Stop me if you've here this before, but the Boston College Eagles just lost another close game.
BC put their 1-game winning streak on the line on Saturday against the Florida State Seminoles. And they put forth a valiant effort, but once again, came up just short. FSU split a pair of free throws with 5 seconds left and Olivier Hanlan advanced the ball across half-court and found a wide open Ryan Anderson for the potential game-tying three. Anderson's shot skimmed off the front of the rim and the Eagles lost, 69-66.
Once again the NEGNANs are all about freaking out over this loss. HOW DARE BC LOSE A GAME TO A BETTER TEAM ON THE ROAD BY THREE POINTS AND MISS AN OPEN LOOK TO SEND IT TO OVERTIME?
When will the Eagles ever win a close game? You know, besides the one that they just won against Wake Forest.
They're now just 4-8 in games decided by 5 or fewer points. Games that are that close typically end up being won 50/50. It comes down to who gets a lucky bounce or who executes better on a one individual play. So, sure we get tired of these close losses. But they're better than getting blown out. And I can think off of the top of my head about several 50/50 plays in each of those close games that could have gone BC's way and led to a win instead of a loss. This isn't to say that the Eagles have been great down the stretch in close games or that their lack of experience isn't a factor. But often times in sports, I think chance is a bigger factor than we like to admit.
But seriously, BC played pretty well. The defense was pretty solid apart from a few breakdowns. Both teams shot the ball incredibly well from behind the arc and Florida State was virtually flawless from the free throw line when BC really needed to catch a break down the stretch.
Obviously it would have been nice for BC to win this game, but I can't really find too much to complain about. I guess if I really wanted to, I could whine about Danny Rubin playing 3 minutes. But that's dumb and it's missing the point. BC only committed 9 turnovers, held their own on the boards, and didn't stop attacking even when FSU started swatting every shot into the seats. It seemed like the Seminoles (and the announcers) were just waiting for the Eagles to lay down and die. But they didn't -- they fought until the final buzzer. Remember last year when a game like this would have ended up a 14-point loss as BC crumbled with 6 minutes to play? That's progress. Is it a win? No. But it's progress.
Once again, Olivier Hanlan was pretty great. He scored a very efficient 19 points and made the right play on several occasions when his teammates just didn't knock down the shots. As of now, I'm maintaining my stance that Olivier is the best player on this team.
While Ryan Anderson and Joe Rahon seem to be hit or miss in a lot of these games, we've started to see some significant improvements from Patrick Heckmann and Eddie Odio. Heckmann still makes decisions far too slowly for my liking, but he's getting better and his shot seems to be falling now. Odio provides the occasional thunderous dunk and scraps for every hustle play.
So yes, losing sucks. And I'd much rather win games than lose games. But this team played pretty well today and just lost to a better, more experience team on the road. That happens. So I'd urge you not to look at the "L" on the schedule and just assume that this was a total failure.