Analyzing BC Basketball’s In-Game Competitiveness

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Offense has been a serious problem for the young Eagles so far. As of yesterday, they were 316th in Division I with 58.3 points per game and 317th in field goal percentage at 38.3%. There are no redeeming qualities when you’re that close to the bottom.

An interesting set of data points to analyze would have to be Boston College’s field goal shooting by half: (click to enlarge)

Here’s what’s misleading about all of those green arrows: in only two games did BC see a legitimate increase in their field goal percentage; in the other three, BC increased their field goal shooting in the second half by an insignificant 1.4% or less.

Otherwise, Boston College has only shot 50% or better in a half once, and have managed 40% or higher in only seven of the sixteen halves.

In the last two games in particular — two BC losses — the Eagles had their best offensive first halves yet, but in both games, the Eagles experienced a decline in the second. It just so happens that BC was tied or ahead in both, but let both games slip away.

Of course, no analysis of shooting would be complete without illustrating how Boston College did defensively from the floor:

Of those three down arrows, only the UCR one made a difference; Holy Cross and New Mexico were both shooting so well (and still were thereafter) that a slight drop didn’t matter.

The defensive stats for the Eagles are bad. The Eagles allowed 50% or better shooting in a half six times, and 40% shooting or more 11/16 times. It gets worse: in all but one of the second halves — the comeback win over Riverside — BC’s opponents made at least 40% of their field goals, and half of BC’s opponents shot 50% or better in the second. If you wanted to know why the Eagles have been short on comebacks this season, there’s one possible answer.

Some conclusions to draw from this data, aside from what we’ve seen with our eyes:

• The Eagles tend to start games competitively and have only crashed early in one game (New Mexico).

• Most of BC’s crashes have come in the second half of games.

• Their shooting is consistently not very good across both halves of games.

• BC has allowed a lot of made field goals in the second half of games in particular.

As for the original statement, “Boston College basketball loses games because they fall apart in the second half,” I’d say it’s true to an extent. There were a few games where they started to fall well behind in the first half, not the second, and BC even managed a second-half comeback win in one. It is very true, however, that the Eagles haven’t particularly shot well in either half, but they’ve also been lousy defensively, especially after halftime.

Boston College’s prime time to shine would appear to be early in the game. Beyond that has been the problem, and if the Eagles really want to show some improvement, they’ll hang in there a little longer and longer in each game. Then, hopefully, they’ll finally give a 40-minute effort.