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Boston College Vs. Duke A Wasted Opportunity? And The Big Finish

February 19, 2012; Chestnut Hill, MA, USA; Boston College Eagles guard Jordan Daniels (10) during the first half against the Duke Blue Devils at Conte Forum. Duke won 75-50. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
February 19, 2012; Chestnut Hill, MA, USA; Boston College Eagles guard Jordan Daniels (10) during the first half against the Duke Blue Devils at Conte Forum. Duke won 75-50. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Brian: Personally, I wasn't very impressed by Eagles basketball last Sunday night against Duke. Yes, the Eagles only lost by 25 points to a Top 5 program, but it was the way BC lost that bothers me.

At this point in the season, nearly 30 games into the year, going through a 9+ minute scoring drought and a 14+ minute field goal drought isn't going to cut it in the ACC. All freshmen or not. Top five, National Championship-calibre opponent or not. It would be one thing if this was an isolated incident, but BC has had a tendency this year to disappear for LONG stretches of games. While its true that Duke is a great defensive program, BC had more much success against similarly defensive-minded teams in Virginia and Florida State. Second, the game was statistically over with more than 7 minutes remaining in the second half. And finally, the Eagles nearly the entire game with just three players getting in on the scoring -- Ryan Anderson, Matt Humphrey and Jordan Daniels. The lack of depth on this team was on full display on Sunday night.

To me, the game against Duke felt like a step in the wrong direction this season, and a wasted opportunity to gain more support and fans for the program going forward.

I know some readers and commenters were disappointed that while the Duke game sold out, we likely won't see those fans inside Conte Forum again until BC plays Carolina, Duke or Syracuse at home next year. But really, can you blame them? College basketball is entertainment, and in a city filled with other entertainment options, the product BC is putting on the court is simply not going to draw big crowds. It's going to take significantly more success to bring crowds the size of the ones BC enjoyed in 2004-06.

Is there anything BC can do -- aside from winning more frequently -- to put more butts in seats at Conte Forum for hoops? With only one final home game against Georgia Tech, it's definitely too little, too late for this year. But is there anything else BC can do to improve basketball attendance next year? Your thoughts?

Jeff: There was nothing Sunday night to get excited about, I agree with that. But what was there to be disappointed about. This team had given you no reason this season to make you believe that they would be competitive with Duke. I was hoping that BC would have kept it close longer, but with the lack of talent in the bottom half of the ACC this season and BC's resulting record, there was no disappointment or surprise Sunday night.

I was happy though that Ryan Anderson continues to show that he is improving and is going to be a huge part of any success we have in the coming years. Clifford got in foul trouble early so he only played 20 minutes. Before his second foul early in the first half is when BC was having more success. Clifford is the man we can least afford to have on the bench because the dropoff between him and the next guy is the largest of any of our starters.

Attendance is of course going to be an issue when you are in the middle of a season that the team was expected to finish last in the league and has basically played to that prediction. BC will have higher expectations next year which should help attendance some. But I was actually encourages that BC sold out the Harvard game this season in addition to the Duke game. BC had won 3 straight games, Harvard was in the top 25 and of course is a local team but I think that showed that our fans are paying attention and do want this team to be better. Attendance is not something I am worried about at this point given how we are playing and given the struggles other teams are having with attendance around the league that typically have superior attendance stats to BC.

So basically, I can't honestly say I'm disappointed with anything this team has done since beginning ACC play. Next week though, if BC loses to Georgia Tech I will be very disappointed. Georgia Tech is really struggling and only scored 37 points against their rival Clemson at home. And speaking of attendance problems, Georgia Tech only drew 5,412 with quite a few people wearing orange in the stands last night for their home game. There is no reason for BC to not at least be competitive Sunday at Wake Forest and to beat Georgia Tech next week. If they finish with 4 or 5 ACC wins then there is no way to call this season a disappointment.

BC just needs to win more to have better attendance at Conte. Also, it wouldn't hurt if the quality of the ACC as a whole got a little better next season. BC fans will show up when a great opponent walks in the building of course, but they'll continue to show if BC is a little more competitive. Right now, even die hard fans are not paying too close attention to what the Eagles are doing against most ACC opponents because there is no hope of any post-season play, and there has not been for a while.

Big Finish

Brian: Turns out you can go home again. Temple to the Big East? Your thoughts?

Jeff: I'll think about it once the Big East settles down adding teams.

Jeff: BCS officials met this week in Dallas, when will we see a change?

Brian: I think we'll hear what the new format is before the 2012 season starts. Likely a four-team playoff.

Brian: Local product, Everett OT John Montelus, recently received offers from Nebraska and Ohio State. Any chance BC can keep Montelus local?

Jeff: Hopefully his mommy wants to keep him closer to home.

Jeff: Boston College hockey is #2, feels little overrated. Agree?

Brian: Disagree. BC is arguably the hottest team in the country right now.

Brian: Strange that 4 of the 5 combined wins for BC men's and women's hoops have come against Clemson and Virginia Tech. So the Florida State women should be on upset alert in the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament?

Jeff: You might as well give a bye to the Lady Eagles.

Jeff: The best part of watching the Duke game for me was seeing that while Rivers leads all ACC freshman in scoring, the top five is rounded out with all Eagles. Thoughts?

Brian: I also got a laugh from seeing that graphic.

Brian: Last one. The Eagles are in Winston-Salem tomorrow. Does BC avenge its loss to Wake Forest from earlier in the year? Score?

Jeff: BC loses a close one 63-59.