Reggie Jackson and the BC Eagles lost a tough one to Miami tonight at a sparsely populated BankUnited Arena in Coral Gables, FL. To start the game, the Eagles struggled shooting in the first half (a terrible 3-13 from three point range). Part of this was due to solid Miami defense, but BC's shooters also had a number of open looks that they simply missed. The Eagles showed good poise as the first half went on, however, transitioning to a more interior game (highlighted by a few classic Reggie Jackson layups and put-backs) that kept them within a point at the half despite what has become their normal lackluster interior defense and poor defensive rebounding.
In the second half, BC managed to build a 5-point lead thanks to a much-improved effort on the offensive boards and better 3-point shooting, but poor defense - especially guarding 3-point shots - and some terrible transition turnovers (alliteration not intended) kept Miami in the game when BC had an opportunity to break away. In the end, a few botched offensive possessions and some defensive lapses gave Miami a lead in the final minute they wouldn't relinquish. BC managed to cut it to one with a Jackson three and forced a Miami turnover, but the Eagles' last best shot at a win, a shot by Jackson, was blocked, effectively ending BC's chances. Simply put, the Eagles can't afford to lose many more winnable games like this if they want to legitimately challenge for an NCAA birth. A few more thoughts after the jump:
- The most important play of the game may have been the last, when Jackson appeared to injure his ankle shooting a half-court three (which actually went in). No word yet on the extent of the injury, but it goes without saying that an extended injury to Jackson would probably put an end to any hopes of a BC tourney trip. Here's hoping it looked worse than it was and Reggie won't miss any time. (Update: Eagle in Atlanta has tweeted that Reggie is OK and won't miss any time. Phew!)
- Not to beat a dead horse, but Joe Trapani continues to force threes and long two-point jumpers instead of driving to the basket despite evidence that good things happen when he drives. Tonight's example: Trapani got the ball on the wing, drove baseline, and dished the ball out to Corey Raji for an open three when the defense collapsed. Hopefully Trapani will watch the tape and do more driving and dishing going forward.
- Eagle in Atlanta mentioned in his recap of the NC State game that Danny Rubin hasn't really looked like a starter lately, and that trend continued tonight. Rubin only had three points and, perhaps more disappointingly, only took 4 shots. If Rubin continues to look lost against ACC competition, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Raji take his starting spot.
- This is neither here nor there, but the commercials on ESPNU seem bizarrely targeted to senior citizens and extremely gullible sports fans. In the span of about half an hour, those who tuned in to the game got to see commercials for the iRenew (a bracelet that supposedly gives you better balance?), "collectors item" two-dollar bills that were going for $10, and special buffalo gold dollars. I'm glad BC gets to be on TV more often, but by the end of the game I was dying for a crappy beer commercial.