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JwgreDeux

Things I saw - Boston College

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AU 71 - BC 72 

Box Score for BC and Box Score for AU

Well, we got to play a game in MSG. It was all down hill form there.  The only good thing? It didn't happen at home. Let's get right to the point, no spin, this was a bad loss.  And it will remain in the bad loss column all season, as there is virtually no hope that BC plays well in ACC conference play. This will not be one we look back on and say, 'it wasn't as bad as it seemed at the time.' 

From my Preview:  "I keep looking for some strategy breakdown where Boston College out plays us, but I just don't see it. Their isn't much Boston College can do other than hope Auburn doesn't show up to play. Which, with a group of freshman leading the way, is always something to consider. We haven't really had much of a let down game to this point, the second half vs Purdue wasn't pretty, but not really a let down. That is my only concern for this game, how do we show up at tip off."

I'm not sure if it was the layoff, finals week, the big stage, ridding too high off the UAB win, or what, but we didn't come to win. This game can be summarized in Boston College's first and last possession, both included an offensive rebound and put back. Stagnant ball movement, poor defense, and AWFUL rebounding don't produce wins. The fact that we played that poorly and still almost won the game, tells you that BC is simply not a good team. We were out rebounded by nearly 20 and only had 9 assists.

There's plenty of blame to go around but for me it starts with Harper. I love this kid, he has a huge upside and carried us to the UAB win, but he was a liability tonight. He had the worst +/- on the team tonight at -11, and no stats that seem to contradict that number. The five points, 3 assists, and 0 turnovers aren't the issue, it is the 2-10 from the field and 1-6 from three that jump off the stat sheet. Combine that with the fact that Heron got two shots in the first half, TWO. Our point guard has to run the floor better or this will happen again. While Johnson's stat line isn't pretty either, he did a better job of initiating some offensive movement and his +/- reflects it at +11. 

The best explanation I have to offer is the loss of Dunans caused several personnel groups to play extended minutes together for the first time. Purifoy played 36 minutes, Brown played 28, and Heron played 29, all well above averages, and McLemore only played 4, well below average. Admittedly, that explanation is unsatisfying and not really convincing either. I believe the primary cause was simply youth. Heron's passiveness, Harper being eradic, the standing and watching at times, all signs of youth. It happened in the Purdue game; the question now is how often will it happen from here on out. 

Just as youth can cost you a game you should win, it can also be blind to pressure and allow you to get one you are expected to lose. That is where we find ourselves, to keep post season hopes and bubble talk alive, we have to go win one we are not expected to. This loss drops our RPI from 21 to 54, which is not devastating. Our next two games are at home and we can not afford a loss in either of those. Lets hope our young tigers learn from this loss and build some confidence in the next two at home. 

It is way too early to give up on this group.

War Eagle. 

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It is way too early to give up on this group. .

 

Most definitely...but it sure hurts to lose a game like this where we should have gotten a victory ...and even worse in my mind, BC did nothing special to earn the win except make that last bucket.   No way we can write this off as the other team getting hot or some particular player lighting it up.  Their stats, other than getting most our missed shots were unimpressive. 

Yet it was an exciting game in many ways if you did not have a rooting interest as my son (who was visiting here) noted after the game.  JMO but AU has far more upside than does BC.....and just needs to show it over the next few weeks. 

We know Cliff is a good coach.....and he can win with an inferior team if our guys are not ready.  Smaller team overall and probably not more than a couple 3^ guys on the team.   Another game not to get over-confident about though.

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At the end of the game when we didn't have anymore TO's, after we took the lead on the made extra points we allowed them to get the ball in with very little pressure (we were scrambling after the basket). Since we didn't have a TO to set up some type of full court defense (which created a ton of problems for BC) I though we should have had a sub at the table in case the ball went it (which it did) that would have allowed us to set our full court defense up...they got it in and down the court with very little pressure from us....just thought we were not prepared and it allowed them to win the game (BC is not very good....) 

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