Another mildly challenging non-conference road game. Another listless second-half performance. Another loss for the Boston College Eagles basketball team that was about as fun to watch as watching paint dry. Despite playing even for a half, USC jumped out to an early seven point second half lead and never looked back, defeating Boston College 78-62.
With the loss, BC falls to 3-6 on the year.
This season is more or less over before conference play has even started. Sure, the Eagles may make some noise in conference play if they can figure things out, but any hope of a postseason tournament berth will require a near flawless performance over the final 22 games left in the regular season. That's highly unlikely.
Despite USC shooting just 38.2 percent from the floor (13-34), the Trojans very nearly went into halftime with a lead. However, Rahon hit a runner with the clock winding down to knot the game at 32-32 going into half. In typical Boston College fashion, the Eagles were out-rebounded 21-12 in the first half, giving up a bunch of second-chance points in the process. Anderson (8 points) and Rahon (7) paced the Eagles going into the locker room. Hanlan, who didn't get the start, was pretty quiet and had just three points at the break.
In the second half, the Trojans scored five straight points to jump out to a quick 37-32 lead and never looked back. All told, the Trojans outscored Boston College 46-30 in the second half. The game never really felt like it was in even remotely within reach. Five USC players finished the game in double figures as BC struggled in man-to-man defense to defend USC's athletic guards. Ryan Anderson paced the Eagles with 13 points, 3 boards and 2 steals. Rahon and Caudill added 11.
Donahue's rotations make little sense at this point. Literally nothing is working. With Hanlan spending a good portion of the game on the bench with four fouls, K.C. Caudill and Danny Rubin played extended minutes, Caudill and Odio were on the floor at the same time and BC wasn't able to generate any sort of rhythm on offense.
And that challenging road/neutral schedule that Donahue set to give the Eagles' NCAA Tournament resume a boost? That whole plan has failed in SPECTACULAR fashion. Boston College falls to just 1-5 in road/neutral contests already with three more non-conference games away from the Heights -- at Auburn (12/22), vs. VCU in Brooklyn (12/27) and at Harvard (1/1). You can guess how those three games are going to go.
The silver lining to the road/neutral heavy schedule is that it only serves to highlight the deeper issues with the program. Chief among them defense, rebounding, a lack of athleticism, coaching and, at a macro level, a significant scholarship imbalance that's no closer to being resolved than it was when Donahue took the reins four years ago. Instead of a death by a thousand cuts, Bates can rip the Band-Aid off at the end of the year.
This program is going backwards. Without a significant and rapid improvement in play, it'll be time for a change at the end of the year.