“I hope Donahue stays active on the trail. I hope he can develop Hanlan and Anderson to be as good as Dudley and Smith were. I hope we can get back to the NCAA tournament. I hope we can be one defensive breakdown away from the Elite Eight. But for now, I’ll enjoy the possibility. I’m just happy to be excited again.” -Andrew DeStefano, August 19th, 2013.
“Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.” -Friedrich Nietzsche, A Long Time Ago.
A season that started with hopes of NCAA tournament play has quickly turned into a disaster as BC was blown out last night on the road against Purdue. Once again, BC’s inability to make stops on the defensive floor, box out on the boards and consistently shoot the 3 proved to be their untimely demise (I know, that’s like, everything you need to do in basketball. But trust me, it’s been that bad).
Rebounds and Defense: I’m not worried about this actually. As long as we live by the age old adage “chucking 3 pointers and playing the game without emotion wins championships” we should be going to the final four in no time. In all seriousness, Boston College is boasting some of the worst defensive numbers in the country. Last night was no different. Purdue shot 52.2% from the field, 50% from beyond the arc and beat BC on the glass 39-37. And if I can be honest with you guys, the only reason the rebounding was that close was because so many of Purdue’s shots went in.
Boston College Utilizes A Plethora of Short Basketball Players: During the blowout last night, there were a few times where I wanted to just hug the team Robin Williams circa Good Will Hunting style and tell them “It’s not your fault! It’s not your fault!” Steve Donahue woefully constructed this team’s front court especially on the defensive end. While Anderson is a capable defender, teams have been exploiting BC’s man-to-man defense by drawing Anderson out to the block and leaving 6 foot 8 Eddie Odio or “Ye of Little Strength” Will Magarity to defend the hoop. When your answer to any question on the basketball court is “let’s see if K.C. Caudill can save the day” you probably didn’t stack your team well enough with big men (no knock on KC. He just is what he is. A starting center, he is not). While Skinner’s centers weren’t always world beaters, they were always defensively sound and could box out on the box. I know Clifford is hurt, but we’ve known this for awhile. There is never an excuse when you have dreams of being a tournament team and you are 336/351 in the NCAA in rebounding. 336/351! Poor, poor job by Donahue.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: I think the most depressing part of yesterday was the lack of respect shown to BC by the media. Jonathan Coachman (of WWE fame) and former Tennessee Coach (and BC grad. and someone coming off a 3 year coaching ban next year. have no idea why I mentioned that. hmm, that’s weird. oh well, just keep reading) Bruce Pearl hosted the pre-game on ESPN 2 and spent exactly 0 minutes breaking down the BC-Purdue game while focusing on the UNC-Mich St. match-up coming up on ESPN. I don’t know where it comes from but I always have a horrible complex of “why doesn’t anyone pay attention to us!” syndrome with BC and last night it was in full gear. Although after the game, we got lots of attention from national college basketball writers on Twitter. It just so happens it followed the phrase “Who is this year’s biggest disappointment?” Ugh. 8 AM is too early to start drinking right?
Tourney Tracker: I’m a 24 year old Boston sports fan. This whole “losing thing” is not something I know how to analyze unless it is “aw man, we just came up short in another championship game!” So for my sake, please step it up. Needless to say this game did not help any fledgling NCAA tourney hopes. Consider the remaining non-conference games (USC, Philadelphia U, VCU and *gulp* Harvard) all must wins. This is followed by a brutal conference schedule against a minimum of 8 (probably closer to 10) future NCAA tournament teams. Any lasting optimism for BC fans is slowly slipping into the dark and cold night. Without drastic changes to BC’s interior defense, rebounding and in-game adjustments this long season is about to get a whole lot longer.