Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Academic honors and other links

The ACC named Jon Baker, Truman Gutapfel and Kevin Kavalec to its All Academic team. They all deserve congratulations. What's comforting is that regardless of the season and regardless of the coach, BC continues to place students on these sorts of lists and teams. It speaks to BC's academic structure and the type of kids we recruit.

The BC Women's Hockey team waltzed to another Beanpot Championship Tuesday night.

Hockey East suspended Miles Wood one game for elbowing BU's Ahti Oksanen during Monday's Beanpot Championship. Wood was given two minutes at the time, but the league viewed the game tape after and felt the penalty deserved more punishment.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Almost


BC played their best basketball in weeks but still couldn't do enough to upset North Carolina. I admit I believed. When Carter made his 3 with just over two minutes left, I thought it was going to be our night. But even down the stretch BC made familiar mistakes (losing assignments on D and forcing bad shots on O) that cost them the game. Adding to the woe of the loss, Turner went down during the game with a bad looking injury.

As much as we might want to take away a lot of positives and hope from this game, you cannot. BC's been outplayed and overmatched in all their other ACC games. Play three more close games and then I will feel like we are seeing progress.

I feel for the fans who were there. They almost got to see something special.

The next chapter comes this weekend. Who knows what to expect.

Monday, February 08, 2016

BC brings back the Beanpot!

Alex Tuch's overtime winner (below) gave BC its 20th Beanpot. OT can go in such crazy directions, I am just glad BC wrapped it up in the extra time. Let's hope this serves as another one of York's springboards to bigger hardware.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Broncos win Super Bowl without BC


There are no BC guys on the Broncos' roster, so no Eagles picked up Super Bowl rings Sunday. Luke Kuechly performed well, but football is a team sport and Denver had the better defense on Sunday.

There was lots of talk prior to the game if Kuechly was the all-time best Eagle in the NFL. I still think it is too early to tell and still think Matt Ryan has the better chance to retire with that title. Kuechly has a Defensive MVP, but elite linebacker's windows are much shorter than QBs. As Peyton Manning showed, Ryan might have another eight or nine more competitive seasons. In the end, I want them both to do well. I also hope we send a lot more guys to the NFL over the next few years so that others enter the "best Eagle" competition.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Losing continues in Louisville

During the scoring drought at the start of the game, I really started to wonder if BC would score more than 10 points before the half. Things have gotten that bad. Even with a few runs to make it closer, the final score was pretty representative of how bad the loss to Louisville was. With listless play like this it is only fair to ask if this is the is going to be the worst basketball team in BC history.

What were the positives? Barnes-Thompkins showed some fight and made a few nice shots. Dennis Clifford -- who was overmatched inside -- still played hard and did all right defensively. That is about it. Like all really bad BC seasons, watching is becoming a chore.

The national basketball people are saying Christian needs time. I agree. But this season is not giving me much hope. Great coaches have down years. I don't think great coaches have years this bad...especially when the roster is filled with their players.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Post Signing Day staff shakeup

Todd Fitch and Ben Albert are gone. Paul Pasqualoni and Rich Gunnell are on board. With the announcement coming just a day and a half after Signing Day, you have to infer that all of this has been in the works for a while. As soon as Addazio demoted Fitch, there were rumblings he was unhappy. Despite his shortcomings as an OC, Fitch was a very good recruiter, so it was important for him to stay on until all LOIs were signed.

I am not sure why BC waited on Albert. Like Fitch, there was gossip he would be gone for weeks. Unlike Fitch, he wasn't critical to recruiting.

In their places come two familiar names. Paul Pasqualoni gave Addazio his first big break in college and has served as a long-time mentor. Hopefully he can help Addazio through this rough stretch. He's overqualified as a Defensive Line coach and should be a good local recruiter. Rich Gunnell will now be Wide Receivers coach. Since wrapping up his playing career, Gunnell spent time as a GA at BC, a DLine coach at Tufts and a Head Coach in High School. He's an unknown at this level. But the staff needs youth and someone who can connect with recruits.

The school also announced that Ricky Brown will be a recruiting coordinator/quality control coach. This is more administrative and does not count towards the NCAA ten staffer limit. I am sure Brown will be helpful, but he will not be on the road recruiting and has some limitations with player interactions.

All in all, I think Addazio upgraded. He removed an underperforming recruiter, added some youth and added a mentor/game manager. Maybe 3-9 was the turning point.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

What is the path back to success?

It was fitting that BC's poorly rated recruiting class signed on the same day as the basketball team lost again. Many BC fans are wondering: "will it every get better" and "what do the coaches have to do?" The simple answer is "yes" and "everything." I don't know if Addazio and Christian will be the ones to fix their respective programs, because I feel like both are missing an element to true, long-term success.

Talent is what is most important in all sports. At a basic level, Christian and Addazio (and Brad Bates) get that. Addazio is a passionate recruiter and Christian put an emphasis on hiring ace recruiters for his staff. BC is never going to have its pick of the best players. For the sake of this post (and your own sanity), just accept that. However, BC can still get enough elite talent to win championships. But to win those championships, BC needs really, really good talent AND systems in which that talent can excel. The system aspect is where I feel like Christian and Addazio are both missing the mark.

Addazio got me thinking about systems with his Signing Day press conference. He acknowledged that BC can't really outskill top teams. He said the emphasis is going to have to be on OL and DL. It was an echo of the Pro Style discussion. Addazio has upgraded the skill talent, but not to the level where we can win on skill alone. Now he is banking on OL success and a slightly different look and style of play from most of the conference. It is the formula that worked before. I hope he can execute it at BC.

If Addazio is transitioning towards a different system, Christian is showing no signs of the same structure. Losing to Virginia should serve as a reminder. The Bennetts have won without elite talent, but with a rigid system (in their case pack line D). We've used more zone of late, but haven't gone all in on anything offensively or defensively. It is sort of the opposite of Donahue (and even Skinner). On paper Christian's talent is an upgrade, but the talent still seems lost. Perhaps it will click as they age, but I prefer a more proven model in case the talent doesn't ever reach elite levels.

The way the basketball season is headed, I think all BC fans will be questioning the future. Things will get better. I just hope it is sooner rather than later.