Hello, fellow BC fans. Without a doubt, this has been a long, painful basketball season so far. For a team that had expectations of a bubble team, this team has certainly fell short of expectations set forth upon them. I've been watching basketball for a long time, and these are some of my thoughts on the season so far:
-This team misses Dennis Clifford to an amazing extent. Teams usually have a game plan to go inside early and often against BC, and Ryan Anderson/Will Magarity have not been able to counter that. Clifford is by far the team's best interior defender due to his strength, long arms and good timing. Last season, Clifford was difference in many wins (@Clemson and Providence come to mind) and that difference is notably missing this season.
-For as much as people complain about the talent, I really don't think that's the main issue with this team. Honestly, if this team weren't talented, they would've been destroyed @Providence and vs. UMass. However, this team does not do something good teams do: play with confidence and with a purpose. Iowa State and Michigan are good examples of teams that run the same offense as BC; however, the main difference between those teams in BC is how confident they are in what they do.
-Olivier Hanlan direly needs to score more. I do like the way he's been focusing on upping his assist totals, but that has taken away from how Olivier really should be playing. Almost every game it seems like Hanlan blows by whoever is guarding him, but he stops then and kicks the ball out to a shooter who's not open. BC has played their best this year when he's basically taken the attitude that he's gonna score 30, and whomever is covering him won't be able to stop him. I do believe this will open up threes for other players too, since they will be open as defenses collapse on Olivier.
-To add to this point, Rahon needs to remember he's a distributor first and a scorer second. His focusing on scoring has affected him, just like Olivier. He needs to go back to what he was last year as a solid PG who doesn't make mistakes.
-My number one issue with this team is how lackadaisical they are. In the Princeton offense, they first option is to always get a backdoor cut; in these past few games, this team hasn't even looked at the cutter. They go through the motions for 25 seconds, the other team stops them, and then they give the ball to Olivier and ask him and Ryan to go pick-and-roll that usually fails. It's amazing how tentative this team is, and how they never even look to score early in the shot clock if they have guys open. They need to stop focusing so much on making threes, and need to start looking to score inside. If they do that, open threes will come.
-Teams have all guarded BC the same way: run them off the three point line. BC has not really adjusted to this and has forced bad three point shots.
-BC's defensive strategy is called "ice", and it's the same one Brad Stevens runs with the Celtics. The idea is to not allow anyone into the middle and to force the player to go baseline, where there will be help from rotations. This could work if they didn't allow middle penetration, but sadly BC does this. They need to learn to not allow their man to go middle, since if their man is able to get into the middle, he'll score almost every time.