Saturday, January 21, 2012

BC Falls to Wake: 71-56

I was very disappointed that we didn't play better down the stretch today, because I really thought that we could have walked away with a win here if we were more consistent with some of the things that this team does very well.  There's no doubt in my mind that BC will be better than Wake this time next year.  You just can't expect to win in the ACC when you shoot 28.6% in the first half.  If we're going to have a lot of turnovers and lose some ground on defense because we're an immature team, we need to be able to make up with it with solid shooting.  Good shooting didn't happen today and so this is the result.  Hopefully we correct some things during practice this week and put together a solid effort against Virginia on the road Thursday.




Overall:
  • Odio played nicely in the minutes he was given.  My sense is that he was taking Cahill's spot in the rotation.  He has a chance to be a solid option off the bench in a few years.  He looks like he's playing with more confidence lately, like he's convinced himself that he belongs at this level. I think he very well might cut into Cahill's minutes when the senior returns from injury.
  • Caudill did not look good in limed minutes.  He gets winded in a fast paced game, and definitely struggles to get from one end of the floor to the other during transition.  He has a ton of potential, and does some things well, but he needs to be able to run with Donahue's offense and to be able to get back on defense if he's going to be more than a stop-gap for when Clifford needs to catch his breath.
  • Moton brings so many things to the table that will never show up in the stats.  He does a great job of directing traffic and of keeping people focused when he's running the point.  He's constantly yelling to teammates, pointing to where they need to go, and pushing the ball.  Easily the most valuable member of Donahue's first class, and he always plays within his skill set, which is nice to see.
  • Heckmann makes me laugh.  The kid always looks like he just decided to roll out of bed and come down to the game.  Looks absolutely dazed and confused until he gets the ball. 
  • I'm rapidly changing my opinion about Lonnie Jackson.  I always thought that he would be more of a spot-shooter.  Like a glorified version of Danny Rubin...But now I see him as more of a Sean Marshall.  He has the ability to put this team on his shoulders for stretches of times.  If he can become more consistent and get his confidence up even more, he might be the second or third best player on this team.  I would like to see him call for the ball more often because he is good about pushing it north-south. 
  • I love how chippy this team plays when they feel like they're being pushed around.  These guys aren't going to be pushed around just because they're freshmen and they're not afraid to push back.  
  • Donahue looked very, very tired in the post-game.  It's got to be disappointing that the team hasn't been able to carry the momentum from the two ACC wins.
  • Anderson is so impressive behind the mic.  He hits every good talking point out there in terms of working hard, getting better each day in practice, and trying to carry practices into games.  He can be a real leader in the locker room with that type of attitude.

Offense:

  •  Sometimes I wonder if Anderson would have been better in a flex offense.  I know, I know, there's no looking back now, but I see him as a more athletic version of Jared Dudley, and he would do well if we could create more mis-matches for him. 
  • Anderson short-arms shots (especially threes) when his confidence is down, which pulls them flat.  He's got to be more consistent from the outside in order to help this team get on runs.
  • Clifford is a really good passer for a big man.  He has a good sense for where people are cutting and for who has a chance to do something with the ball.
  • This team is incredibly reliant on the three in ACC play.  I know that Donahue wants to play an inside-out offense, but the fact of the matter is that our freshmen big men are really struggling against ACC big-men, as we expected at the start of the season.  Making open threes is key to keeping this offense going.  For the game we only went 19% from behind the arc, and that is going to have to improve.
  • That being said, I really like Clifford's confidence on offense.  He's going to keep working it inside no matter how many times he misses and no matter how many times he gets rejected.  He's going to keep trying and keep working it until he either makes it or someone takes it from him. 
  • Heckmann loves driving the basketball.  That's his game.  I'm interested to see whether Donahue tries to work that into his offense long term or if he tries to make Heckmann more of a spot shooter.  I think having someone who isn't afraid to get to the rim is important when the offense stagnates.
  • Donahue made a point of faulting his team for going too much east-west on the offensive end and not using the north-south direction enough.  That type of dribbling around the perimeter definitely clogs the offense. 
  • Donahue also made an interesting point post-game when he talked about the defensive effort hindering the offensive end of the floor.  In effect, because the team moves so much defensively, the guys sometimes are tempted to rest on the offensive end, which inhibits the rapid flow of the ball.  We need to get a little better conditioning-wise to make sure that this is kept to a minimum.

Defense:
  • If Clifford gets caught on the outside during a shot, you just have this sense of foreboding about us not having a chance for the rebound.  Team rebounding without Clifford has got to get better. Anderson does okay, but everyone else looks hopeless right now.
  • Daniels is a bit of a liability on defense.  He tries hard, but there really isn't any answer to an offense that is willing to put everyone on the perimeter besides the guy Daniels is guarding.  The rest of the team needs to recognize this and give him some quicker help on defense.
  • Moton brings an upgrade over Daniels on the defensive end.  Moton doesn't bring as much of an offensive threat, though, which makes for an interesting dilemma for Donahue. 
  • Heckmann takes more charges, on both ends of the floor, than anyone I know.  He's a master of catching someone off guard and stepping in and setting himself before they even know what's going on.
  • I thought we had a solid day offensively, even if Wake shot 44% for the game.  The guys played close to their men and held tough physically against older and stronger players.  Overall I was pleased with the effort on the defensive end and disappointed with the effort on the offensive end. 
Let's hope that Donahue can turn this around before we go to UVA.

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