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.


Brett said...

Now we see the difference between TOB and Al. Here Al faces the problem square in the face. Miles away from "We're up, aren't we?" He knows what's wrong, he knows everybody else knows what's wrong, and he knows he has to fix it. I think he will and that he'll be around to see a team with the same toughness that we're used to two or three years down the road.

Watching the second half of the Duke game made me realized why I loved the team from 04-07 - toughness. They weren't the most talented team on the floor many nights. But they fought and always had a chance. That was fun to watch. Case in point - Sean Marshall was not the best player on the squad by far, and he could have some pretty bad games. But when he got angry, he could take over a game, and that's why we all loved him. I still have my ticket stub from the Florida State game when he won it at the buzzer.

Good memories. I trust Al will bring us more. Just not this year.

Erik said...

People can be quick to blame the coach, and yes many times it is up to the coach to make it all happen, but based on what I see when I watch this team I'm much more comfortable blaming the players.

The effort is terrible, and you shouldn't need great coaching to make you try hard. Random scrubs at an open gym try harder just because of natural competitive instinct.

Hopefully what Al is saying to the media, calling out the players for their effort, will have a positive effect. They could revolt or could turn up the heat.

matthew2 said...

you know there is a problem when all of a sudden fans are pining for a return of Sean Marshall...

I've been guilty of it too... maybe we realize we should have appreciated him more when he was here... but boy was he a frustrating player during his day -- and now I find myself doing the same thing as Brett and others.....

I even saw a call for John Oates.... what has this team become?

CMondo1 said...

Maybe nothing can be done to help this season, but, here are some thoughts.

First, I agree with the suggestion that Al take out players immediately, if they overtly lack effort/toughness.

Second, the starting five has to change. A possible five: Jackson, Elmore, Sanders, Raji, and Southern. (I also agree that Jackson should be seeing 35plus minutes a game)

Third, why isn't any blame being placed upon Biko Paris? Zero points, 4 turnovers, three assists in a home game? Has he done anything this year to establish he's an ACC caliber point guard?

Fourth, Trapani cannot be on the floor against a pressing team. Ever.

Finally, Skinner needs to force this team to watch tape of their play, LAST year. The Duke or Carolina wins, perhaps. Hell, even tape of 2007 might help. Maybe that will remind them what Skinner's system can do when run with effort and toughness.

I have tickets to FSU and Duke, so I'm not giving up on this team yet. God willing something will change by then.

mod34b said...

Jags receives appropriate recognition as one of most disloyal coaches in recent years by ESPN. Kiffin #1

Pearl Washington said...


It is all on Biko really. He is not the answer.

Al has always had a point guard even back to URI. Troy Bell, Hinnant, Tyrese, Tyson Wheeler, Silk Owens, Preston Murphy.

Point guards and quarterbacks are how you beat quality opponents in major college sports. We all watched how we fared vs quality comp this year with Shinskie

Harry Collins said...

A lot of the problem with this team is Paris. He is an America East caliber point guard, not an ACC point guard, and maaaaaaan is that evident. He is getting eaten up alive now that conference play has started. I can't remember the last time he even had a decent game - he had 6 assists and 13 turnovers combined against Clemson-Duke-Maryland! But the most infuriating thing about him is that his defense (and effort at defense) is absolutely atrocious. Guys are just blowing by him, time and again. Sit Paris down, give Jackson (warts and all) the keys to the car, and see how far we can go. Sit Paris down right next to that lazy, pouting, basket-hangining oaf, Sanders. Put them in only if Jackson and Elmore get in foul trouble.

I'd love to circle back to those quaotes coming from these players after the ACC coaches picked them to finish, what, 9th? Remember how indignant they were about 9th place? Oh, this disrespect! 9th place is looking pretty lofty right now.

Ry said...

think about what could have been

Anonymous said...

Harry Collins-

i could not agree more. elmore is the hardest working guy out there on the court. paris cant handle this level of competition and rakim sanders is incredibly soft. you mean to tell me jared dudley would of missed 5 games with a sprained ankle? raji is a worker also but has hit a slump. jackson is clearly the best player on the team because he is the only one who can create for himself.

someone please put some heart into the game. this display is disrespectful to the reputation prior teams have made for bc basketball.

Anonymous said...

i tell you what if our basketball team put half the effort and heart into the game as the bc football team we'd be singing a much different tune right now.

bc1900 said...

I noticed Billy Bennett signed for NC State to be their kicker after playing in junior college.

mod34b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mod34b said...

I see Flutie came out (with Schilling) to support Scott Brown. Go Doug!

maybe Doug can challenge Kerry in a few years!

Ry said...

politics's bad enough we need to see ad after ad on tv

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matthew2 said...

agreed Ry, agreed... I won't say what I think about Curt Schilling and the people that share his political views...because this is a sports blog.

Must more fun and meaningful than politics.

J Mac said...

Personally, I'm ready for the end of the Al Skinner era. I just don't think he can get it done. I think in College Basketball or any athletic competition you either are working towards a championship or not and I just don't see this team progressing.

Big Jack Krack said...

Al should ask Sylvia Crawley and her team how to break a press.

Harry Collins said...

As you all know, I love the job Skinner has done for BC, albeit unconventionally and without style points, but I would be fired up if he left after this year, as things have gotten very stale. He cannot be fired, that would be exceedingly unfair and, frankly, embarrasing for BC and it's reputuation in the college sports world. It would undoubtedly give prospective coaches pause in deciding to come here in all sports. Skinner has earned the right to leave on his own terms unless and until he registers a handful of clunker seasons in a row, and he is nowhere near that right now, not on the heels of a 20 win, tourney appearance season last year (with 90% underclassmen), and 7 of 9 such seasons this decade. But man this would be the perfect time for him to leave from BC's perspective - a new coach next year would inherit a very experienced team coming off a disappointing and underchachieving season. That plus the ACC platform to recruit is a recipe for success for just about any coach. Could not be a better time for a changing of the guard.

Harry Collins said...

I'm throwing a name into the Skinner Successor hat for kicks: Steve Donahue from my alma mater, Cornell. I can't tell you how bad the Big Red have been in their history prior to Donahue getting the job 7 years ago (1 Ivy title ever). Now Cornell is looking at a 3rd straight Ivy League Championship, and a possible at large NCAA berth even if Harvard (their only real league competition) somehow manages to beat them out. At large bids are pretty much unheard of for the Ivies, but in case you missed it, Cornell has beaten St. John's and Alabama on the road this year, and hung with No. 1 Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse until the final minute. Check out his bio, and in particular Cornell's progression from doormat to champion under his stewardship.

Raj said...

i know skinner doesn't know what to do. But has this a team given us any reason to believe that they will react to public criticism in the media?

The older players will set the example for any new recruits coming in, might we have to cut some players to change the attitude of this team? Remember 4 year scholarships don't exist, they are 1 year renewables.

mmason said...

Al may drive some of us nuts because he doesn't get all crazy during the game when the team is self-destructing--but that's never been his style. We can't blame Al yet...These guys he's coaching aren't IN THE GAME. They have no floor general, lack HEART in big ways, and don't play smart. They saw the promised land with Dudley and the high tide and green grass with Rice, but don't have anyone left to carry their floundering butts under pressure.

Talent without fundamentals is a toxic mix. Hell, our Eagles can't break a press, have no clutch game and are all solo dudes flying without instruments out there, but for Jackson and Elmore. Biko's a guard that can't score. (If there were negative numbers, he'd have those.)
The post players are like the lost patrol...cut off without a clue and no back-up. Who's the front man to save this team from themselves? No coach can do that...someone has to step up.

How does a coach put heart into a flat team that can't run his system, has no positive identity and faces ACC competition with little fight and no floor leader?

Good luck, Coach Skinner. I'll keep watching the games and sharing the pain. Heck, there's lots of ball left to play...Go BC.