Sunday, December 21, 2008

Belated Providence Basketball thoughts

I apologize for the lack of blogging this weekend. I was battling the flu. Watching BC nearly blow the game certainly didn't help the nausea. Although it wasn't pretty I do think the win serve as a good boost heading into the second half of the season. Here are my thoughts. Certainly feel free to leave yours in the comments.

-- Handling the press for the first 36 minutes. Even our most talented teams struggled against this style of play (think UW-Milwaukee and Drake). Yet on Saturday it was a non-issue for most of the game. Rice took his time and wisely used Trapani as his outlet. Trapani made nice decisions too. When he fouled out, our ability to handle the press fell apart too.
-- Defense. So far this team is much better defensively than I expected. They are switching well, staying in front of their men and providing good help. Providence couldn't really do much until they went small with four guards.
-- Finding good shots. We passed the ball really well, especially on the perimeter. If not for Raji and Sanders missing a few easy bunnies our assist number would have been even higher.
-- Someone other than Rice making important free throws. It wasn't pretty but it was nice to see Southern and Paris make some important shots from the line.

-- Taking too many threes. Rice should have the green light. So should Trapani. Everyone else? Eh. We are just not that type of team and wasted some good opportunities.
-- Handling the press in the final few minutes. I don't know how things can go so well for most of the game and then fall apart later. Trapani fouling out was a factor, but that doesn't explain some of the other decisions.
-- BC fans letting the PC fans make more noise. I know Providence always travels well to Conte but that was sad. Come on locals. Support this team.

Despite the rough patches so far, I like what I've seen of this team. The pieces are there. If Rice can shake his doldrums this group can be a bubble team. Now they just cannot afford any trip ups against the rest of the Christmas break schedule.


About Five said...

Trapani is a smart decisive player and your right not having him the end game is big. So now that we are into the season how many ACC road games does it look like this club can win?

Brablc said...

I was at the game. It was a good win but I have to say it was a really sloppy game.

A few things I noticed:

1) As you said, this team is way too reliant on the three. Sanders is the player I'm most frustrated with as he has the body to really excel driving to the basket but settles for the three most of the time.

2) The last few minutes against the press were agonizing. I've never seen so many players trying to post up to receive a ball during a full court press. They ran a screen once with Rice and Paris on an inbound pass and it worked well. I'm not sure what Skinner was thinking by not screening to get Rice free more often.

3) This team is best when it's in transition. I'd love to see more outlets for this team off of missed shots but unfortunately against bigger teams (PU was pretty small) we may need to crash the boards harder and this will not be possible. The flex looked good and really bad at times. It's definitely not nearly as tight as it used to be.

4) Southern was huge at the end. When he came off the bench, you could see he was determined to win the game. He was one of the BC players that didn't look rattled at the end.

5) Let's hope Skinner practices some free throws with the team. We can't afford to give away points like that against better teams. It always seems to happen with BC teams.

Overall, I've been pleasantly surprised with the team and hopefully one or two guys will step up outside of Rice and Trapani. I also hope they'll get Jackson in the rotation more. He has too much talent to not be out there.

Unknown said...

It was so frustrating to hear how loud Conte was in favor of Providence on Saturday. The Eagles fans that were there did their best to outcheer the Providence fans. It was tough since Conte was probably 2/3 Friars fans. This is an interesting rivlary game with a former Big East team. It needs to be scheduled during the academic year so that the students can be there and be loud. Games such as USC Upstate should be held during the holiday break.

Erik said...

Why was Trapani burried on the bench at the end, even as guys like Sanders and Raji were fouling out? It was the Roche show. Was Joe hurt? Did he foul out and I missed it?

ATL_eagle said...

Trapani fouled out too.

matthew2 said...

karen --

you think that scheduling it during the academic year would bring the students out? Why do you think that?

Also, what made more Friars fans come out? Can you explain that?

Ry said...

Providence had a series of Alumni Wweekend events in Boston this weekend and the game was part of the package. I was there and I think of the 6,800 announced, there had to be between 3,500-4,000 PC fans there. It was awful. It's kind of the perfect storm with the students gone and the tickets kind of up for grabs. I wouldn't be surprised if PC bought us out as soon as they went on sale. It certainly was frustrating.

Sidenote: PC girls put BC girls to shame, based on what I saw on Sunday.

matthew2 said...

OK thanks Ry - that explains why so many friars fans were in Conte.

I don't have faith that it would have been different if the students were still around, but at least they have an excuse for that game.

Unknown said...

I do think that a game against PC would bring out at least a decent showing if it were during the academic year. PC has always been one of our main hoops rivals and is from a major conference. I think that would motivate students. The best comp I can come up with is the Iowa game this season. The fans did show up to some degree for that one. It was also an eerily similar frustrating ending. Matthew, I do agree that the average BC hoops fan does not seem motivated to go to most games. Lately nothing short of UNC or Duke will truly get Conte full to capacity and that is totally disappointing.

matthew2 said...

yeah Karen, I think we all share that disappointment.... it seems that only a national powerhouse, (most likely national TV) or some random rivalry (PC) will entice fans. Fans going for the sake of supporting the team and enjoying a college bball game seem like only a dream at this point.