I don't follow the Boston College women's basketball program all that closely, but what in the world is going on with the Boston College women's basketball program?
The Lady Eagles are coming off three straight games where they were more or less run out of the building -- a 77-46 loss at No. 25 North Carolina, followed by a 88-57 home loss to No. 10 Miami and most recently, a 86-44 beatdown in College Park. That setback was the Eagles' ninth straight loss -- all nine losses have come during ACC play.
The first few paragraphs of the AP's writeup of BC's loss to Miami earlier this week struck me as very strange.
BOSTON (AP) - Boston College coach Sylvia Crawley is hoping that having her team watch film on its own will get her Eagles' players out of their funk.
The Eagles were overmatched for much of the game, falling to the 10th-ranked Hurricanes 88-57 on Sunday for their eighth straight loss.
"We've given them game tapes and they're going to watch it themselves together to see what we saw," Crawley said. "Sometimes it's different when you're on the court. We're trying a lot of different things with this group. They're young. We're trying to help them be visual learners and not to make the same mistakes."
Boston College committed 15 of its 20 turnovers in the first half and gave up nine of 23 offensive rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.
Sorry, but 0-8 in conference play (now 0-9) is a little more than a funk. Particularly with three of seven games remaining against ranked opponents (and two of those against teams currently ranked in the Top 10). The Eagles are now more than halfway to becoming just the fourth program to finish at least 0-14 in a single season, joining the 2007 Wake Forest (0-14), 1998 Wake Forest (0-16), 1997 Florida State (0-16) and 1985 Georgia Tech (0-14) teams.
So what ails the Boston College women's basketball team? Leave your own thoughts below.
Youth / inexperience. But can't be more youthful and inexperienced than the men's team, right? Two players -- Alyssa Fressle and Kerri Shields -- have two years of experience under their belts going into this season. Seven players have one year of experience and just four players are true freshmen. I get that it's no easy task to replace two of the Eagles' all-time greats in Carolyn Swords and Stefanie Murphy, but the drop off shouldn't be this dramatic, should it?
To be fair, the Eagles are one of the younger programs in the ACC. BC returns just two starters from last year's 20-win team. Only Clemson returns fewer starters. BC's 2011-12 roster lettered in just 11 seasons, again, second lowest to Clemson. BC's junior (2) and senior count (1) gives the Eagles the second fewest upperclassmen on the roster in conference, tied with Duke (2 seniors, 1 junior) and better than only Clemson (zero juniors, 2 seniors).
ACC schedule. It's also no picnic trying to navigate the ACC women's basketball schedule, one of, if not the deepest conference in the country for women's hoops. The Eagles have already lost to all four ranked opponents faced this season, and have another three to go. And that's just during the regular season.
Still, the losses in non-conference play this season were early and often -- losses to Arizona State (54-79), Dayton (60-69), Hartford (45-54), BU (62-70), Hampton (63-71) and Saint Joseph's (57-74) dot the early season schedule as BC limped to a 5-8 mark in non-conference games this season.
Recruiting. Per DeFilippo's press release on her hiring back in 2008, Crawley was hired in no small part for her ties to the ACC, having played at North Carolina and winning a National Championship in her senior season (1994). But I'm not sure if her recruiting has lived up to the billing. While I don't pretend to follow women's basketball recruiting that closely (read: at all), I think it's fair to expect some level of success as the players you recruited start to filter through the program (pay attention, Spaz).
If there were more scrutiny on the women's basketball program, it's hard to see Sylvia Crawley surviving past this season. Especially when you compare her track record to that of her precedessor -- a 273-179 record (a .604 winning percentage), 7 NCAA Tournament appearances and one WNIT appearance over her final 10 seasons and eight 20-win seasons over a 15-year stay on the Heights.
Crawley's overall resume pales in comparison. Previous to her hiring by BC, Crawley had coached at Ohio for just two seasons, compiling a 38-25 record over two seasons before taking over for Cathy Inglese. She entered this season with a 60-40 record at BC over three seasons, but may come back down to right about .500 before the season is out.
I don't have the answer as to how to fix this program, but I do know that BC women's basketball is headed in the wrong direction. I'm not sure if Crawley survives this season, but if she does, we have a long, long way to go to get this program back to where it was only a few years ago.