Success In Year Three Not Guaranteed And The Big Finish

Mar 8, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Boston College Eagles head coach Steve Donahue reacts on the sideline against the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the second half during the first round of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Brian: Somewhat disappointing end of a bad year for Boston College basketball. Though we expected to see this team struggle, I don't think anyone is happy seeing BC get beat soundly in each of the last two games of the year. Here's what Donahue had to say as part of his postgame press conference.

Just because we played a lot of freshman doesn't mean we are going to be a good basketball team next year. We've got to utilize that experience and now you know what the bar is set at, and you have to go out and improve. In general, I was extremely pleased with all of these guys, how they meshed as a group and how we became competitive as the year went on.

Thoughts on this quote? Is this Donahue lowering expectations a bit for next season? What are your realistic expectations for where this team will be a year from now.

Jeff: I think if we were not in the Spaz/GDF football era at BC this would not be a quote we'd be talking about. I think Donahue is saying exactly what he needs to say to the media and fans which is really his opportunity to address his team again. If the guys don't work hard to improve, they will be no better next year simply because they are one year older. This is not high school where an all freshman team would at least be taller, bigger, and stronger the following season regardless of how hard they trained in the off-season. If these guys don't improve over the summmer, then we are looking at another single digit win season next year.

The football team meanwhile was never all freshman and always had at least some great talent at a few positions. Spaz lowered expectations by saying, things more like the other teams are great and we're young in the middle of the season from week to week. Donahue took this opportunity at the end of the season to tell everyone that the team needs to work really hard to improve before next fall. Spaz basically was saying we lost today and we'll probably lose next week. I don't at all get the sense that Donahue isn't expecting at least some form of postseason action next year but he has to temper expectations at least a little bit because the natural thing to do would be to look at BC's roster and expect them to automatically double their win total next season.

Big Finish

Brian: Which player on the current hoops roster needs to make the most progress this offseason?

Jeff: Dennis Clifford can help the team the most by getting stronger over the offseason while improving his game.

Jeff: The women's hockey team advanced to the Frozen Four. Do we have a chance at a hockey sweep? And if so, would that at all make up for the poor football and basketball seasons?

Brian: The odds clearly aren't in BC's favor -- six wins. It would be an amazing accomplishment, but how many schools' fan bases pay attention to men's and women's ice hockey?

Brian: Apparently, the Big East wants to keep expanding, this time west. Who you like for Big East school #14?

Jeff: Colorado State

Jeff: ACC Tournament attendance was bad once again this week prior to Duke and North Carolina joining the field. Is it still the economy or is it the ACC?

Brian: There are a lot of different factors at play here, but the economy isn't the main one. Embarrassingly high session ticket prices, bad basketball, poor location, bad basketball, generic NBA arena, bad basketball and TV are just a few of the factors.

Brian: Army will play this year's spring game away from West Point (Fort Benning, Georgia) for the first time ever, but are still expecting almost 10,000 to show up. Is there somewhere other than Alumni Stadium where BC could hold their spring game in an effort to boost attendance?

Jeff: Not a chance.

Jeff: Who do you have winning the ACC? North Carolina, as was expected preseason, or Florida State?

Brian: North Carolina wins easily.

Brian: Last one. Selection Sunday is today. How many ACC teams get into this year's field of 68?

Jeff: Five teams should get in, and six is more likely than four at this point.

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