead that effort?”
His energy is contagious & his passion inspiring, which will resonate throughout our program, & he is a proven winner. #WeAreBC— Brad Bates (@BCBradBates) April 3, 2014
2015 recruit Jeremy Miller tells me that he is still firm in his commitment with #BCEagles after the new coaching hire today— ERIC HOFFSES (@EAHoffses) April 3, 2014
It would be myopic for Boston College to hire a coach who has not successfully recruited BCS talent from NE prep + grassroots programs— Pete Hutchins (@CoachPeteHutch) April 2, 2014
Thursday, April 03, 2014
There a few different types of college basketball coaches. There are the ascending icons who win every step of the way until they reach a destination job. There are the guys who get their shot, don’t win enough and are never heard from again. Finally, there are a few guys who manage to carve out a space in between. These guys win and know basketball, but never stay in one place too long. Politics, a little losing, or another opportunity come along and the guy is gone. They are almost placeholder coaches. I feel like Jim Christian is a placeholder. I am more optimistic than most about the hire, but doubt he will be here in five years.
For a school that built its basketball reputation as a stepping stone for ascending coaches, getting a placeholder seems like a waste of time. I will write more about the process, but I am not fooling myself that we should have come up with a bigger name. This isn't about that. It is about hiring a coach who would have been a better fit and had more upside. For all the questions about Addazio, his fit and his ability to recruit were never in doubt. Both of those qualities can cover a lot of holes and mend a lot of fences.
We cannot overlook Christian's ability to win consistently in the MAC. Just like we cannot overlook his underwhelming time at TCU or his reasons for leaving that job (short version: fit). The MAC success tells me that when the playing field is level (relatively speaking) he can outcoach the majority of his conference. The struggles at TCU shows that he is not a miracle worker. If he didn't like TCU's place in the basketball landscape or the school's support for basketball, how is he going to feel about Boston and trying to win in the ACC?
The aspect of this hire that most perplexes me is Christian's recruiting reputation. He's the opposite of Addazio and a blank slate throughout the region. Can he change now? Does he have an ace recruiter ready to join him? If he wants real success, he will have to find some way to connect to elite talent.
I will be patient with Christian. I think he can get BC back to being a bubble team. Maybe he can do more. I don't know. I just feel like the next few years will be a pitstop in his career and uneventful time in our basketball history.
Boston College has agreed in principle to a deal with Ohio University's Jim Christian, multiple sources told ESPN.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 3, 2014
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Murphy is more critical since he'll likely begin the season as the starter. As the Herald wrote, he's closer to the prototype QB that Addazio wants. I expect much more running than Rettig did last year. Which is good news since there were so many big holes available for our QBs last year.
Bordner might be a more interesting story. Keeping him around as a WR was an interesting tidbit, but the fact BC is pushing him to the press, confirms the transition is going well. We are thin at a skill positions, so whatever Bordner can do -- either as a possession guy or a deep threat -- will be welcome.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
So we are close...or we're not. This guy is getting the job, but wait, he's totally not. The sky is falling! We're going to make a huge splash!
Ohio's Jim Christian involved at BC, but no offer on table and still unclear whether he's leader in clubhouse. Story: http://t.co/tyn4PGdzeh
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 1, 2014
St. Bonaventure Coach Mark Schmidt was in Boston area today for his first in-person interview with BC, according to sources.
— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) April 1, 2014
A new name has emerged as a contender in the BC mix, Ohio Coach Jim Christian. Sources say he's a legit candidate.
— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) March 31, 2014
St. Bonaventure's Mark Schmidt and Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins are no longer options at BC, sources told ESPN.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 1, 2014
I write this with some strong conviction: none of that news came from Brad Bates. This is from the coaches and/or their agents. And even then, I doubt the veracity of much of it.
I can be as unreliable as the rest, but let me share what I know.
1. The Board approved a significant budget for the new head coach. I don't know if that budget is tied to certain candidates. I don't know if there is a closed window on the approval. I also know that having a big budget doesn't guarantee the ability to hire whomever you like, but it leads me to believe BC and Brad Bates have bigger ambitions than the names floated.
2. There have been prolonged discussions with candidates not highlighted by the media. Once again, talking to and actually signing a big name are two different things. We had talks with Bill O'Brien and Al Golden during the football search and nothing came of it. But once again, it speaks to Bates' process.
I don't know who we will hire at this point. Once we actually make a hire, I will give my opinion on the process and the end result. Until then, I just have to be patient.