Wednesday, January 13, 2010

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.


matthew2 said...

I'll agree that some of the responsibility lies with the coach, regarding tailoring an offense to the players' individual strengths.

With that being said, it is also the responsibility of the players to buy into the system and put forth the necessary effort.

These players came in knowing this was the offense that Skinner uses. Just looking at those quotes, it doesn't look like Jackson has bought into the system, really.

I understand it's a frustrating offense to run, and it takes commitment and dedication... but once they actually commit, it can definitely work.

The players need to set solid screens, come off the screens correctly, and trust their teammates. A little success will hopefully build trust and commitment, which will lead to sustained success.

This can still happen... it's (mostly) about patience and commitment. Who will lead?

Erik said...

Doesn't "when an officer noticed the truck had a defective headlight and pulled him over" just scream profiling?

That said, there's no excuse for driving drunk and driving without a license.

mod34b said...

Erik -- no it does not scream profiling (and profiling of what sort are you implying?). Cops pull people over with broken lights every day. Good reason to get you head and tail lights fixed before going out at night.

But, yeah, the idea that he was 2x over the limit and DID NOT HAVE A LICENSE is nuts. What the hell is the guy getitng behind the wheel for? Hope this is another "isolated incident" involving BC athletes.

Ryan said...

@ Erik:

I got pulled over last week around 1 AM for a "defective headlight" and I'm white and live in a nice area. Good thing I wasn't drunk. The only profiling going on is cops looking for any chance to make easy DUI busts.

Ry said...

our offense shouldn't be a surprise for anyone. this team is the same as last year's with one major exception. i just find it hard to believe that this team is that far different from last year's. if we are looking for what is different, it start and ends with what we lost when rice graduated.

yes the lack of a press break is frustrating.
yes the failure to call timeouts is infuriating.
those things have always been the case and while some people are more willing to overlook them than others, they are not what is really wrong with this team. we have won in spite of them before.

i bet al came into this thinking that paris could run the offense at least 75% as well as rice and that the experience gained with another year for the rest of the crew would make up for his absence. i think that is reasonable. that has obviously not been the case and i don't think it's a quick fix.

love him or hate him, skinner isn't going anywhere. it's going to take more than one dud season to run him out of town...and this one is only half over.

Ry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry Collins said...

I think when this team is focused, and gives full effort, then they can hang with a team like Duke. And if you can hang with anyone, you can win. Just look at last year - wins over UNC and Duke, and a close loss to Duke in the ACC tourney. Yes, that BC team had Rice, but Duke lost some people too. The big question is whether BC will bring its A game.

It would not surprise me at all if BC upset Duke or, conversely, gets blown out of the gym. Either can happen, and we'll know in the first 5 minutes. But one thing I am certain about, and that's that Coach K and the Dukies hate playing BC. I think every ACC team hates playing BC. Greyhounds just don't like running with turtles. Some people hate Skinner's style (no timeouts, getting killed by the press, etc.,), but the game isn't about style points, and last time I checked, BC had the most ACC wins outside of Duke and UNC since entering the league 4 years ago. Similar success in the Big East. So love Skinner or hate Skinner, his boring style is effective by and large, and it drives opponents nuts. I always liken Skinner's BC teams to Gene Keady's Purdue teams of the '80s and '90s. You could never name a guy on Purdue (except when Glenn Robinson was there), but every year they were in the Big 10 mix, making the tourney, winning 20+, and boring everyone to death with their grinding style. That's BC for you.

Harry Collins said...

That Purdue comment in my prior post made me think of this Bobby Knight gem...

Big Jack Krack said...

I remember attending the game in Chapel Hill in late January 2006. I will say that the flex WAS impressive that night. We had players who fought hard, and passed well. UNC fans were very surprised by the crisp passing around the key, believe it or not. It was different basketball on display.

Craig Smith, Jared Dudley, Louis Hinnant, Tyrese Rice (went crazy) - Oats, Marshall, Sean Williams - yes, the flex could and did work with those guys.

However our present team is far distant from that team - certainly at this point anyway. We don't seem to have the floor leadership.

Good luck tonight, BC :-)

As for LeGrande - third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation may simply mean that he didn't have his license on him-in his possession at the time. At least he readily admitted his mistake and wasn't combative.

I haven't had a drink in 20 years, but made a few mistakes back in my day. I would never condone drunk driving - too much at stake. Take a cab, take a cab, take a cab etc.

We'll see how this one plays out.

blockparty said...

bjk, youre the best. lets go eagles, step up.

that bobby knight clip gets me fired up.

matthew2 said...

agreed on bjk being the best.

and bobby knight... while a basketball genius... what an a-hole

neenan said...

The offense is for driving with a revoked or suspended license. Not a big deal.

Jack Crack -- "At least he wasn't combative." Huh? Do you have any idea what happens in NYC if you dare become combative (verbally or, God help you, physically) with an NYPD cop. You do not want to go there. I hope we can aspire to more than that for our BC guys

Schruender said...

Bob Knight is a very annoying man to listen to. I'm not overly critical of broadcasters either.

I really enjoy Bill Raftery, like Vitale, like Jay Bilas, and put up with the rest of them, but Bob Knight just doesn't have a television presence. He's talking exclusively about Duke and doesn't know much about BC's personnel.

Big Jack Krack said...

We're playing with heart tonight - that's all I ever ask.

If I look like a jerk for past comments about this team - I'LL TAKE IT.

Ray - I should have said sarcastic or uncooperative.

It would be the same in Boston or NYC - handcuffed, face-down in the gutter.

I'm glad that didn't happen, is what I was trying to say.

KHolf said...

Haven't read most of the comments but how many dumb fouls have we had tonite? 4 or 5? we can't keep giving them extra positions.

Ry said...

i was just going to say that anyone who has said that this team flat out sucks, and there are some, have obviously not watched them.

they can be undisciplined, hard-headed, lazy, and unmotivated. but they have talent.

there have been current students who have posted comments saying that the team sucks and that's why they don't come to games. be proud of the team that you have and do whatever you can to motivate them to play their best. don't throw in the towel, because this team has potential.

Ryan said...

@ Ry:

Talent doesn't mean anything if it isn't accompanied by work ethic. I'm glad they showed up tonight, but where was this at Clemson? I can safely say that, yes, this team sucks as a whole. That's why they have 6 losses already to absolutely nobody. I would hope that an ACC team has some "talent".

matthew2 said...

let's try to avoid 10 - 0 runs in the second half.... keep it close until the end, so we have a shot.

And I disagree about Knight, Schruender -- for the most part, I think he has analyzed our team well, and not FOCUSED on Duke at all. He has barely mentioned anything about his buddy coach k at all, or gushed over any of their individual players. He said positive things about Scheyer, but they were true. And he's evaluating each performance tonight pretty well in my opinion.

matthew2 said...

RYAN --- losses to absolutely nobody? that's a silly comment.

The RPIs of our losses"

RI -- 9
NI -- 18
Clemson -- 39
Harvard -- 40
St Joes -- 133
Maine -- 152

OURS -- 110

I say we have lost to 4 good teams and 2 not so good teams.

And I know it's still early, and some of those things will change. But it's definitely at least a DECENT look at the opponents that we've lost to

Ry said...


your attitude is everything that is wrong with bc students as hoops fans. you don't take the time to inform yourself and you wind up saying ignorant things like that.

Bravesbill said...

Great first half. However, BC pulls their usual come out of halftime flat (an Al Skinner special) and not the game is over as a result. Fun times. One of the big problems with this team is their transition defense and defense after a missed shot. How many fast break points did Duke get by running after a BC miss or turnover? It is ridiculous. They had way too many easy baskets, esp. in the second half.

Bravesbill said...

And with all those people who love these Kenpom rankings, no matter how much you bloviate, you will never convince me or most other BC fans that Harvard is such a great team. They are not. Harvard has no business being a better team than BC. If I do take your assertion as truth though, it says a lot about Al Skinner. There is absolutely no way that the "powerhouse" Harvard should have a better team than BC. Ever.

Ryan said...

@ Ry:

Oh really asshole? Last time I checked, I've never in 4 years missed a game as a student. Not that I need to justify myself to you. Have you watched this team play this year? I have. Absolutely no heart. Craig Smith and Jared Dudley would be ashamed. And yeah, a team from the ACC should never be losing to the likes of St. Joes, Maine, Harvard, or URI, let alone all in the same season. We SUCK, that is FACT.

matthew2 said...

bravesbill -- do you care to put the onus of "coming out flat" on the players, ever?

Skinner called his timeouts tonight, as you always pine for.

Does anyone on this team play hard outside of Trapani? Why does he play hard? Does Skinner coach him well but not the others?

These are college athletes, playing Duke in front of the nation, on ESPN. If they come out flat in the second half, I say shame on THEM.

Unknown said...

This has turned into a massacre. There have been way too many awful moments this season and BC has not learned from those failures to turn around their season. Very disappointing.

Ryan said...

And your RPI ratings are crap. Kenpom, who actually projects teams for what they really are, has them ranked as follows:

URI: 68
Northern Iowa: 40
St Joes: 198
Harvard: 65
Maine: 228

Bravesbill said...

Matthew--Yes, the players deserve blame. However, this coming out flat tendency precedes this group of players and goes back to the Troy Bell days. If you haven't figured out a way to motivate or fire players up coming out of the half in a decade, then you should not be coaching college basketball. You could also argue that BC gets blown out coming out of the half because the opposing coaches actually make in-game adjustments. Just look at tonight. BC got the ball into the paint at will in the first half. In the second half, Duke clogged the middle and forced BC to take shots from the perimeter, which they are horrible at. And what were BC's adjustments coming out of the half? Absolutely nothing. BC still allowed Duke to penetrate, still played horrible transition defense, and its offense got even worse. Not exactly great signs of coaching.

Unknown said...

Is it possible that this team actually misses Tyrese Rice? For all his inconsistency and immaturity, he definitely could be an alpha dog at times when they needed it last year. No one on this team seems remotely capable of or very interested in taking over a game.

matthew2 said...

And Clemson at 16, you cleverly left out the best of the bunch.

RPI is one of the major factors come tournament time. You call the RPI crap, OK.

Either way, I still look at your KENPOM ratings and see that we lost to 4 good teams, and 2 bad teams.

At the very least, it still disputes your statement which was BC has lost to "absolutely nobody".

matthew2 said...

bravesbill --

I agree with you in some ways.... but I didn't see Duke have a complete revelation and shut us out of the paint. I saw us lose patience and not force our style, as we did in the first half.

Duke is a better team. But there's no reason to not play our game. We played 1 half, and they played 2.

Bros11 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ry said...

yes ryan, i have season tickets and have for the past four years. whereas you may have enjoyed your earlier years with dudley, smith, and rice, i suffered through a 6 win team with a starting point guard who was a walk-on with a heart condition. i have seen how bad it can be and i was at all those games too.

maybe that's why i don't have patience for someone who is so willing to throw daggers at his team.

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...

@ Ry:

So this team isn't the worst BC team you've ever seen? That's such as an accomplishment. Doesn't excuse the fact that we're 10-7 and we've barely started conference play. You are what your record says you are.

Ryan said...

The difference between RPI and Kenpom is that Kenpom actually projects teams for what they are; RPI is a current measure. If you really think URI is the 9th best team in Division 1 basketball, you flat out don't know anything about or watch basketball.

Also, I left Clemson out because I don't consider it a bad loss per se, although we still got blown out. The teams I listed, maybe with the exception of UNI, we have no business losing to.

matthew2 said...

One last time Ryan --

I didn't say that RI was a top ten team. I was simply refuting your statement. I don't think that those teams are "absolutely nobody", which was your statement, plain and simple.

Rhode Island, Northern Iowa, Clemson and Harvard all have decent shots to make the tournament. I don't call them "absolutely nobody".

Then again, language is a difficult thing to argue about.

Ryan said...

Fine, we've lost to some teams could potentially make the tournament (even though Harvard has no shot, Cornell will win the Ivy). What about Maine and St. Joes? 2 bonafide WTF losses is too many at this point. The other ones are still poor to bad losses, there's no way you can spin it otherwise. We play in the ACC, not the MAC. Raise your expectations.

Adam M. said...

It'd be one thing if this team lacked talent and was losing these games. But this is a talented team and it's really pathetic that they've gotten off to a start like this. We're lucky to even make it to the NIT this year. I wouldn't even put this all on Al. Honestly, if you need your coach to motivate you in a game against Duke at Cameron Indoor...there's something wrong with you. Not getting up for a game against Maine is one thing...but not getting up for a game against a big-time college basketball program is something completely different. It's not coaching when only certain players are hustling and others are not. I guess you can pin it on the coach when he's the one selecting these players who don't care enough to play 40 minutes of basketball. I've never seen a consistant lack of effort like this ever in the 10 or so years I've followed this team. This problem has never been this bad before. I definitely wouldn't say this is the worst BC team I've seen, but based on the talent they have, this has been by far one of the most underachieving teams we've had under Al.

rumple said...

Geez -- what a difference a year makes. Let hope Tuggle and his pussy friend Haden makes something of themselves

Former Boston College quarterback Justin Tuggle, who left the team in the middle of last season has enrolled at Blinn (Tx) Jr. College

"The fact that I could go somewhere for a year and then get back to a Division I school appealed to me, but also that I could excel on and off the field. Blinn has a good track record, and the coaching staff really sold me on the school," Tuggle said in a release issued by Blinn.

Tuggle redshirted last season at BC and was the Eagles' starting QB for three games last season before freshman Dave Shinskie moved into the starting spot for the remainder of the season.

Matt said...

My favorite moment of the second half. Al calls a timeout at 16:04 (i like the timeout!). BC inbounds, dribbles around up top for about 10 seconds, throws it away and Duke scores on a fast break off the turnover.

I know we complain about not calling timeouts, but if thats what we do out of them, maybe we are better off saving them. Al has been on to something the whole time!

Erik said...

We lost big but I'm okay about it. We played with some enthusiasm for a change, and we didn't fold when Duke pressed us.

This game was very different from the Clemson game, for the better.

I was encouraged at how well the non-starters played. Sanders still needs to get hot.

matthew2 said...

pass those tinted glasses over here Erik... I still have hope, but not as much as you.

We played with enthusiasm for only half the game, in my opinion. You think they played hard/committed to the system in the second half?

As far as the press..... they didn't trap us/bring a 3rd guy full court, really -- their press isn't built for the sole purpose of creating turnovers. It's to control tempo and maintain a certain rhythm as a team. And they did that.

RE: Sanders... I'm done with him. He doesn't consistently commit on the boards, he refuses to play with his back to the basket and exploit mismatches, he mopes, takes ill-advised 3 pointers, and doesn't play 100% on the defensive end.

I can't imagine watching film with him... I feel like the whole thing would be him making excuses for being one step behind on defense.

Will he have a game at some point where he hits 4 or 5 threes, scores 25, and carries us to victory? Probably, yes. Will that bring me back to being a Sanders fan? Probably not. The guy isn't a leader or a winner, in my opinion. He could be a part in the machine, but he certainly won't be the engine.

eagleboston said...

One of my frustrations with Jags is that, even when it was clear that Montel was the better back, he refused to feed Harris the ball. When Jags departed, Haden lost his biggest fan, so I am not surprised he transferred. Haden came in as the star and then saw some unknown not only beat him out, but statistically become the best young runner ever at BC. I think Haden realized that he was never going to be the guy with Harris on the same team. It is too bad Haden could not co-exist.

Claver2010 said...

Sanders should have his scholarship revoked. He plays with a me first attitude on offense (in a system that thrives on team) and doesn't even try to play on D. This isn't the first time he hasn't hustled back on D this is been happening all season and the fact that there are no repercussions for his actions shows how lost Skinner is. I'd rather have a lineup of: Biko, Reggie, Dallas, Courtney & Josh -5 people who will give it their all on both sides of the ball I don't give a sh*t about stars and potential I want people that want to play a team game. Sanders on the other hand despite his new 245 lb. frame seems content on launching 3s opposed to backing down Schyer who is more than 50 lbs lighter than him; and is not concerned of making it beyond half court on D. I want to support several players on this team but I just find myself going to the games and screaming at Al to design 1 play to break a press or Corey to make at least jog back on D -I feel as if it is pointless.

Harry Collins said...

That was disappointing. BC played BC's game in the first half, but Duke's game in the second half. Gotta play BC ball the entire game to give themselves a chance. The thing that gets me about this increasingly dislikeable BC team is how defeatist they are. Once Duke scored those 2 quick buckets to start the 2nd half, it was over. They just mailed it in....hucking threes, lazily getting back in transition, no defense. Horrible. I agree with some of the pollsters, the crap show is not on Skinner, that's on the players. What are you doing with a Division 1 scholarship if you are going to take 10 game minutes off feeling sorry for yourself at Cameron Indoor Stadium? Pathetic. Play the whole fucking game or transfer to America East.

Sanders. Can't graduate that lazy oaf fast enough. 2 rebounds and 3 points? Whatta pinhead. I really would not mind if Al benched him for Elmore, who has half the talent but twice the intensity.

Paris. 2 assists, 5 turnovers. Backup pointguard pretending he's a starter.

Trapani and Raji. Co-recipients of the Invisibility Award. Congratulaions guys. Try to get a rebound next decade.

Southern. A nice effort early, then devolved into the hound dog, sad sack he is. No defense, no rebounding, and those infernal missed free throws.

I just wish this team would play with fire for an entire game, just to see what they can do. Don;t know if we will ever see it.

Matt said...

Harry - I think if you re-watch it, Trapani was working pretty hard on the defensive boards. It is hard when he is the only one boxing out, and Duke can just cycle in 7 footers who attack the glass.

Bravesbill said...

I thought Trapani did fine on the boards. Problem was, nobody else rebounded worth anything. But, where has Trapani's shooting ability gone to? He can't hit a perimeter shot, even when they are wide open, to save his life these days.

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