Tuesday, March 03, 2015

BC lose to Sox in Frates game

No one expected BC to beat the Red Sox Tuesday. We never do. So the close game was a bit of a moral victory. The focus of the day and game was really on former Eagle Pete Frates. Both teams honored him by wearing his number and there were special videos played prior to the game. BC starts playing games that count again this Friday.

The Red Sox also beat Northeastern earlier in the day.

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Red Sox Frates jerseys

The annual game against the Red Sox is a nice tradition. It helps promote BC Baseball and keeps ties between the two organizations. The Red Sox honoring Frates like this make the relationship that much more special.

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Monday, March 02, 2015

Eagles on a roll

BC won again. Back-to-back! I almost forgot that was even possible! BC's first half was better, but overall they did enough down the stretch to beat Virginia Tech 66-59. Other than escaping the bottom of the ACC standings, the other big takeaway was that BC didn't need a great game from Hanlan. After a strong first half, Olivier cooled off, yet BC still controlled. Some other thoughts:

-- Batten! His 18 led BC scorers. I loved the way he drove to the basket. Even with missing a dunk he finished 7 for 9 from the floor. His slashing kept VT honest and opened other things on the floor.
-- Good D again. Virginia Tech is bad, but BC's defense made them look worse. 4 blocks and controlling the boards limited shots. The movement on D was smooth too (until the final minute...because BC has to give their fans ulcers).
-- Winning without a bench. In many losses, Christian blamed the bench. In this game he only went eight deep and only got five points from the bench, but it didn't matter. All the starters played well.

The team is coming together. It is a little late to matter, but that shouldn't stop them. Maybe we can make a small run in the ACC Tourney.

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What should expectations be for BC Baseball?

Sorry for the misleading headline. I want to use this post to address BC Baseball this season. The long-term future of BC Baseball is a different and more complicated topic. However, after winning three straight in the Snowbird Classic, Baseball improved to 5-6. They play their exhibition against the Red Sox Tuesday and then start ACC play against Florida State this weekend. Putting aside the predictable sweep by LSU, this season is off to a promising start. But a season is not built on a few out of conference wins. The team needs to compete in ACC play. Which brings me back to the question: what should expectations be for BC Baseball this season?

At this point in Gambino's tenure, I think the team has to finish close to .500 in ACC play and win enough of the remaining out of conference games left on the schedule to finish above .500 overall. This is his 5th season. He's been around long enough to refresh the full roster once. We improved his staff in the offseason. Yes, there is still no new field, but that is an issue out of his control.

Perhaps I am setting the bar too high. What are you thoughts?

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Sunday, March 01, 2015

Hockey is a 3 seed and other links

After things shook out over the weekend -- including BC's split with Notre Dame -- Men's Hockey fell to the 3 seed in the Hockey East Tournament. That is still enough to give them a bye into the Quarterfinals.

The Women's Hockey team crushed Providence in the opener of their Hockey East Tournament.

Baseball improved to 4-6 with their win over Kansas.

Women's Lacrosse upset Syracuse, ending a 0-13 streak against the Orange.

Women's Basketball beat Virginia Tech on some last second free throws.

Johnny Gaudreau is excited about the chance to play in front of his hometown crowd.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Woo Hoo! We won!

That's how it is supposed to be! BC played well in nearly all aspects of the game and beat NC State comfortably. If BC came to play, the Wolfpack clearly did not. This is the same NC State that beat Duke and UNC. Clearly they expected to coast and ran into a focused BC. The best takeaway from the game was that BC played the full 40 minutes and didn't let the W slip away.

-- Defensive rebounding. The best part of the defense was limiting second chance. Leading the charge were our guards. I don't know if Christian told them to hang back and crash the boards, or if this was just a random day, but it made a huge difference.
-- Not folding late. Admit it: when Clifford fouled out with plenty of time left, we all got a bit nervous. But BC converted enough free throws and didn't make too many mistakes.
-- Hanlan stays hot. He didn't score 30, but he still played really well. His early 3s set the tone. He also did more defensively than he's done of late.

One win can make a huge difference. I now believe the guys can make it two in a row when they take on VT Tuesday.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Hockey take game one from ND

BC took an early lead against Notre Dame and then held on for the final two periods for a critical 2-0 victory. McChosen and Tuch scored the goals and Demko made 35 saves. The two teams meet again on Saturday.

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Tweets of the Week


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Themes of Spring Practice

Spring Practice is here and Addazio has a lot to accomplish. He keeps telling the media what he's building long term, but in the short term BC needs to use these few practices to lay the foundation for next season's offense.

The presumptive favorite remains Darius Wade. He was the more sought after recruit. He is the only QB on the roster with playing experience and he has the most upside. When talking to the media, Addazio will occasionally slip and let the world know that it is Wade's job. However, in preparation for this set of practices Addazio seems to be keeping an open mind with regard to Flutie and newcomer Elijah Robinson. I expect Wade to win the job and be our starter next season. But he needs to show that he's up to the job this spring. Despite looking around, Addazio did not bring in a 5th year QB over him. The staff calmed themselves about rumors regarding a Wade transfer. Addazio is basically all in on the young QB. Now Wade needs to show improvement and leadership and get this team ready for the rest of spring ball and summer workouts. If he stumbles, Flutie seems like the next guy up.

The Offense
Addazio couldn't have been more clear on Signing Day that this was not Ryan Day's Offense, but rather his. And it will remain his scheme under new Offensive Coordinator Todd Fitch. But that is also easier said than done. The logistics and dynamics of having a new play caller will impact the team. They start working the kinks out now in practice. Addazio wants to run, so that is not going to change. But the Fitch/Wade combo should lead to more passing and explosive plays from the passing game. Hopefully we will see that in the Spring Game.

In all his recent interviews, Addazio is sure to mention the young, inexperienced offensive line. I don't know if he is purposefully lowering expectations or has real concern. It is probably a little of both. Regardless of what the coach fears, I am not worried about the OLine. Harris Williams should be back and healthy in time for the season. The other guys have more experience than the media is letting on. Bowen played a lot last season and looked good in jumbo packages. Baker also looked good in limited duty. Potential Center Frank Taylor remains the most untested. But I think OL is the one area where a good position coach can make a huge difference with the available talent. Justin Frye put together very solid squads his first two years at BC. I have complete faith he will do it again with the guys he has available. Will they dominate? Maybe not, but I am sure they will run block well enough for BC to remain competitive and productive.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How is Hanlan's hot streak impacting his draft prospects?

Olivier Hanlan tested the waters for the NBA Draft last year and wisely decided to return to BC. With his midseason slump it seemed like he would also spend his Senior season at the Heights. Now that he's on fire, many -- including me -- are speculating that he'll enter the Draft this spring. But it is far from a sure thing.

According to Draft Express, Hanlan is still not among the Top 100 Prospects for this Draft. Draft Express also slots him as just the 21st best Junior. (Draft Express updates their rankings daily.)

NBADraft.net ranks Hanlan as the 89th best prospect.

Now neither site is a guarantee nor do they address the needs that various NBA teams may have for a scoring combo guard. It is also likely that their rankings are lagging behind the growing consensus regarding Hanlan.

There is still plenty of basketball to play and Hanlan's final weeks will impact how NBA teams feel about him. For selfish reasons I don't want him to leave, but also think it is probably in his best interest. How high is he going shoot up the boards? Maybe he'll become a borderline 1st round prospect. If that is his status, he might as well return, get his degree and try to become a first-round lock.

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