Tuesday, March 05, 2013

BC (finally) wins at Clemson

It was the Olivier Hanlan show tonight.  After BC played an uninspired first half, Hanlan took control of the offense in the second.  In the middle of the second half Hanlan was our offense, and BC scored seemingly at will possession after possession while Clemson went stone cold.  BC went up by 9 with under 5-minutes left, but things got scary as turnovers let Clemson back in the game.  Clemson was within 3 late, but Hanlan shown brightest and hit a clutch jumper with under a minute left with the shot clock winding down to open the lead up to 5.  And thanks to some Hanlan FT shooting from there on out, that was all the cushion the team needed to come out of Clemson with a win 68-61.

This is BC's:

  • 2nd road conference win (the first being the opening conference game @VT)
  • First time winning back-to-back conference games this season
  • 5th win in the last 8 games
  • 1st win at Littlejohn (!!!)

Hopefully the team can keep this momentum going when they close out ACC play at Conte vs. GT on Saturday.

-- Hanlan taking control of the offense - He was quiet through the first, but midway through the 2nd Hanlan put the offense on his shoulders with consistent confident drives to the hoop.  And then he mixed in a deep 3 to keep the Clemson defense honest.  Hanlan carried the offense through the middle of the 2nd through the end of the game.  After scoring only 3 points in first half, Hanlan scored a whopping 21 in the 2nd and lead all scorers with 24 points.  He had a phenomenal game.
-- Taking the ball to the hoop - The first half was filled with a lot of timid perimeter play littered with bad perimeter shots.  In the 2nd, we started driving to the rim, and good things happened.  It wasn't just Hanlan who did it.  Rahon and Anderson also had success driving to the hoop in the 2nd, and their play contributed to the run that put BC up for good in the 2nd half.

-- Heckmann moving without the ball - Heckmann showed a little bit of how to run that modified Princeton offense tonight.  He had a few cuts to the undefended hoop for easy layups in the first half.  It really seems as if he's starting to figure out how to be an asset in this offense.

-- Breaking the press - We were holding a 9-point lead late in the 2nd half.  But the game started looking like the Penn State game down the stretch.  BC got sloppy breaking the press and turned the ball over too many times.  We also pressed on offense.  Before you knew it, the 9-point lead was whittled down to 3 with 90 seconds left in the game, and we needed that Hanlan jumper to stop the bleeding.
-- Not converting easy opportunities - When you play on the road, you need to take advantage of every high scoring chance presented to you.  As a team we missed way too many shots right under the rim, especially in the first half.  Another example of missed easy opportunities - the team has been shooting well from the line in the last few weeks, but tonight that wasn't the case for anyone not named Olivier Hanlan.  Take out Hanlan's FT shooting, and we were a very pedestrian 7-13 from the line.  The bottom line is that we left way too many easy points on the floor.
-- First half from beyond the arc - We threw up way too many poor threes in the first half.  Heckmann from NBA range, Rahon rushing a shot out of the beginning of an offensive set, Jackson from the top of the key without his feet set, Van Nest from the wing, Jackson again from 3-feet behind the line at the beginning of the set.  As a team we were 2-10 from beyond the arc in the first half.  A lot of those misses were simply due to poor decisions being made.
-- Bigs shooting from the perimeter - This is a little nit-picky since we did win the game.....but here it goes anyway - yes, Van Nest hit one long range jumper in the first.  And yes, this offense is supposed to be built around the supposition that anyone can hit a shot, but these bigs just aren't connecting right now.  Anderson missed two from the top of the key.  Odio and Van Nest both missed 3s.  It's painful to watch these guys shoot and miss extended jumpers....especially while BC is trying to put together a run (e.g. -  Odio's three point attempt in the middle of our big 2nd half run).


EL MIZ said...

what a game from these Eagles. scoring 21 on the road in the 2nd half of a conference game is legit, doing it as a freshman is really something special. Hanlan is a player.

good analogy to the Penn State game at the end there, that was another game Hanlan took over down the stretch.

i feel good about our momentum -- if we can beat GT at home, we are the 8th seed going into the ACC tourny, and could very well have 1-2 winnable games.

really exciting to see this group of guys beginning to "get it" and figure out how to win.

John said...

What if we had a healthy Clifford and another quality big man?

Bravesbill said...

I'd agree with the likes: the offense in the second half was great. BC was aggressive going to the basket and didn't settle for outside shots (except Odio). I also like the cutting (esp. by Heckman) throughout the game. Finally, I liked the zone defense BC played in the second half and the adjustments they made on Booker. After Booker scorched BC for the first 25 minutes of the game, Anderson finally got in front of him and denied the entry pass down low. If Booker did receive an entry pass, the entire front line collapsed on him. Booker was pretty much a non-factor the rest of the game. On the negative side, BC committed some really stupid fouls in the last two minutes which sent Clemson to the line. Luckily for BC, Clemson didn't convert most of their opportunities. Also, the free throw shooting down the stretch was pretty subpar and almost cost BC the game. BC also needs to convert the easy bunny layups (it was brutal watching the bricks in the first half).

NEDofSavinHill said...

Didn't see the game but Hanlan is easily the best player on the team. He may be the best guard in the ACC next year. One top notch player can make a difference. Look what Troy Bell did for Skinner, Flutie for Bicknell and Reasoner for York. One high quality player reversed the fortunes of the entire team. 2. The criticism of Donahue was that he was an Ivey league coach with Ivey league talent. May have been valid last year but Hanlan completely changes the equation.

Jeff said...

Follow-up on NED's comment:

I don't follow basketball very closely, so let me ask you guys. How do you feel about the team's progress heading into next year? We've still got a very young team... but by next year they'll be mostly juniors, with a couple of (star?) sophmores. Sounds like we could be dangerous next year. What do you all think?

John said...

Agree - especially if we land a quality big who can defend and rebound.

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

Jeff, before looking at next year i'd love to see how we finish this year. this team is playing with a lot of confidence right now and figuring out ways to win. we started 0-5 in conference games decided by 5 points or less, and have gone 3-1 in the last 4 games decided by 5 points or less.

our last game is at home against a 15-13 (5-11) GA Tech, a very winnable game. A W would give us the 8th seed in the ACC, with a likely matchup against Wake (lost 75-72, won 66-63 this year), and if we won that, probably Miami (should have won the game at home, got worked by them on the road).

regardless, a W over GA Tech puts this team at 15-16 (7-11) for the year. that is a 7 game improvement from last year's 9-22 (4-12) effort, something ATL predicted earlier this year (something like a 5-6 improvement is built into classes as they get older). given that we add 2 rotation players next year in Dragicevich and Owens, I think we should win at least 20 games, but i am an optimist.

would really love to finish the season strong. beat GA Tech, and win a game in the ACC tourny. that would give us 17 wins on the year, and make 20 that much more reachable for next season.

mod10aeagle said...

A healthy Clifford, a stronger and possibly more confident Anderson, the athleticism of Owens ... yeah, this could be a very dangerous team next year and a serious contender the following year.

It's a good time to get on the hoop wagon, Jeff.