Sunday, March 26, 2017

South Carolina is the Final Four team that gives me hope

Instead of getting discouraged, I tend to look at successful college teams as inspiration for BC. While most are very different from our school, there are always a few similarities that lead me to believe BC can duplicate (or even succeed) their success. While all the Final Four teams give me some hope, the one that might be the best model for BC is South Carolina.

With our shared Jesuit roots, BC has plenty in common with Gonzaga. But they don't have a football team and have used basketball to create their college sports identity. They also don't play in a Power 5 conference, so many of the things they do to compete are somewhat irrelevant to BC.

North Carolina is a fellow ACC school. Their success is a reminder that we are part of the best basketball conference in the country. Any ACC team can and should compete for National Titles. But North Carolina's historic success and unique brand makes their model a little more difficult for BC to replicate.

Oregon is not a traditional basketball power, so it is refreshing to see them in the Final Four. But the Pac 12 identity and the mountains of Nike money have little in common with BC.

South Carolina might not seem like the best model for BC, but they do give me hope. Like BC they are a Football school first. Like BC they have had moments of basketball success but are not viewed as the 'power' team within their conference. They have money but not more than their conference foes. Just a few years ago they were struggling, but made a coaching change and have improved. I also appreciate that they made the Final Four as a mid-level seed. Even when BC has been very good, I feel like we were underseeded, so a 7 making the Final Four is also encouraging. 

BC has a lot of decisions to make about sports in the next 12 months. Unfortunately Basketball is not high on that list. But one day soon, things will turn around. BC will make the Final Four. If you don't believe me, just look at what South Carolina pulled off. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

BC gets 2018 kicker with familiar name

Addazio added a kicker to his 2018 class with Connecticut's John Tessitore. If the name is familiar it is because the Choate kicker is son of ESPN and BC's Joe Tessitore. Kickers don't usually make or break a recruiting class, but I feel like Tessitore could be a big shot in the arm. With his commitment we will get more media attention and favorable mentions from ESPN. Joe Tessitore does a good job supporting BC without crossing any lines at ESPN. Now his colleagues will have a free pass to mention John on various shows and game broadcasts.

I also think John has the chance to help Addazio build this class. He is a son of an Alum. He is a New England kid. He is a true student athlete. He can use social media and other tools to help sell other prospects.

Congrats to John and the Tessitore family. Joe called the most famous kick in BC history as a student. Let's hope John makes and even bigger kick during his time at BC.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Don't read too much into the Jim Paquette news

Friday afternoon, Loyola and Jim Paquette announced that he would step down as their AD in June. The news immediately sparked internet speculation that he is coming to BC as the new Athletic Director. After talking to a few people this evening, I am pretty sure this is coincidence and Paquette is unlikely to get the BC job.

I haven't written much about the AD search lately because there hasn't been real news. BC's fundraisers are answering some big donor questions and the school has signed Parker Search, but no hard news on interviews, finalists or even a hard timeline. But this is what I do know and how it fits in with the Paquette situation.

-- BC is telling donors that they want someone who has hired multiple coaches -- and hopefully a football coach -- in a previous job. This would seem to eliminate Paquette right off the bat. Loyola doesn't have a football team and Paquette never made a football hire. He has hired coaches while in Baltimore but never under the microscope or challenges of a Power 5 type revenue sport hire.

-- The new AD will not have ties to Gene Defilippo. This might not be fair to Paquette or any of the other BC staffers from the GDF era, but it is understandable position from BC. If they want new energy, new ideas and a new face to present to the donor and sports community, it doesn't look great to bring in Gene's righthand man.

Then there is the timing on Paquette's part. The BC job has open to speculation ever since BC publicly announced that Bates' contract had not been extended. He's been a lame duck since. Any interested candidate has had ample time to work the back channels and prepare for an opportunity. Someone like Paquette would especially have insider info that most candidates would not have. If he thought he was in the mix for this job, would he make such a big change now? Leaving Loyola does nothing to help his candidacy. If anything it might raise questions. I haven't talked to Paquette about this -- but I doubt he takes this risk if BC were an immediate option.

I could still see Paquette return to BC in some capacity or even become AD one day years from now. But given the timing and the public stances of BC's current leadership, I don't think he is getting the job now.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mock Drafts and other links

Sometimes you see Mock Drafts that capture the first round. This one goes much deeper and hence predicts that John Johnson goes to the Redskins and Milano to Green Bay.

247 notes the importance of new verbal Joey Luchetti's Lawrence Academy teammates. I don't think this was a package deal, but getting the other guys that much more excited about BC is not a bad thing.

For those who missed it, BC provided a nice recap of Father Monan's funeral. The links also includes video from the Mass.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Practice Facility gets Boston approval and other links

Paperwork shouldn't be such a big deal, but the City of Boston signing off on the Indoor Practice Facility is big news. There will be plenty of bumps ahead, but this really means that BC can break ground this year and show recruits some progress.

The Heights confirmed that BC is using Parker Executive Search to run its AD process. This is normal to the process at most school's. Parker will do a lot of the vetting for BC. I am glad a search firm was hired and relieved it wasn't Gene's or Bates'. Parker has conflicts, but nothing really related to BC.

Here is more on BC's Pro Day from CBS Sports. Going on the reporter's comments, the Colts have interest in Towles and the Ravens have interest in Johnson.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The NFL still likes BC's talent

Because the graduating seniors were part of a smallish recruiting class recruited by Spaz, the knock on them is that they weren't that talented. Considering 22 NFL teams turned out for BC's Pro Day, this group either outperformed its ranking or BC's Football reputation outshines the recruiting experts.

Another turnout factor that impressed me about BC's Pro Day was that this was the rescheduled date. BC's first Pro Day was changed due to fear of last week's blizzard.

Because he already measured well at the Combine, Matt Milano only did position drills. John Johnson did everything and was usually BC's top scorer in most drills. Myles Willis did well enough that he will hopefully generate some free agent interest.

If I had to guess who was the reason so many teams showed up, I would have to say Patrick Towles. Regardless of Towles' history or our frustration with his play, the guy still has all the NFL tools. He's big and athletic and can throw it a mile. Some NFL team might want him in their camp. If a team does turn Towles into a viable NFL backup, they will have really leveraged BC's anonymous Pro Day.

Monday, March 20, 2017

New verbals for Addazio's latest recruiting class

It took a little longer than usual, but Addazio and his staff finally have some verbals in the 2018 recruiting class. The first is Rhode Island WR Jehlani Galloway. This is a guy the staff is very familiar with and has good upside. Of course he doesn't have great offers or high rankings as of now. But I think BC's attention will get others to come calling. Welcome aboard, Galloway.

The other verbal is Lawrence Academy's Joey Luchetti. Like Galloway, there is a familiarity/upside aspect to this commit. He might end up as a Defensive End or Tight End. Addazio hasn't been this open or vague with that type of position assignment, but for decades BC recruited this sort of body type and then found a position for the guy once he got on campus. It is like calling him an "athlete" but not considering him for the speed positions.

I expect more verbals to follow. Spring Ball is a key recruiting time as you can get kids on campus and get them excited about the future.