The Virginia Cavaliers have been one of the biggest surprises in college basketball this year. What wasn’t a surprise? The Cavs defeating our beloved Boston College Eagles 77-67. The Cavs came into the game leading the nation in points per game allowed with 55.5 and it showed against BC. The Eagles shot 48% from the field but only 33% (9-27) from beyond the arch. Our old friends rebounding and defense also reared their ugly heads with BC getting outrebounded 40-27 while allowing Virginia to put up almost 80 points. This could be another game closer to our editor Joe Micik’s dire prophecy. Onto my takeaways, for what they are worth:
BC’s offensive surge was too little too late: A look at the box score might suggest that BC had a pretty good game against the nation’s best defensive team. However, minus a 10 second span with a minute left when BC cut it to 6, this was never a game. BC hit just two 3 pointers in the first half and saw their deficit grow to 20 in the second half. When playing a top 20 team on the road, expecting to shoot your way back from a score like that is probably not going to work out for ya.
Failure to adjust: Once again, Coach Donahue’s defense was bland and uninspiring. Standard man-to-man with an occasional 2-3 zone. Virginia boasts a bit more of an athletic team than some of BC’s other opponents and at times played 3 or 4 guards. But they still were not as talented handling the ball at BC *should* be stretching the defense across half court and causing turnovers. Long, athletic, fast, smart. I’ve seen Duke press some of our best BC teams to submission. Maybe at least try it? Please?
Stop me if you’ve heard this before; rebounding: BC was outrebounded 40-27. There really isn’t much left to say here. While they are undersized, their defense does not lend itself to getting into position for rebounds and the players don’t seem to be too concerned with boxing out. As I have documented in this space before, I primarily put this on the shoulders of Donahue.
Another game against a marquee opponent, another disappointing loss. Can’t say we came into this game expecting to win, but the effort was not inspiring. When will this nightmare end?