Jeff: Wednesday night's loss to Duke was disappointing because the guys showed that they could hang with and beat Duke in the first half but then got blown out in the second. It was largely our bench players, especially if you consider Southern among those players that kept us in the game while our starters couldn't get it going. Rakim Sanders led the team in minutes played but only scored 3 points, had 2 rebounds and 3 assists. Corey Raji who has totally disappeared lately had 2-3-0 last night in only 17 minutes of play. Trapani and Paris were not much better than Sanders and Raji either. But all in all are you encouraged or discouraged by the team's play given that no one expected BC to win or even keep it close.
Raj: Overall I'm still discouraged by this team and their effort, because last time I checked games were 40 minutes long. In the first half we controlled the ball both on offense and defense, and we seemed to get to loose balls and score in the paint. Not only that, but it seems Coach Skinner had worked with the team and we got the ball up the court with little trouble. We missed some free throws, had great contributions from the bench, and honestly should have been up at half. I don't know if I have ever been more weary of a team at halftime, because I know Coach K would make adjustments and not sure how Skinner would handle them. We came out flat, Duke scored some easy baskets and I was about to shut the game off, until Skinner fooled me, and called a timeout to try and stop a Duke run. It's a miracle, breaking the press and a timeout in the same game. Had things finally turned around? NO. Duke continued to go on a run, and the team went from playing bad to just awful. My biggest concern is we are a team that can't play from behind and can't hold a lead. I think that puts us in bad position the rest of the season, teams are finding their identity while we can't seem to put more than 20 mins of basketball together. Our lack of consistency and effort reflect poorly on the coaching staff, and while our losses have come to teams that are obviously tops amongst the ACC (with Clemson's win against UNC), we seem to give up way too easily. Maryland will be a huge test for the team, and another 20 pt loss could put Skinner's job in jeopardy.
I know Sanders and Trapani didn't do much yesterday, but are you worried about our PG play? Do you see any situation where Nate Doornekamp's third cousin twice removed plays this season?
Jeff: Point Guard play. I'm glad you mentioned that. Towards the end of last season it was Paris and Jackson really stepping it up which led this team to have a very good finish to the season and ACC tournament. Paris and Raji have been huge disappointments in the last few games which has gone unquestioned because Rakim Sanders was supposed to be the go to guy on this team and he is playing poorly enough to hog all the attention. If Paris could bring his A game back, I think we could still be a good team with Sanders continuing to struggle. Without any help, Jackson and Trapani can only win so many games for BC in ACC play.
I know it's not much but all BC fans should be encouraged that we had no trouble with Clemson's or Duke's press in the first half of either game. Once the team got down big in both games things changed but we've seen Skinner's team have much more trouble with full court pressure before.
The home game against Maryland will really be a good barometer for where this team is. When we look back at our entire season two months from now no one will be surprised that we lost by double digits at both Little John and Cameron Indoor. It'll be how we play against the rest of the conference that will determine whether we go 10-6, 7-9, or 4-12 in ACC play. A win and we still might be a 7-9 to 10-6 type ACC team. A loss and we're staring 4-12 in the face.
Jeff: Elisabeth and Tim Hasselbeck will switch roles in the coming weeks. Tim on The View. Any chance you tune in?
Raj: I am more likely to tune into Elisabeth rather than Tim on the View. Tim doing this doesn't help his reputation one bit.
Raj: Boston College has the 17th best win percentage in football the last 6 years. Impressed?
Jeff: 17 sounded good but I didn't find any team below us on the list that surprised me.
Jeff: Dominick LeGrande was arrested for DUI on Sunday. Is this a story?
Raj: It's a story and a shame. He was an important contributor to our team, and the fact that he blew twice the legal limit is concerning. I expect Spaz to lay the hammer down, hopefully LeGrande learns from his mistake.
Raj: Matt Tennant and Mike McLaughlin will be the BC reps at the NFL combine. Was there anyone else who should have been there?
Jeff: No. As much as we like Rich Gunnell he was never NFL material and I actually wouldn't have been shocked if McLaughling had not been invited.
Jeff: The Orlando Sentinel has the ACC as the 5th best football conference this year. Agree?
Raj: No, but to be honest the ACC's bowl performances don't help my case. I don't think they were far off. I still think that the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 were probably better conferences, but I'm still not sold on the Mountain West. People tend to forget that conferences are more than 2 or 3 teams. Consider every team in the league. Being top heavy doesn't crown you a better conference. I still think that the ACC is more competitive from top to bottom than the PAC 10, MWC, Big East.
Raj: HD has the Mark Herzlich GameDay interview where he announced he is cancer free as the number 1 moment of the football season. That was a no brainer right?
Jeff: I would've been OK with that moment being anywhere on the list. I think if Mark has another DPOY season next year then that moment will end up being 10x more memorable. Not for Mark and his family, but for us fans.
Jeff: Tomorrow's home game against Maryland is sold out yet you predicted attendance could be as low as 3,000 in a comment yesterday. Do you know something I don't or did you just not do your homework like back in our days at BC?
Raj: No comment.
Raj: Skinner has noted that consistency is a big problem of ours, is this troubling to you since he's had 3 years with a majority of these players? Do you think Skinner's old school mentality is not meshing with the young guns?
Jeff: I am not going to criticize Skinner's old school mentality but rather am going to criticize him getting away from what has worked for him like the flex and establishing a lineup and rotation and sticking with it.
Raj: Dan Patrick posed a question to the Dan-ettes, if a major company came to you to make you an Executive Producer at a major network, would you break your contract with the DP show, and leave mid-contract? Dan Patrick went on to let his subordinates know if they went to interview the job, he would fire them a la Gene-Jagz. Jeff, if you interview for a job, that means your heart isn't in your current job, right? Was Lane Kiffin justified in leaving, or should he sit out a year for transferring?
Jeff: I have no problem with Kiffin leaving or with Jags interviewing with the Jets had Gene not told him specifically not to. Kiffin did nothing all that out of the ordinary other than that this sort of thing doesn't usually happen to SEC schools or schools with national championships in relatively recent memory.
Jeff: Finally this is where Brian usually asks me to make a prediction on the game. I feel good about a BC victory here coming off two road games against the two best teams in the conference. I like BC to score in the 70s and win.