Thursday, January 31, 2013

Time to Shut Down Clifford

Dennis Clifford was supposed to play a big part in BC's success this year.  He played very well during the team's summer trip to Spain, excelled in the off-season strength and conditioning program, and was starting to look like the dominant big man Donahue thought he could be when he recruited him.  Damage to the tissue under Clifford's kneecap knocked him out for several out of conference games, and his ability to contribute minutes has been extremely limited since then.  Against UNC, Clifford contributed just four minutes with one block and zero points.  He showed noticeable weakness in the paint on offense and had difficulties guarding the perimeter on defense.

BC has said that Clifford's knee can only be healed with rest and physical therapy.  Theoretically, the longer he continues to play these sporadic minutes, the further we push back his off season conditioning schedule.  With little left to play for this season, I wonder whether it's worth sacrificing Clifford's ability to work out in the off season for a few minutes of shaky play down the stretch.  I would rather see BC shut him down, get him healthy as soon as possible, and gear him up for next year.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

This Team is Soft

BC lost to UNC 82-70 last night, but this game was essentially a blow out and UNC was never in any danger of losing control.  I'm beginning to have real questions about the direction of this program.  As a preliminary matter, when this year's sophomore class came into BC, we were talking about how the ceiling could be the final four.  That's gone.  If we're lucky, this team makes the tournament, not next year, but the following year.  Last night was abysmal and completely unacceptable three years into Donahue's tenure.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Are the Baby Eagles Showing Any Progress?

It's no secret that the Eagles are off to a rough 1-5 start to ACC play.  Four of the six games, all losses, were within five points.  Such close games are usually 50-50 propositions, meaning that BC very well could be sitting at 3-3 if things had gone slightly differently.  A 3-3 start would certainly have been progress over last year's four total wins in ACC play, but I wanted to compare the stats to see if the numbers support this type of progress.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jackson's Resurgence

After a shaky start to the year, Lonnie Jackson has been on fire the past two games, racking up 22 and 23 points on the road against Virginia Tech and Wake Forrest respectively.  After watching Jackson excel on the Spanish road trip, Donahue has been consistently giving the sophomore starter's minutes, lauding his overall game.  A lot of people, including myself, questioned whether Jackson was a long-term answer for this team given his spotty shooting.  In several games this year he seemed to struggle with his shot, frequently seemed to be pressing, and showed no ability to put the ball on the floor.  Over the past two games Jackson has returned to the ACC player we thought he could be for parts of last year.