GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 10: Head coach Steve Donahue of the Boston College Eagles communicates with the team while playing against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the first half of the of game in the first round of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 10, 2011 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Washington Times' Patrick Stevens took a look at possessions per game as it relates to the slew of recent coaching changes in the ACC. Maryland's new coach Mark Turgeon will likely slow things down from the last three years of the Gary Williams era in College Park, much like many of the other new coaches in the conference.
Here's what Stevens had to say about Donahue:
"Steve Donahue actually made Boston College slower than it was in Al Skinner's high school flex offense, but it's difficult to argue with the results. The Eagles finished in the top half of the ACC when most expected them buried near the bottom of the league."
Under Donahue last season, the Eagles averaged 64.1 possessions per game, which was down 2.9 possessions from the Don's final three years at Cornell. Both per game numbers were lower than Skinner's (high school?) flex offense, where Al's teams averaged 67.6 possessions per game in his final three years on the Heights.
The Eagles averaged slightly fewer possessions in conference play (63.38) than they did in non-conference play (64). The more dramatic shift was over the second half of the season. Up to and include the Georgia Tech game, BC averaged 64.69 possessions per game. Post GT game, the Eagles averaged just 62.6 possessions, including a season low at Virginia (53 possessions).
Donahue definitely made a concerted effort to slow the pace as the season went on, particularly when the Eagles faced ACC opponents the second time around. After suffering a 106-74 blowout loss to the Heels at home, the Don slowed the pace considerably -- from 75 possessions to just 58 -- and BC nearly pulled off the upset in the rematch.