Boston College Basketball: Arrested (Player) Development


Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to Boston College Eagles basketball, right now, in mid-February, we should be talking about the team’s resume and whether or not they have done enough to land an NCAA Tournament bid.

As fate would have it, however, this team isn’t even close to the CBI bubble, let alone the Big Dance.

When Coach Steve Donahue rebooted the roster in 2011, due to a large amount of turnover from graduation and other previously-inbound recruits deserting the ship (some of whom were run off), there was a development plan pitched to us the fans. It was never quantified or written down, but it “looked” something like this:

This is year three, which means that the veteran Eagles should have been able to take their two years of previous experience and express it in the form of more wins. Maybe make the NCAA Tournament and maybe not, but the idea was that Boston College should have at least come close this year. Anything less than a stint on the bubble would have been a disappointment and a sign that they were behind schedule.

What instead happened has been a complete disaster; a setback from which this class cannot possibly recover due to its sheer magnitude.

Instead of taking the big leap towards relevance, the Eagles fell backwards and undid a lot of their progress from last season. Or did they?

Remember during the 2012-13 season how Boston College would frequently get themselves into close games and then somehow find a way not to win? On this site, we often invoked imagery of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. If you recall when that ceased, it was towards the very end of the year when the Eagles went on a mini streak and pulled out four wins in a row in early March. Boston College exited February 2013 at 12-16, which, if they had not gone on their hot streak, would have indicated that the Eagles were indeed a bit behind schedule. Only at the tail end of the year did they catch up.

Now, what do we have this year? In between ugly losses, Boston College is yet again wiggling their way into close games and finding creative ways to lose them. This has happened in all three seasons of this particular edition of the Eagles.

So, in essence, aside from a brief March surge in 2013, Boston College has looked basically the same for the last three seasons. They make the same mistakes, play with the same lackluster intensity level, and still cannot finish games.

I submit that very little has changed since November 2011, and the reality of the Eagles’ situation bears that out. One must ask why, and that goes back to the players themselves and, obviously, the coaching. If an outside observer did not know any better, one might believe this team is composed of clunky, low-basketball IQ freshmen, only to later learn that they’re all actually juniors save for a handful. To offer a colloquialism, that ain’t right.

Eagles basketball is going nowhere in a hurry; sadly, even with a forthcoming coaching change, it will take some time to fix.