Final Score: Boston College 80, Maryland 88.
The Eagles got off to a slow start.
Nobody in white could hit a shot to start the game. The offense was relatively crisp and they were getting good looks. Olivier Hanlan did a really nice job facilitating in the opening 10 minutes, creating open shots for his teammates. The problem was that they weren't knocking them down. Fortunately for the Eagles, that started to change as the game went on. If it hadn't, this game would have been pretty ugly.
Hanlan actually finished with 26 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. It was a real nice game from Hanlan. Eventually, he just said "screw it" and started taking the ball to the rim on every possession. As a result, he shot 16 free throws and made 15 of them. Not bad.
Garland Owens entered the game when the Eagles were losing 23-11 in the first half. Right away, I thought that it was weird it took so long for Owens to get in the game. And as soon as he stepped onto the floor, the team started playing with energy. Owens threw down a pretty alley-oop in transition and BC went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 23-18. Owens is inconsistent, but he's a really dynamic player. Donahue needs to find a way to get him more minutes as the season goes on.
Ryan Anderson scored the first six points of the game for BC, two on free throws and four on dunks. He cooled down considerably after that. He scored most of his points in this game right around the basket, which is good because those are high percentage shots. It's not good, however, that he looks really hesitant to take an open jump shot. A big part of his game is supposed to be the fact that he's a threat from the inside and outside. If he's not going to shoot open jumpers, that threat is diminished.
The Eagles went into the locker room at halftime down by a score of 42-36. The energy level to start the second half was much better than it was to start the first half. It was definitely good to see that the Eagles were being aggressive on defense, in transition, and on the glass. It's pretty clear that the message from Donahue at halftime was to be more aggressive in every phase of the game.
Steve Donahue's rotation tonight was...interesting.
I understand that he's still trying to find something that works and I'm okay with it. You can't say that he needs to just have a rotation and stick with it because clearly nothing has worked on a consistent basis yet. I'm just not sure what he's doing with some of these lineups. KC Caudill started again tonight, presumably to help out on the boards. Patrick Heckmann barely played tonight and Owens played just 5 minutes in the first half. Eddie Odio hasn't shown me much this season and I'd be fine with some of his minutes going to Owens and Heckmann just to get more shooting out there on the court. If Anderson isn't going to space the floor, you can't really have Odio out there with him. The paint gets too crowded and it doesn't allow Hanlan or Rahon to get to the basket.
In the middle of the 2nd half, Donahue seemed to find a lineup that worked. Hanlan-Owens-Dragicevich-Anderson-Magarity made a nice run to give the Eagles a 57-56 lead. It's probably the biggest lineup that BC has and that helps out with defense. It's also got plenty of shooting, so Hanlan can just penetrate and find open shots for those guys. I'm not committed to anything yet, but that lineup is something that we should see more often. Heckmann's probably a better shooter than Drag, so you could probably swap those two out if need be. The only reason I might prefer Drag in that spot is because I think he does a better job moving the ball within the flow of the offense.
Dez Wells is a beast.
He gave BC fits all night long. Joe Rahon, in particular, could not guard him. At all.
Wells abused him down the stretch and I cannot understand why Donahue didn't make some sort of switch to put a different player on Wells. Eventually, they switched Owens onto Wells, but he didn't do much better. Wells put the Terrapins on his back and scored 18 of Maryland's last 27 points. He finished with 33 points on 12 of 18 shooting.
There isn't a lockdown defender on this roster, so you aren't going to shut Wells down completely. In that case, you need to just make sure that Wells isn't able to find wide-open shooters off dribble penetration. There were a number of instances where the Eagles screwed up their rotations and left guys open. Joe Rahon was the culprit on back to back possessions in the first half. Truthfully, BC was lucky that Maryland didn't hit more of their open threes.
KC Caudill was relatively productive.
I'm having a hard time believing that I just typed that sentence, but it's true. He's still not in very good shape, but he did an okay job tonight. The Eagles have just been destroyed on the glass all season and Caudill actually helped with that. He didn't grab many rebounds himself, but having a big body down there to box people out definitely limits the opposing team's damage on the offensive boards. He has decent touch around the basket and scored some points. For a team that desperately needs size, I'll take it.
In the end, the Eagles didn't have enough.
Wells was too much to handle and the Eagles just couldn't get stops. The Eagles fall to 3-7 overall and start ACC play with a loss at home. That ain't good. Steve Donahue's seat has got to be about as hot as it can get -- and I'm not sure how much this team is going to be able to do the rest of the season to change that.
The Eagles will get Philadelphia University on Sunday afternoon at noon. They need to blow that team out. I will probably be at that game and there's a decent chance that I'm hungover for that game. See you there.