Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The 3rd Time Isn't The Charm: Another Bad Loss to Harvard

I'm going to get right to the point and not sugarcoat this: BC's loss to Harvard was bad. Really bad. Season destroying? For now, I'll say no but without a doubt our tournament hopes are in the ICU and another shocker like this puts them in the morgue.

I think most BC fans were relieved (some maybe ecstatic) that Jeremy Lin graduated as he appeared to be the culprit behind the Eagles last two losses to Harvard. Well we have the "new Jermey Lin" in Laurent Rivard, a freshman who exploded off the bench for a career-high 23 points. As Soaring to Glory pointed out, Harvard might simply be in the team's head.

With a new coaching regime, new offensive system and strong sense of discipline surrounding the program, losses like these shouldn't occur.  Nonetheless we already have two terrible defeats at home to Ivy League teams. I've said in previous posts that this team lives and dies by the three but that wasn't the case tonight. The Eagles shot over 50% from the floor, including 38.9% from 3pt range. Instead turnovers, shoddy defense - especially when a key stop is needed - and an inability to get to the foul line (Harvard was 23/24 as compared to 4/8 for the Eagles) are to blame. It would be foolish to start questioning Coach Donahue but it is a little surprising to see our former Ivy League coach drop both our games to his former league opponents.

The key this year is how the team responds to losing to Harvard for the 3rd year in a row. In the 2008-2009 season, the Eagles promptly followed up the Harvard loss with 3 more losses to Miami, Wake Forest and Virgina Tech. Last year, BC followed the loss with a not as bad (but still pretty bad) loss to Rhode Island. This year, BC gets a relatively easy introduction to its ACC schedule with home games against Georgia Tech on Saturday and an improving NC State team next Tuesday.

It's important BC picks up these winnable ACC games in the next week to not only rebuild their confidence but to bolster our tournament profile. Most likely, BC will need 10+ wins in the ACC just to get in the tourney discussion. However, the ACC is down this year so out of those 10+ wins, some will need to be of a higher quality against the likes of Duke, UNC and Florida State.


  1. I don't agree that this loss, painful as it is, puts our "tournament hopes are in the ICU." Yes, it's frustrating, but our overall OOC resume is still solid, and we bounced back from the similar Yale loss with a strong showing at the Old Spice.

    Also, just wanted to mention that as a new reader, I'm very impressed with the blog! Keep up the great work! In particular, the post about our rather anemic student section was spot-on (and I say that as a current member of the student body).

  2. Thanks for the comment Dave. I'm worried about our tourney chances because outside of Texas A&M by the end of the year some of our other OOC wins might be diluted.

    South Carolina will probably finish in the bottom half of the SEC and Cal is an average team (already they are 7-6) in a weak Pac 10. I would argue our two home losses to a bad Ivy League team (Yale) and a decent one (Harvard) outweigh those wins. This doesn't even include our loss to Rhode Island, which while not as bad, is still one the committee will judge us by unfavorably. Any ACC team that has tournament hopes can not afford these losses, let alone 3 of them.

    This being said if we pick up a win or two against the top of the ACC we will be in much better position.

  3. A&M is the only real good win so far. South Carolina isnt a bad road win to have going into conference play. The loss to Rhode Island isnt really a problem at all - they currently have a top 50 RPI - theyre a solid enough basketball team that its not a big deal to lose on the road to them.

    However, I think 10-6 in conference probably does get them into the tournament as a lower seed.


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