In an all-too-predictably listless effort, Boston College bowed out of the first round of the ACC Tournament, falling to Georgia Tech 73-70 in overtime. The Eagles finish the 2013-14 season with a record of 8 up, 24 down. Georgia Tech advances to Thursday for an ACC Tournament second round matchup against Clemson.
I won't bore you with the particular details of this game. Just imagine Boston College's performance in just about every other game this season. What was particularly jarring throughout much of the game, however, was the lack of effort and energy displayed by the Eagles NOT named Patrick Heckmann.
Georgia Tech took just a four point lead to the locker room, but out-worked and out-muscled BC for much of the second half. The Jackets held a sizable edge in rebounding and second half points to pull away in the second frame. BC made a game of it with a 11-0 run late to force overtime, and even took a brief 67-65 lead with less than two minutes to go. Georgia Tech broke a 9+ minute scoring drought to take a 69-67 lead late in OT and held on for the win.
From just about the opening tip, it was clear that Boston College simply didn't want to be there.
The loss shouldn't diminish the individual performance of Patrick Heckmann, who came off the bench to spark the Eagles' second-half surge. After scoring just two points in the first frame, Heckmann netted 18 in the second half and was a big reason the game went to overtime at all. He finished with 21 points on 6-of-8 shooting, adding four rebounds.
Bigger picture, the same tired litany of excuses explaining BC's poor performance this season -- tough non-conference schedule, lack of presence in the paint, poor three-point shooting, Dennis Clifford injury -- were rattled off by the announcers throughout the game. But much of the narrative surrounding the program focused on the Boston Globe article from earlier today.
I feel for the players. Throughout the broadcast, much was made of BC's leading scorer Olivier Hanlan declaring early for the NBA Draft and Ryan Anderson and Joe Rahon possibly transferring out of the program.
In reality, Hanlan's decision on his future should have no bearing on Steve Donahue's fate. The fourth-year head coach has done enough on his own to justify a firing after this season. Each player's decision on their future shouldn't have any bearing on what Brad Bates does here.
That said, I do expect that this was Steve Donahue's last game as head coach of the Eagles. I suspect that Hanlan will jump for the NBA Draft too, though I'm less clear on what the future has in store for guys like Anderson and Rahon. The Globe's Michael Vega doesn't run a story like that if there was a chance that everyone was going to stick around for another year. How do you even keep this program together when something like that gets out?
So if this is the last game in the maroon and gold for Hanlan, Anderson, Rahon and others, I wish them nothing but the best in the future. And if this was Steve Donahue's final game as head coach of the Eagles, I thank you for four years of service to our alma mater.
And now, we wait.