Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports
The Boston College Eagles simply cannot beat Harvard. A 79-63 loss marks the fifth straight loss at home against the cross-town rivals.
That was a beatdown. The Boston College Eagles lost 79-63 to the Harvard Crimson and it wasn't even that close. Harvard outplayed BC in every facet of the game and the result was the fifth straight loss -- all in Conte Forum.
BC Eagles' Leaders: Points: Anderson 23; Rebounds: Anderson 7; Assists: Rahon 8
I don't like to start by questioning a coach, especially one that I respect as much as Steve Donahue, but I'm confused. Who is Drew Jacobs? Why is he the FIRST guy off the bench for an ACC team? Why is he so small? Every time I asked somebody at the game about him they said, "Oh, he's like John Cahill." As if that were a fantastic answer and more than enough reason to play him. Didn't we establish that Cahill was a great character guy with a high basketball IQ, but a fairly large liability in many other areas? I understand wanting to show the team that if you work your ass off in practice and do everything coach tells you, you'll get a chance to prove it on the court. But there has to be a line. Shooting specialists are necessary. Defensive specialists are necessary. And I'm sure Jacobs can shoot the hell out of the ball and knows his defensive assignments, but realistically how effective can he be against bigger, stronger, more athletic competition?
I really don't mean to single out Jacobs because he wasn't exposed all that much tonight and definitely not the main reason that the team lost. It's more a point about a larger issue regarding the composition of the team. At any given moment, there was just too many players on the court who couldn't do one thing or another. We can't rely on Ryan Anderson to do everything and when Olivier Hanlan doesn't have a good game, it's just not fun to watch.
Steve Donahue claimed that the utter lack of defense was not a result of poor effort. While I'd probably disagree with him based on what I saw, he made a solid point. Harvard's gameplan was clearly to attack in transition when they had the chance and to force BC to play 30+ seconds of defense on virtually every other possession. They executed this to perfection. BC was either running to stop the fastbreak points or playing incredibly long defensive possessions for the whole game. It took a ton of energy and caused them to be sluggish and lazy on the offensive end.
Even though the offense shot a high percentage from the floor, it wasn't nearly enough to keep up with the Harvard scoring. Shooting 3 of 13 from behind the arc and making seven fewer free throws than your opponent is not going to get it down when you aren't stopping anybody on the other end.
Ryan Anderson had a pretty big game in the box score, but as Donahue said in the post game, he just needs to impact the game in more ways than scoring. His defense was lackluster (like everybody) and he needs to be a stud if this team is going to win games.
Once BC dug themselves into a huge hole at the start of the second half, Joe Rahon seemed to take it upon himself to get to the basket. He had some strong drives to the rim and was finishing well through contact. Other than that, I don't have many positive things to say about this performance.
Steve Donahue noted that he still thinks Dennis Clifford is "a week or two" away from playing. That's not good.