Saturday, March 31, 2018

Catholics and basketball

As Loyola-Chicago prepares for its big moment on the big stage, the New York Times published a must-read article on the deep connection between college basketball and Catholic universities. Because I am the son of Catholic college hoops school grad ("Go Bonnies"), I knew about many of the ties and reasons basketball thrived in the Catholic setting. For those who might not be as familiar, it touches on geography, demographics and even old CYO leagues.

BC is only mentioned as being one of two Catholic schools that still plays big-time football. For that reason, I think we will always be a Football school first, but our Catholic identity and history, combined with our ACC basketball ties and football cash, should lead to hoops success soon.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Ethon Williams commits to BC

Maryland WR Ethon Williams verballed to BC Friday.He is now the fourth commitment in Addazio's 2019 recruiting class.

Rivals has Williams as a 3 star. He is unranked in 247. While not an elite prospect -- probably due to his size -- Williams does hold an offer from West Virginia and has interest from other Power 5 programs.

While a bit under the radar, Williams seems like a good fit and good prospect. BC's interest will probably bring in other Power 5 teams (it always does). Good luck to him and welcome to BC.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Highlight video or Draft clue?

If I read too much into a Globe interview on Hawkins, then I am going to do it again with regards to a highlight video. The ACC Network put out individual videos on most of their best players, like Jerome Robinson. However, most of the players selected by the ACC Network also seem like the ones being mentioned as NBA Draft picks.

My only hope is that this is all speculation on the ACC Network's part. I hope they have to make a highlight real for his senior season a year from now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Hawkins PR gives hope

The Globe published an article Wednesday ostensibly about Deontae Hawkins' experience playing against Loyola-Chicago. It is a nice story and all, but what we all care about is Hawkins' future and if it involves BC. At the end of the article, Hawkins updates that he is still waiting to hear on his application for 6th year and continues to work on his masters. Overall, I think this is good news. If he thought his BC career was over, I assume he would be out working on his basketball career somewhere.

However, if you read twitter, you will see BC listed as a potential destination for other grad transfers. That means the staff is out working it and are planning on an open scholarship. Will that be a transfer? Are they hedging on Hawkins? Do they think Robinson is gone? All we know is it will be a busy few weeks for the basketball staff until this is all worked out.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Robinson honored and other links

The AP named Jerome Robinson to their honorable mention All America team. He is only the fifth BC basketball player to make an AP team.

Ohio DLine prospect Nate Leskovec had lots of good things to say after his unofficial visit to BC. He currently holds offers from a few mid-majors and some other ACC schools.

Baseball lost to UConn.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Reading into Fadule playing RB

Last week BC tried Senior John Fadule at Running Back. It is Spring ball so these sorts of experiments happen each year. Much of it never really impacts anything. However, I think we should take the Fadule move as a good sign. It means the young QBs are coming along.

Even though he didn't play the past two years, Fadule has experience at QB. He was an insurance policy and third stringer. If Perry and McDonald passed him on the roster -- with all presumably behind Brown -- then BC's depth chart is better than it has been in years. All the QBs are young, with good arms and now getting lots of reps. Ideally Brown would be practicing too, but his experience as a starter should also pay dividends soon.

Beyond being a sign, Fadule might help the offense a bit. He is athletic and a good runner. A few packages with him could also add the element of tricks with him throwing.

The season was never going to turn on the play of John Fadule at QB. With BC experimenting, we know that the program has more depth at QB than any other time of his BC tenure. That's another reason to be excited about the Spring and the upcoming Fall season.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Social Media gives glimpse into BC visit

As we've been tracking, offers are going out to all sorts of prospects. There are also many campus visits right now. From those visits you can start to see a pattern. It seems like there are some definite experiences to the BC trip. Beyond the campus tour and coaches meeting, you also get to try on uniforms with gloves and gear and take plenty of pictures. The pics might seem a bit much to some, but it is a great idea. Each one of those pics is marketing for the player and BC. Because they seemingly put all of their photos from the trip on some form of social media.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Go Loyola Chicago

If you're not on the Loyola Chicago bandwagon, it is probably time to jump aboard. There are always Cinderella stories this time of year, but how often are they Jesuit schools with our colors? The Sister Jean aspect is a unique feature too. And as I keep repeating, if this Jesuit school can do it, why can't another that is closer to our hearts?

Friday, March 23, 2018

New kicker and other links

Pennsylvania kicker Garrett Reilly announced his commitment to BC via Twitter. He is an incoming freshmen and seems to have found out about his acceptance via regular admissions, so it appears he is an preferred walk-on. This means he'll probably be up during the summer and have the chance to earn a scholarship if he becomes a regular kicker.

BC offered a highly touted Texas OL prospect.

Jessica Dreswick threw a perfect game for the Softball team.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jesuit team wearing Maroon & Gold in Elite Eight

Image result for loyola chicago basketball
If you squint a bit, you can pretend this is BC.
They wear Maroon & Gold. They're a Jesuit school in a big city. Now they're in the Elite Eight. Of course I am talking about Loyola-Chicago and not BC. But I think BC fans can take some solace in Loyola's success.

If Loyola-Chicago has a run like this in them, then BC has one in its future too. Our situation is a bit different since we are in a Power 5 conference and it is a battle to just get in the tournament. But the reality is that BC's current team has more talent than this Loyola team. If we had gotten in, we could  have pulled off three upsets. If you also look at the success of FSU, Syracuse and Clemson, you will also see mediocre ACC teams getting hot at the right time. It can -- and will -- happen for BC one day. We just need to get back into the tournament and get hot at the right time. Until then, Go Ramblers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Landry makes the most of Pro Day

You never know what to make of Pro Day. There is usually one prospect drawing attention and then a bunch of BC guys trying to make an impression. But good things have happened to those "other guys." Matt Hasselbeck impressed Andy Reid enough at his BC Pro Day that Reid went to bat for him when the Packers drafted him.

As for this year, the star of the show was Harold Landry. 18 teams showed up to watch him and his former teammates. Based on their Senior Bowl and Combine invites, Moore and Yiadom are also getting long looks. 

A nice tradition continued with BC included former players still trying to break into the league. This year Patrick Towles was back trying out as a Tight End. 

The Patriots seem to like Landry, but who knows if he will still be available when they pick. Maybe he will reunite with Pasqualoni in Detroit. 

One little factoid -- especially considering the weather -- this will probably be the last Pro Day in the bubble. Next spring the Indoor Practice Facility will be ready. I imagine it will be the preferred location for such things. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Why is recruiting picking up now?

Michigan LB prospect Marvin Ham became the second player to commit to Addazio's 2019 recruiting class this week. He has a good mix of offers and a respectable rating from the services. He should be a good addition to the class. Although Addazio likes to lock in his class relatively early, the sudden uptick in verbals is interesting. There are probably a few factors in play.

1. BC has pushed the timetable. Addazio views BC as a "developmental program" so he is not trying to fill out his class with all five stars. Instead he is looking for committed kids who BC can get on early. Now that there is an Early Signing Period, BC's desire to get on kids early has moved up a month or two. Kids who used to verbal in summer are now likely to verbal in March.

2. There is momentum and promise during spring ball. Spring ball is when every program has hope and promise. BC -- with a new football building rising up next to Alumni -- can really sell that idea. So when a kid is visiting the school during his spring break and gets the hard sell from Addazio, he is likely to commit.

3. There is a bit of musical chairs among the kids. All the kids track each other's offers and commitments on social media. They see other guys commit. They have coaches tell them there are only X amount of spots at a position. There is pressure to find a spot and hold onto it. So when a good offer comes along, they take it. This leads to the occasional decommitment, but I think the coaches are willing to take the risk.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Basketball roster talk

Many of the various BC sites are speculating on the Basketball team's roster for next year. With two incoming freshmen, in theory there are no open scholarships. However, that's not really how college basketball works anymore. Transfers are inevitable. Some player currently on the roster will probably want out. Playing time, issues with the coaches, homesickness, fit, whatever. It happens. I don't know who it will be, I just know that a current player will leave. But BC can benefit from the transfer market too. Good players are out there looking for a good shot on a Power 5 team and BC seems very active on that front.

As for other roster questions: it doesn't seem like Hawkins will be granted a 6th year. It is a true shame that he never got to be a factor with this team. If by some miracle, the NCAA grants him another season, BC should make room (somehow). I just wouldn't plan on it.

The last unknown is Jerome Robinson's status. If he stays, this team is a headed to the tournament. If he leaves, we take a major step back. I don't begrudge him his interest in the NBA. Even being a late first-round pick gets paid. If he does leave, BC will have to use his scholarship on a transfer, just for the depth needed for next year.

In an ideal world, Robinson returns, a dead weight player leaves and BC lands a great transfer. The reality will probably be a bit different. But the next two months are going to be crucial for next year and Cbristian's future.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Watts wins National Player of the Year

BC Women's Hockey Daryl Watts made history Sunday when she was named the first freshman winner of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. The Award serves as Women's College Hockey's player of the year award. Watts is the second BC player to win the prestigious title. Not only is she the first freshman to win the award, she is the first underclassman to win it ever.

This was just the latest honor for Watts as she also earned the 2018 Hockey East Player of the Year and was the unanimous winner of the Hockey East Rookie of the Year.

Congrats to Daryl on the great season and the big future ahead.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Bono commits to 2019 recruiting class

During Spring Ball, we pay a lot of attention to things like young players stepping up or position battles. What's overlooked is how critical Spring ball is for recruiting. Those few weeks of practice are critical for player visits. And on those visits coaches are pressing for a commitment. The latest player to buy into BC's program during a visit was Ohio DE Spencer Bono.

Bono has a good group of offers (that includes some Power 5 schools). He is also a player from a Cincinnati Catholic school, so his commitment keeps up awareness of BC in the area. Now that he is a BC verbal, I am sure more Power 5s will come calling.

Congrats to Spencer and let's hope Addazio has a series of players ready to commit this spring.

Friday, March 16, 2018

BU bounces BC from Hockey East Tourney

When BU tied the game up late in the 3rd, I had a bad feeling about OT. However, BC looked great in the extra time. They generated more shots, the penalty kill was great (and generated some O) and they were controlling everything. Yet it just took a little scramble in front to end it all. The bad guys won 4-3 (highlights below).

The BC release mentions the team waiting for selection show on Sunday, but many pundits think BC is out. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Perry getting the snaps in Spring Ball

If you weren't convinced by the staffs belief in EJ Perry during Addazio's media session, then a spotlight pic and headline in the Eagle-Tribune should be your sign that this is Perry's chance to shine. The article echoed BC's report that Perry looked good scrambling and throwing the ball. McDonald is the current No. 2. 

Perry burned his redshirt last year to only play a few minutes in last year's UConn game. It seemed like a waste. This spring -- with Brown out -- is really his time. He is going to get the reps and focus he didn't not get last year. He needs to use this time wisely, because given how things have been under Addazio, the backup will play during the regular season.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Addazio talks OL and staff dynamics

There is usually not a lot of news coming out of Spring Practice, but Addazio did reveal a few things in his press briefing Wednesday. First he talked about Perry taking reps at QB and then got into the OLine options. What I found interesting was his staff discussion. As we assumed, Trautwein's familiarity with Addazio and the continuity he provided was critical in his hiring. Addazio also admitted that in the area of OLine, he gets involved personally.

On the Defense, he explained how Smith will carry on Pasqualoni's techniques. He also made reference to Campanile being "co-defensive coordinator" -- a title he doesn't carry on BC's official website. Maybe the title (and pay bump) was part of the package to keep him at BC when other schools came calling. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

That wasn't fun

I had high hopes for the NIT. I thought BC even had a chance to win it. But after a solid first quarter, things fell apart and Western Kentucky never looked back. Losing stinks, but the way in which BC lost was also frustrating. They turned the ball over too often. They allowed way too many easy WKU baskets with bad D. Robinson and Bowman got points, but in an inefficient manner and couldn't score during BC's long droughts.

I know BC only had two days to prepare for the team and the new rules, but they didn't seem ready. And having a former WKU staffer as an assistant should have made the usual scouting challenges easier. BC couldn't find good shots and did not move the ball well or get much in transition.

If Robinson returns and Hawkins gets a 6th year, BC will be good next year. I just don't have much hope they will be special until the talent really improves. The NIT was just another example of this team not being ready to compete anytime anywhere against anyone.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Rooting Guide for NCAA Tournament

Even with the NIT bid, BC is on the outside looking in on the Big Dance. But there are still plenty of BC-related angles and teams to cheer on this week and over the next three weeks. Here are my thoughts and suggestions on who to root for if it can't be BC.

Virginia. You can root for or against any ACC team with easy justification. I would like to see Virginia do well because I think they are the model that might most be easily replicated at BC. They are very dependent on a defensive system and then recruiting to that system. If Virginia can win it all, so can BC

Gonzaga, Xavier, and Creighton. Jesuit schools. They are no longer real Cinderellas and because they are a niche basketball schools, I don't think they can serve as a model for BC. But the Jesuit connection shows that Jesuit schools can be elite in sports.

Auburn. Once again Bruce Pearl is in the Tournament. At this point, I think it is clear he runs a dirty program. But you have to admire his ability to keep his team focused as the FBI and his own Administration breathes down his neck. Not all BC guys are perfect!

Rhode Island. A nice story and good for the region. Depending on how things play out, maybe Hurley could become BC's coach one day.

St. Bonaventure. Coached by BC guy Mark Schmidt. Schmidt wanted the BC job when Christian got it. If he keeps winning in Olean, he will always be a candidate here. 

Loyola-Chicago. These guys are Jesuit Cinderellas. It is a nice story.

Providence. I know they are technically a basketball rival, but I have no real animosity towards them and I always root for Ed Cooley.

Penn. Steve Donahue is back in the NCAA Tournament with another Ivy League champ. I don't have any regrets about firing him. I don't think he was going to turn things around at BC. But I am still happy for his success back at his old stomping grounds.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

BC returns to postseason via the NIT

In the grand scheme of things, an NIT appearance should be a disappointment. Even in the context of this BC season -- which had moments of brilliance -- an NIT bid should be a big "whatever." But that's not how I feel. I am legitimately excited about BC taking on Western Kentucky Tuesday night in the NIT.

The NIT should never be the goal and our last two NIT appearances were legit letdowns and both teams could and probably should have been at large in the NCAA Tournament. This year seems a little different. After a long drought filled with apathy, mediocrity and plain bad basketball, this feels like a small step back to respectability. 

Like any tournament, winning the NIT takes a little luck. It is also about wanting to be there and peaking at the right time. In our past two appearances, the players' lack of enthusiasm was palpable. I hope this year is different. BC can win the NIT and if they do, I think many people will feel that much better about our future.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Up and down day for BC Hockey

The BC Women had another dominant season end short of a championship. This time losing to Ohio State in the NCAA quarterfinals. Sometimes facing a hot goalie at the wrong time is all it takes. I feel for the seniors who were part of this great run. I also feel like this level of success will result in multiple championships soon. It is just about things going right at just the right time.

Fortunately the Men's team is still alive. They eliminated Merrimack in Game 2 of the Hockey East opening round and move on to face BU next week at the Garden.

Friday, March 09, 2018

BC wins Hockey East Game 1

BC needed a big game from Woll to win Game 1 of the Hockey East Tournament Game 1. The sophomore shutout Merrimack with 37 saves. BC couldn't generate much offense, but their one goal was enough. Game 2 is Saturday.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Clemson ends BC's ACC Tourney run

BC's fun week came to an end Thursday as they lost to Clemson in the ACC Tournament. The commentators referenced BC playing its third game in three days as the primary source of the loss. While Bowman and Robinson didn't have their same burst early, many of BC's problems were self inflicted and unrelated to playing multiple days. BC played at Clemson's pace early and allowed a mediocre 3-point shooting team to take and make more than their usual 3-point shot selection.

BC cut their deficit to two late but couldn't tie it up or get any closer. A few bad possessions and Clemson locked down the game.

All in all, it was a good week. BC probably locked up an NIT bid and proved that they can compete with any NIT team. Now let's go win that thing!

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

BC makes clutch plays late to hold off NC State

Per David Glenn, if BC had lost Wednesday, it would have been the largest second half comeback in ACC Tournament history. But Robinson made a huge basket and forced a huge steal as BC held off NC State to advance to the quarters. It would have been devastating to lose that game after playing a near perfect first half.

While Bowman started off BC's run and Robinson finished the game, the middle was filled with good minutes from the role players. Pop was great sliding to the basket on breaks and screens. Mitchell was great breaking the press and crashing the boards. Reyes went 5-5 while finishing around the basket. It was really fun to watch.

The only reason NC State got back is because BC allowed some bad 3s. I don't expect adjustments on perimeter defense now, but Christian needs to fix it in the offseason.

BC plays Clemson on Thursday. That too is a winnable game. They just need to keep playing like they did today and they will be tough to stop.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Bowman carries BC on Day 1 of ACC Tourney

BC has two great players and one pretty good one (Chatman). The beauty of an elimination tournament is that if any one of them get real hot, that player can carry the team to victory. That's pretty much what happened in the ACC Tournament Opener, as Ky Bowman scored 26 in BC's win over Georgia Tech. Bowman's efficient day helped offset Robinson's off day. The ACC first teamer went 5-17 from the field. Popovic also played well.

Georgia Tech looked terrible. If BC had shot well from 3 or cut back on turnovers, BC would have won by 20+.

Because of the back-to-back nature of the tournament, Christian had to give more minutes to his bench and guys like Baker and Reyes were productive.

BC plays NC State Wednesday afternoon. That's a winnable game. We will just need someone to get hot again.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Landry talks combine

In case you missed it, Harold Landry did very well at the Combine. Here he is talking about the experience. 

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Robinson honored

Who would have guessed that Jerome Robinson would have such a breakout year and the conference's leading scorer? This success left him rich as the runner up in ACC  Player of the Year voting. Bowman earned Honorable Mention status. 

If he returns next year, Robinson would have to be considered a favorite to win the Conference Player of the Year voting. Good luck to Jerome and I hope he makes the best decision he can for his family this spring.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

BC can't hang on against FSU

It is fitting that the regular season finale played out the way it did. So much of what happened had been previewed with each game. That meant lots of turnovers late, an extremely thin bench, all scoring comes from the Big 3, Christian has no answer as the lead slips away, etc. Despite leading most of the game, BC could not answer Florida State late as the 'Noles won 85-76.

Because of injury, BC's thin bench got even thinner. Hopefully the team recovers or Tuesday could be the end of the season.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Revisit BC's upset of Notre Dame in 2002

I know most people don't pay attention to this but for a long time NBC and Notre Dame made most of the old Irish home games available online. But some of the BC upsets including 1993, 2002 and 2004 were not online. Now BC has put up highlights from the 2002 game up on Youtube (see below). For those who forgot or weren't around, Notre Dame entered the game undefeated, Ty Willingham had yet to lose in South Bend and they broke out their special green jerseys. We know how it ended.

There are a few things to note in the clip. The BC crowd is full and loud at the game. For a variety of reasons, this game doesn't carry the same weight with our fans any more. The highlight also excludes Spaz's admonishment to the D (that went viral at the time) about staying focused. It also is a look back at the maroon pants. I would like to see those added back to our rotation and get rid of the all-white road uniforms. 

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Erik Johnson resigns and why you should care

I know most of don't really follow Women's Basketball but Erik Johnson's resignation (force out) is important news for BC sports in general. It is clear that the mistakes of the past two ADs are no longer being ignored. Johnson was well liked. He was a "BC guy." But he simply didn't win or even compete enough to keep around. Now Jarmond gets to make a hire and signal to the BC fan community what he is looking for in a coach.

The next coach should win. BC has enough young talent on the roster. There is plenty of local talent and there is no reason we can't compete in the ACC. Johnson was brought in to recapture the success of the Inglese years. He couldn't, but the bar is not too high. It can be done again. Unlike Football and Basketball, the geography of the school nor the facilities or admissions office hamper us to the point we can't compete in the ACC. New England talent alone could keep us in the top half of the conference. 

Johnson also closes the chapter on Gene's last hire. Like other sports Gene blew up, BC is still trying to recover to the consistency and winning we had a decade ago. But unlike Football and Basketball, Gene got to screw up Women's Basketball three times. He fired Inglese, hired Crawley, fired Crawley and then brought in his old buddy and Inglese assistant Johnson. None of it worked. 

I don't know enough about Women's college basketball to know what direction Jarmond will take, but it will be hard to get much worse. This is now Jarmond's chance to see how hiring at BC works and he can be ready to make tots people are about.