Monday, January 02, 2012

Losing to URI: what it means with the ACC season about to begin

Let me say that this was a bad, bad loss. URI is not a good team and BC squandered multiple chances to win. But I will keep looking on the bright side. Despite the mistakes and head scratching decisions, there were some positives that have me optimistic about being competitive in most ACC games. As always, leave your thoughts below.

The good news
-- Heckmann made a clutch shot to force the second OT. The drive and pump fake and the patience were huge. It was the type of move that would have been good against most teams.
-- Ryan Anderson's overall play. He was the best player the whole game. However, he was pulled for parts of the overtime when we needed more outside shooters. It was a questionable call.
-- Our flaws can be corrected. In my opinion, the two big areas of concern -- rebounding and movement on offense -- can be improved. While rebounding is somewhat instinctive, there are adjustments Donahue can make to improve things.

-- The bad news
-- the rebounding. Guys were overpowered. Guys gave up. Guys didn't follow shots. It was bad all around and the big reason we lost.
-- No idea on many halfcourt sets. There were tons of possessions that were pass, pass, pass, force something. I am not saying bring back the flex, but the players need to have purpose and urgency. Too often guys are just standing around.
-- The rotation is getting tighter yet results are not showing. Daniels, Heckmann, Clifford, Anderson and Jackson got the majority of the minutes. All were good to decent. Yet they still don't play with any comfort with one another. We had a critical turnover towards the end of regulation where Daniels passed it to Jackson over the midcourt line. It created a backcourt violation. But both the whole team was at fault. No one moved for Daniels. No one alerted him to the pending trap. Jackson was already moving back on D when the pass came his way. I know these guys are all freshmen, but we need baby steps.


Tim said...

I'd be interested in hearing people's predictions for this program over the next three years or so. Seems to me this team is so horrible that we might as well write off next year, too. If we're very lucky, maybe we start talking about contending for an NIT bid in 2014. Yipee.

mod34b said...

What does it all mean: GDF is a bad AD.

Yes, it does. The man's job is to watch over sports and to keep BC at high levels of competitiveness.

GDF, obviously, failed to appreciate several years ago that BC was quickly falling behind in the ACC revenue sports (FB and BB) and becoming less and less competitive on the field, and less desirable for recruits.

To stem that tide required 1) foresight 2) a plan 3) enough resources and the right personnel to implement the plan and 4) management of the plan.

Sadly for BC, GDF gets a "F" on all 4 points. What on Earth has the man been doing the last few years?? For example, the basketball recruiting problem should never have gotten to this level had GDF been minding the store. Skinner's failure to recruit is GDF's failure too.

And, worse, BC is left 'holding the bag' -- in terms of reduced revenues and reduced 'sports presitge'

Can BC revoke GDF's induction into the the BC Hall of Fame (barf)

Joseph said...

Poor Tim. He can't quite comprehend the concept of an almost totally freshman team. Glass half empty type of guy. It looks likes those that are aware of the situation are thinking about a real contender in 2 years. Tim, do you know of another team that starts so many frosh? What would the hockey team look like with the same makeup?

I think that the team actually is doing quite well considering. Now, It is too bad that the situation got to where it is, but within a few years you'll be eating your pessimism.

DF22 said...

I think next year will be much like Skinner's early years. We went 6-21, then 11-19, then 27-4. This group may never get us to 27-4, but I'd expect next year to be a definite improvement, but probably not a post season team. By year 3 and 4 from this freshman class, we better be an NCAA team or Donahue will be on thin ice.

eagle1331 said...

I have not given up faith like it seems most of the posters before me have. I watched most of the game and these kids all played with a lot of heart and determination until the end. Unfortunately, they missed A LOT of easy shots, had a bunch rim out, and can't rebound. One of the Three is luck of the draw, and at least one of them can be worked on and will change as the 9 freshman bulk up to college size and get used to this level of play.

I think the underrated aspect of all of this is my first point though. The kids play with heart and if they buy into Donahue and his system, and he shows the same passion for BC to recruits that he does in pressers, our team and the talent level will only get better.

Big Jack Krack said...

On November 27, 1965, the UCLA freshman team led by Lew Alcindor defeated the varsity team 75–60 in the first game in the new Pauley Pavilion. The other freshmen players weren't bad either - and they beat a team ranked #1 in the country at the time.

Our own freshman team would have given our varsity a real go a year earlier in 64 if they had an actual game. Freshmen weren't allowed to play varsity back then. These were the same guys who lost to UCLA 84 to 77 a few years later when they were the national champs.

The concept of a freshman team is one thing - having high calibre freshmen is another.

I certainly hope that these guys get better in the coming years, but the next 2 months will be brutal.

The question raised by Tim, Mod and others is - are they capable of getting much better?


Tim said...

I understand that we are starting a young team. However, as has already been discussed on this board, that is not in and of itself an excuse for having a miserable team (see Univeristy of Michigan 1991-1992).

More to the point, do you realize how incredibly awful this team is? Having a young team and suffering through a growth year is one thing, but this is an entirely different animal. We've been blasted by Harvard, BU, Holy Cross, and UMass. We are thus, at most, the fifth-best team in Massachusetts. Are you seeing the margins of defeat? And the caliber of teams that are beating us? Do you honestly think we can put a winning team on the floor next year? How would that be possible?

EL MIZ said...

i just don't understand the general pessimism with the basketball team. i have watched a good chunk of at least half the games and there is definitely talent on this team.

BJK with all due respect comparing this group to the 1965 UCLA team which had one of the best players (and some would say the best) to ever play basketball is a bit of a stretch. its a different time.

the biggest problem that i see is they lack assertiveness and confidence, and too often defer to each other. anderson had 18/14 yesterday and was really dominating when he had the ball, and yet he wasn't calling for the ball down the stretch. heckmann played really hesitant, and i believe his game-tying shot late in the 2nd half was his first of the night. this is a guy who has had multiple games of 10+ trips to the free throw line, he needs to have the ball in his hands much more. clifford is a fluid 7 footer who will only get better as he puts on more muscle and understands his position in the offense more. he reminds me exactly of roy hibbert from georgetown (who went on to be a first round pick) during his freshman year; Gtown played @ BC that year and hibbert was standing too far from the hoop, getting pushed around for rebounds, and did not have a good game.

in fact, here are clifford's freshman year #'s (so far) compared to hibbert:
hibbert (16 minutes per game); 5 points, 4 rebounds, over a block per game
clifford (26 minutes per game): 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block

is clifford going to be the next roy hibbert? i have no idea. my point is that when you compare the freshman years of some of these guys to players who went on to be good players, they are comparable. you put all of them together, on the floor at the same time, and they are going to make mistakes.

anderson and heckmann both pass the "eye" test; when you watch them, you can see they have legitimate talent. clifford is a 7 footer who can move, and daniels and jackson are decent guards. certainly none stand out and i wish we had a few better players, but i'll make that judgment 2 years from now when they are developed.

if reggie jackson was still on this team, i think we'd have 9 or 10 wins.

Joseph said...

El Miz, better said than anything I could write. My sentiments exactly

EL MIZ said...

here are some losses where the score doesn't indicate that BC was in the game late:

-- lost to penn state 62-54 (game was tied at 42 with 10 minutes left)
-- lost to BU 75-61 (game was tied at 44 with 11 minutes left)
-- lost to providence 64-57 (BC was down 49-48 with 8 minutes left)

again, i think its clear that heckmann and anderson are the 2 best players on the team and find it confusing why neither of them have plays designed for them/why the ball isnt in their hands going down the stretch. that being said, 3 times in the 2nd half last night daniels drew a double and kicked it to anderson in the corner and 2 times he did nothing, and only 1 time did he shoot (and miss) a 3.

for a system that is supposedly reliant on the 3-ball, BC really struggles from deep.

Big Jack Krack said...

I hope you guys are right, and I want BC to excel for sure.

I am not rooting against my alma mater - just being realistic.

I think Clifford will be a special player for BC. I hope Coach Donahue can surround him with some good support in the coming years.

I said earlier that I would not comment on basketball much, because I'm not following it closely enough this year.

I should stick to that. :-)

Pearl Washington said...

From BC Interruption last week who nails it:

"This "young" team excuse is nonsense, this is a bad team that will not get appreciably better without a serious infusion of 2-3 immediate impact guys (not projects or role players) over the next 2 years. They may rise a couple of notches in the ACC the next 3 years with this core but that's it. Hoops you can for the most part tell what you have early, not like football."

Bad hire by the Springfield College Education major. What I don't understand is how weak these guys are, does Donahue not have a weight program? I look at the freshman on others teams and all these guys are bigger, stronger and faster.

Just another example of Donahue and his IVY assistants have no idea what they are doing at this level.

We are 14 games in and these guys still look like a 3rd grade team. Over and back violations. Are u kidding me?

Matt said...

35-16 free throw disparity against URI. Were they that much more aggressive?

Big Jack Krack said...

One other comment. I attended the game at the Dean Dome 6 years ago - our first visit as an ACC member.(Jan. 25, 2006)

We defeated the Tar Heels in front of 22,000 fans 81 to 74.

Freshman Tyler Hansbrough had a career-high 26 points to lead the Tar Heels and freshman Tyrese Rice buried some key shots for BC, scoring 16 points.

I hope that we won't lose the game by 50 points this Saturday afternoon on TV. UNC has the same color uniforms as URI, basically - but it will be a whole different deal. Let's hope Roy takes a little pity on us.

Joseph said...

When freshmen are surrounded by freshmen they can play a lot worse than if they had a core of good, seasoned players. If Anderson or Heckmann were on a team of 3 decent seniors and a decent junior, don't you think that the pressure would be much less and they would be helped by the others to a much greater extent?

Pearl Washington said...

Miz, Joseph

Reggie Jackson was on a team with 4 seniors and only won 9 ACC games and only beat one team after Xmas with a winning record. That is why they didn't make the tourney and go look at Reggie's numbers versus good teams.

Rutgers played Florida last week and won with 3 freshman scoring 75% of the points.

Big Jack Krack said...

Joseph, I do understand the difference. I also know that some freshmen are ready and some are not - and some will never be.

I'm sorry we got to this point. I am a glass half full guy, but it's tough to be in this situation. I of course hope that you and El Miz and some others are right - that we will be a force in a couple of years. I've been around for a long time so I have my doubts, but I can hope.

And now I will shut up about basketball.

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


You and Tim and Mod are much more convincing than Miz and Joseph. I don't think they have a clue.

Boomer said...

First time, long time...

I am generally optimistic about BC sports, and I do really like the way Donahue's players play - they work hard, dive on the floor, and show emotion, for example. And, I expected this year to be a struggle. But, this is worse than I expected. Based on talent, no ACC team should lose to a 2-12 URI squad, I don't care how young the ACC team is. Out of the 9 new players, I'm afraid that only a few are legit ACC talents. Things will be better next year and the year after, but if no impact players come in..."better" is not going to be enough.

Lenny Sienko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lenny Sienko said...

"Get My Perks-Boston" is offering BC/Clemson basketball tickets at half face value--nuff said.

I get the feeling that the players do not yet believe in Coach Donahue's system; i.e., they are more likely, when the clock runs down, to take off on their own, as opposed to executing another pass or cut.

I suspect it will take a victory or two (upsets at this point) before they buy into the program. I don't mean they are not giving effort, etc....they just don't believe in what they are doing. You can see them straining at some points to want to run with a playground style.

Rebounding is a matter of positioning before all else and our bigs. especially, are out of position--too far under most of the time. Some of that is being out muscled. Some of it is not getting to where you should be.

The rebounding can be corrected. Believing in the system takes a little success.

P.S.: Wish we had a "correction" feature for comments, rather than having to delete the whole darn thing.

mod34b said...

lenny -- it only takes about 20 seconds to fix a post. (copy old, paste into comment box, edit, post new corrected post, delete old post)

West-Coaster said...

Seems like the 9 Freshmen Argument is solid (considering these are 9 BC Freshmen which by definition means they are not elite recruits); the glaring failure seems to be in how terribly the Skinner to Donahue transition was handled. No one kept kept their eye on the sustainability of the program. Had that been prioritized, BC wouldn't have lost 5-6 players who would otherwise right now be leveling the playing field for some of these 9 Freshmen. The total exodus suggests a myopic view of Donahue's arrival, and the uninspiring team we will field in the next few years will only make it harder to get any game-changing recruits to come here. Pray that another Jared Dudley slips through the cracks and ends up here; short of that things could remain very sad around Conte for years.

canttakeit said...

the optomistic approach to this basketball season by some of you just astonishes me.

Please, go to Donahue's record against non Ivy and non little sisters of the poor is well below .500. With the exception of a two win run in the NCAA tourney his record is really nothing exceptional. This is not a Brad Stevens run or a we'll play anyone anywhere. Take out the NCAA run he has never beaten a ranked team. Hell, before 2009, he never played against a ranked team. This is a gentleman (and from all indications, he is a nice and energenic man) way way over his head in coaching ability and recruiting ability. How are his recruiting classes after the 2009 season. They stink again. It is not like the 2010 class decomitted after he left. This present team at Cornell is pretty much his and they can't compete in the Ivy League. Everyone keeps talking about the freshmen. I don't think anyone is asking for these kids to go down and beat Duke. I think that nine freshmen playing at an ACC school should be able to beat (or at least be competative against) low level mid-majors. As i have said before, BC Basketball did not have to be overhauled, it had to be re-energized and retooled. There were a number of qualified coaches out there that could have done that. Another bad choice by big Gene. I hope I am wrong, but I don't think the fans will be rushing the floor anytime in the near future.

canttakeit said...


You are correct.

Did these guys have any off season weight program? Except for about 4kids, they have no muscle tone

Lenny Sienko said...


I know; but you're not ocd if that "post removed" note doesn't offend your sense of order. [grin]

Knucklehead said...

I think this team is going to get its ass kicked this year. At some point the team is going to get fed up with being pushed around, dunked on, and trash talked to. One of these kids is going to have to step up get asertive and literally fight back. Somebody needs to become the team leader so that this team has some character for next season.
Daniels seems like a fighter and Clifford will stand up for him.

Knucklehead said...

How can you have an offseason to lift weights when you are a freshman?

Muscle tone? . . .Jeezzus Christ

canttakeit said...

Gee Knucklehead. Most freshman get here well before school starts and yes in the 21st century teams have strength and conditioning coaches that work with the kids as soon as they sign a letter of intent. Take a look at the size of some of the freshmen that they are playing against

Knucklehead said...

I have never heard of weight lifting program for incoming freshman basketball players.

Which of the players on the team came to BC early?

This team needs a good "hockey fight" to build cohesion.

Knucklehead said...

You are a douche.

Danny Boy said...

Canttakeit, there are NCAA rules about contact time with coaches that apply during off season (which is why Midnight madness exists, its the start of the season). Most players will organize voluntary workouts, but that is when they are students.

Freshman aren't going to have any supervision with their workouts until the season starts.

If you want to argue that they aren't the physical specimens that the UNCs, and Kentuckys of the world get, thats fine, but look at the freshman on Duke. They're just as spindly as our guys (but they can shoot, and actually have older players to support them).

canttakeit said...

Thanks Danny Boy. The NCAA rules apply to on court practice. Every school has supervised weight training programs.