Sunday, January 01, 2017

Basketball ends ACC drought!

I've written and tweeted about the "two steps forward, two steps back" nature of this year's Boston College Basketball team. Well Sunday they took two huge leaps forward and ended their long ACC losing streak. This BC team -- which lost to Fairfield two weeks ago -- crushed Syracuse at Conte. This year's Orange might stink, but this was an impressive win.

BC took apart the 2-3 with ease. They made a ton of 3s or moved the ball into the high post to get good looks to guys running the baseline. Bowman dominated making seven of eight 3s and setting the tone with his aggressiveness. Robinson and Turner also had big days. 

It wasn't all perfect though. Syracuse had plenty of guys who drove to the basket off of isolation. We need to work on either help or playing a little off on the perimeter. The team also had a little more trouble with the press than I would like. BC opted to throw long touchdown passes over the press instead of breaking it with dribbles and passing. I don't know if the long passes are a good long term strategy.

I can't express how excited I am by Bowman. It is not just the points, but the energy. I know that sounds kind of subjective, but I think a tough, aggressive player can change the whole culture of a team. He is the type of player that can give those guys around him confidence. Even though we have had great players like Rice, Jackson and Hanlan over the past ten years, I don't think we've had someone with this sort of vibe since Dudley. 

The other thing that I found interesting is that Garland Owens didn't play until the final minute of a blowout. His lack of playing time speaks to the change in talent around the program. The Donahue recruit has played since Day 1 and is now barely getting off the bench. That validates Christian's recruiting. 

I am sure BC will stumble some more this season. I am still not even sure if Christian can coach his way through an entire ACC schedule. But now I feel much better about our upside and what we can accomplish as the players mature.  

11 comments:

1661_Comm said...

Three solid wins for the Eagles - Auburn, Providence, Syracuse. Not sure that these teams are going to much more than .500 teams in their respective conferences, but still talented squads and solid programs, and they type of "stake in the ground" wins that the program needs.

Takes the sting out of some of the losses to teams that BC is expected to beat handily, but it's a young team and they look to be trending in the right direction. There is clearly more talent than in the past, with Robinson, Bowman, and Turner leading the way. Based on their recruiting success the past couple years, it suggests that they can build a good roster over time -- add another one or two players of the above noted players caliber each year and you have a fairly competitive ACC team (assuming some bigs included). They already have one recruit for next season who is a top 50 ranked European prospect. One can hope that the solid backcourt group will be attractive to some talented front court players, who will have an opportunity for immediate playing time in year one, on a team with potential to be competitive in ACC by adding front court talent.

It would be nice to have had Graves as a backup PG, at least for the rest of this season year. He must have seen he wasn't going to get a lot of minutes behind Bowman, but still disappointing he didn't wait until end of year before asking for release to transfer.

My one significant reservation with Christian is his coaching of defense.....would like to see him utlize more pressure defenses, particularly against lesser teams on the schedule.....instead of letting them get comfortable and settle into a rhythm against BC. Put teams on their heels at the outset and play at a fast pace, that usually favors the more talented team.

Looking forward to seeing more BC Hoops on this BLOG during the winter.

1661_Comm said...

Three solid wins for the Eagles - Auburn, Providence, Syracuse. Not sure that these teams are going to much more than .500 teams in their respective conferences, but still talented squads and solid programs, and they type of "stake in the ground" wins that the program needs.

Takes the sting out of some of the losses to teams that BC is expected to beat handily, but it's a young team and they look to be trending in the right direction. There is clearly more talent than in the past, with Robinson, Bowman, and Turner leading the way. Based on their recruiting success the past couple years, it suggests that they can build a good roster over time -- add another one or two players of the above noted players caliber each year and you have a fairly competitive ACC team (assuming some bigs included). They already have one recruit for next season who is a top 50 ranked European prospect. One can hope that the solid backcourt group will be attractive to some talented front court players, who will have an opportunity for immediate playing time in year one, on a team with potential to be competitive in ACC by adding front court talent.

It would be nice to have had Graves as a backup PG, at least for the rest of this season year. He must have seen he wasn't going to get a lot of minutes behind Bowman, but still disappointing he didn't wait until end of year before asking for release to transfer.

My one significant reservation with Christian is his coaching of defense.....would like to see him utlize more pressure defenses, particularly against lesser teams on the schedule.....instead of letting them get comfortable and settle into a rhythm against BC. Put teams on their heels at the outset and play at a fast pace, that usually favors the more talented team.

Looking forward to seeing more BC Hoops on this BLOG during the winter.

perkindc said...

Today was our day. Great day to be an Eagle!

John said...

It must have felt nice to play in front of 7200 at home on New Year's Day, instead of 700 - even if many of the fans were Syracuse fans.

Fannie's in the seats. Maybe now we'll see a surge in attendance. All BC fans need is hope, and this team just provided it.

Thank you, players and now go to Wake Forest with confidence. Congratulations.

Napolean Bonaparte said...

Outstanding! Nothing like a little confidence. Looking forward to the next game. Just play basketball.

Alisha thomas said...

Great job throughout!!

Free throws were an issue, though many of those opportunities came late and up 20, so I’m not sure if it was a focus issue or not. They did a better job preventing turnovers, but they still turn the ball over way too often on passes inside. The performance of Boston College Men’s Basketball is outstanding, Shot absolutely lights out from three. This isn’t the first time they’ve done that, so I’ll hope it’s part of the skill set of this team. They should be able to win around six—and maybe up to eight—conference games, assuming they continue to improve.

K-Man said...

A couple of things from someone actually at the game (and who has been to most home games this year)...

1.) I have been very upset at times with Christian's coaching this year - I'm not a college level coach, but I know the basics (e.g., how to defend a pick and roll, break a press, play help defense, take care of the ball, etc.) - guys would make the same mistakes over and over and the rotation would not change. Finally he has decided to go with a 7 1/2 man rotation (Chatman and Pop plus Owens when necessary) - he doesn't have much choice and lack of depth will kill us at times in terms of stamina or fouls, but at this point absent extraordinary circumstances those should be the only guys playing. Guys looked like they knew what they were doing against the 2-3 zone, we had a plan to break the press and didn't make many unforced turnovers (still a few too many at 13) - was great to watch and finally see mistakes corrected and guys in the right place (e.g., good coaching). Kudos to Christian.

2.) ATL - Graves is clearly addition by subtraction. He was not physically ready (no man strength) to play the non-conference schedule and given him leaving the team after 10 games was probably a prima donna (just based on how he acted on the court and bench and quitting on the team so early).

3.) Turner is turning into a solid third option - but he took (and made) open shots with confidence against Syracuse, which was a nice change - played solid defense and rebounded (plus lots of nice box outs).

4.) Bowman was the best athlete on the court for both teams (when is the last time BC could say that in an ACC game) - he doesn't look it but incredibly quick and explosive - and to make 7 out of 8 threes shooting practically knuckleballs was amazing!!!

5.) Fan support was a joke! Literally 80-90% of the fans there were Syracuse supporters. I stood up at a timeout to cheer after a great stretch in the second half and turned around clapping and all I saw was a entire section of dejected SU fans. We NEED BC fans to come back and support this team - win or lose the rest of the season will be exciting.

K-Man said...

A couple of things from someone actually at the game (and who has been to most home games this year)...

1.) I have been very upset at times with Christian's coaching this year - I'm not a college level coach, but I know the basics (e.g., how to defend a pick and roll, break a press, play help defense, take care of the ball, etc.) - guys would make the same mistakes over and over and the rotation would not change. Finally he has decided to go with a 7 1/2 man rotation (Chatman and Pop plus Owens when necessary) - he doesn't have much choice and lack of depth will kill us at times in terms of stamina or fouls, but at this point absent extraordinary circumstances those should be the only guys playing. Guys looked like they knew what they were doing against the 2-3 zone, we had a plan to break the press and didn't make many unforced turnovers (still a few too many at 13) - was great to watch and finally see mistakes corrected and guys in the right place (e.g., good coaching). Kudos to Christian.

2.) ATL - Graves is clearly addition by subtraction. He was not physically ready (no man strength) to play the non-conference schedule and given him leaving the team after 10 games was probably a prima donna (just based on how he acted on the court and bench and quitting on the team so early).

3.) Turner is turning into a solid third option - but he took (and made) open shots with confidence against Syracuse, which was a nice change - played solid defense and rebounded (plus lots of nice box outs).

4.) Bowman was the best athlete on the court for both teams (when is the last time BC could say that in an ACC game) - he doesn't look it but incredibly quick and explosive - and to make 7 out of 8 threes shooting practically knuckleballs was amazing!!!

5.) Fan support was a joke! Literally 80-90% of the fans there were Syracuse supporters. I stood up at a timeout to cheer after a great stretch in the second half and turned around clapping and all I saw was a entire section of dejected SU fans. We NEED BC fans to come back and support this team - win or lose the rest of the season will be exciting.

EL MIZ said...

K-Man - thanks for the insight. interesting point re: Graves - it looks like it is, as you say, addition by subtraction. still, it stings to lose a guy that could handle the ball and shoot given the lack of depth (your 1st point). hopefully neither Robinson nor Bowman go down with injury b/c the guard depth is nonexistent.

i didn't catch the game and couldn't get the replay on ESPN. really exciting to think about Bowman/JROB as our backcourt for the next 2.5 seasons. it also looks like AJ and Pop can both play. i'd like to see more Reyes at the expense of Jeffers - the bringing in of mediocre-at-best 5th year transfers and then playing them at the expense of developing others really is a trend i hope goes away in 2017 for both football and basketball.

if we can get another couple of wins in conference this season will go down as a pretty big success. hopefully Jimbo can close on a few more recruits as well.

Big Jack Krack said...

Thanks to this team and their efforts recently, things are looking up.

I now have a bet with a Wake Forest friend for a dozen Titleist ProV1 on tonight's game = $50.00. :-)

The last time I even talked about the Eagles was probably before Onahue, although Hanlon provided some fun times. But as a team? Definitely before the Cornell Coach.

Go BC - beat Wake Forest.

Big Jack Krack said...

K-Man - good points. If I lived in Boston I would get my season tickets now, this year, in order to have great seats for the coming years as well.

I had Basketball season tickets for years at midcourt, until I moved away 15+ years ago.

BC Mens Basketball fans should tune back in, and start turning out. And those who might be so inclines - get those season tickets NOW! That's my advice.

I'll be at the Georgia Tech game in Atlanta Feb. 10th.

Go BC.