Inside Enemy Territory: Boston College


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I sat down with Joe Micik the founder over at our Boston College affiliate Souring to Glory.  Joe answers ten of my questions on BC, check out my answers to Joe’s questions HERE.

Key: KIH: Matt Hamm
STG: Joe Micik

KIH: Tell all the Tar Heel fans 1 thing they don’t know, that they need to know about BC Basketball

STG: In two words: we suck!

Boston College had major turnover in the off season and start virtually all freshmen.  The team is as young as I’ve seen in my eight years watching BC basketball, and it definitely shows.  We see glimmers of talent and consistency but overall they haven’t played well.

KIH:Looking at the BC roster, I don’t see any 1 player that scares me.  Tell me if I’m wrong and who the Heels need to be worried about.

STG: There are guys on this roster who may end up scaring you in future years (like Ryan Anderson as an all-around player or Lonnie Jackson as a 3-point shooter), but as for right now, you probably aren’t far off.  Some guys have had individually very good games, like Patrick Heckmann who scored 32 against UC-Riverside, and Anderson just had a double-double against Rhode Island, but we haven’t really seen anyone have multiple dominant games in a row.

The rest of my sit down with Joe after the jump

KIH: Describe the Eagles style of play.

STG: To be honest, I’m not sure THEY know what their style of play is yet.  Steve Donahue teams run “motion” offenses and are three-pointer happy.  A big part of BC’s problem has been settling for that shot too much, however, and they’ve been too sloppy at times to even allow themselves a chance.  Good shooting is central to Donahue’s philosophy, and they haven’t done it yet.  Defensively, BC has played decently in the half-court and at times have been very aggressive, but transition defense has been horrid.

Unfortunately, rebounding is not part of BC’s defensive plan.  The Eagles have gotten absolutely destroyed on the glass at times this season, and just gave up 21 offensive boards to Rhode Island this week.  Believe me, we are well aware of the fact that UNC is the best rebounding team in the country by contrast.

KIH: Assuming BC doesn’t pulling off a major upset, what kind of game would you be satisfied with?

STG: BC keeping it within 25 would be a major victory; I’m not kidding.  Up here, we have absolutely no delusions of winning this game, or even coming close, but we would be satisfied with BC playing the best 40 minutes they have within them, playing with aggressiveness (but not over-aggressiveness), and having some fire.  If BC loses by 40 but gives it max effort playing in a very tough environment, I’ll accept it.

KIH: Do you see BC having a shot at making the NCAA Tournament this year?

STG: BC’s odds are precisely zero; we are legitimately one of the worst teams in Division I this season, and have to be in the top 5 worst in a BCS conference.  I knew we’d be bad, but I’m honestly surprised at how bad we are; I did a bunch of summer reading about these young freshmen on what they accomplished in high school and the scouting reports gave me a great deal of confidence.  So far, however, it’s been a very long, very slow climb and they definitely aren’t ready yet.  The Eagles are probably going to lose about 25 games.

KIH: What’s BC’s biggest weakness as a team?

STG: Unfortunately, the better question might be what ISN’T BC’s biggest weakness.  BC’s rebounding is poor, they commit a bunch of turnovers (some of which are astoundingly dumb and unnecessary), and the shot selection has at times been quite suspect.  Also, as mentioned, transition defense has been bad.  Further, they just don’t have much size (not necessarily in terms of height, rather build — a lot of the freshmen, as you might expect from 18 year olds, are quite scrawny).  I fear they will get pushed around badly in ACC play as the opponents are more talented and more physical.

KIH: BC biggest strength?

STG: Maybe a bit of a reach, but I would say it’s that they don’t quit.  They often run out of gas and run themselves out of games, which is part of why you’ll look at our schedule and see a bunch of blowouts, but they keep fighting.

KIH: Who’s your favorite player of all time?

STG: I’ve only been watching BC basketball since I made it there as a freshman in 2004, but in that time I would say Jared Dudley; Craig Smith has to be second.  Both of those guys played hard, played well, and made other teams fear BC.  Great college players.

KIH: What’s the Tar Heels perception among BC fans?

STG: Well, I’m not sure BC fans’ perceptions of any other ACC team is all that great, and that’s probably mutual, but I suspect it’s probably better than what we think of Duke (in basketball, that is).  As for myself, I respect UNC but am otherwise ambivalent most of the time.

KIH: How does the future outlook of BC basketball with the development of its young players and future recruiting classes look?

STG: This has been a pretty popular topic of conversation in BC fan circles, and something I’ve written about on Soaring to Glory.  This year, I think BC needs to show us that they’re capable of growth, even if it’s just winning an ACC game or two and looking at least moderately competitive in others.  Next season, however, will be a very telling year.  If BC, assuming we’re in for something like a 6-25 year, doesn’t take an appreciable step forward next season (something like .500), then we’ve got a serious problem.  We’ve got some guys like Olivier Hanlan and Joe Rahon coming in who should hopefully help in 2012-13, but overall the jury is out on what the future holds.

Eagles fans, myself included, had hoped that by now we would have seen a little more consistent progress.  That’s not to say it won’t happen, but it hasn’t happened yet.  BC’s body of work has been at best uneven and at worst absolutely horrendous, and while many fans are patient, panic is setting in for others.  Admittedly I’m a bit less optimistic than in the summer but by no means have I given up on these kids, nor am I panicking; it’s far too soon.

I think that a year from today, in January 2013, we will have a much better idea as to this team’s ceiling.  If BC is still getting creamed by non-conference schools like Holy Cross, BU and UMass then, we have a serious problem, but I’m hopeful that they’ll have a better year next year.

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