Brian: One of the flaws of this Eagles team is that they are quick to abandon the Flex offense. Players like Rakim Sanders, Reggie Jackson and Joe Trapani can be quick to give up on the Flex and throw up bad shots when in 1-on-1 man coverage. BC fans saw this first-hand when the Eagles scored only 17 points in the second half of their 62-47 loss to Florida State.
In that loss, the Eagles had an offensive efficiency rating of 72.6 and an effective field goal percentage of 39.2.
Sounds bad, but just how bad are these numbers?
Sunday night’s 72.6 offensive efficiency rating was good for the Eagles’ second worse over the last 7 seasons (going back to the 2004 season). The Eagles only shot worse in a 67-48 loss at Virginia Tech back on Tuesday, February 26, 2008. However, BC’s eFG% against Florida State wasn’t even close to a 7 year low. The Eagles shot worse in 15 other games during that span, including this year’s loss to Clemson (38.7) and their home win over Miami (37.1).
Of the 20 worst offensive performances in the last 7 seasons, four of them have come this season. Three of them came last season, with five more coming in the 2007-2008 season. That makes 12 of the worst 20 offensive performances of the last 7 seasons coming in the last 3 years.
Who’s to blame for the poor offensive numbers? Since this trend seems to span the last few seasons, is this the case of Skinner no longer recruiting the right players to play in his offense? Or do you attribute these figures to a lack of in-game leadership from either the coaching staff or the players on the floor? Your thoughts?
Jeff: I'm sure plenty of people have already blamed Skinner for terrible recruiting and lack of coaching over this stretch of poor offensive performances. There's also probably more to come. But the reason for this is simple:
Since Dudley graduated and headed to the NBA, BC has had only one true offensive threat in Tyrese Rice ... and arguably have no offensive threat this season. No matter how great a player is offensively, they can have bad nights and on nights that Rice didn't play well the last few years, BC struggled to score. Now that Rice is gone, that burden to carry the team offensively falls on Reggie Jackson more than anyone else. Jackson is looked to as the man to make something happen when good shots don't present themselves earlier in the shot clock. Jackson is very talented but I think every fan would agree that Rice and Bell were better scorers up until this point in their career (3/4 through their sophomore season).
So this must be Skinner's fault, right? Wrong. Skinner only gets to bring on basically 3 kids each season. In order to have two studs on the team in any given season, he needs one out of six players to pan out and exceed expectations. I say only 1 in 6 because if we knew prior to these player's recruitment that they could score 17+ points per game in the ACC, they would've had offers from plenty of schools. Those type of players likely would end up at a top ACC school or Syracuse, UConn, or Georgetown.
Can great coaches make lemonade out of lemons? Yes. Probably at least some of the time. But to expect Skinner to continually turn out these "diamonds in the rough" or steal top recruits away from schools that are not so football and hockey focused is simply expecting too much of him.
Similarly, expecting Trapani - a transfer from Vermont - to hold up the offense is unrealistic. Even to crown Sanders as a huge offensive threat in the ACC just because he has an NBA type body is somewhat unfair to him as well.
BC is one more player away from being real good because we have a bunch of players that can be a great supporting cast. But where is that next great player going to come from? The stands? It worked in football with Steve Aponavicius but I doubt there are any athletic 6'8" guys walking around campus that Skinner hasn't already worked out.
If I absolutely must blame someone, who am I blaming? I'll blame Skinner for not getting some better recruits in here and finding a second offensive player; a player to go with Rice while Rice was still here and a player who could now complement Reggie Jackson.