Friday, December 09, 2016

New low for BC Hoops under Christian

The Harvard game could be rationalized away. Losing at home to a previously 2-8 Hartford team cannot. This is the lowest point in Jim Christian's short tenure at BC. We all thought the new AD would have to deal with football first. I think the timing and the start of the season means Basketball team will probably be addressed this spring.

For those who didn't watch the game, it was extremely frustrating. BC opened up an early lead and seemingly checked out in the first half. Robinson was cold, so BC had no answer on offense. Against a simple 2-3 zone (with bad America East level talent) BC could not score. What was worse is that they didn't even know what to do. BC knows it will face a 2-3 every year in Syracuse. Is there no preseason preparation on how to operate against one? Finally and ultimately too late, they realized they could get their big guards clean looks from the paint with a little high low. Why did it take 20 minutes to make that adjustment?

More alarming was how bad the D was. This BC team has decent athleticism and some big guards and wings. That should create all sorts of defensive benefits for BC. Yet Hartford had multiple open 3s because of bad rotations and defenders helping the wrong guy. Who is teaching these guys?

I am probably overrating the current BC talent, but I am hoping there is something there. Because if we are hoping for Christian to save things with Xs & Os, we're doomed.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

More bowl previews

More and more bowl previews are coming out (here and here)  and even though Maryland is favored, there are some who like BC's chances. I am still unsure, but Maryland's flaws give me hope. Below is another clip previewing the game.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Harvard hands BC another basketball loss

In his first two seasons, Jim Christian managed to avoid losing to Harvard. That changed Wednesday night as the Crimson beat BC 74-66. Harvard built a big lead early. BC chipped away a bit in the second half, but couldn't close the deal in the final minutes.

This Harvard team is better than their last two teams, but this is not one of Amaker's best. This was a winnable game and Christian should have had the guys playing better. Especially on D. Also, where is the supposed speed that he was preaching in the preseason?

It is still early in the year and this team is still young, but I am starting to worry. The transfers don't really seem like ACC caliber players. That leaves a huge burden on the young guys.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Temple sends another coach to a Power 5

Addazio's successor at Temple is moving up to the big time. Baylor hired Matt Rhule to be their new head coach and signed him to a seven year contract. Rhule's association with Temple means he was never going to be a BC coach, but is interesting to look at Baylor's move as it relates to BC.

There were plenty of jokes online after the announcement that Baylor clearly didn't learn from Al Golden and Steve Addazio that winning at Temple is not always a good indicator of future success. But I don't even know if Baylor would see themselves as something comparable to BC. This process has shown they are in their own bubble and lack perspective. I am sure they see themselves above BC given their location and financial commitment to football. I see them as a program that struggled for a long time prior to Art Briles and one that could likely struggle again, especially if Texas ascends back to the top of the Big XII. If anything, Baylor should look at the challenges Golden faced at Miami and realize Rhule could have the same issues due to "fit."

Al Golden never became part of the "U." He was an outsider and that hurt with the fanbase, the local recruits and the alumni. If he had won at a higher rate things would have been smoother, but ultimately they never embraced him and that made it easier to fire him. Rhule is a true northeast guy going to a very religious school in the middle of nowhere. He is going to heavily recruit Texas for the first time. Plus, like Golden, he will have the looming scandal repercussions hanging over the rebuild. It is not an ideal situation. We had many questions about Addazio coming to BC, but a culture and recruiting fit was not one of them. 

I don't know how Rhule will do at Baylor. No one does. But I don't know if it is fair to use Addazio as a benchmark for anything. Each coach is his own man and each job has its own unique challenges. 

Does Baylor's decision offer a little validation to Brad Bates' hire? Is Temple really a legitimate stepping stone to Power 5 jobs? I think we are past the point of validating the process that produced Addazio. It doesn't really matter after four years of on-the-job results. And it doesn't really matter for Bates since he won't be hiring the next BC Football coach. The only lesson that BC should take away from Baylor is that they made a major investment in their program and it led to more wins. I think BC can do the same thing, and hopefully unlike Baylor, not ruin our reputation by covering up the crimes of the football players. 

Monday, December 05, 2016

What others are saying about BC's bowl

I think the various BC communities had consistent reaction to the bowl announcement. Most BC fans realize the Quick Lane Bowl is not the same at making the College Playoff, but it is still a positive opportunity. Most BC players on social media and the coaches seem very excited about playing in any bowl game. The general college football community seems a bit indifferent. Others took a mocking tone. All of that is to be expected. Both teams had plenty of rough moments this year. But BC shouldn't care. Ignore the chatter and win the game.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

BC bowling in Detroit

As predicted by most, BC will play Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl December 26 in Detroit. While technically this game doesn't share the same official legacy of the previous bowls in Detroit, this is basically the same game. It is the same stadium (Ford Field) and the same date after Christmas. BC will face old ACC foe Maryland. There is nothing particularly exciting about this game, location or matchup, but that's fine. BC just needs to win and this game is very winnable.

The Terps open as slight favorites. But neither of their units are especially strong (93rd in Offense, 80th in Defense). If BC can play like they did against Wake and NC State, they win. If BC's D struggles...well we know how that goes.

The game is at 2:30 PM. I know some of you will be back in the office, but I imagine many BC fans will be able to watch. I doubt many will travel, but for those who do, buy your tickets through BC.

I hope the players are excited. This has been an frustrating and disappointing season. A win here would be a slight bit of redemption.

There will be plenty more bowl coverage in the coming weeks. I know no one wanted to be 6-6 and in a meaningless bowl, but at least we have one more BC game. That's always a good thing.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Hoops win, Hockey loses

Basketball took care of Dartmouth Saturday. Robinson led the way with 27 points. Dartmouth is not a good team, but every win helps. BC was able to control early and never really feel threatened. BC takes on another Ivy League team Wednesday night.

The Men's Hockey team had a huge game Saturday night. They took on North Dakota at Madison Square Garden. BC just had trouble scoring and were behind more most of the game. Even a late surge late in the game wasn't enough. The team has a few days to regroup before Northeastern on Tuesday night.