Thursday, March 31, 2016

BC lands Kyran Bowman

Another good sign for BC Basketball -- adding elite talent late in the recruiting cycle. This time it is North Carolina guard Kyran Bowman. He's highly regarded yet somewhat of a unique case. For most of his high school career, Bowman was considered a football prospect. He received offers from many Power 5 teams and verballed to UNC. Later he changed his mind to basketball and reopened the recruiting process. He has one of the better offer lists of recent Christian recruits.

Where Bowman fits will be determined later. He is probably not a Day 1 point guard, but should be a contributer early. He has the athleticism and toughness to do it. Good luck to him and welcome to BC.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Report: Smith, Flutie moved to WR

BCI reported that Jeff Smith and Troy Flutie both moved to Wide Receiver during Spring practice. The move makes sense given the log jam at QB and the lack of playmakers at WR. The hope is that both will translate their knowledge of the passing game into getting open. We will see if either can catch.

Based on what they did as QBs, Smith would seem like the natural WR. He is quick and dangerous with space. I don't know what to expect from Flutie.

It will be interesting to see how each player takes to the move. Both had plenty of opportunity at QB, but not under ideal circumstances. In a perfect world they would have grown in an offense and had an experienced OL and a good OC in place before they took the field. Instead if was sink or swim time.

I want both to stay, but understand if either go. They came to BC to be QBs and now they are not. Some players embrace that type of change. Let's hope they both do.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Basketball adds 5th transfer

Jim Christian added some much needed front line depth with Western Michigan PF Connar Tava. He missed this past season with a foot injury. Tava put up respectable numbers in MAC play two years ago. The best part of this all is that A.J Turner helped bring him to campus. The two were high school teammates. When your best players are selling the program at least we know there is hope.

There should be more roster movement in the following days.
A photo posted by Connar Tava (@megacon_2) on

Monday, March 28, 2016

In recruiting a "wall" is not important, knowing the players is

A.J. Dillon is just the latest Massachusetts star to take his talents elsewhere. The state's top-rated prospect verballed to Michigan Monday. Surprisingly this didn't generate the usual hand wringing among some fans. I don't know if people are resigned to lowly recruiting or if the rumors of Dillon being overrated calmed fears. But Dillon did have a BC offer and he did decide to leave. When that happens, it undermines Addazio's goal of building a wall around New England. I don't really care about "walls." What I want is for Addazio and his staff to use New England proximity to make better evaluations.

When was the last time a Massachusetts prospect who spurned BC really became a game changer for someone else? In general, even going back to the TOB days, if gossip got out that a guy was overrated, he usually doesn't amount to much elsewhere. I don't mind losing Dillon if Addazio wasn't high on him. The key to local recruiting is having better evaluations than teams from outside the region.

The idea of a wall plays well with fans, but who cares if guys leave the area? It works both ways. We get players from outside New England. Wanting to go somewhere new is natural for many 18-year-olds. I wish Dillon the best in Michigan, but I have a feeling we are not going to miss him. While he's done a lot to have me question aspects of his program, I am still going to trust Addazio on player evaluations.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Fenway is not the answer

I waited on responding to the Globe's hacky piece on BC turning down a return trip to Fenway in 2016 because there was a lot to address even in a short, poorly argued article. I've been a huge proponent for more football at Fenway, but that doesn't make it the perfect destination for BC under any old circumstance. BC should and will return to Fenway, but it needs to be under the right circumstances.

2016 was always a no go
Even with its proximity, Fenway remains a gimmick/marketing game for the BC fanbase. It is not part of the traditional on campus experience and requires a change in behavior from our fans and on the team operations. We already have a huge gimmick game in 2016. In case anyone at Fenway or the Globe forgot, BC is putting a ton of energy and marketing into the trip to Ireland. Even with the disappointing ticket sales, it is taking tons of coordination and tapping into our most loyal fans and customers. If BC had included Fenway in 2016, it would have hurt Ireland all that much more. I assume the negative comments and information about the Ireland trip were planted by Fenway people who can't believe BC passed on the opportunity. And although we are not hosting the UMass game at Gillette, having another game so close to campus also hurts demand for anything special BC might have attempted. 

Losing the home field advantage
Playing a road game at Fenway was brilliant. BC kept travel costs to a minimum yet could leverage the recruiting and marketing aspect of the game. Who cares that we dressed in the visitor's locker room? The number of people who paid attention to Boston College being away in Boston's most famous landmark was minimal. If you are reading this blog you pay attention. If you are a casual BC fan or casual college football fan, you probably didn't realize and forgot about it five minutes after the game ended. If UConn or UMass want to move their future home games against us to Fenway, I would be all for it. It would be easier for our fans and a less hostile environment. However, us elevating those opponents by choosing to play them in Fenway is a bad idea. Think of it this way: would more UConn fans buy tickets and pour into Fenway than Alumni? Where is our team more likely to feel at home?

Keeping as many games as possible at Alumni
Financially I am sure Fenway would have been as successful or even more than a standard home game. But there are ancillary benefits to a game on campus that BC can't always measure with dollars. Games bring fans and alumni back to campus. It creates a feeling. A connection. It is a great showcase of what BC is. It also serves as a great tool for future students. Plus the more we move home games away from BC, the more fuel we give to the neighbors who hate BC. There are already too many restrictions on our home games. If we create a regular alternative, how long before the locals cap home games at five and demand more played at Fenway? Plus keeping games on campus adds value to our donor programs and our season ticket packages. Scheduling, bad football, and tone deaf marketing has hurt our ticket sales and made buying a package questionable at best. If we take more and more home games out of the package, we are telling our loyal customers that the games they are buying for Alumni have even less value. It will erode what value those seats currently have.

Aside from winning, we should use our marketing efforts to create a better Alumni Stadium experience so that people want to come to our regular home field.

Fenway's baseball problem
The Red Sox may exploit Fenway any chance they get, but it will always be a baseball stadium first. In 99% of the seasons, the only time to play in Fenway will be November. For TV reasons and overall scheduling reasons, the ACC would prefer that all our November games be conference games. Why should we move desirable important ACC games away from Fenway?

What Fenway should do
The Red Sox would have an event at Fenway every day of the year if they could. Them planting an anti-BC story in the Globe is just sour grapes and another way to put pressure on BC to play more games at Fenway. But if they want a regular game there, then it is time to start the Fenway Bowl. That sort of event would be perfect for BC. We could play there often. It would be lucrative for both parties and allow BC to leverage the Boston aspect of our school and football. Even in the years when BC wasn't in the game, there would probably be enough interest from other ACC fanbases to keep the bowl viable.

What next?
BC needs to put all of its energy into improving the Alumni experience. There is no reason to go to Fenway in 2017 either. In my opinion the earliest games to consider bringing back to Fenway is Holy Cross in 2018. But to do that, BC would have to move the game from September to November. There is historical justification for playing the Crusaders in Fenway and it could be a way to turn a less desirable into a hot ticket.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Another Frozen Four!

BC did it again. They held off Minnesota-Duluth 3-2 to win their regional and return to the Frozen Four. This is BC's 25th Frozen Four, the most in NCAA history.

Congrats to the team and coaches. This continued excellence is really phenomenal and raises the bar for all athletic programs at BC.

BC now has two weeks to prepare for their trip to Tampa.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Hockey beats Harvard

BC started strong and built an early lead. When it felt like BC was going to put the Crimson away, Harvard scored and managed to change the momentum. But that would be it. Harvard pulled their goalie really early in an attempt to cut the lead, but BC added an empty netter to close it out. BC now faces Minnesote-Duluth, who beat Providence in OT.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

TBT: Ten Years ago BC lost to 'Nova in tourney

Exactly 10 years ago today, BC lost to Villanova in the NCAA Tournament. Although a decade removed, it feels longer. That was probably the last time I thought BC could actually win the Tournament.

Even if they had made the stop in OT, hindsight also tells us that would have been the end of the road. Craig Smith was hurt and Florida proved to be a great team.

There were certainly good moments after with Skinner and even Donahue, but that team had the rare combination of talent, depth, great assistants and a coach at his peak. Plus they were likable. Maybe not to non-BC fans, but they were scrappy, funny and smart.

BC will get back to that level again. I just hope we don't have to wait ten more years.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Christian compared to his peers

We have a winless ACC on which to judge Jim Christian. But is that fair? Some Christian apologist might say he was dealt a bad hand and did his best. An SB Nation blogger put together a good chart of all the Power 5 and Big East coaches who just completed their second years. Even without Wins and Losses, Christian still struggles under the Kenpom statistics and in recruiting rankings.

This season was such a letdown, but not just because of the losing, Watching the team struggle would have been okay had their been any hope or sign that we are headed in the right direction. However, as the charts show, Christian doesn't have the new to BC excuse any more, He's had two bad years even by elite coaching standards.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Basketball's vicious cycle

There are plenty of transfer gossip rumors a brewing. The most likely departure is Idy Diallo but there will probably be others. In order to get better and backfill Christian and staff are scrambling to find late recruits and transfers. While a miracle may happen and another Jared Dudley could fall into BC's lap, what is more likely to happen is BC lands another Idy Diallo. While his impact was limited, Diallo represents many of BC's problems.

Diallo seemed promising. He had good size and good offers. Due to the coaching changes around basketball he was suddenly available right when Christian needed some talent. The shotgun marriage brought a much needed big man who wanted to play in an elite conference. The problem lies in that due to the rushed nature and desperation, Christian and his staff never got to do their homework on Diallo or really get to know him. The best recruiting is the long-term relationship building when a player and coach know exactly what they are getting into. Now Diallo is a bust and Christian is left scrambling for a big man.

If BC Basketball is ever going to be successful again it is going to come with solid, well-planned and well spaced recruiting. The cycle of mega classes, backfilling, coaching changes, and transfers will just lead to more losing. If Christian showed any real skill in finding good guys late in the process or off the transfer market, I would be fine with it. But so far he hasn't. And if he can't recruit or win with next year's makeshift squad, do we really want to waste time in a fourth year with him doing the same?

All this cyclical chaos should lead Brad Bates back to a plan. If Christian can't pull BC out of this mess, who can and how are they going to do it? I am willing to give someone time. But that guy needs to show he is not going to repeat the same mistakes of Donahue and Christian. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

TCU, Pitt, BC and Jim Christian

Is TCU Basketball a career killing job? That is the Jim Christian narrative. He bailed after four losing years for a safe return to the MAC. When BC hired him, the TCU losing was brushed off as "no one wins at TCU." Now the Horned Frogs have gone all in and hired Jamie Dixon. Maybe now with a A-List coach and good support, TCU will finally turn it around. Or Dixon might fail like Christian.

None of this will really matter to Christian. By the time Dixon turns things around, BC will already know if JC can coach. My guess is that TCU was probably a more accurate picture of Christian than Bates would ever want to admit. If JC doesn't show progress next year, maybe he will start to put out feelers for another MAC return. His third year at TCU was his worst.

I hope Pitt hires someone bad. We could use another ACC program to head into a down cycle.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Men's Hockey earns 2 seed and other links

Even with their loss in the Hockey East Semis, the Men's Hockey team earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They will play Harvard in Worcester.

The Saints have interest in Justin Simmons.

The BC Women's Hockey team lost the National Championship to Minnesota. It is hard to end such an incredible season with such a tough game.

Clemson swept baseball as the team fell to 2-4 in ACC play.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

BC adds another commitment

Indiana DB Ben Stewart verballed to BC Saturday. Depending on his growth, he could end up as a LB at BC. What I like about the signing is that Stewart comes from Cathedral in Indianapolis. That is the alma mater of Kiwanuka and Trueblood. Our track record at Midwest Catholic schools is good and we need to be getting more recruits from certain schools.

Stewart has a mix of offers from MAC schools and lower level Big Ten schools. He will probably get more offers now that BC is involved. Since spring is so critical to Addazio's recruiting, I think more verbals will follow.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Women headed to Championship game

It took OT, but the BC Women's Hockey team is headed to the NCAA Final. BC trailed for much of the game, but tied it up late in the 3rd. Shortly into OT, Haley Skarupa scored the game winner.

BC plays Minnesota Sunday for it all. If you can't make it to New Hampshire for the game, you can watch a stream live on

Thursday, March 17, 2016

National attention for Women's Hockey

The dominance of the Women's Hockey team is starting to gain national attention. On the eve of their Frozen Four, ESPN posted a long article on the team. BC is 0-5 in Frozen Fours and all the remaining teams are tough. It starts with their game against Clarkson on Friday.

If they win the championship, they would only be the second women's team to go undefeated.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pro Day 2016

While it is the star players that draw the scouts in, the BC Pro Day is not really for them. It is for the guys who didn't get invited to the Combine. It is for the guys who might be overcoming some injury or looking for one last chance. That is why BC holds one every year. Wednesday BC brought NFL and CFL scouts inside the bubble to watch the current seniors and a few recent grads work out.

The main draws were the Combine guys like Abdesmad, Daniels, Simmons and Wujciak. However, a guy like Alex Howell or maybe even a second chancer like Manny Asprilla can use the attention and scrutiny. Less encouraging for all is that only 16 NFL teams sent representative. Hopefully we will soon get to the point where all NFL teams send someone. That won't necessarily lead to a flood of BC draftees, but it would serve as validation of our talent level.

Good luck to all the guys. All you need is one team to believe.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

What is the future of the ACC Network?

As Chad Scott pointed out (HT EO) ESPN owes the ACC $45 million dollars this year if they do not launch the ACC Network by July 1, 2016. July is still far away, but I don't think the ACC and ESPN are going to rally and launch a network in three months. It looks like the ACC is going to get the money from the network without having an actual network.

The change in plans is very much due to the cord cutting phenomenon. And while the conference will lack the cache of having its own network, this is probably a better deal. In this set up, there is no financial downside. ESPN remains very much in bed with the ACC, plus this sort of deal incents ESPN to put ACC content on its own channels and in key slots. I've joked, but ESPN U will be the default ACC Network.

The extra money would move the ACC TV deal closer to the SEC's and the Big Ten's. Plus there is still a chance to have a true network in 2017 and beyond if the economics or marketplace change.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Rooting Guide for NCAA Tournament

Everyone's filling out a bracket right now. Experts and idiots alike all think they know who is going to win. But who do you actually want to win? Who do you hope makes a nice run. Obviously you can't root for BC. However, this year there isn't even a good BC-related angle to the Big Dance. BC guy Mark Schmidt and his St. Bonaventure team saw their bubble burst. BC alum Bruce Pearl didn't turn Auburn around yet. No Steve Donahue or Al Skinner guys snuck in with their mid-majors. It is slim pickings. Plus all our enemies seem to be there. Duke and Notre Dame got favorable draws. Holy Cross is dancing! Teams that have knocked us out of tournaments like USC and Villanova are there. UConn too. There is nothing to like. But here is how I am looking at things.

-- Providence. The Friars remains a basketball rival, but I can't root against Ed Cooley. He did great things at BC and probably should have been hired as Head Coach. It would be nice to see him make a run.

-- All ACC teams. It is hard for me to flip the switch and go from hating to liking an ACC team just because of the tournament. But seeing our conference mates advance does help BC. It makes the conference stronger which brings in more money and excites more recruits. 

-- Gonzaga and St. Joseph's. People root for mascots or uniforms. Why not root for other Jesuits? People wonder if BC cares about sports. Seeing other Jesuit schools using the Tournament as a platform is a good thing. Who knows, maybe our future leaders are now at one of those schools and loves basketball. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hockey needs OT to beat UVM advance in HET

BC is headed back to the Garden for the Hockey East Tournament Semis. While expected, it did not come easy as BC lost Saturday to UVM and needed overtime to defeat the Catamounts on Sunday.

Ryan Fitzgerald scored the game winner. BC takes on Northeastern Friday. The Huskies are very hot and should provide a true test to BC.

This is 22nd trip to the Hockey East Semis at the Garden.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Globe's critique of BC hits and misses

The whispered about Boston Globe takedown of BC Sports came out Saturday night. As someone who wants the pressure turned up for this terrible year, I welcome the harsh spotlight. Leahy, Bates and the Board of Trustees are all assigned levels of blame in the article. However, the lengthy post inflates some issues, doesn't provide a clear picture of how we got here, and doesn't point to real solutions.

Race and BC Sports?

I was surprised by how much attention was paid to race in the piece. While BC does currently lack a minority head coach, the school employed two different African-American basketball coaches, an Asian-American baseball coach and has had various racial minority and homosexual staffers on teams and in the administration. While the school can always do better, I don't see the correlation between the current losing and race. Is race and Boston used against BC in recruiting basketball and football? Sure. But so is the cold. So is geography. So are dorm rooms and training tables. Race was used against BC basketball recruits when we had an African-American coach. Other schools will use whatever they can when trying to dissuade a potential student. A good coaching staff can recruit over any obstacles. It just forces them to find their niche.

The role of Leahy, the Board, Gene D and Bates

I don't expect the Globe to get into all the minutia of how we got here, but you have to question their understanding when they quote so heavily from Gene DeFilippo. He screwed things up and poisoned the well with some donors and fans, but he can't be blamed for Addazio and Christian. Those hires were during the Bates era. Both had rebuilds because of Gene's hires, but both hit shocking lows this year. I don't think great coaches would have sunk so low. I expect both to recover and return BC to some relative respectability, but both were exposed this year. They look to be mediocre at best and that goes to the man who hired them.

Brad Bates knew this article was coming and got out in front of it with an email to BC fans and donors. The email didn't reference the Globe, but it did say that he and BC weren't happy with our losing. At this point there is not much Bates can do other than support his guys and hope they succeed. If they don't, Bates won't be hiring their replacements. Bates also needs to double down on fundraising and getting the facilities built. That is where he can make a difference and that is where he has fallen short of the much maligned Gene D.

Unlike many, I don't think Leahy is major issue. He's empowers his ADs and doesn't get in the way. Could he do more? I guess, but I don't want a President who is focused on the Xs and Os of sports or breathing down the AD's neck. Leahy should be raising money and giving the programs the support they need. Where I feel he has lacked is with facilities. That has been somewhat addressed with the recent announcement but it is still late and questionable as to when this whole thing will actually get done. Leahy is nearing retirement, and his replacement will be a big issue. And that issue will fall to the Board.

I don't talk to any Board members on a regular basis, but the general reputation is that they don't care about BC Sports. I hope the recent negative attention forces them to pay more attention. If they don't realize the importance sports played in BC's past and the importance it will serve in the future, they are probably not fit to be on BC's Board.

How to fix things

Winning will fix most of BC's problems. Attendance and fund raising will improve. Morale will improve. Admissions will improve. So that leads back to Bates, Addazio and Christian. As much as I think all three are mediocre, I don't want anyone fired any time soon. It is not that I think they deserve more time, it is more about BC lacking a plan or the vision to boldly replace any of them. For now the best path -- other than a stunning turnaround -- is to hope for marginal improvement to the point where BC can make a less disruptive change. Firing Addazio or Christian now -- while still under the decision making of Bates, Leahy and the current BOT -- would probably lead to more mediocre hires tasked with another disruptive rebuild.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Hockey open Hockey East Tourney with a win

The Men's Hockey team started off the Hockey East Tournament just how they were supposed to: with a win. Demko shutout the Catamounts while Gilmour, Cangelosi and Fitzgerald all scored for BC. The two teams play again Saturday night.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

What to learn from other team's coaching changes

Regardless of how you feel about Jim Christian, most would agree that he deserves at at least one more season. But BC can learn a bit about future changes by watching what happens to some of BC's future football and basketball opponents.

1. Available names.

Plenty of names will be floated for jobs, but not all will get hired. If a coach is a candidate this year, they wil probably be available next year.

2. Available players.

BC's fifth year experience this season was a disaster. But BC still needs size and experience next year. As coaches get fired or move on, some of their former players will want to explore new opportunities. Our coaches need to start networking to those players and get one or two to BC.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The Dennis Clifford Rorschach test

Dennis Clifford's answer to an innocuous press conference question has gone viral. Here is what he said after being asked about his best Boston College memory and and below is a video of the exchange.

“Going out to eat.”

Some are saying this is a sly shot at Chipotle. Some say it is pathetic that his best memory is not basketball related. Some think it is a sad example of how far things have fallen...that he has no good memories on the court. Others think Clifford represents all that sports is about. I really didn't view it as any of that.

In general I try to be on the side of the players in all BC things. Coaches and Administrators come and go, but the players are the actual BC students. Most will graduate and always be Eagles. Even if you are not an athlete there should be something relatable to all these guys to anyone who was ever a student at BC. What Clifford is going to miss and what he most fondly remembers is hanging out with his teammates. It is the hanging around and bonding, teasing, and sharing that goes on during all the times away from the court. Is that any different from any other BC student? Are your strongest memories what you did in the classroom or what you did back in the dorm? Is it your grades or your time in the Dining Hall? If any of you were involved in any sort of club or activity, you know it wasn't the performance or work that made it special, it was the people.

I can barely remember what I did yesterday, but I can vividly remember the stupidest and funniest things I did with my friends and roommates while at BC. Even the stuff I did with WZBC, it often isn't the actual broadcasts I remember, it is the arguments and BSing we did together before and after the shows. And those bonds last. There are BC people who I haven't spoken directly to in years, but one little photo or Facebook notice can open up a flood of great memories. Like everyone else, I am putting a lot into Clifford's simple statement, but I think it is an opinion we would all share.

Flutie and Phelan have an easy answer to their best BC memory, but I bet if you were to get them away from a microphone and talking about BC, it wouldn't be the Hail Mary they talk about. It would be the stuff from the dorm room or the lockeroom that brings it all back. I hope everyone leaves BC or any college with great memories about "going to eat."

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

It's over

The worst season in BC Basketball history came to an end Tuesday afternoon with the Eagles lost to Florida State in the ACC Tournament. BC looked good early, but foul trouble, lack of rebounding and some bad D allowed Florida State to pull away. Normally I would say something about the seniors or mention some coaching issues, but come on. What's the point? Christian sort of threw in the towel when Clifford fouled out. Why should we care?

There are rumblings of a Globe story focusing on BC sports coming out this weekend. I don't know how much of the alleged feature will focus on basketball, but this season's failure is not confirmation that BC cannot win. This was always going to be a transition year and a likely low point. Despite early gossip of the team's collective talent, it clearly never came together. Throw in some bad breaks, bad efforts and too much norovirus and you have the Season from Hell.

It will be interesting to see how Christian deals with this collapse. I hope he buckles down, finds more talent and does a better job bringing them together. I don't advocate firing a coach after just two seasons, but this year is a huge warning sign that he might be a terrible fit. Next year needs major progress and improvement.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Recruiting picks up

The 2017 Football recruiting class just got bigger. Addazio and company picked up verbal commitments from New York Tight End Devan Lawson and Maryland Running Back Travis Levy. Of the two, Levy carries the higher rating and the better offer list. But Lawson comes from a productive area (Rockland County, NY) and has the type of body and skills that can be slotted for a Tight End but moved to another position if needed.

This recruiting class is critical because it is the first coming off a losing Addazio season and it is the first with the new staff. Getting these two guys early is a good sign and hopefully just the start of verbals to the program. 

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Another title for Women's Hockey

Forget about Football and Basketball for a minute and be thankful we still have BC Hockey. The Women continued their amazing and still undefeated season by winning the Hockey East Tournament. As an added bonus, they beat BU in the Finals to win it all.

They now enter the NCAAs as the No. 1 overall seed and a heavy favorite. Congrats to Coach Crowley and now go get the big title!

Saturday, March 05, 2016


BC lost their final regular season basketball game Saturday. That's not really the story. The bigger issue is that the lost completed a winless ACC slate for BC Football and BC basketball this year. Like Football, there is plenty of bad luck and inherited problems to explain the season. But there was also bad coaching.

I don't think we are doomed forever, but I do think that this has exposed Christian. Do elite coaches go winless in conference play? Probably not. He may get us back to respectability, but he's not special. He's not winning it all and probably not winning the ACC. I can say that because a great coach would not have let things get this bad.

The losses are on Christian but having Addazio and Christian fail like this in the same year is on Brad Bates. He hired two mediocre coaches. You can give them friendly schedules, good assistant budgets and more recruiting resources, but you can't coach the game for them. Both of Bates' picks have shown major limitations in how they run their teams and the ACC records echo those limitations.

Bates can't get these teams out of their respective holes. It is too late for that. Both coaches need (and will get) time. And if they don't improve, Bates won't be hiring their replacements.

I think things will get better and will spend the offseason writing about it. I hope the embarrassment of this year creates a stir within BC's Board and Senior leadership. We cannot fire Bates, Addazio and Christian tomorrow, but we can address how we can improve BC sports and what our plan should be if the coaches don't improve.

Friday, March 04, 2016

ICYMI: Watch Addazio and Staff at the Gridiron Club

The night before Spring Practice began, Addazio help a Gridiron Club meeting and BC streamed and recorded it. If you have an hour and a half, try to watch it. While there is nothing earth shattering nor any real hard news, it provides a glimpse into two things: the staff dynamic and Addazio's outlook.

After a year like last season, staff changes were needed. Hiring off of a losing season can be tough because assistants with options can be reluctant to join a losing effort. Yet all the guys who came onboard have good track records and seem genuinely happy to be at BC. If anything they seem to have an energy and a confidence that the holdovers might be lacking. I really liked what I saw from Reid and Pasqualoni. I think they will handle the teaching and the Xs and Os well. They won't screw up what Brown built. Hearing the staff talk about the recruits also gives me some confidence. They didn't put up the hard sell on how great each player is, but you can see the rationale in each prospect. Is it the best class in BC history? Unlikely, but it doesn't need to be. We just need most to click and exceed their ratings.

As for Addazio...when this ends he probably has a future in TV. The guy can talk and you see how he recruits. He's got the right outlook and doesn't point fingers publicly like some of our past coaches did. We know he is a bit thin-skinned, but in this setting he said the right things about fans, criticism, and how he will handle himself (I took that to mean the tirades on the sidelines).

It will take more than one booster event to prove things are on track, but that was an effective meeting. I hope Addazio can turn that passion into wins this year.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

First Day of Spring Practices

BC Football began Spring Practices Thursday. It is the team's first chance to improve off of last season's disaster and also the first chance for the new QB and new coordinators to work with the team. ESPN posted the three big issues of Spring Practice, but it is even simpler than they suggest.

BC needs just one QB to step up. ESPN and Loefffler say that the team needs to find the top two or three QBs. That will be too many. BC needs one clear cut guy who has command for the offense, respect from the team and the ability to win games. I want to be optimistic about the season, but if all the guys are bunched together, than I am going to think all are mediocre. We've seen what Smith, Fadule and Flutie can do. The staff has good film on Towles. And although he got hurt, Addazio has a good feel for Wade. I can buy one making a huge development step forward. I can't buy all five (plus Brown). If all five are even, then none are good and BC's offense is in trouble.

Improve the OLine. Who cares if a QB steps up or if the running backs are healthy if they are running for their lives? The OLine issue last year was about development and talent. The best talent was young and undersized. Now they are all a season older and physically better. They need to use these next two weeks to find positions and work as a unit. They are not under the same time pressure that the QBs are, but progress is important.

While ESPN focused on the D and new staffers, I am not worried there. Reid took over Defenses before -- including BC's. The rest of the guys all have history with Addazio or BC, so it shouldn't be a problem. If anything the overall staff should be more effective.

Spring Ball is usually overblown. This year is different. BC needs to make real progress or else it could be another long year.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

So close...

BC lost to NC State by one on a last-second layup off an inbounds play under the basket. That one sentence doesn't capture how painful and frustrating the final second was. The only reason NC State had the ball was because BC guys scrambled for a it after the Wolfpack missed multiple shots in the final seconds. The hustle in the closing minutes was admirable but still not enough as BC missed foul shots and rebounds that could have closed out the game. 

The good news is that the team looked better with Robinson and Turner back. The offense had more life and both added to the defense. Carter was a net-negative, but even he made a few plays down the stretch. With more talent back, Christian went with a shorter bench and BC led for most of the game. There were some dumb plays down the stretch, but the team played hard.

There's one chance left to win. Tonight's effort shows it can be done. Now we just need the breaks to go our way.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Full roster for NC State game?

Contrary to some message board rumors, Dennis Clifford is playing at NC State. Yet in some potentially good news, A.J. Turner and Jerome Robinson did travel with the team and are expected to play. Both were seen in pregame taking part in shoot-arounds against Georgia Tech. Even with some rust or conditioning issues, both would be huge additions.

Regardless of who is healthy and who plays, BC remains an underdog at NC State. But the depth gives Christian a few options and can help in a tight game. Getting a win is the priority, but things are so bad I just want a little hope. Maybe Turner and Robinson can provide it.