Wednesday, March 11, 2015

BC runs out of steam against UNC

It was a nice little run there. BC rattled off four straight conference wins amidst Olivier Hanlan's scoring binge. But it wasn't going to last forever...and didn't as UNC controlled most of the game in BC's 81-63 loss. Back-to-back games are tough for deep team. For thin squads like BC, they are brutal. BC didn't get any points from their bench until the game was well out of hand late in the second half.

With the loss, the season is over. BC finished 13-19, 4-14 ACC and 1-1 in the ACC Tournament. That's disappointing to me based on my preseason expectations, but I am encouraged enough with what I saw to think Christian might be a decent coach. I will have more recaps on the season in the coming weeks.

With specifics to this game, here are a few thoughts:

-- Who is the real Dennis Clifford? For two years we kept hearing that a healthy Dennis Clifford would have been a difference maker. With the player we saw as a freshman, that made sense. He was a legit 7-footer with some good offensive skills. Now I don't know what we have. He showed flashes this season and worked hard on D, but I don't know what he can be. He just got man handled the past two days on the boards. Many times by smaller men. The rebounding was better against UNC, but still not enough.
-- Terrible refs. It wasn't the reason we lost the game, but the ticky tack fouls on Heckmann didn't help. You would hope that there was some consistency in a tournament like this. But things were all over the place.
-- Hanlan starts cold. He got his his points and played well enough, but his shots weren't falling early. That contributed to the halftime deficit.

The ACC Tournament doesn't really mean much when you are 12 seed. But I have hope. I have hope that things will matter soon.


Hoib said...

Clifford does not get mentally ready to rebound. Too often he is flat footed when the shot goes up. He has trouble guarding because he is too upright. These are fundementals that apparently he still hasn't learned. I'll give him a brake though because he hasn't played for 2 years and was obviously spent in the last 2 games. Not having a true 4 on the team really hurt as well. If Christian is to have any real success in this league, which is a mini NBA, he needs to get big strong guys. We've been pushed around for too long!

Napolean Bonaparte said...

I think Clifford gave it his best but after seeing him play a couple times up close as a freshman I was never optimistic that he would be a major factor. An ACC level of athleticism for a big was never there. If you don't see it when they are freshman - you rarely see it later. The guy earned his scholarship - worked as hard as he could, had some bad luck and persisted. Still an impressive kid.

JERZeagle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JERZeagle said...

(Sorry for the deleted post, i had a typo)

I know that UNC has bigger and stronger athletes than ours, but the vast majority of their offensive boards yesterday were a result of Clifford's inability to find a man when the shot goes up and box that man out. Clifford only watches the ball and then leaps for it, meanwhile guys come out of left field and grab the board

Yes, I understand that this game is played above the rim, but boxing out is the most critical component of rebounding. Finding a man and getting position is the most important part and I just feel that BCs entire team just watches the ball in the air and attempts to make a play at the ball. Its simply muscle memory/repetition from practice drills, and I get the feeling that Christian puts 0 effort in on that in practice. But what do i know.

Regardless, its always nice to watch must win games, and granted we were the 12 seed, it was exciting nonetheless.

Hoib said...


I think Onahue never gave a dam about the fundementals of rebounding and that's Clifford's problem. Even w/ the right technique it takes allot of effort, and I think Dennis was out of gas by the end of a long season after 2 years of not playing. I think he got allot better this year and I think he will improve some more next year, particularly if he gets some help on the boards. To be a good rebounding team everyone has to get ready as soon as a shot goes up. Corey Raji is a great example. He wasn't the biggest guy but he cleaned up on the offensive glass. Obviously someone taught him well. I don't think it was a coincidence seeing that his Coach was a terrific rebounder when he played.

BCMike said...

Jury is out but I contend that if Hanlan leaves for the NBA (30/70 IMO), next year's team will be among the worst teams in the history of Boston College basketball--which is truly saying something after this wretched run.

jj_2003 said...

If Hanlan gets into a really good situation, maybe he can be a fourth guard in the NBA. But so can a number of other players.

I see a long career in Europe as more likely, as his offensive skills fit readily into an "import" slot there (assuming he can't get a European passport via his lineage).

The question then is whether he showed enough when he explored the pros before and during this year to jump overseas now. If so, then I'd expect he goes. Christian thinks so too, because of how he framed the decision of going as to whether he's a NBA first-rounder--something that's very unlikely.

JERZeagle said...

with respect to BCMike's last note, i just have another thought... where would this team be without batten and brown? I know those guys aren't starters in the ACC on any other team, but can you imagine this squad without those guys? Like.... what in the HELL was Donahue doing? What an utter embarrassment and lack of any iota of competence.

I think Christian will bring in another 2-3 5th year plugs. At least bringing in those guys last year exhibited competence from our new coach. Regardless of Xs and Os, that act truly shows we made a massive improvement in light of Donahue.

ps. UNC is going to be incredible next year.

Hoib said...


I agree, I think those guys helped us immeasurably. I think Brown could have started for a few other teams, and that Batten couldn't because of his size, but the kid showed tremendous heart. I think Christian has to find a GS PG, I disagree w/ everyone else here. I think Hanlan is first round talent. Even if he's not I don't see what he gains by coming back, he can't get any better. So we won't have a point, but will in 16, so a GS would be great. Miami did just that this year w/Angel Rodriguez. When isn't UNC great? They are always loaded w/ studs. I think part of O's tough day yesterday was Paige's desire to show him up after being religated to 3rd team all ACC.

Bravesbill said...

Hoib, there's no way Hanlan is a first rounder. He doesn't have the physical skills to be one. He is probably a fringe mid to late second rounder at best, and there's probably a decent chance he doesn't get drafted at all. It's true he probably wouldn't get any better but there's a chance he could improve his draft prospects next year in what's supposed to be a much weaker draft. If he's content to play in Europe, he might as well go now and start getting a good paycheck.

Hoib said...


6ft 4in. Great quickness, great stamina. What physical skill doesn't he have? He developed the NBA game this year under Christian. He now can drive and dish, play pick and roll, and hit the step back. None of this could he do last year under Onahue. Think how good his passing would look if he had someone who could finish on the team. I do think the quality of this years draft works against him though.


Not strong enough. Yesterday was an NBA type game he was muscled out. I little bit like Troy Bell.

Hoib said...


Yesterday he was playing against an NBA team w/ Mid Major teamates, going back to back playing 40 minutes per game. How strong is Steph Curry?

Bravesbill said...

Steph Curry is quicker than Hanlan and has a much better shot. Hanlan is a poor man's version of Troy Bell.

Hoib said...

I just meant that O is stronger, and strong enough. I think he is every bit as good now as Troy was. Doesn't shoot as well but takes it to the rim much better. Soon we'll have our answer.

Big Jack Krack said...

UNC next year? They deserve the "death penalty."

We'll see how good they are once the penalties are levied.

Loss of 3 or 4 scholarships per year; forfeit a thousand victories; send the HC into scandal-fueled retirement, etc.

The Ram is in Deep Kimchee and deservedly so - they are crooks.

JERZeagle said...

Bjk, please do explain further. I'm not backing or supporting UNC, I was just saying that they are loaded with young talent and will be a force next year.

Also watched providence at the garden yesterdaym. Cooley's team is truly a pleasure to watch. Dunn is a stud, true NBA point guard talent

JERZeagle said...

Bjk, please do explain further. I'm not backing or supporting UNC, I was just saying that they are loaded with young talent and will be a force next year.

Also watched providence at the garden yesterdaym. Cooley's team is truly a pleasure to watch. Dunn is a stud, true NBA point guard talent

Big Jack Krack said...

JERZeagle - my comment was not directed at you, but UNC Athletics in general.

They have been caught cheating the system for years - no show classes; tutors taking exams for athletes; phantom courses with no exams whatsoever, etc., etc., etc.

NCAA sanctions to follow - soon? who knows? They have had athletes who could not read or write - certainly not college material.

But it's the lies, denials and coverups that are most galling. And of course with the one and done, schools can by-pass all of the college requirements - pitiful.

Google UNC student-athlete scandal.