There is a very real chance that tonight, Steve Donahue will be coaching his final game as the head coach of the Boston College Eagles.
His team will face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for the third time this season, looking to avoid an ignominious sweep at the hands of the Ramblin’ Wreck. However, regardless of victory or defeat tonight, the damage has been done and Eagles basketball is in ruins.
Boston College is technically part of the ACC Tournament, but will truthfully have very little to say about who wins it. Beating Georgia Tech tonight will only delay the inevitable, but there are several reasons to think they won’t.
First, this is a basketball team that found a way to lose to the Jackets twice already. The second time, a major coaching gaffe by Donahue directly contributed to a Georgia Tech victory.
Second, the Eagles have found ways to lose many games in general, proving that the inverse of the adage “good teams find a way to win” is also true for bad teams, especially when said squads are soft and have a propensity to look lost. Apologists can say what they want, but losing 23 (ultimately 24) games is not an accident or bad luck. Few Boston College teams have ever managed to post a winning percentage as bad as this.
Third, the Eagles are fundamentally flawed in several tangible areas of the game, like rebounding and defense.
Finally, somewhat to that end, the roster is also fundamentally flawed by virtue of being one-dimensional. Anyone who says they’re one player away (Dennis Clifford, namely) from fixing this is out of touch with reality.
Boston College fans are more than welcome to root for their team tonight. After all, it’s their team, good or bad. Still, if this season ends at the hands of the Yellow Jackets, will anyone miss it?
Statistically — since nobody alive can speak from first-hand knowledge — this may end up the worst three-year stretch in the history of this program, with 2013-14 near the top of the list of Boston College’s worst seasons ever. The games have been, in a word, unenjoyable and any claims of improvements or breakthroughs are rooted in fantasy. If the Eagles, and Steve Donahue, meet their collective end in Greensboro tonight or later this week, so too may end a very depressing chapter in Boston College basketball lore.