Analyzing BC Basketball’s In-Game Competitiveness

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It goes without saying that the 2011-12 men’s basketball season at Boston College is off to a bad start, and with the year a quarter of the way done already, if we don’t see improvement at some point, this may be historically bad. I’m hopeful that we will, but for the most part, BC fans have not had a lot to work with over the first eight games.

Through the course of eight games, we have seen Boston College lose six games, and some in different ways. More often than not, however, the result is the same.

It has seemed, though, that the Eagles have been in a number of games throughout this stretch, and yet come up empty when all is said and done. To that end, the thesis statement I would try to prove or disprove is this:

“Boston College basketball loses games because they fall apart in the second half.”

First, one must analyze Boston College’s progress during games. To illustrate what has been going on for the Eagles in terms of scoring throughout games, the first chart: (click to enlarge)

BC basketball in-game trends

General points:

• Ten minutes in, Boston College had the lead in four games and were closely competitive in three others.

• At halftime, BC led in two games, was tied in a third, and was within ten points in three others. Only two, UMass and New Mexico, had gotten out of hand.

• With five minutes to go in regulation, the Eagles only led once but were close in two others and trailed by less than ten against still two others.

Aside from the New Mexico game, after the first quarter of the game is over, Boston College is either leading or very closely behind. If basketball games were only ten minutes, the Eagles might have a better record. The problem, unfortunately, is what happens after those ten minutes — still, at the half, they’ve been tied or led in three games and were well within range in two others, for a total of five games where they had realistic odds of earning a win. With ten minutes to go, however, BC had fallen out of about half of their games and, as we all know, have only won two (one in regulation).

The Eagles have been in more than two games, but in the majority of these contests, BC has ended up losing by a comfortable margin. Only once did BC’s deficit move in the right direction with five minutes to go in the game, and that was against California-Riverside. Aside from that, the Eagles have shown some ability to keep the game close for much of the second half, but other than UCR, they’ve not been able to complete a comeback after halftime.

There is no one moment to which we can point and say “that’s when BC falls apart,” since it varies, but so far, what we know is that the Eagles are usually showing signs of life early and gradually let it erode away from there.

(offensive charts on next page)

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