Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Penn preview

My sister graduated from Penn, so under any other circumstance I would be rooting for them to be this year’s Cinderella. While the Ivy rep has not won a first round game in nearly a decade, I don’t think BC should take the Quakers lightly. Onto the preview and what BC has to do:

BC on offense: Once again, the team needs to go inside, inside and inside some more. Although Penn can probably handle the physical style better than most, I am really most concerned about high-percentage shots and coming out flat. Instead of Nate setting the early tempo it should be Dudley and Smith -- our best players and the most difficult matchups. Also, I expect Penn to follow West Virginia’s model and try to kill us from outside. If they do, we can’t try to match them. I think that was our mistake in a few games this year. Get Dudley inside and get him to the line. Forget about the three until you really need it (like WVU).

BC on defense: Penn will try to come out and take advantage of our porous perimeter. As many have said the majority of perimeter defense is effort. We need to stay tight on the passers and cannot leave people open. And we must do a better job on defensive rebounding. Penn rebounds well, so even if Craig struggles scoring, he can make the difference on the boards (which he hasn’t done since Syracuse). With Watson being a question mark I don’t know if we will be able to use the 1-2-2 like we did in the second half of the schedule.

Prediction: 64-50. Neither team will have much of a crowd there, but if Penn gets going early, the neutral fans will quickly jump on the underdog’s bandwagon. BC needs to come out strong and not try to match their strategy. There is no reason this team cannot go far, but they cannot look ahead.

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