Brian: The Eagles came out blazing in the first half as they built up a 21 point halftime lead. They then proceeded to watch that lead evaporate in the second half. The Gamecocks used a 29-11 run to start the second half to cut the lead to 3 points. BC was able to successfully break the pressure late, hit their free throws when it counted, and held on to win 85-76. Let’s start with the likes. What did you like out of the Eagles last night?
Jeff: What's not to like out of Boston College last night? BC won a game against a major conference school in a game where they only trailed early on. The most surprising thing about last night were the in-game lineup and coaching adjustments. Josh Southern was only recently removed from the starting lineup but Skinner left him on the bench tonight while things were going well for the Eagles with the smaller lineup. He didn't force a rotation or certain minutes on any player. Dallas Elmore benefited from the high pace game and saw more minutes than usual. Meanwhile, Southern wasn't used until halfway through the second half when South Carolina was starting to get some inside buckets. Skinner is criticized all the time for lack of in-game coaching and adjustments but last night I have no complaints with the coaching.
I also have to mention the play of Rakim Sanders last night. It was his best game this season by a wide, wide margin. Not that he's played many. Trapani and Jackson played well also and we'll need all three of them to be firing on all cylinders in order for BC to make some noise in the ACC this season.
Brian: Dislikes? How can the Eagles’ performance be improved going into the next two games against Maine and NJIT and more importantly, the next ACC game against Clemson?
Jeff: The players hopefully learned a lesson last night that even an extremely dominant first half can be reversed in a short period of time against good teams. The Eagles have had this problem already this season (in the game against Miami) but hopefully this was a bigger wakeup call for BC. The Eagles will hopefully not have these lapses after building large leads in the future. I can't completely blame these young players for coming out slow in the second half after everything went their way leading up to halftime, but it will still eventually come back to bite them. Skinner could call more timeouts to slow runs but I don't think any better locker room speeches will help. BC needs to bring it for all 40 minutes every night regardless of the name on the opponents jersey.