Sunday, February 19, 2012

Still a long way to go

Every school in the ACC has the same pitch: "Play for us and you get to take on Duke and Carolina. You'll get to show your best against the best." It is an effective angle. Over the years you've seen players step up in these big games and others fade. BC didn't have enough today in the loss to Duke and didn't play smart or well, but I think you saw that Ryan Adnerson is going to step up on the big stage. He'll bring out his best for the best. Now we just need a few other guys to step up too.

-- Ryan Anderson's all around game. His offense got attention, but he had tough defensive assignments throughout the game and looked good.
-- Matt Humphrey creating his own shot. In the beginning of the year I thought he was selfish. Now I admit we need him near the ball because he's one of the few that can create his own shot on the perimeter.

-- Rebounding. Rebounding. Rebounding. I know part of the problem is due to size. I know strategy plays into it too. But the staff needs to change something. There is no way BC can win consistently without better rebounding.
-- Handling Duke's tight man-to-man. Duke did what they always do and we really couldn't get in a rhythm. This is partially because we don't have many guys who can dribble under pressure. Another point guard will help, but the guys also need to move and pass with a purpose.
-- Shot selection. These guys are passing up too many good looks. Visockas was the worst offender.
-- Dennis Clifford forcing things. His post game is pretty good for a freshman but tonight it was off. I don't feel like he was ready for Plumlee's quickness.

The guys have a long break and then get some easier games. If Duke is the measuring stick, we are a long way off from being great. But the final three games can prove that these guys are getting better.


mod34b said...



"If Duke is the measuring stick, we are a long way off from being great"


"If Duke is the measuring stick, we are a long way off from being good""

ModA36 said...

Hello all, BC class of 1978, been reading for awhile, but this is my first post.

I have now been to 5 games and watched about 5 more on TV. My thoughts on the Freshman Class:

-Anderson is good already, and he can be very good. I disagree that he needs to put on weight; he needs to get into the weight room and work out and get cut. He looks quite soft. Remember the transformations Raji and Paris made their senior years? Their improved physiques helped improve their overall games. There does not appear to be one kid on the team who has a bicep or tricep.

-Clifford has potential as well, but must be much quicker, stronger and explosive.

Other than those two I am not convinced any of the other players can play in the ACC. Maybe Daniels, but he is too small to get to the rim, and just doesn't seem to shoot well enough at his size. Donahue says he is a good shooter so we will see.

Jackson can shoot, but is too slow get a a shot off, and does little else.

Caudill is just too slow and out of shape.

I am sure the others are good players, but I just don't think they are ACC players.

Donahue should not have used all these scholarships on these kids. Now, he will be forced into telling kids they won't play and they should transfer (remember the coach in One on One with Robbie Benson--"I'm taking away your scholarship."). Skinner got criticized for having no recruits one year. I assume he made several offers but was turned down. But I think he did the right thing by not simply giving one out to a player who was not good enough for this level.

Knucklehead said...

Evan Ravenal would have helped this team tremendously.

Donohue absolutely needs to recruit an 6 8 250 type player who can rebound.

Duke clobbered us on the boards.

Knucklehead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Jack Krack said...

Very good post, ModA36.

I too have wondered about the scholarship situation going forward.

There's no question that Coach Donahue found himself in a unique situation. Whether or not some of it was self-inflicted I personally don't know.

But it appears as though the coach will have to do as you suggest - take away a few scholarships in the future in order to build this team.

I think many BC fans will find that to be distasteful to say the least. This is new territory for us.

We have thrown players off the team and out of school for disciplinary reasons - but I don't know that we've had to dismiss players from the team because they weren't good enough.

Such is the situation in which we find ourselves.

Knucklehead - I agree.

Mr. Tambourine MAn said...

I've advocated it before, but at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has made players redshirt their second year. A good example is Tim Abromitis. Abromitis played his first year, but it quickly became clear that he was overmatched, so Drew told him to redshirt or else he'd likely never be ready.

He did, he got up to size, and now has flourished (unfortunately hurt his leg this year).

I think this is exactly what we ought to do with Edie Odio. The kid has size, surprising athleticism and some basketball intelligence, but he simply cannot play yet at this level. Donahue needs to pull him aside and have him work for a year on his game, his handle, and his strength. Then he can come back as a third year sophmore and perhaps add a little something.

This doesn't make as much sense with Daniels who is too small for this to help. I could see it working a little for Jackson, but the bigger deal for him will just be getting in good enough shape and working on a quicker trigger to be the type of guy who just runs his defender ragged looking for open spaces to launch threes. Odio, however, seems like the perfect candidate for a redshirt. Why waste a potential talent who clearly isn't developed enough to play at this level?

JD said...

ModA36 - I agree with your analysis of Anderson, Clifford, Daniels and Lonnie.

I see Anderson as a guy who can stuff the stat sheet as a tertiary option. Clifford has developed a lot in the last 24 months, so its tough to see what his ceiling is right now. More muscle and some quicker post moves could turn him into a real player.

Daniels is a guy that seems like he could provide a change of pace off the bench for a good team, but unfortunately his size is to his detriment. Lonnie is a 3 pt. specialist, and I think thats his role on a good team.

Not sure if you left Humphrey off of your analysis because he isnt a freshman, but while he makes his mistakes, he can obviously play at this level, on both ends of the court. I am also still optimistic regarding Heckmann, although he needs to show improvement in his assist/turnover ratio in non-conference play for me to keep that opinion.

With a class of this size, there are going to be guys that transfer out after next season. Thats just the way it works, playing time will be harder to come by with an incoming class, and the turnover will be natural. I cant see them cutting a scholarship.

I am interested however in how you think the staff should have used their scholarships. Should they have not fielded a team this year? As it stands, there were times in the Duke game where we had 3 walk-ons on the floor during meaningful minutes. Would you have liked there to be more walk-ons and less emphasis on trying to win games?

Scoop said...

This was the first time I've seen Donahue-style ball. My first impression is that it is the ultimate definition of tedious. Whether they win or lose isn't the issue, the style of play is BORING. No wonder attendance is down at BC and throughout the ACC. If they're going to lose, at least play a compelling style. Has Donahue ever run a backdoor play? It was there all game long. Compare the compete level of the hockey team to this b-ball team and it's like watching guys walk a marathon versus run a quarter mile. The game was so boring, I switched over late in the first half to watch golf, and I don't play golf, or like golf, but even golf was more compelling. So, wake me when the hoopsters start playing interesting ball. I'm not saying winning, just something interesting. In the meantime, I'm watching the hockey team, the best entertainment value on campus.

Benjamin said...

Scoop, until you've seen more than one game, I wouldn't be so quick to slam the style of play.

ModA36 said...

JD, my position is that rather than grant scholarships to players that cannot play at this level, put a walk on or 2 on the roster. 3 of the Freshmen (Odio, Cain and Kilcullen) have barely played anyway, so what is the difference?

Agreed that several of the players will transfer because they want to play. I can understand why a good player might want to sit on the UNC bench and enjoy the ride, but for the lesser players on this team, it can't be fun to ride the pine and see very little team success. We have had players transfer to Maine, Stonehill, U Texas Arlington and have great success.

Left off Humphrey because he is not a Freshman and if the team can turn this around at some point, he will be gone (meaning 6 wins in the league will be good next year).

By the way, how the heck am I supposed to read the "I am not a robot words"?

Anonymous said...

Donahue's offense needs a point guard that can penetrate. Without it, they simply resorted to passing around the perimeter for a half-open shot.

Once Rivers got in a groove, nobody could stop him.

ModA36 is pretty much on the money. We are 2-3 players and LOTS of weight room/conditioning from being in the second tier of The ACC, which is a long way from Duke and Carolina.

It was my first game in Conte Forum and it is great place for a game, and a long way from Roberts Center!

JD said...

A36 - My understanding is that Cain Carney and Kilcullen are walk ons. And I think Donahue took a flyer on Odio because of a few reasons, 1.) Its been reported that he is the most athletic, and 2.) He was a coaches son. With that in mind, I think Donahue figured, maybe this kid could develop into a nice player in the future. I have no problem with the occasional flyer, once in a blue moon they develop into Jared Dudleys.

The only scholarship guy where it is really tough to see any sort of ceiling that is ACC level is KC. Its good that he brings much needed size to our front court, but he just cant move. To his credit, he has acknowledged this in interviews and put it as his priority to improve over the offseason.

Overall though, I think Donahue and fans have to be happy with the freshman class. Next year I am hopeful that the incoming freshmen are a bit more developed (as reports are good with Hanlan), and we can start to shake out the lineup. We cant beat Duke by playing 12 different guys during meaningful minutes.

ModA36 said...

JD, that helps with the 2 at the end of the bench if they are walk-ons. Odio seems athletic but he has very poor basketball skills (shooting/dribbling etc.). I assume he was able to kill high school kids with athleticism, but that isn't enough at this level.

I have watched Hanlan and Joe Rahon highlight reels. It is always difficult to tell how fast they are when playing against HS kids, but to me, Hanlan looks very fast, polished and skilled with decent size. Good handle, decision making and decent shot (they never miss in highlight reels). Rahon looks like an excellent shooter, but about 6'1" and not athletic at all. If Jackson can't get a shot off, how will Rahon? He actually reminds me of the guard who transferred to Baylor.