If I were the coach, there would not be much looking at game film or talking about this game. After the post game press conference, I would just move on. I don't know what Jim Christian and staff would see from this game that would make a future impact other than that their team played awful and so did Pitt. Even the refs didn't have a good game. BC shot their first free throws of the game well into the second half and Heckmann's drive at the end of regulation certainly could have sent him to the line when he got mugged at the rim.
BC did one thing well last night: free throws. After entering the night shooting less than 70% for the year, BC only missed one free throw. With Pitt missing 4, it could easily have been the difference in a win versus a loss. If you watched the game, there was not one single moment that BC fans should have been real excited about; there wasn't a memorable possession that BC converted or didn't convert except the possessions at the end of regulation and OT. The rest of the game was just an undifferentiable mess of sloppy basketball.
Another slight bright spot: Olivier Hanlan was clearly the best player on the floor last night. He was the leading scorer in the game, nearly the leading rebounder and leading assist man for both teams. Hanlan finished with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. We have known for a long time that Olivier is a great player but so far this year he has often not looked like the best player on the floor. Against Duke, we knew he wasn't going to the best on the floor, so it was nice to see he clearly was in BC's second ACC game. This should give us some hope to steal some ACC wins this season.
With 3 minutes left in the game, Clifford scored his first points with a press break dunk. Clifford not scoring is not going to prevent us from winning any games, but when he takes 6 shots including a layup put to win at the end of regulation, we need him to convert more.
Thanks to the transfers of Batten and Brown, BC has a very experienced team. Clifford has not played full seasons, but he's still been around a while and Heckmann, Hanlan and Odio have gotten serious minutes the last several years. With that sort of experience you don't expect to lose home games against a team that is not terribly talented and played as poorly as Pitt did last night.
The game last night was so extremely sloppy on both sides, but especially on the BC side in the last two minutes of regulatation. With less than a minute left, Batten threw the ball away up 2, giving Pitt an easy layup to tie. Then while holding for the last shot, Clifford misses a gimme layup putback off a Heckmann miss, sending the game to OT.
BC did seem to have an advantage on the defensive end versus Pitt's offense. BC seemed to have more talent and size on the floor than Pitt typically did, and in the brief moments where both teams were not just simply defeating themselves, it seemed that that was where there was an advantage of one team over the other. Combine that with Hanlan being the best player on the floor, BC should have walked away with a victory. However, when BC seemed to need a stop, they rarely got it and when a Hanlan basket would have ended the game in regulation, it didn't happen. BC played a very basic man defense with little switching or wrinkles, so they can easily be exposed in set plays and in key situations if they do not mix it up throughout the season.
Jim Christian did not have a good home ACC debut. We have seen so far that he will be a better recruiter than Donahue, but on the floor, right now there is no way you can say the team is better coached. Signs of good coaching in basketball typically include fundamentals and situational basketball. Pitt destroyed BC in situational basketball last night, which allowed Pitt back in the game and ultimately led to their victory. BC also lead the turnover tally and the eye test would tell you they didn't show even the slightest sign of being fundamentally sound last night. Since we're not playing any freshman, this is not a good sign for Christian so far. But like I said in the open, maybe it's just best to forget this game ever happened and not analyze it at all.
Boston College was a slight underdog in this game and is now 2-0 in ACC play against the spread. Is that reason to celebrate? I don't think so.
Last night was the second loss by one in OT to a team from Pennsylvania in as many weeks. Thanks to scheduling, that streak will mercifully end next week.