Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hanlan honored and other links

The AP released their All America teams and Olivier Hanlan made the honorable mention team. As more and more underclassman declare for the NBA Draft, the hope of Hanlan returning gets better.

Chris Shaw earned Hitter of the Week honors from the NCBWA.

Hockey Captian Michael Matheson signed with the Panthers and will skip his final year of college hockey.

Former Eagle Jordan Daniels completed his degree at Drake and is now free to transfer and play right away.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The ups and downs of recruiting teenagers UPDATE

[Of course after I wrote this and went to bed, Dalton made it official and decommitted from BC. If you're listening to whispers, BC wasn't putting up with his flightiness and pulled the offer. As I wrote, BC and this class will be fine. Best of luck to Dalton...wherever he goes.]

In my short stint with Scout.com, I did my best to avoid interacting directly with recruits. My excuse at the time was that I couldn't because I am a BC booster. But the reality is that I didn't want to go near the potential eagles. I know most are probably good kids, but there are also plenty that would drive me nuts. Recruiting is an emotional roller coaster for the college coaches. Reading the tea leaves, I am sure BC's staff has spent way too much emotion already dealing with current verbal commitment Danny Dalton.

Dalton has been the subject of speculation on various BC message boards, but for those who don't read the boards, here is a quick recap. Massachusetts TE Danny Dalton committed to BC last month. A local product with upside, it seemed like Addazio found good potential and Dalton said all the right things. Of course BC's discovery sent out signals to other programs. Supposedly Alabama had interest. And maybe the extra attention got Dalton thinking, because since committing to BC, he visited Rutgers and raved about it, and visited Penn State this past weekend. Addazio and staff cannot comment publicly on a player, but I can't imagine they enjoy his mini-tour and tweeting about rival programs.

Verbal commitments are not binding and plenty of BC stars of the past were people who changed their mind and flipped to BC (Herzlich and Hilliman are two that come to mind). Addazio might lose Dalton and others in the future. He'll also flip some back to BC. I am not going to lose sleep over it, but I am sure the assistants are. They found and nurtured the relationship with Dalton and now have to fret the next 10 months until Signing Day. Or they can cut their losses and tell Dalton if he keeps looking, his BC offer is gone. Either way I doubt he ends up an Eagle. But because he's local, Addazio has to handle it with kid gloves. Pissing off one local coach or recruit can have a real ripple effect.

At this point I trust Addazio on recruiting. If he can't keep Dalton, he will find an capable replacement. Because if Dalton reminded us, teenagers love to change their minds.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A baseball sweep!

Maybe we should move all of BC's home games to Delaware!? While being the "home" team in the First State, BC Baseball swept Duke over the weekend. BC now stands at 4-7 in ACC play. The team has now won five in a row and face UConn and UMass this week. If they keep the hot streak going, they can reach .500 before the play another ACC team next week.

The Delaware solution was only temporary, however, I don't think this is the end of BC's barnstorming. Weather and Shea Field will always make early season games precarious. For now let's just hope they keep making the best of the circumstances and keep on winning.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hockey season over as Denver sends BC packing

The silver lining is that BC was still a tournament team during a transition year. As much as casual fans assume that the team can often just turn it on, not winning the Beanpot or Hockey East Tournament served as a warning sign. BC didn't have enough to hang with Denver as the Pioneers won 5-2.

BC finished the season 21-14-3. Even with the loss, the guys and Jerry York still deserve our thanks for another very good season.

Isn't it supposed to be Spring?

It is only fitting that following a winter that no one in Boston will forget, the first Boston College "open scrimmage" was filled with snow. The team started things early just to avoid the worst part of the scheduled storm. With the bubble down, the forecast becomes a much more important part of the planning process.

According to Adam Kurkjian, all three QBs looked green. But how much of that was jitters, the conditions or just young QBs getting the kinks out?

Based on some of the pictures, it seems like the weather kept most of the fans away from the new event.

You cannot read too much into any of this. Even just measuring the Marketing aspect, I don't know if you can really compare this to a traditional Spring Game, since the schedule got tweaked and the weather was so bad. Let's hope it helped recruiting. I don't know if this will make Bates rethink future Spring Games, but it did help Addazio's argument for an indoor practice facility.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, March 26, 2015

No confusion: Blackmon on board

Do you remember the confusion regarding Ronnie Blackmon's verbal last month? At the time, some sites said he was coming to BC, while others said it was premature. Now things are clear: Blackmon is committed. In addition to Scout's news, 247 says he a BC lock too.

Ronnie's own Tweet also shows him in Boston.
Like all of our early verbals, Blackmon will hear from plenty of other programs, but I think BC can keep him locked in.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BC is one of many after Jaren Sina

One of the most sought after basketball transfers of this recruiting cycle is Jaren Sina. The former Setor Hall combo guard visited Binghamton, but plenty of big schools have shown interest. Reports differ on who the true favorite is, but BC is consistently mentioned. Sina is not a critical piece for BC -- especially if Hanlan returns -- but he would be a "nice to have." He can add depth and some scoring. It would also be another positive sign that Christian put together a good recruiting staff.

Morias commits

BC picked up another verbal commitment Tuesday. The newest member of the 2016 recruiting class is Bryce Morias. The Georgia DE recently visited and based on his twitter account really seemed to buy into Addazio's program.

Once again Al Washington deserves much of the credit for turning Georgia into an important recruiting territory. Morias has offers from UNC and Tennessee and I am sure other big programs will try to poach him. But I trust Washington and Addazio to keep him on board.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Barlow commits and other links

New York DE Brandon Barlow verballed to Addazio Monday. He's been at BC's camp, so the staff should know what they are getting in him.

Another reminder that baseball needs a permanent home and a better surface for dealing with wetness and rain: our series with Duke will be played in Delaware.

BC basketball target Mike Edwards is now getting attention from Michigan.

According to an ESPN study using wins and salary, Addazio is one of the better bargains in college football.

Former Eagle Tony Sanchez hopes to make the most of this season with the Pirates. Although it looked like he might start the season in Triple A, injuries to other catchers and a strong spring could help him start in the majors this year.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Addazio takes Indoor Practice Facility push to Media

The Globe and BC's own web site both had write ups on Saturday's scrimmage. Both had quotes from Addazio. BC's piece had more quotes from the coach, but left out an important one that the Globe included: "We need a permanent indoor facility." 

Addazio's push for an permanent indoor practice facility is not new to those who have heard him speak lately. He tends to work it into his speeches at booster and alumni functions. Taking it to the media though changes the objective. Now the pitch goes from receptive ears to a broader community who can interpret it a few different ways. In general, I think BC fans (the passionate and the casual) will support the facility. It is just part of the arms race of college football. And the facilities are no longer just at football factories. Private schools across the ACC have them or are building them. Good facilities can make a difference with quality recruits. But Addazio's quote will also be fuel for those who don't want it (locals who object to any BC construction) and those we recruit against.

I don't think Addazio talked about the facility to put pressure on Brad Bates or start building excuses for himself. It is still early in his tenure, but I don't think he is that manipulative. But taking the message to a wider audience is a power play. Addazio is very friendly with Vega. If he didn't want the quote out there, it would have been removed. Now, Addazio is letting the BC broader BC community know that if we want to compete we need to raise the money and build this facility.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hockey opens Tourney against Denver

The NCAA rolled out the selections and seeding for the NCAA Tournament Sunday. BC will face Denver in the first round. The game is Saturday at 3 pm ET on ESPN 2. If they advance, they will face the winner of Miami of Ohio and Providence on Sunday. Congrats and let's go win this.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hockey should get into the NCAA Tourney

Without their usual automatic bid, BC is going to have to wait out the last few games. The BCI crew broke down the scenarios and are very confident that BC will get invited. All that matters is getting hot at the right time. That has been a problem this season, but I still believe that York can get these guys going.

[Eds. Note: Joe corrected me on the selection process. It is pretty cut and dry on ranking. Once again as with hockey and other things, I am an idiot.]

BC starts Scholarship Fund for Marathon Couple

There were many inspirational stories that came out of the Boston Marathon Bombing, but one that captured the hearts and attention of the BC community was that of Patrick Downes '05 and his wife Jessica Kensky. Now the Boston College Class of 2005 has started a scholarship to honor both and is raising money in conjunction with BC. The class hopes to fully endow the scholarship and direct it towards students who have overcome adversity. If you are interested in pledging, learn more on the Boston College Strong Scholarship page.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Women's Hockey loses in Frozen Four

The best season in BC Women's Hockey is over...without a championship. Rough night.

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Recruiting Roundup

BC continues to add targets for their 2016 class. Addazio and staff offer Michigan QB Josh Jackson. Jackson is picking up more offers but is planning a BC visit. It is still very early though for QBs and Addazio usually offers a couple. If Jackson follows through with his on campus visit, we will have a better idea of how serious he is about BC.

BC offered another Michigan prospect -- OL Michael Jordan -- but he seems focused on Big Ten powers.

BC continues to pursue California WR Anselem Umeh. No other schools have offered, but he does have interest from Pac 12 schools. BC is making other offers in California too.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pro Day speaks to past recruiting and current development

24 NFL teams sent representatives to BC's annual Pro Day. Considering we lack any true first day draft picks, that sort of turnout is impressive. Of the potential draftees, Andy Gallik probably generated the most attention, but there weren't 24 teams there to see just him. This Pro Day was about the diamonds in the rough that helped lead the resurrection of BC football under Addazio.

The lack of elite NFL talent mostly falls back to Spaz's recruiting. Most of the guys that worked out today developed under Addazio. Outside of Gallik I would think that Asprilla, Betanourt, Keyes, Mihalik, Phillips, Silberman, Vardaro, and White all have a chance to be late round picks or undrafted free agents. None of those guys were dominant players while at BC, but I think Addazio and Co. have done good job the past two years of developing players. I think NFL teams respect what he's done and his assessments of his own players. One of those 24 teams is going to find a contributor from today.

The most interesting case will be Tyler Murphy. He threw as a QB (see the video below) but I have a hard time believing any team will give him a real shot there. He just didn't show enough as a passer for a team to use a draft pick on him. But he also showed he is a great athlete and great open field runner. I think he could be a very good NFL WR or even a 3rd RB.

A video posted by Boston College Athletics (@bcathletics) on

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

BC explains its protest vote

The New York Times featured BC and Brad Bates in Monday's article on paying college athletes. As most inferred, Bates and Father Leahy knew the initiative would pass and felt they needed to send a message with their vote. I am all for being a contrarian, but I have a problem with how BC is playing this.

College athletics is headed down a path where things are going to become more professional and more commercial. It is only fair and probably in the best interest of the athletes. BC's leadership is smart. We know they see the big picture, hence the "We clearly wanted people to pause." Who does the "pausing" benefit? The current power brokers (i.e. schools, coaches, admins). It doesn't really benefit the athletes. The oncoming changes are disruptive but inevitable and trying to stop the inevitable is wasted energy.

Instead of trying to maintain the status quo even through protest votes, BC's leadership should decide where they want to be in the new world. It is not an easy decision, but coming up with real answers is more brave and shows more leadership than an "I told you so" vote among college administrators.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Why the Spring Game will always be a problem

BC cancelled their annual Spring Game. While they buried it in the announcement of their open scrimmage, the traditional Jay McGillis Spring Game will not take place in 2015. This is the second time in three years the game has been called off (the 2013 game was cancelled in the wake of Marathon bombing). At this point I don't know if it ever will or should held again.

Ideally the Spring Game is a capstone to spring practices and a fun day for fans and recruits. For a variety of reasons the BC Spring Game never draws a crowd and never generates much excitement with recruits. For a school like BC it makes sense to have a smaller, more intimate event -- like the open practice -- that allows Addazio to show off his team to the constitutes that matter and not explain away an empty stadium.

As much as I want the Spring Game to become a real event, I don't know if it ever can at BC. We have a few inherent challenges that will always create problems.

-- The University Schedule
BC has an early Spring Break and an extended long weekend at Easter. On some years Easter is quickly followed by Patriots' Day. Those breaks disrupt the flow of practices. Programs are only allowed a certain number of practices. With two long breaks annually (and a third thrown in most years), coaches have to decide to start practice early or late. If you start early the Spring Game is cold. If you start late, you get better weather for the Spring Game but kill practice momentum due to breaks at Easter and Patriots' Day.

-- The Weather
We've had some nice spring game days in the past few years, but the weather remains a crap shoot. BC can never really plan on a great spring day and the fans are always going to wait to see the weather before they turn out in droves.

-- The roster limitations
We are always going to lack an army of walk-ons who fill out spring games across the country. Throw in the inevitable injuries and each spring BC doesn't have enough players to field two 'teams'. That leads to convoluted offense vs defense formats that the fans cannot really understand.

BC is not the first school to cancel their Spring Game. I don't know if this will be permanent. If no one misses it and recruits like the new concept, then I have no problem trading out the Spring Game for an annual open practice. Sometimes new traditions are better than old ones.

BC-centric takeaways from Tourney Teams

While we dream of even being near a bubble, there are still plenty of BC-related storylines and takeaways from the NCAA Tournament teams. Hindsight on these things is always 20/20, but overall I still believe BC's future is bright.

Coen and Cooley
Both of Al Skinner's former assistants made the Tournament. As much as I love Al and wish we had hired one of his proteges, I understand why we passed on both guys twice. Steve Donahue turned out to be the wrong coach, but he wasn't the wrong hire. I didn't love the Christian hire last year, but Coen's uneven track record at Northeastern didn't help his candidacy. Cooley's resume was arguably better than Christian's but I can rationalize Christian over Cooley. In the end, I am happy for both and don't think there success speaks to BC's mistakes. BC might not be better off right now, but I don't think there is anything either are doing at their current school that Christian cannot do at BC.

Notre Dame
The Irish just won the ACC Tournament and secured a 3 seed with a Massachusetts-heavy roster. As frustrating as that might be to BC fans, it gives me hope. There is more than enough local talent for us to compete in the ACC. We just need to identify the right kids and get them to commit. We haven't recruited well locally since the JOB days. Despite ruffling a few feathers, I think Christian will change that. 

The Big East vs the ACC
The smaller, refocused Big East earned six selections from a ten-team conference. The mighty ACC also got six. As the teams were announced, I was convinced that Mike Tranghese was still on the committee. But it seems it was just a good year for the old basketball schools. Good for them. As much as they screwed up the conference, I never begrudged their demands. It was the UConns and West Virginias of the world that always upset me. In most years the ACC will lead the nation and our former home when it comes to tournament teams.

Power 5 prevailed
When it came to the bubble, the committee went with bigger schools and traditional powers over the mid majors. That's great news for BC. One season doesn't always set a precedent, but it is good for BC that the benefit of the doubt seems to be shifting to the Power 5 teams.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

UVM upset Hockey and other links

BC's out of the Hockey East Tournament. UVM upset BC Sunday with a 1-0 win at Conte. Losing the Hockey East Tourney puts BC on the bubble, but the experts still think we're in.

Louisville completed their sweep of baseball on Sunday.

People are already profiling BC's pro prospects. This one took a look at Mihalik. BC's Pro Day is this Wednesday.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Women's Hockey to Frozen Four and other links

The Women's Ice Hockey team is one step closer to their championship. They advanced to the Frozen Four with a 5-1 win over Clarkson.

Unfortunately the news for the Men's team wasn't as good. After losing Saturday, they will need Game 3 on Sunday to advance in the Hockey East Tournament.

Eric Hoffses wrote a good recap of the first spring scrimmage.

Lacrosse crushed UConn.

The baseball team lost both ends of a double header with Louisville.

Ohio recruit Luke Farrell is scheduled to visit BC.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Hockey wins Game 1!

BC started the Hockey East Tournament the right way: with a win! They held on to beat Vermont 4-2. Game 2 is Saturday night.

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Guessing the dollars of BC's Under Armour extension

BC and Under Armour extended their partnership another 10 years. This is good news for BC. Despite some early gripes in the first year with regards to feet problems with the shoes, overall I think both sides have been happy. Under Armour is still only supplying eight Power 5 schools, so BC still gets the attention we deserve. It still also adds a little coolness to recruits and fans. But as much as the marketing and recruiting is important, what really matters is the money.

Unfortunately for BC, it doesn't seem like our other potential partners in Adidas and Nike were writing blank checks for apparel deals. Under Armour just signed Notre Dame to the largest deal in college sports. It is estimated that the Irish got $100 million for 10 years. Nike even let Miami leave for Adidas for an estimated $4.5 million. If Under Armour didn't break the bank to sign Miami -- a traditionally a higher profile school than BC -- I don't think they were breaking the bank for BC's extension. The most lucrative UA deal right now is with Auburn and that is only a little over $4 million annually. Texas Tech renewed their UA deal recently and terms are not yet public. My guess is that because we renewed and agreed to a long deal, BC is probably getting around $3.5 and have some kickers if we raise our profile in the next ten years with some sort of basketball or football championship.

Now that the deal is done, I hope BC and Under Armour agree to some new looks and guidelines for the uniform. My preference remains a traditional, consistent conservative look for the majority of our games. I don't like tweaks year to year and especially tweaks during the season. Then in the one or two "marketing" games BC can go crazy. Try Super Fan yellow! Go with a winged helmet! I would even accept a full stain glass helmet for one game. Do throw backs from different eras.

BC's revenue from apparel is never going to be among the highest in college football. At this point that doesn't really matter. What matters is getting fair money with upside and having a partner who is focused on BC. This UA renewal does that.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

BC runs out of steam against UNC

It was a nice little run there. BC rattled off four straight conference wins amidst Olivier Hanlan's scoring binge. But it wasn't going to last forever...and didn't as UNC controlled most of the game in BC's 81-63 loss. Back-to-back games are tough for deep team. For thin squads like BC, they are brutal. BC didn't get any points from their bench until the game was well out of hand late in the second half.

With the loss, the season is over. BC finished 13-19, 4-14 ACC and 1-1 in the ACC Tournament. That's disappointing to me based on my preseason expectations, but I am encouraged enough with what I saw to think Christian might be a decent coach. I will have more recaps on the season in the coming weeks.

With specifics to this game, here are a few thoughts:

-- Who is the real Dennis Clifford? For two years we kept hearing that a healthy Dennis Clifford would have been a difference maker. With the player we saw as a freshman, that made sense. He was a legit 7-footer with some good offensive skills. Now I don't know what we have. He showed flashes this season and worked hard on D, but I don't know what he can be. He just got man handled the past two days on the boards. Many times by smaller men. The rebounding was better against UNC, but still not enough.
-- Terrible refs. It wasn't the reason we lost the game, but the ticky tack fouls on Heckmann didn't help. You would hope that there was some consistency in a tournament like this. But things were all over the place.
-- Hanlan starts cold. He got his his points and played well enough, but his shots weren't falling early. That contributed to the halftime deficit.

The ACC Tournament doesn't really mean much when you are 12 seed. But I have hope. I have hope that things will matter soon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

No rebounds; No Problems!

When BC fell behind six with a minute and a half left, I thought this run was over. But Hanlan made a clutch pullup to give BC the 66-65 win. It was a clutch comeback and keeps BC alive in the ACC Tournament. It wasn't a good performance, but style points don't matter. All BC needs to do is regroup and play better against UNC on Wednesday. Here are some other thoughts:

-- Missing Magarity. Magarity is not a Swedish Dennis Rodman, but another big man would have helped. GT's bruisers controlled the boards and the game. I don't know why Christian didn't have the guards help more. When he finally did, Batten made some good stops.
-- Need more from Brown. As much as "good" Heckmann makes a difference, a "bad" Brown can undermine it all. He was totally out of it. Not only were his shots off, but he dribbled wildly into traffic too often. Hopefully he shakes it off.
-- Big plays from our best player. He had a big second half. He made shots down the stretch and he made our final basket. This might be the end of his BC career, but at least he is going out playing his best basketball.

Now we get to do it all again! This wasn't the start I hoped for, but I still like the UNC matchup. Let's roll. 

In-game comments post: ACC Tournament

This could be the start of something or BC's last game during a transition season. I am hoping (and believing) that we make a strong statement and start a mini-run. Leave your thoughts and comments below.

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Monday, March 09, 2015

TOB: the power broker?

Multiple reports are saying the College Football Playoff committee reached out to Tom O'Brien about joining the committee. The potential opening is still a few seasons off, so it will give TOB plenty of time to plan. I don't like the idea of BC's fate in the hands of a committee, but it would not be a bad thing to have TOB around. He understands BC's challenges better than most. Even if he had to recuse himself during any BC talk, his casual influence would help.

Now let's get the TOB day at Alumni going to so we can start buttering up the committee just in time for our championship run.

Can BC make a run in the ACC Tourney?

Let's get the obvious out of the way: 12 seeds don't win Conference Tournaments. There is too much to overcome and they usually are ranked 12th for a reason. BC's not going to win the ACC Tournament, but...I still believe we can create some problems for the unlucky teams we face.

Winning the first game is key and BC is actually favored against Georgia Tech. We beat the Jackets in a close game earlier this year, so there is no reason to think we won't this time. We've improved and they've gotten worse. They will also be without Marcus Georges-Hunt and Chris Bolden. Their coach Brian Gregory is clearly on the Hot Seat. I don't expect them to come out fired up. I think BC controls from the tip.

After that we would take on North Carolina. Even with their recent struggles, the Tar Heels would be favored in the game. But I think BC could pull off an upset. The teams have similar issues (interior) so it could come down to our guards vs theirs. If Hanlan gets hot and the other guys play halfway decent...it could happen.

The winner of UNC-BC would play Louisville. This is where the double-byes start to impact the tournament. Playing a fresh team would be a major disadvantage. However, the Cards are without Chris Jones, who had 28 in our first game. Is that enough to swing things?

BC has nothing to lose. There is no NIT bid on the line and certainly no NCAA Tournament spot. This is really about playing well, showing pride and building something long-term. We can do it. Who's with me?

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Hanlan makes 1st team ACC and other links

The ACC named Olivier Hanlan to their 1st team All Conference. Despite his strong showing, he only received one vote for the Player of the Year award.

The Women's Hockey team dropped the Hockey East Championship to BU. Aside from losing, the game wasn't that big of a setback. They are the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and take on Clarkson in the opener.

Florida State swept the baseball team over the weekend. BC had its chances. They blew a save Saturday night. Let's hope they rally for next week's series with Louisville.

Men's Hockey picked up a big commitment from goalie prospect Joseph Woll.

Women's Lacrosse beat Notre Dame 16-5. Next up: Louisville.

Steve Donahue is the leading candidate for the opening at Penn.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Eagles keep rolling

After the last win, I joked on Twitter about BC running the table. Now it feels a little more possible. The team played really well against Wake for their third straight win. Even if we don't make a big run in the ACC, this has been an encouraging end to the season. It seemed like the team checked out on Christian a few weeks ago. But they clearly responded. Here are some other thoughts:

-- 'Good' Heckmann. Christian is on record saying that when Heckmann plays well, BC plays well. Saturday he played well enough. There were still too many turnovers, but he shot well and played better defense.
-- Batten's D. As much as Hanlan's scoring and a softer schedule contributed to this run, it was also due to improved defense. Batten keys that D. He's our most intense defender and is very good as slowing the other team's sets.
-- Clifford contributing without scoring. He was cold shooting, but he was still important to the win...especially his rebounding.

Hanlan's game was good, but probably not good enough to earn Player of the Year votes. But who cares about awards now? We have the Conference to win. Let's keep it rolling Tuesday!

Brad Bates Town Hall comments post

Brad Bates is holding another Town Hall at noon today. If you attend and want to share your opinions and thoughts on the event, please leave a post them in the comments section.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Can Hanlan with ACC Player of the Year?

With the regular season coming to an end, there is serious talk about Olivier Hanlan winning the ACC Player of the Year award. BC is even pushing the cause. The stats are there: he leads the conference in scoring and in minutes and is in the Top 10 in numerous other categories. The only real obstacle to getting votes is BC's current record. Since 1954, only one players from a losing team has won the award.

The lone winner from a losing team -- Virginia Tech's Erick Green in 2013 -- was sort of a fluke. He split the award with Miami's Shane Larkin. The split also came in part because for the first time the coaches and media voted differently.

There are plenty of bigger names competing with Hanlan for the prize. I think it will really come down to how everyone finishes. If Hanlan puts up huge numbers in a BC win over Wake, his heroics will be fresh in voters' mind.

We can't go back and make this season more fun, but seeing our best player get the conference's biggest award would be a nice high note.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Signs the players are buying in

Coaches spend countless hours texting and calling, and schools build shiny new facilities all in an effort to impress new recruits. But the most underrated tool in recruiting remains current players. They host potential recruits and they create the team culture.

When things turned bad under Spaz, the players were the canaries in the coal mine. You could see their comments on social media and read between the lines on recruiting stories. If the current players are not buying in, it is that much harder for recruits to buy into a coach or potential program. I think the current players believe in BC and in Addazio. The most recent example is Jonathan Hilliman's tweet about potential transfer Matt Hegarty.

I have no idea if Hilliman has any prior relationship with Hegarty. The former Notre Dame player is from New Mexico, so there is no obvious connection. I don't know if Hegarty is interested in BC or if the staff wants him, but it is a great sign that our current players want him. If they are this excited about a transfer, imagine what they are saying to the high school kids that come to campus.

Hilliman is only one guy, but he's one of our best young players. Let's hope other players believe in BC like he does and want great recruits and transfers to join the team.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

BC lose to Sox in Frates game

No one expected BC to beat the Red Sox Tuesday. We never do. So the close game was a bit of a moral victory. The focus of the day and game was really on former Eagle Pete Frates. Both teams honored him by wearing his number and there were special videos played prior to the game. BC starts playing games that count again this Friday.

The Red Sox also beat Northeastern earlier in the day.

Red Sox Frates jerseys

The annual game against the Red Sox is a nice tradition. It helps promote BC Baseball and keeps ties between the two organizations. The Red Sox honoring Frates like this make the relationship that much more special.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Eagles on a roll

BC won again. Back-to-back! I almost forgot that was even possible! BC's first half was better, but overall they did enough down the stretch to beat Virginia Tech 66-59. Other than escaping the bottom of the ACC standings, the other big takeaway was that BC didn't need a great game from Hanlan. After a strong first half, Olivier cooled off, yet BC still controlled. Some other thoughts:

-- Batten! His 18 led BC scorers. I loved the way he drove to the basket. Even with missing a dunk he finished 7 for 9 from the floor. His slashing kept VT honest and opened other things on the floor.
-- Good D again. Virginia Tech is bad, but BC's defense made them look worse. 4 blocks and controlling the boards limited shots. The movement on D was smooth too (until the final minute...because BC has to give their fans ulcers).
-- Winning without a bench. In many losses, Christian blamed the bench. In this game he only went eight deep and only got five points from the bench, but it didn't matter. All the starters played well.

The team is coming together. It is a little late to matter, but that shouldn't stop them. Maybe we can make a small run in the ACC Tourney.

What should expectations be for BC Baseball?

Sorry for the misleading headline. I want to use this post to address BC Baseball this season. The long-term future of BC Baseball is a different and more complicated topic. However, after winning three straight in the Snowbird Classic, Baseball improved to 5-6. They play their exhibition against the Red Sox Tuesday and then start ACC play against Florida State this weekend. Putting aside the predictable sweep by LSU, this season is off to a promising start. But a season is not built on a few out of conference wins. The team needs to compete in ACC play. Which brings me back to the question: what should expectations be for BC Baseball this season?

At this point in Gambino's tenure, I think the team has to finish close to .500 in ACC play and win enough of the remaining out of conference games left on the schedule to finish above .500 overall. This is his 5th season. He's been around long enough to refresh the full roster once. We improved his staff in the offseason. Yes, there is still no new field, but that is an issue out of his control.

Perhaps I am setting the bar too high. What are you thoughts?

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Hockey is a 3 seed and other links

After things shook out over the weekend -- including BC's split with Notre Dame -- Men's Hockey fell to the 3 seed in the Hockey East Tournament. That is still enough to give them a bye into the Quarterfinals.

The Women's Hockey team crushed Providence in the opener of their Hockey East Tournament.

Baseball improved to 4-6 with their win over Kansas.

Women's Lacrosse upset Syracuse, ending a 0-13 streak against the Orange.

Women's Basketball beat Virginia Tech on some last second free throws.

Johnny Gaudreau is excited about the chance to play in front of his hometown crowd.