Monday, December 24, 2012

BC Defeats Providence, Team Back on Track

The men's basketball team had a very impressive win Saturday against Providence.  Providence, which admittedly had a very soft schedule coming into the game, stood at 8-2 and looks to be a decent, but not upper tier, Big East team this season.  BC played extremely well throughout the game, but really played its best basketball in the final minutes of the second half.

The biggest story of the day was Ryan Anderson, who contributed an efficient 24 points and 7 rebounds in just 30 minutes.  Anderson continues to be the center of this team, and increasingly looks like one of the best players in the ACC.  If he stays healthy he will be one of the all-time greats at BC.  It's too bad that he never got the chance to play along side Reggie Jackson.

The front court also had its best game of the season.  Rahon and Hanlan logged all 40 minutes, and the guards put up an impressive 12 assists, compared to just 8 turnovers.  BC finally seems to be turning the corner on its assist-to-turnover ratio, which has not been looking good for the past year and a half.  Hanlan only shot 4-14, but still was able to contribute 17 points, 12 rebounds, and two steals.  Even though Donahue likes Rahon to run the offense in the half-court, he has to like Hanlan's ability to push the ball in transition.  Every time Hanlan gets the ball you can see him take a look up the court to see if there will be an easy transition basket.  That's key to running Donahue's offense.  

Rahon shot just 2-7, contributing five points, five rebounds, and six assists.  Lonnie chipped in 8 points and two assists on 2-6 shooting.  Lonnie Jackson, Hanlan, and Rahon accounted for 116 of BC's minutes.  Part of this had to do with Anderson and Heckmann's foul troubles but it was encouraging to see these three take control of BC's offense from start to finish.  I think this also confirms that Jackson is in Donahue's long term plans.  I'm not sure that Lonnie will be a consistent starter over the next two-plus years, but he's going to get 20+ minutes on a consistent basis.  Again, this is the best game we've seen from out front court in some time, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Dennis Clifford, who hasn't played in several weeks due to injury, game the team 18 minutes, and his role should increase as he gets into playing shape.  This is simply a different team with him on the court, both on the glass and defensively.  He had just four points but also gave us five rebounds in his limited minutes.  Eddie Odio and Kyle Caudill gave us great minutes in Clifford's absence.  Odio continues to be a revelation this season and has clearly been the most improved player on the team.  There's no question about his role with this team going forward.  He rebounds, moves the ball, makes open shots, and is a high intensity defender, all things you love to see in a bench player. 

I don't think this game was a must-win for Donahue, but it certainly helps the perception that the program is moving in the right direction.  Anderson and Hanlan continue to be players that this program can build around.  Heckmann, Clifford, and Rahon are great pieces.  Jackson and Odio will be solid contributors.  If this team wants to make a serious NCAA run in 2014 and 2015, I still think we need one more guy to build around, whether that's Jorgenson or someone else (for the record I'm not writing off Owens even though he only has two stars on ESPN, he has an incredibly high ceiling).

Let's beat Holy Cross and Dartmouth and then get some conference wins.

1 comment:

  1. Tough loss to NC State and an easy win over VT has the young Eagles doing fairly well. Their foul shooting is awful which is really hard to understand on a team that takes as many 3's as they do. It's going to cost them unless they can get it up into the mid 70% range. Is it just me or do girls teams seem to shoot free throws so much better than the men's team?

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