Monday, July 06, 2015

CFN's BC Preview and the challenges or BC's current roster

College Football News posted their BC preview and their roster breakdown. The preview is pretty straightforward and hits on most of what we know and expect. Reading the player piece was a bit more of a reminder of the challenges we face this season. CFN ranks BC's best players as Hilliman,Wujciak, Daniels, Kavalec, Simmons, Adbesmad, Williams, Alston, Willis and Moore. Going purely on their history, that is not an elite group of players. If those guys are really BC's best players, then we need to hope for a few breakout seasons.

Of CFN's best, a few might still become All-ACC players (Hilliman, maybe Alston, maybe Kavalec?). Hilliman will probably get plenty of carries and showed great potential last year. Alston is a playmaker in space. If BC can get him the ball in situations other than sweeps, he could also be elite. Kavalec will get plenty of chances to make plays on defense. He started strong last year before plateauing a bit. Let's hope he can make the jump.

A couple of guys showed moments of greatness in the past, but now face huge question marks due to injury (Williams and Adbesmad). I have a little more faith in Williams' return since his injury and recovery were fairly typical. I don't know what to expect from Adbesmad. Like Swigert, after so many setbacks, any production Addazio gets is a bonus.

The other guys -- Simmons, Willis, Wujciak, Daniels, and Moore -- are all likeable and productive players. Each will make a play or two over the course of the year that will win BC a game. BC has won for decades with guys like these. Yet on our best teams, I don't think any would have cracked the Top 10. This is where I feel like the downturn in talent/recruiting under Spaz finally shows itself. Spaz and his staff found plenty of "BC guys." But didn't find enough elite difference makers that you need to win a conference.

But the shallow preseason Top 10 doesn't mean that all hope is lost. I do believe in Addazio's young talent and think that plenty of recruits who didn't make the list will step up and have huge seasons.

Jackson signs new deal with Detroit

Congrats to Reggie Jackson on his reported $80 million deal with the Detroit Pistons. After he turned down a smaller extension with the Thunder, many questioned if he would ever get as good a deal elsewhere. Turning down the deal also led to the trade to Detroit and many wondering if Jackson was worth the money or the fuss. Fortunately for Reggie (and his fans), he played well in Detroit and is now part of the Pistons' plans going forward.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Friday, July 03, 2015

BC recruits talk about how BC recruited them

Rivals put up a good summary of each of BC's current verbals and how BC approached them. Two things stood out to me. First, the varied time frames of each recruitment. You had guys like Scooter Harrington that were offered as freshmen in high school and others who BC approached later and moved on quickly. That shows that as much as a program wants to plan and build a class, they also have to be flexible and jump on late bloomers and new opportunities.

The other thing that stood out were the multiple mentions of Don Brown and Ben Albert. Al Washington is often mentioned and credited with the bulk of recruits, but all the coaches contribute. (And if you don't recruit well, Addazio will make a change.) At some programs, a coordinator like Brown wouldn't be as involved. At BC he is. That's a big asset, especially since he's recruiting players for his system. Albert is big on Twitter, so I imagine he can relate to young players well.

This is the first full Addazio class that won't be huge. Who they select and how they recruit is even more important this year. It is nice to see that recruits respect BC's approach and that all the coaches are finding "dudes."

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Dudley traded and other links

Good news for BC fans in D.C.: Jared Dudley is coming to town. Dudley has done many events for BC alumni over the years and I am sure things will be similar in Washington. Plus he will serve as a nice replacement for Paul Pierce.

Another BC guy excited about a trade is Jimmy Hayes. The Massachusetts native is coming home to play for the Bruins.

Anthony Castonzo is now giving cooking tips.

BC pitcher John Nicklas didn't get drafted this June. That has him motivated for a big Senior year. His teammate Justin Dunn is playing in Cape Cod this summer.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

BC adds a punter to recruiting class

Recruiting class are not just about stars and ratings. It is also about backfilling positions, especially in unique areas like Special Teams. It looks like Addazio found his punter of the future, as Texas kicker/punter Grant Carlson committed Wednesday.

Ignore Carlson's low rating. His position ranking (5th overall) is signal that he has enough leg. If a guy has enough leg, he can refine technique and improve (with BC's coaching and private special teams coaching). Carlson also kicks too. Maybe we will luck out and he'll be an asset in both.

BC has recruited plenty of good kickers and punters over the years. When they struggle it is rarely about the leg and all about the head. We won't know if Carlson can hack it at this level until he takes the field. Good luck to him and welcome aboard. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Unhappy Oklahoma is good for the ACC

Oklahoma stirred the pot in College Football over the last few days by publicly complaining about the current Big XII. There are a host of issues but the main two are Longhorn Network undermining any chance of a Big XII Network and the lack of good expansion prospects. Nothing will happen this summer, but Big XII weakness is great for the ACC.

As long as there is just a four-team playoff and five major conferences, there will be plenty of selection controversy. Four major conferences with four auto-bids would make more sense. And if you take the next step, four-auto bids as part of a eight team playoff would work well. Some form of consolidation will come. It the Big XII is the weakest conference, then that means the ACC is safe. Plus the ACC's flexibility with Notre Dame is a clear signal to Texas or any other unhappy Big XII team, that we are the best destination for their athletic programs.

BC is never going to drive the conference shuffles, but we can influence things. I hope Brad Bates is working the back channels in the conference and the Big XII in a way that makes the ACC and BC stronger.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Thoughts on the out of conference Basketball schedule

BC announced their non-conference schedule and it is best to call it...soft. The best games -- outside of one holiday tournament -- are Harvard, Penn State and Providence. This is not a schedule to build BC's resume. It is designed to help Christian get through his second season with a very young roster.

I don't begrudge the soft scheduling this year. It is the same philosophy we are using in football. The belief is the easier wins now will lead to better wins in a few years. It's the opposite strategy of Steve Donahue's Death March meant to impress Selection Committees. The idea is that the team learns to win before taking on ACC teams. I think it might work. I also don't think we are heading to any tournament this year, so the team's resume is a non-issue. I also don't think scheduling a bunch of heavyweights would generate much interest. Or at least as much interest as winning should.

My only real gripe is not scheduling more local teams. Why not schedule a BU or Holy Cross in place of Delaware or St. Francis? Even though they are not basketball rivals, teams like those do carry some tradition. A little juice and energy into a non-conference game is better than nothing.