Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BC Begins Season with a W

BC beat down FIU 84-70 in an impressive debut that showed just how far the team has come in the off-season.  BC opened a 16 point lead at the half, only to squander the lead during a mind-blowing 12 minutes during which the Eagles looked like last-year's squad.  The offense seems to be much improved.  The team looks like it has a plan with every possession, and can rack up points even if the shots behind the arc are not falling.  The team had far more success in the paint Sunday than at any point last season.  Defensively, we have some serious issues guarding the perimeter. 

I don't want to take too much from one game, but I liked what I saw yesterday.  The Baylor game is more likely to be a better barometer of where this team is, so we should know more about how this season is going to shake out on Wednesday.  In the meantime, these are my snap impressions.


Ryan Anderson:  Anderson picked up right where he left off.  He has an improved mid-range jump shot, which is going to make him incredibly difficult to defend, even during ACC play.  He also rebounded much better.  He showed the ability to play above the rim and is starting to look like an elite player.  Donahue has a foundational player in Anderson.  We might have another foundational player in Hanlan.  We need to get back in the habit of recruiting at least one foundational player per year if we want BC to get back to the Sweet 16.

Hanlan:  I promised myself that I would wait five games before really commenting on Hanlan, but the freshman looks like the real deal.  He moves the ball with ease, can penetrate on the dribble, and has shown the ability to run the offense.  He loves pressing the ball up the court.  He is a huge step up from Daniels, and after one game it looks like he can be as good as Rice was with time.  I can't remember a BC team that made the NCAA tournament without an excellent point guard, and we might have one in Hanlan. 

Jackson:  Jackson was a big disappointment yesterday.  He does the little things well but he had zero points on seven shots in 22 minutes.  He frankly doesn't look any bigger than he was at this time last year.  I'm not giving up on him because he definitely has shown the potential to be a solid contributor to this team, but he needs to make his shots.

Rahon:  Donahue loves Rahon's game, but it doesn't look like Rahon is any more advanced than Daniels was at this time last year.  Last year, Daniels averaged 6.4 points and Rahon had 5 yesterday.  Rahon is a much better defender and seemed to become more comfortable as the game went on, but I think the Rahon for Daniels swap is likely to be a wash this season.  I don't think he played his best game yesterday so we're just going to have to wait to see on him.

Clifford:  Clifford had 12 easy points in just 18 minutes yesterday.  Donahue didn't like his defense and so Clifford sat a majority of the game.  I'm definitely concerned if Donahue thought that Clifford's defense was less than stellar against FIU.  I think that Clifford has shown that he can be a good center for this team and I expect him to get more minutes as the season progresses.  Again, it's a warning flag if Clifford is being benched for his defense this early in the season though.

Van Nest:  Van Nest is going to be part of the rotation this year and he seems like a sneaky-good pickup for Donahue.  He has good size and can move his feet.  His shot seems slow and slightly awkward so I'm not expecting a ton of points from him.  If he shows the ability to hit open shots he can at least distract a defender.  Donahue likes his defense so he played minutes in place of Clifford.

Caudill:  Zero minutes.  His spot in the rotation seems to have been taken by Van Nest.  Caudill isn't the fastest guy on the team and Donahue wants to run with the ball.  If Donahue only wants guys who can keep up with a fast-paced offense I'm not sure what he was thinking when he recruited Caudill.  We'll see what happens as the season progresses.

Rubin:  It must be the beginning of the year because Danny Rubin is once again back in the rotation.  10 minutes, zero points.  If we're committed to a nine man rotation, I think that giving Rubin minutes makes sense.  Once we cut it back to seven or eight I think that Rubin will be stuck back on the bench.

Heckmann:  12 point in 20 minutes.  If he wants more minutes he needs to play at a high level more consistently.  Donahue termed Heckmann a "wild card" in his post-game comments.  That's probably fair because we never seem to know what we're going to get from Heckmann from game to game.  The bench this year is far deeper than it's been in a while.  We haven't had three viable options off the bench in a few years, and Heckmann, Odio, and Van Nest all look viable early on.

Odio:  Probably the most improved player.  8 efficient points in 11 minutes from a bench player.  He plays strong, looks like he knows where he's going with the ball, and doesn't look over-matched like he did last year.  I'm not sure he'll hold up well in ACC play but he definitely looked good Sunday.  He's going to be an important part of this team for the next three years.

2 comments:

  1. In fairness to Clifford's defense, I think The Don didn't like how he was being picked apart specifically by the PnR offense. Hopefully he'll get his 30+ minutes vs Baylor. He did look dominant at times on offense. He and Odio both look so much stronger. Team is definitely moving in the right direction.

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  2. Great point. Donahue mentioned in his post-game comments that Clifford was "moving around too much" on defense. He was really a lot better on the glass, particularly on the offensive end.

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