January 8, 2009

Turbulent Week for BC Hoops

Well this has been a wild week hasn't it? Just 72 hours after slaying the undefeated and number one ranked North Carolina, Boston College was embarrassed on their home court losing to Harvard by double digits.

The question on everyone's mind right now is how in the heck did that happen? How do you beat a team that people thought might go undefeated and then lose to a team that lost to Boston University and William & Mary by double digits?

The tired, boring, out of touch, lowlife columnist's answer to that question would be either:

1) Al Skinner didn't get the team ready to play
2) Tyrese Rice didn't give his full effort
3) Rakim Sanders pulled a 180 from the UNC game
4) It's coach Jags' fault

Don't get me wrong. All of those choices might make for an entertaining piece, and each could probably be argued as a reason that BC lost a basketball game to another team from Boston not named the Celtics. However, the real reason that the Eagles had such an embarrassing loss was defense. Even coach Skinner admitted so after the game.

"I thought at least we would work hard defensively and we didn't," Skinner said. "I thought our defense would be much better than what it was."

That was a nice way of saying BC's defense was downright awful. The Eagles made the Crimson look like the number one team in the country and not the mediocre 8-6 team that they are.

The problem that BC's defense had stemmed from their effort. Want proof? Harvard shot 50% from the field in the game, and amazingly shot 60% from the field in the 2nd half. It wasn't like they were shooting lights out though. The Crimson only shot 28% from being the arc.

Conversely, three days before the Eagles were able to slow down UNC's high powered offense. The Tar Heels shot 38% from the floor, while shooting 31% from three point range.

Clearly the issue for the Eagles was their overall effort on the defensive end. How else can you describe surrendering four more points against an Ivy League team than you did over one of the best teams in the country?

The bottom line for BC is that if they play defense like they did against the Crimson they won't in a game the rest of the season. You just hope that the team learned their lesson.

On the flip side, there is some good news in all of this for fans of the team. Sources close to the team tell me that although the players are frustrated by their performance, they were upbeat and didn't have a hangover effect from their loss in practice. Let's hope so, because the team needs a big win against Miami on Saturday night.

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