Sunday, January 31, 2010

Beanpot prep and other links

Because Monday is February 1, the Beanpot starts early this year. The Globe did a nice job of asking players from each team about the event and what the tourney means to them. BC plays Harvard in the opener at 5 pm ET.

The Super Bowl is bringing some media attention to Jamie Silva, including recounting his dumpster diving.

The BC women improved to 3-4 in the ACC with a win over Miami.

Could Matt Tennant be snapping the ball to Matt Ryan again? Tennant was one of the Centers the Falcons tracked this week.

Another BC Center, Dan Koppen was honored in his home town this weekend.

This is a nice article on how Marty Reasoner changed his game to hang on in the NHL.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another wasted opportunity

In a way this game was as frustrating as losing to the midmajors earlier in the year. The team played well defensively and controlled most of the game, yet fell apart on their late possessions. Supposedly one of the benefits of everyone coming back this year was that they would have more experience. We have the benefit of spending more time on strategy and execution. Yet, with the game on the line we took bad shots and let Florida State escape with a victory. Here are my thoughts. Leave yours in the comments section.


-- Trapani getting good baskets and playing good D.
Trapani picked up a lot of points on putbacks. That should be a big part of his game every week. He also played very good D -- probably the best of all our frontline guys.
-- Trapping with Elmore. This is becoming a nice change of pace and threw FSU off its game for long stretches.
-- Hitting big 3s. They finally started falling for us. Of course it wasn't enough.
-- Sanders improving. He still made dumb mistakes (like getting in foul trouble early) but did provide many positive plays. I wish he could do it without the mistakes.


-- Too many wasted possessions because of the shot clock.
A lot of this is on Jackson, but the guys are not moving to help him. Still, Reggie has to have a better idea of when to go to the basket.
-- Not enough passing. Sanders and Jackson were both black holes where the ball did not escape. They need to be patient and get others involved.
-- Late game strategy.
None of the possessions were great but even the last one was nonsense. Why are we taking so much time and not even getting a shot off? Terrible.

Who knows what to expect. The team is playing better, but they've now squandered two conference games with poor decision making. So much for turning a corner.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tennant's good week and other links

Matt Tennant made the most of his week in Mobile. All the Koppen comparisons can't hurt his draft prospects. I think Matt is going to be very good at the next level but his size is going to hurt his standings with some scouts and GMs. On the flipside though is that Seattle, Houston, Tampa, Green Bay, and Washington are all running Alex Gibbs' zone schemes and Tennant is well verse in the techniques.

BC picked up another Hockey East win by beating Providence Friday night.

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association nominated BC's Kevin Moran for the Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in the nation.

BC is still in the mix for OLine prospect Sean Hickey.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Praise for Roche and other links

Pat Duquette took some time to talk about Tyler Roche and his impact on the team. Roche's season has been a microcosm of this year. He started well, but struggled with injuries and then finding minutes and his role. Now let's hope his solid play of late is the key to a strong finish.

The BC-Under Armour relationship got a small mention in this article on UA's continued growth.

Former BC Tight End and Jack SR son, Bob Bicknell joined Chan Gailey's staff in Buffalo.

As I tweeted yesterday, Chase Rettig is considered one of the sleeper QBs in this recruiting class.

Florida WR Curt Evans is one of BC's targets for 2011.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Clemson follow up and other links

ESPN's broadcast crew had good things to say following the game:

As I predicted Sunday, the PR train for Pete Carmichael has begun.

This is a great read on incoming BC basketball recruit Kevin Noreen's high school. Because Noreen is climbing up the state's record books, his "unconventional" high school is facing criticism for other coaches and educators.

BC lost out on recruit Bruce Gaston. Compounding the snub was the fact that he used a Red Sox hat when playing the hat game at the press conference. No respect. All sorts of bad karma will be headed his way from the hat gods!

BC continues to recruit New Jersey the old fashioned way, while Greg Schiano covers the state in his helicopter. Both schools have interest in 2011 prospect Anthony Sarao.

Despite his size, Matt Tennant is grading out well at the Senior Bowl. There is also a Tennant note buried in this article too.

HD doesn't rank the Alumni Stadium experience very high among ACC schools.

Former Eagle Chris Snee is back in the Pro Bowl.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Did we just turn a corner?

Solid win and dare I say, a potential season changer. We developed a model for success against Miami. We showed at VT that we can compete. Tonight we took control of the game midway through the first half and then built up a dominant lead. As importantly we held on in the second half. There is still a long way to go, but the ACC is mediocre this year and we can conceivably beat every team left on our schedule. We could also lose. But before I get ahead of myself, here are the things I liked and disliked about the game. Leave your thoughts below.


-- Reggie Jackson as the spark. Cool stat from Twitter: "Final Reggie Jackson update of the night, with Jackson on the floor BC was +26, without -20". Reggie was also clutch in making his free throws in the final minutes.
-- Elmore knocking down open shots. Is it me or is Elmore becoming a good change of pace? He also seems to understand the flex better than guys who have been around longer.
-- Good defensive rotation. Other than becoming a bit passive when Dunn got in foul trouble, we did an excellent job switching on defense.


-- Still being too careless with the ball. I understand that Clemson's style of play is going to create turnovers, but we had some stupid turnovers...Raji with a careless travel...Jackson with a carry...Jackson and Paris both getting in the air and making poor passes...Sanders driving into traffic. It was very frustrating.
-- Trapani forcing 3s.
The first one helped, but the others just clanged. Trapani needs to be closer to the basket on offense.
-- Too many possession straying from the flex. We had better flow on offense and were more efficient, but our half court still wasn't great. The guys need to move and screen better in the flex.
-- Southern's defense. He was pretty ineffective. Dunn did a much better job with Clemson's bigs.

As I said, the season could go either way, but I think these guys are starting to get "it". I now just wish Al would give Reggie a few more minutes and run the offense through him.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Davies road to recovery and other links

This amazing story on Charlie Davies is a must read. Despite his serious injuries and multiple surgeries, Davies now has a chance to join his US teammates in South Africa for the World Cup.

BC added Tahj Kimble to the recruiting class. Like Montel Harris he is a running back from North Florida.

In this blog entry on Michigan, Andy Katz also touches on BC's troubles.

The Eagles didn't fret much about losing Tyrese Rice because he had a bit of an enigmatic personality and tended to drift. But what Rice could do, and had the respect to do it among his teammates, was get the Eagles refocused at times if the situation called for it. Biko Paris, who took over for Rice, doesn't have the demonstrative personality and neither does Reggie Jackson or Rakim Sanders. Senior Tyler Roche doesn't have that personality trait and neither does Joe Trapani. Yet, a lack of leadership in key moments has led to BC floundering in home games it should have won like against Rhode Island, Harvard and Maine.

Skinner keeps talking about our effort and consistency. I just want to see a Clemson game where we don't get behind by 20 points.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Get to know Pete Carmichael Jr

With the Saints now in the Super Bowl, you will probably start to hear the name Pete Carmichael, Jr a lot in the next two weeks. Carmichael is the coordinator of the high-powered New Orleans Saints offense and of course he went to BC.

BC fans might not realize the Carmichael connection since he played baseball, not football, at the Heights. Pete's dad, Pete Carmichael, Sr, was a long-time BC assistant under Yukica, Bicknell and Coughlin.

Pete Jr hit many of the same stops as other BC guys including a stints at UNH and Louisiana Tech. His big break came in New Orleans as he got high profile positions like QB coach and now OC. In most years Carmichael would be a hot name and tabbed as a "genius" and whatnot. But with Sean Payton still calling the plays, Carmichael is left a little bit in the shadow. I think that will change this week as Payton and Brees will have a chance to shine the light on their valuable OC.

Some hoped Carmichael would be interviewed for the Head job at BC after Jags was fired. I never got confirmation if he was interested or even seriously discussed. Now with his ascendancy into the NFL's biggest stage, we may not get a chance to ever see him on the Heights. Regardless, it is nice to have another BC connection to the big game.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bad bounce in Blacksburg

That was a tough loss because BC was the better team for much of the game. A few bad whistles and a few bad decisions down the stretch decided the game. I don't think this team has turned everything around, but I think today was another indicator that they can compete. They need to finish strong and try to get to .500 in the league. Here are my thoughts on the game.


-- Dallas Elmore's Defense.
Once he got in the game, he really shut down VT's best player in Delaney. He also was a positive force on offense. I think he has now earned regular minutes.
-- The ball going through Reggie Jackson.
Yes, there were a few bad possessions that ended in shot clock violations and yes he lost the dribble late, but Jackson played well and seems to be getting more comfortable with the game on his shoulders.
-- Corey Raji hitting open looks.
If the other team is going to give Raji those midrange jumpers, he needs to nail them and he did.


-- Another slow start.
This team had to dig out of a hole again. They need to play better defense right from the start.
-- Sanders still not getting it.
He had three turnovers (and could have been credited with two others). He forced shots. He still is not a positive force. He needs to play with his back to the basket and dominate smaller players. Instead he wants to drive. I hope he turns it around soon.
-- Offense against the 2-3 zone. The guys didn't move the ball well or penetrate earlier enough into the possessions.

Fortunately the next three games are at home. I don't know which version of the team will show up, but things are looking up.

Friday, January 22, 2010

BUmmer: BU tops BC again in OT

After a thrilling 3rd period where BC forced OT, BU put a damper on the night with an early game-winning goal. All reports say that it was a thrilling game. Conte was packed and it was back and forth. Yet even in their down year, the Terriers always seem to have our number. Maybe we will get revenge in the Beanpot.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Herzy's return and other links

The big news of the day was Herzy's return to practice. As he explained to ESPN in the clip above, his leg strength is not back, but his upper body is nearly where it was precancer.

You can see his hair start to sprout back in this link.

The women's basketball team lost a close one to UVA Thursday night.

Jags and TOB both made HD's best of the decade list. TOB also made the best of the Big East coaching list for his work at BC. HD had BC as her third best ACC program of the decade.

Big recruit for women's hoops and other links

BC landed the commitment of mega recruit Justine Hartman. The California native is now the centerpiece of the 2011 class and should compliment the already strong 2010 group. If we were recruiting like this in football or men's hoops, the hype would be through the roof.

Earlier this week Pat Forde lumped our basketball team with other historically underachieving programs.

Even though they didn't win the conference, HD ranked the 2007 team as the 3rd best ACC team of the '00. She also listed the comeback at Lane Stadium as the best game of the decade.

Herzy's younger brother won Jim Henry Award. Brad is headed to Brown next year and will play along side Matt Ryan's younger brother.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pics from Miami

Thanks to Jeff for sending along these great pics from the BC-Miami game.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Signs of life

Beating a struggling Miami team was nice but not the reason for my excitment tonight. The reason for optimism is the comeback. Down 17 in the second half, the guys finally pulled it together. There were also some lessons for tonight.

Lesson 1. It is execution, not talent. This was our five during the start of the comeback -- Jackson, Roche, Raji, Dunn, Elmore. Trapani replaced Elmore later down the stretch, but those six guys did most of the heavy lifting. How did they do it? Patience. They worked shot clocks and found good looks. They also played good D. I don't think those are our best players. Not by any stretch. But I think they proved that Al's schemes can still work. It is about getting through to the players.

Lesson 2. The offense needs to revolve around Jackson. Jackson is not Bell or Rice, but we can use him in that role. He can create his own shot in or out of the offense. He can penetrate and allow guys like Raji and Trapani to get putbacks.

Lesson 3. We should trap more. I don't think we need to press on every possesion, but putting a little more pressure on Miami worked in the first half. If we had done that more against some of the midmajors, we might have a different perspective on the season.

Religion, tax policy, reproductive rights BC Sports and other links

I knew the Brown post would upset people, but I thought my postscript encouraging everyone to vote showed that I understand this is a sports blog and there are two sides. Unfortunately political passion and debate shares many characteristics with sports debates. Unlike sports though, winning and losing is not as clear cut in politics. Sure, one candidate may get more votes, but the end results come in policy, legislation and our livelyhood. We have heated debates all the time on this blog and I hope that people don't forget that I am just one guy with my own opinion. I try to let others share their opinions on nearly anything in the comments. I've got a pretty long track record here and try to be clear in my opinions and agendas. I am not always fair. I am not always right (clearly). But I try to be straight forward and respectful. Now let us move the discussion to things we can all agree on like religion, economics and reproductive rights...

Here is another good feature on Herzy.

Matt Ryan made HD's ACC All Decade team. Kiwi got an honorable mention on the Big East squad.

Mixed reports on McLaughlin at the Shrine game practices. He's getting good marks for leadership and having trouble in pass coverage.

Gosder Cherilus and Haiti

A proud Haitian, Gosder was doing charitable relief work in Haiti before the earthquake. You can read more about his mission on his web site and give to his foundation to help the rebuilding efforts.

Monday, January 18, 2010

"All politics is local"

Knowing that it would touch off a huge debate, I've tried to avoid the Massachusetts Senate Race on the blog. But how can I? You've got a BC grad/BC dad taking on a Democrat for Ted Kennedy's old seat. That's big news even if you are not a Bay State voter.

My votes tend towards the conservative side, so I probably would have supported Brown even if his kids went to BU. But his daughter was kind enough to interact with this blog and has been a model BC student since she arrived on campus. I hope she gets to sing a celebration song with her dad Tuesday night.

Regardless of which candidate you support, I strongly encourage everyone to vote. It is your duty and your privilege.

Women upset Georgia Tech and other links

A busy work day kept me from noting that the women upset Georgia Tech on Sunday. It should be a reminder to the guys that you can comeback from bad stretches.

Here is ESPN's round up of Atlantic Division recruiting.

Hockey East named Cam Atkinson Player of the Week.

Hoops heavies now weighing in on BC

Two big Al Skinner fans with national perspectives and Boston ties, both took time to comment on BC's floundering basketball team. If play doesn't pick up, the tone of these articles are going to become more and more negative over the coming weeks.

Like many of us Bob Ryan thought things were settled after the win over South Carolina. He doesn't have any hard insight, but comes out and says what many of us are thinking "Something is going on off the court with this Boston College basketball team. There has to be." Like me, Ryan is a bit of a Skinner apologist. If Al loses his support you know things are bad.

Jeff Goodman, who covered the team before going national, hints that the staff might be the issue.

The lack of local recruiting and the departure of Bill Coen (Northeastern) and Ed Cooley (Fairfield) may have finally begun to catch up with Skinner. Just think about all the local talent that went – or is going – elsewhere.

We need a competitive game against Miami to breathe life back into this season.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Candid Skinner addresses the problems

After an extra long postgame discussion with his team yesterday, Skinner came out and opened up to the media. As I said, he is frustrated and confused as to what is going on. The Globe and Herald both captured some of the quotes. Here are a few of the better ones.
“There’s nothing at all that I’m pleased about,’’ he said. “Our attitude on the floor is not what it needs to be, particularly on the defensive end. Until that improves, we’re going to remain where we are.’’

I thought this one was most telling [eds note: emphasis mine].
When asked if he had ever had a team play the way this one has recently, he said, “I hate to say it, but no. I’ve had some teams that lacked talent, but didn’t lack a certain toughness. I’ve had teams out-talent us. That’s fine. I’ve got no problem with that. It’s tough to have a team outwork you. Maybe one night, OK. But this has lasted the last few games.’’

I remain a Skinner fan and believe he will get things together. But that might me changing this whole team's approach. Timing is ticking.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Deja vu (the bad kind)

Another lopsided ACC loss that saw dumb basketball, sloppy play and little emotion. There are some major problems going on here because this team is not as bad as their record or effort. Forget the likes and dislikes. This game didn't have much to like or any real revelations. Big picture, here are the problems and my lame solutions.

11 very good players, no great players

This is one of Al's most talented squads. Even on his best teams there were one or two regulars who were not Big East or ACC level players. That is not the case this year. Every guy who is seeing the floor can play at this level. The problem is there is not one great player for everyone to feed off of. Or one great player who can stop a run or score when needed. I certainly underestimated the loss of Rice. I didn't think we would miss him so much, but we clearly need his scoring.

Rakim Sanders

I hate throwing one kid under the bus, but this season started falling apart when he got injured and things have only gotten worse since he's returned. I don't know if he is trying to prove something. If he is frustrated. Or worse, is being told to carry the team! What ever he is doing though is wrong and he is playing some of the dumbest and most selfish basketball I've seen. I thought he would make a jump this year. Instead he's fallen off a cliff. He needs to get out of this funk quickly.

These guys are not good at the basics

The theme of the summer was that since so many guys returned and there were no new players joining the program, that they got to spend more time on concepts and game situations instead of just learning the offense. In hindsight, this was a big mistake. These guys could have benefited from intense drills on the flex and drill after drill on the basics. There is so much bad passing and bad dribbling that these games are not even fun to watch.

No new blood

Because so much talent returned and because they didn't love any particular recruits, Skinner did not bring in any new players this year. This is now proving to be another mistake. New blood always provides new energy and perspective. I also think the current players are tuning out the staff. A new player or two might have helped overall communication or approach from the staff.

I don't know what Skinner can do. The season may be lost. My hunches on how to fix things are not simple and will cause other problems but he's got to try something. I think they need to center everything around Jackson. Jackson has issues but is the only guy who can create his own shot on a consistent basis. He needs to be playing for 34 minutes a game. I also think Al needs a quick hook. The minute someone has a lazy pass or forces a shot or doesn't get back, he needs to pull the guy. Send a message.

I love Skinner. I think he's been a great coach and I think he will fix things. But this season is an embarrassment. He's had worse seasons at BC but never has one of his teams been so impatient or seemingly uninterested in getting better. They are not even fun to watch. I pray that it changes before the season is over.

Once again, Hockey starts the weekend off right

Men's hockey handily defeated Maine tonight. Let's hope basketball can follow their lead on Saturday.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Herzy's return and other links

Mark Herzlich describe his goals for his return and his recent progress with HD. Despite the inevitable hype surrounding his potential season, Herzy seems to have a good perspective:
“There’s no set timetable because no one’s done this,” Herzlich said. “The way it’s been progressing, I see myself being ready by then -- it’s a couple months away -- but if the strength, flexibility and mobility isn’t there, then I’m not jumping in when I’m not perfectly ready.”

I don't know what sort of impact Mark will have next year but I really look forward to talking about his play instead of his health.

The defending Junior College champions are happy to have Justin Tuggle on their team.

Jags' name is being mentioned for the ECU job. If he wants a college job, this might be the best fit out there.

The women's team lost to Maryland. (It might be a long winter watching any BC basketball.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tale of two halves

The first half was some of the smartest basketball this team has played all year. The second half was terrible, leading to another blowout loss. Defense was the main problem in the second half, but the team got impatient again and seemed to give up once Duke got on a little run. I think this season might be over...and it really depresses me. There is no way a team that played so well last year should be this lost. I understand that they lost a huge presense in Rice, but that doesn't explain how why these guys are not working together or sustaining any effort for a full game.

Instead of doing my usual likes and dislikes, I am going to make a few recommendations on saving the season:

-- Shorten the rotation to a 8 guys who will play smart and hard.
Forget upside or loyalty. Just play the guys who will pass and run the offense how it should be run.
-- Have a come to Jesus meeting with Sanders.
Injures don't explain all that is going on or wrong here. He keeps making the same stubborn mistakes over and over. We will not win without Sanders playing much much better.
-- Give the sophomores more playing time. I think we know the JR class's limitations. Let us see what we truly have in the sophs.
-- Stop shooting 3s.
We can't make them. We need to work the ball instead of chucking it.

Time is running out...not just on the season but on this class of six juniors. If these guys can't play better and recognize what works, they will probably be the same mess next year.

I will keep hope and faith. Let's hope it is rewarded. I would hate to see Al's career end on a down note.

Are we ready for Duke? and other links

Here is a preview of the game. Like us, Duke is coming off of a conference loss. They are heavily favored.

I've been harping on our players not understanding and/or working the flex. The Herald had a very good article on our offense with some good player quotes. We need to be disciplined and patient if we are going to beat Duke.

BC basketball player Ayla Brown came to her dad's defense after his opponent for the senate seat unleashed an attack ad. I try to keep out of politics on the blog, but I may say something about Brown prior to the vote.

Here is more on LeGrande's arrest. Still no word from BC on how they plan to handle it.

A word about college coaching

Last year during our strange coaching shift, I thought it would be a long time before you would see anything like it again. How wrong I was. Since then college football fans have seen Urban Meyer's flip flop, Mike Leach's showdown with the James family and Lane Kiffen sneak back to Southern Cal after one year on Rocky Top. The lesson in all of this -- and the reminder from last year -- is that just because these guys are in the spotlight and make big bucks doesn't mean their office politics and work drama are all that different from yours or mine. Insecurity, burnout, pettiness, inappropriate behavior, meddling, micromanaging, jealousy, control and money are dynamics of any job regardless if you are a CEO of a fortune 500 company, a coach or day 1 as an intern. That is why I hope when things are related to BC, that the decision makers are sensible, rational and always try to put BC first.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

LeGrande's DUI

For those who missed it, Dominick Legrande was arrested for DUI over the break. I don't know what if anything BC will do. I don't know New York laws for DUI or underage drinking but I imagine this will all work itself out. Hopefully he will be smarter next time. Thanks to Mike for the heads up.

He said it

Nobody wants to play in the Emerald Bowl
-- USC WR Brice Butler
regarding Pete Carroll's desire to move on to greater challenges. Aside from the outcome, I sort of liked the Emerald Bowl. I guess Brice hasn't seen some of the other ACC options.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What can the stats tell us about the basketball swoon

From the beginning of this blog I've been a big believer in college hoops stat guy Kenpom. While trying to figure out what is wrong this year, I went to look at his BC profile and compared it to our 2005 profile. I assumed we were better shots in 2005. I was wrong (2005-- Effective FG%: 49.2 [177]; 2010-- Effective FG%: 49.1 [167]). In fact our effective FG% is better now than then.

So what's the reason for the struggles now? I think the biggest factor is that we are not getting to the line as often as 2005 did. Back then we generated 23.6% of our points from foul shooting. Now we only get 18.7%. Why the difference? I don't think we are taking those shots close to the basket that invite physical play and fouls. It is such a waste too since, Sanders and Trapani close to the basket should mean easy points.

Our defense was also better then but there is no smoking gun to the difference. We just did every defensive thing a little better then.

So can we fix it before Duke? Kenpom doesn't think so...he only gives us a 3% chance to beat the Blue Devils.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend links

Jared Rudolph is the latest addition to Spaz's recruiting class. He's a local product who is slotted to play along the line.

For those already turning your attention to next year, here is a good article on incoming basketball recruit Kevin Noreen.

Jeff at BCI is upset with the officiating from the Clemson game. It was terrible and both teams were impacted. Also I heard the exchange between Al and the ref as to why Trapani didn't have to leave the game when he started bleeding. Basically the ref owned up to missing the foul that led to the blood and let Trapani stay in because of his mistake.

Sean Williams' time with the New Jersey Nets came to a predictable end.

Kuechly was added to another All Bowl team.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Thoughts on Clemson

Another rough night at Littlejohn. If you haven't been there you might not realize how tough an environment it can be. The fans sit close and are into the game from the start. The refs were also horrible in this game (including missing a foul on Trapani that drew blood). Yet the team did not lose because of those factors. We have real problem and I am now concerned that we might not get things straight this season. Here are my thoughts. Leave yours below.


-- Trapani stepping up. I don't know who should be the primary scoring option on this team, but Trapani is probably our most versatile player and played well tonight.
-- Making the foul shots. The team is not getting to the line enough, but at least they are converting their attempts.


-- Sanders' day. It was only one game, but Sanders was terrible tonight. Poor defensive effort, too many forced shots and some really poor passes.
-- No offensive identity. Clemson's press upsets our offense because it cuts into the shot clock, but I am so frustrated this team does not revert to the flex enough. There is not enough movement. Not enough passing. Not enough patience. Sanders and Jackson drive into traffic too much. We look lost.

I am fortunate enough to sit near the BC bench a few times a year. Having watched Al up close many times, this is the most frustrated I've seen him. I think like many of us, he is not sure why the guys don't get it or how to get them to break their bad habits. This is easily his deepest team at BC, but we have no hierarchy, rotation or even a handful of guys who understand how to get solid shots in this offense. I was optimistic about the season until today. There is plenty of ACC play left to improve, but I have real doubts if it is in the mix this year.

Photos from Fenway

Thanks to Brian, BC Mike and Phil for these shots from last night.

A night with Jared Dudley

While most BC fans were watching hockey and freezing on the east coast, our Arizona Alumni held their night with Jared Dudley. Thanks to Jared for being so supportive of BC and congrats to the club for pulling together a great event. (Jared is the tall guy in the back.)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Coaching rumors and other links

Bruce Feldman and Tom Dienhart are both reporting that Jags is in the mix for the USF job. These jobs tend to find a guy who is a 180 from the previous coach and I would say Jags and Leavitt are on opposite ends of the spectrum. With Logan in town, it might be a good package deal for the Bulls.

Fenway is expected to sell out for tonight's game.

Quinton Porter resigned with Hamilton in the CFL.

Game watches for BC-BU at Fenway

If you have some sort of sports package you may get the game at home. If you are in Connecticut or NYC, you can watch with fellow eagles.

Chicago Game Watch

2721 North Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614-1413

New York City Game Watch

Pat O'Briens
88 and 2nd

Fairfield County Game Watch

Tavern on Seven
611 Main Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851-1005

Thursday, January 07, 2010

What not to wear to Fenway

Slow news day and a hectic work week has kept me from more blogging the past few days. But the weekend will be huge. Friday night is the hockey game at Fenway (send your pics) and Saturday the basketball team has a critical game against Clemson.

BC will be wearing a special commemorative jersey for the game against BU. This is what they will look like.

Ugh. I love our regular jersey. These are...not my style. Next time Gene and Jerry need to call another BC guy before selecting special jerseys.

Getting ready for Fenway and other links

ESPNBoston spoke with both teams regarding the game. spoke with BC recruits Dominique Williams and Dominic Appiah.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Help Danya Abrams

I tweeted this earlier in the day, but this was a can't miss story from Bob Ryan on '90s star Danya Abrams. Anyone with a child can relate to Danya's struggle. If you fit the profile for a bone marrow doner, please get tested.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Basketball takes care of business and other links

Facing one of the worst teams in DIA, the basketball team cruised to victory over NJIT. There is little if anything to read into any of this. The real test comes against Clemson this weekend.

BC recruit Shakim Phillips is keeping a diary during his stay at the Army All America game.

This article is sort of all over the place, but it does have a forward looking perspective on our football program.

Remember Joe Boisture? Well this article wonders if he's been coasting on his reputation from the recruiting gurus as opposed to his on field productivity.

Talking with Aoki and other links

The College Baseball Blog has a good Q&A with Mik Aoki.

Most of you probably saw this already, but here is a good article on BC walk-on James Rehnquist.

BC has interest in Florida 2011 prospect Zach DeBell.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Football 2009 In Review: Defensive MVPs

This was an annual feature until last January got thrown upside down by the coaching chaos. I will look back on the season in four parts. This is part 2, a straight forward look at our defense.

1. Luke Kuechly

The defense lost its three biggest stars, saw some its most experienced players fight through injury (Scafe, Albright, McLaughlin) and had a new defensive coordinator. We desperately needed someone to step up. Kuechly did more than that. The true Freshman was a tackling machine and played beyond his years. He modestly attributed his success to "not being blocked" but he clearly has great instincts, great anticipation and great speed. Like other stars, he also has a sense of the moment. Just look at his goalline plays against Wake or Florida State or his flight over the pile against Maryland. His 158 tackles shattered every record BC had for freshman and got him notice nationally. His stats may change next year as he will be asked to do different things, but this year he was clearly the best player on the team.

2. Marcellus Bowman

Everyone comments on Bowman's bone rattling hits, but he put in a very well-rounded season. He collected 73 tackles and had two INTs. Bowman also improved as the season progressed and became more careful and effective in his pass coverage. Bowman's progression from raw scout teamer to defensive leader shows the importance of getting a guy in the program and allowing him to mature physically and mentally.

3. Roderick Rollins

Rollins's stats and season might not have gained much attention, but he was very, very good. In fact, his stats suffered because more often than not, the opposing QB threw to the other side of the field. Even though he wasn't challenged often, he still managed 43 tackles and team leading 3 INTs. Our scheme doesn't really empower a "shutdown corner" but Rollins's play this season was an example of teams scheming away from him and his solid coverage.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Weekend news links

After the Maine loss on Saturday, I hoped the hockey team would lift spirits around the Heights. No such luck as they lost to Denver Saturday night. I was watching but fell asleep with BC leading 2-0. It is probably better that I missed the game get away from them.

Although his team lost, Chase Rettig was the leading passer at the Under Armour game. Here are some other news and notes from the Under Armour Game, including local product Blake Barker who passed on BC's offer to go to Harvard.

Matt Ryan's cousin and John Loughery's son John just completed his JR year and is getting attention on the recruiting trail. It seems like we have the inside track if we choose to offer him a scholarship.

One of the top JRs in Delaware Desmond Sivels has BC at the top of his list.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

New year, same results

I was traveling today, but had the satellite radio feed of the game. We are lucky I didn't run off the road. Losing to Maine or Harvard or a bad St. Joe's team this year could be written off if BC had only lost to one of them during the season. Losing to all three puts BC in a serious hole. The most frustrating part of this debacle is this team is seriously underachieving. Games like South Carolina or Miami show what this team is capable of. They have enough talent to beat anyone in the ACC. But who knows if they will. I count on Al to pull things together, but I am fearful that this season could fall apart once ACC play begins.

The real problem

People like to talk about effort or emotion or being ready, but Maine loss captured the biggest problem -- they are impatient.

We were facing Maine, playing a 2-3 zone and we put up 28 3s!!! Smart, patient Skinner teams would kill 2-3 zones with the flex. These guys don't pass enough, don't move enough and are too quick to settle for bad shots. 28 3-point attempts! Against Maine! Because of the bad shots, we only went to the line 8 times. If BC has as many assist as turnovers, you know the guys are not playing smart.

The cause

I don't have my finger on the cause of our problem. It is not talent. I don't think it is emotion either. I think it is the guys don't know their roles or have a comfort level on how to get points in the offense. Sanders and Trapani need to play closer to the basket. Jackson needs to defer more of the ball handling to Paris while he moves around. I think Raji knows what he needs to do -- play better.

It is also on Skinner and his staff to fix things quickly. Letting guys "play through it" is not working. Get back to basics. Get control of the scheme every possession. Emphasize pass, pass, pass.

Where do we go from here?

I have no idea. There is time and talent here. But can this team rattle off 10 ACC wins? It doesn't look like it. But I never write off Skinner. His track record has earned our patience.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Buffalo Wild Wings and ESPN get it right

During the season ESPN and Buffalo Wild Wings have counted down the top 30 plays in the last 30 years. This week they named Flutie's Hail Mary No. 1. For those who don't remember the game or think it has been eclipsed since, let me set you straight with some context.

-- Flutie was a huge star. He was Tim Tebow before Tebow. What's amazing though about Flutie's prominence was he did it from BC and prior to the internet, ESPN's talking heads and when there was only one game on a week. Glowing features in Sports Illustrated were big factors in making him a household name. He graduated holding most college football passing records.
-- Miami was a big deal too. '84 was a down year for the 'Canes, but they were the defending National Champions and had gained a big following. Just watch ESPN's new documentary "The U" to see how hot the 'Canes were.
-- Both teams were cutting edge. We take passing for granted now, but at that time teams like Nebraska and Oklahoma were dominating with ground attacks. Miami and BC were using pro style offenses and were setting records for passing and points.
-- It was the only game on during a Thanksgiving weekend. Once again this was before there were 300 channels and every game was on tv. The whole country tuned in and the drama only built.

The game was that good. So good we are still talking about it 25 years later. The Hail Mary is No. 1 because it was the culmination of this momentous game and the conclusion of one of the most historic college football careers. It is No. 1 because everyone remembers where they were when they watched it. As I said at the beginning, ESPN and Buffalo Wild Wings got it right.