Brian: The Eagles showed everyone on Saturday afternoon that they shouldn’t be counted out the rest of the season. Despite the 66-63 setback to Duke, BC crawled back from a 10 point halftime deficit to cut the lead to 1 with only a few seconds left.
Let’s start by dissecting the Eagles’ final possession. After Jon Scheyer hit two free throws to push the Duke lead to 3, Skinner decided not to call a timeout. Instead, Reggie Jackson brought the ball up the court, struggled to get an open look, and when he finally found Joe Trapani, it was too late. Trapani's three point attempt fell short with time expiring, and the Blue Devils escaped Conte Forum with a win. From Skinner:
"We had already called the play so we knew what we wanted," Skinner said. "So I didn’t want to give them a chance to set their defense because I knew what defense they had. I didn’t want them to be able to make a substitution. We had four shooters on the floor plus a rebounder, which we wanted. I was comfortable with my situation and what we needed to do. We ran it. We just didn’t run it efficiently."
Do you agree with Skinner’s decision to not call a timeout, and do you think that the shot clock malfunction was partly to blame for the Trapani miss?
Jeff: I like Skinner's decision to not call a timeout. The Blue Devils could have created a lot of trouble for us to just get the ball in. However, I wish BC would've gone for the quick score instead of holding for the final shot. Whether that had been a 2 or a 3 and then fouled again if they had made a 2 point field goal and leave the possibility for Duke to only hit one free throw with about 6 or 7 seconds left.
Brian: Which player were you most impressed with on Saturday? Who did you expect a little more out of?
Jeff: I suppose Rakim Sanders impressed me the most because my expectations for him this season have plummeted. He played better on defense then he has so far this season. He was also able to create his own shots on offense several times.
To answer your second question, Reggie Jackson would be the player I would've liked to see produce more. He has been a big game player throughout his short career. But on Saturday he had only eight points and was 3-9 from the field and 0-3 from 3 before hitting the big three point shot to make it a single possession game at the end.
Brian: The Eagles have a quick two day turnaround before they travel to Winston-Salem to take on the 16-5 Demon Deacons. Wake Forest is coming off a 64-61 winner over Virginia in overtime on Saturday. Do you like the Eagles chances to upset the Deacs?
Jeff: I absolutely like the Eagles chances after playing Duke (the best team in the league) and Florida State (possibly the second best team) in their last two games with chances to win both games. The Eagles are playing well enough lately to beat anyone in the league but they just need to hit a few more shots at some crucial times during the game to turn these L's into W's. The Eagles could still turn things around and rattle off several consecutive victories at some point but it might be all for naught at this point. We are getting closer and closer to the point where mathematically, BC's sole chance of making the NCAA Tournament will be by winning the ACC Tournament.