Monday, March 19, 2018

Basketball roster talk

Many of the various BC sites are speculating on the Basketball team's roster for next year. With two incoming freshmen, in theory there are no open scholarships. However, that's not really how college basketball works anymore. Transfers are inevitable. Some player currently on the roster will probably want out. Playing time, issues with the coaches, homesickness, fit, whatever. It happens. I don't know who it will be, I just know that a current player will leave. But BC can benefit from the transfer market too. Good players are out there looking for a good shot on a Power 5 team and BC seems very active on that front.

As for other roster questions: it doesn't seem like Hawkins will be granted a 6th year. It is a true shame that he never got to be a factor with this team. If by some miracle, the NCAA grants him another season, BC should make room (somehow). I just wouldn't plan on it.

The last unknown is Jerome Robinson's status. If he stays, this team is a headed to the tournament. If he leaves, we take a major step back. I don't begrudge him his interest in the NBA. Even being a late first-round pick gets paid. If he does leave, BC will have to use his scholarship on a transfer, just for the depth needed for next year.

In an ideal world, Robinson returns, a dead weight player leaves and BC lands a great transfer. The reality will probably be a bit different. But the next two months are going to be crucial for next year and Cbristian's future.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Watts wins National Player of the Year

BC Women's Hockey Daryl Watts made history Sunday when she was named the first freshman winner of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. The Award serves as Women's College Hockey's player of the year award. Watts is the second BC player to win the prestigious title. Not only is she the first freshman to win the award, she is the first underclassman to win it ever.

This was just the latest honor for Watts as she also earned the 2018 Hockey East Player of the Year and was the unanimous winner of the Hockey East Rookie of the Year.

Congrats to Daryl on the great season and the big future ahead.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Bono commits to 2019 recruiting class

During Spring Ball, we pay a lot of attention to things like young players stepping up or position battles. What's overlooked is how critical Spring ball is for recruiting. Those few weeks of practice are critical for player visits. And on those visits coaches are pressing for a commitment. The latest player to buy into BC's program during a visit was Ohio DE Spencer Bono.

Bono has a good group of offers (that includes some Power 5 schools). He is also a player from a Cincinnati Catholic school, so his commitment keeps up awareness of BC in the area. Now that he is a BC verbal, I am sure more Power 5s will come calling.

Congrats to Spencer and let's hope Addazio has a series of players ready to commit this spring.

Friday, March 16, 2018

BU bounces BC from Hockey East Tourney

When BU tied the game up late in the 3rd, I had a bad feeling about OT. However, BC looked great in the extra time. They generated more shots, the penalty kill was great (and generated some O) and they were controlling everything. Yet it just took a little scramble in front to end it all. The bad guys won 4-3 (highlights below).

The BC release mentions the team waiting for selection show on Sunday, but many pundits think BC is out. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Perry getting the snaps in Spring Ball

If you weren't convinced by the staffs belief in EJ Perry during Addazio's media session, then a spotlight pic and headline in the Eagle-Tribune should be your sign that this is Perry's chance to shine. The article echoed BC's report that Perry looked good scrambling and throwing the ball. McDonald is the current No. 2. 

Perry burned his redshirt last year to only play a few minutes in last year's UConn game. It seemed like a waste. This spring -- with Brown out -- is really his time. He is going to get the reps and focus he didn't not get last year. He needs to use this time wisely, because given how things have been under Addazio, the backup will play during the regular season.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Addazio talks OL and staff dynamics

There is usually not a lot of news coming out of Spring Practice, but Addazio did reveal a few things in his press briefing Wednesday. First he talked about Perry taking reps at QB and then got into the OLine options. What I found interesting was his staff discussion. As we assumed, Trautwein's familiarity with Addazio and the continuity he provided was critical in his hiring. Addazio also admitted that in the area of OLine, he gets involved personally.

On the Defense, he explained how Smith will carry on Pasqualoni's techniques. He also made reference to Campanile being "co-defensive coordinator" -- a title he doesn't carry on BC's official website. Maybe the title (and pay bump) was part of the package to keep him at BC when other schools came calling. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

That wasn't fun

I had high hopes for the NIT. I thought BC even had a chance to win it. But after a solid first quarter, things fell apart and Western Kentucky never looked back. Losing stinks, but the way in which BC lost was also frustrating. They turned the ball over too often. They allowed way too many easy WKU baskets with bad D. Robinson and Bowman got points, but in an inefficient manner and couldn't score during BC's long droughts.

I know BC only had two days to prepare for the team and the new rules, but they didn't seem ready. And having a former WKU staffer as an assistant should have made the usual scouting challenges easier. BC couldn't find good shots and did not move the ball well or get much in transition.

If Robinson returns and Hawkins gets a 6th year, BC will be good next year. I just don't have much hope they will be special until the talent really improves. The NIT was just another example of this team not being ready to compete anytime anywhere against anyone.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Rooting Guide for NCAA Tournament

Even with the NIT bid, BC is on the outside looking in on the Big Dance. But there are still plenty of BC-related angles and teams to cheer on this week and over the next three weeks. Here are my thoughts and suggestions on who to root for if it can't be BC.

Virginia. You can root for or against any ACC team with easy justification. I would like to see Virginia do well because I think they are the model that might most be easily replicated at BC. They are very dependent on a defensive system and then recruiting to that system. If Virginia can win it all, so can BC

Gonzaga, Xavier, and Creighton. Jesuit schools. They are no longer real Cinderellas and because they are a niche basketball schools, I don't think they can serve as a model for BC. But the Jesuit connection shows that Jesuit schools can be elite in sports.

Auburn. Once again Bruce Pearl is in the Tournament. At this point, I think it is clear he runs a dirty program. But you have to admire his ability to keep his team focused as the FBI and his own Administration breathes down his neck. Not all BC guys are perfect!

Rhode Island. A nice story and good for the region. Depending on how things play out, maybe Hurley could become BC's coach one day.

St. Bonaventure. Coached by BC guy Mark Schmidt. Schmidt wanted the BC job when Christian got it. If he keeps winning in Olean, he will always be a candidate here. 

Loyola-Chicago. These guys are Jesuit Cinderellas. It is a nice story.

Providence. I know they are technically a basketball rival, but I have no real animosity towards them and I always root for Ed Cooley.

Penn. Steve Donahue is back in the NCAA Tournament with another Ivy League champ. I don't have any regrets about firing him. I don't think he was going to turn things around at BC. But I am still happy for his success back at his old stomping grounds.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

BC returns to postseason via the NIT

In the grand scheme of things, an NIT appearance should be a disappointment. Even in the context of this BC season -- which had moments of brilliance -- an NIT bid should be a big "whatever." But that's not how I feel. I am legitimately excited about BC taking on Western Kentucky Tuesday night in the NIT.

The NIT should never be the goal and our last two NIT appearances were legit letdowns and both teams could and probably should have been at large in the NCAA Tournament. This year seems a little different. After a long drought filled with apathy, mediocrity and plain bad basketball, this feels like a small step back to respectability. 

Like any tournament, winning the NIT takes a little luck. It is also about wanting to be there and peaking at the right time. In our past two appearances, the players' lack of enthusiasm was palpable. I hope this year is different. BC can win the NIT and if they do, I think many people will feel that much better about our future.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Up and down day for BC Hockey

The BC Women had another dominant season end short of a championship. This time losing to Ohio State in the NCAA quarterfinals. Sometimes facing a hot goalie at the wrong time is all it takes. I feel for the seniors who were part of this great run. I also feel like this level of success will result in multiple championships soon. It is just about things going right at just the right time.

Fortunately the Men's team is still alive. They eliminated Merrimack in Game 2 of the Hockey East opening round and move on to face BU next week at the Garden.

Friday, March 09, 2018

BC wins Hockey East Game 1

BC needed a big game from Woll to win Game 1 of the Hockey East Tournament Game 1. The sophomore shutout Merrimack with 37 saves. BC couldn't generate much offense, but their one goal was enough. Game 2 is Saturday.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Clemson ends BC's ACC Tourney run

BC's fun week came to an end Thursday as they lost to Clemson in the ACC Tournament. The commentators referenced BC playing its third game in three days as the primary source of the loss. While Bowman and Robinson didn't have their same burst early, many of BC's problems were self inflicted and unrelated to playing multiple days. BC played at Clemson's pace early and allowed a mediocre 3-point shooting team to take and make more than their usual 3-point shot selection.

BC cut their deficit to two late but couldn't tie it up or get any closer. A few bad possessions and Clemson locked down the game.

All in all, it was a good week. BC probably locked up an NIT bid and proved that they can compete with any NIT team. Now let's go win that thing!

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

BC makes clutch plays late to hold off NC State

Per David Glenn, if BC had lost Wednesday, it would have been the largest second half comeback in ACC Tournament history. But Robinson made a huge basket and forced a huge steal as BC held off NC State to advance to the quarters. It would have been devastating to lose that game after playing a near perfect first half.

While Bowman started off BC's run and Robinson finished the game, the middle was filled with good minutes from the role players. Pop was great sliding to the basket on breaks and screens. Mitchell was great breaking the press and crashing the boards. Reyes went 5-5 while finishing around the basket. It was really fun to watch.

The only reason NC State got back is because BC allowed some bad 3s. I don't expect adjustments on perimeter defense now, but Christian needs to fix it in the offseason.

BC plays Clemson on Thursday. That too is a winnable game. They just need to keep playing like they did today and they will be tough to stop.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Bowman carries BC on Day 1 of ACC Tourney

BC has two great players and one pretty good one (Chatman). The beauty of an elimination tournament is that if any one of them get real hot, that player can carry the team to victory. That's pretty much what happened in the ACC Tournament Opener, as Ky Bowman scored 26 in BC's win over Georgia Tech. Bowman's efficient day helped offset Robinson's off day. The ACC first teamer went 5-17 from the field. Popovic also played well.

Georgia Tech looked terrible. If BC had shot well from 3 or cut back on turnovers, BC would have won by 20+.

Because of the back-to-back nature of the tournament, Christian had to give more minutes to his bench and guys like Baker and Reyes were productive.

BC plays NC State Wednesday afternoon. That's a winnable game. We will just need someone to get hot again.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Landry talks combine

In case you missed it, Harold Landry did very well at the Combine. Here he is talking about the experience. 

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Robinson honored

Who would have guessed that Jerome Robinson would have such a breakout year and the conference's leading scorer? This success left him rich as the runner up in ACC  Player of the Year voting. Bowman earned Honorable Mention status. 

If he returns next year, Robinson would have to be considered a favorite to win the Conference Player of the Year voting. Good luck to Jerome and I hope he makes the best decision he can for his family this spring.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

BC can't hang on against FSU

It is fitting that the regular season finale played out the way it did. So much of what happened had been previewed with each game. That meant lots of turnovers late, an extremely thin bench, all scoring comes from the Big 3, Christian has no answer as the lead slips away, etc. Despite leading most of the game, BC could not answer Florida State late as the 'Noles won 85-76.

Because of injury, BC's thin bench got even thinner. Hopefully the team recovers or Tuesday could be the end of the season.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Revisit BC's upset of Notre Dame in 2002

I know most people don't pay attention to this but for a long time NBC and Notre Dame made most of the old Irish home games available online. But some of the BC upsets including 1993, 2002 and 2004 were not online. Now BC has put up highlights from the 2002 game up on Youtube (see below). For those who forgot or weren't around, Notre Dame entered the game undefeated, Ty Willingham had yet to lose in South Bend and they broke out their special green jerseys. We know how it ended.

There are a few things to note in the clip. The BC crowd is full and loud at the game. For a variety of reasons, this game doesn't carry the same weight with our fans any more. The highlight also excludes Spaz's admonishment to the D (that went viral at the time) about staying focused. It also is a look back at the maroon pants. I would like to see those added back to our rotation and get rid of the all-white road uniforms. 

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Erik Johnson resigns and why you should care

I know most of don't really follow Women's Basketball but Erik Johnson's resignation (force out) is important news for BC sports in general. It is clear that the mistakes of the past two ADs are no longer being ignored. Johnson was well liked. He was a "BC guy." But he simply didn't win or even compete enough to keep around. Now Jarmond gets to make a hire and signal to the BC fan community what he is looking for in a coach.

The next coach should win. BC has enough young talent on the roster. There is plenty of local talent and there is no reason we can't compete in the ACC. Johnson was brought in to recapture the success of the Inglese years. He couldn't, but the bar is not too high. It can be done again. Unlike Football and Basketball, the geography of the school nor the facilities or admissions office hamper us to the point we can't compete in the ACC. New England talent alone could keep us in the top half of the conference. 

Johnson also closes the chapter on Gene's last hire. Like other sports Gene blew up, BC is still trying to recover to the consistency and winning we had a decade ago. But unlike Football and Basketball, Gene got to screw up Women's Basketball three times. He fired Inglese, hired Crawley, fired Crawley and then brought in his old buddy and Inglese assistant Johnson. None of it worked. 

I don't know enough about Women's college basketball to know what direction Jarmond will take, but it will be hard to get much worse. This is now Jarmond's chance to see how hiring at BC works and he can be ready to make tots people are about.