BC basketball has been shaky at best this season, and it would be natural to assume that this team will struggle in ACC play. Given that the ACC as a whole has struggled so far this year, I am cautiously optimistic that BC will win more than the four ACC games it managed last year. Here's a break-down of the RPI rankings as of Christmas:
N.C. State (5)
Georgia Tech (99) Boston College (125)
Virginia Tech (140)
Wake Forrest (201)
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.
BC gritted out a tough overtime win against UNH Sunday, winning 61-59 despite going 0-19 from behind the arc in regulation. Anderson contributed 23 points and 19 rebounds and really put BC on his back down the stretch. Even though "it's only UNH" BC fans really have to like that this team get can an ugly win even when nothing is going its way. It speaks to a certain amount of maturity and mental toughness that we haven't seen from this team yet.
The men's basketball team's close win over St. Francis has led to a flurry of concern over the direction of the program and Steve Donahue's job status. I am unquestionably less concerned about the direction of the basketball program than any other writer I know of, but I also believe that my confidence in Donahue has less to do with my maroon-and-gold-glasses and more to do with an objective view of the facts.
It simply isn't time to push the panic button yet on Steve Donahue.
Now that we have a new head coach and the beginnings of a staff I'm being asked more frequently what my expectations for next year are. First, I have to say that I'm very impressed that Addazio is already on the recruiting trail, trying to keep Spaz's recruits. Some recruits were excited to play for Doug Martin, and those guys are likely getting preferential treatment right now to shore up their commitments. I also wouldn't be shocked to see Addazio add three or four more quality guys to this class. If he can bring either Matt Barone (17th ranked OL) or Jarred Alwan (44th ranked LB) with him from Temple that would certainly accelerate the rebuilding process.
In the next few years I expect Addazio to make red-shirting players a priority. If we're going to play a more power-oriented style of football we need bigger, more mature players. That means we need guys who have been hitting the weight room for four or five years. That extra year makes a huge difference but it will mean some short-term sacrifices that Spaz never felt secure enough to make. This likely means that progress will be slow, especially in year two, before speeding up in years three and four.
In what will go down as an epic failure of managed expectations, Temple Head Coach Steve Addazio has been hired to take over for Frank Spaziani in Chestnut Hill. Despite reports that BC would sign either Al Golden or Bob Diaco, Brad Bates elected to sign Temple's second year head coach.
There really isn't anything positive to say about this team right now. Almost every aspect of the team is in regression. We're not hitting our shots. We aren't rebounding. The transition defense is in free-fall. Guys simply aren't hustling like they should, especially at home. Lack of hustle is flat-out disrespectful to the university. Hustle is something that Donahue was brought in to make part of the team culture and yet three years into his tenure guys still aren't getting the message. I'm not sure what the answer is but something needs to change with this team. Fans didn't even give this team a courtesy clap as it left the floor so I'm not writing a courtesy recap.
This is the first time I've seen Bates conduct a press conference, and he was incredibly impressive. He unquestionably seems in control of the program and not at all out of his league. I still have some doubts about the Addazio hire, but I really believe that Bates thinks this is the best fit for the university right now.
The general consensus on twitter is that Al Golden is now BC's top choice, with Bob Diaco coming in at number two. Earlier I speculated that Diaco and Sullivan are two of the three finalists, and the addition of Al Golden completes the list. This puts Bates' thinking as: