Hey everyone, I know my name may be a little odd for this site as I'm sure no one else on this planet roots for both BC and the Detroit Lions (I know all about heartbreak) but there's one of every kind, huh? Well I am about as diehard as they come (especially for not being BC alumni) when it comes to BC hoops.
I started watching BC basketball in the early 2000's with a relative who was from Massachusetts and lived and breathed NE sports. Living in Maryland at the time, I became intrigued by how Big East basketball was played in comparison to ACC style play. Watching hard screens that left Troy Bell open to drill a 3 or drive to the hoop made me fell in love with BC hoops and their style of play. As the mid 2000's approached, BC was thriving in both football and basketball and I loved it. When the Eagles joined the ACC in 2005 I was very interested in how they would line up against some of the nations best programs. In that season, the Eagles took down both UNC and Duke, and punished them physically in the process. Even in the 2006 ACC tourney final loss to JJ Reddick and Duke, BC showed promise and that they were going to be contenders in this league for years to come under the architect behind it all, coach Al Skinner. The way the team came out as the "bad guys from the northeast" and threw around these southern ACC teams made me embrace the attitude this basketball team was taking to under guys like Jared Dudley, Sean Marshall, and Tyrese Rice.
Then it all came to an end in 2010 after the young squad failed to make an NCAA tourney appearance for the 2nd time in 4 years. Al Skinner was fired, and with it went his flex offense that allowed fundamental basketball to be played in a small closet if need be. Some were happy Al was gone, others like myself were not. Many on this site were happy, as I did some research and found this BC Interruption FanPost posted right after the 2010 firing of Skinner.
I recommend everyone reread this or read it for the first time, as it is funny to hear how ridiculous a lot of us Superfans sound in hindsight.
Gene DeFilippo stated that he thought we fans deserved a more "exciting brand of basketball" and kicked 7 NCAA tournament appearances and coach Skinner's legacy to the curb. I find it ironic in this article that this fan base is called out for being "fair-weather" when the BCI community member and author of this article is no longer contributing to this site.
I do not know what the real reason for Al Skinner being fired was. But its apparent that GDF didn't like the style of basketball the team was playing and didn't like the culture surrounding it. For a program that was recruiting diamond-in-the-rough inner city kids (mostly African American), it sure does seem odd that the next guy brought in nothing but Ivy League type kids (mostly white), except for a few standout players like Olivier Hanlan, Ryan Anderson, and Joe Rahon.
Whether race was apart of the decision to fire Al Skinner or not, many of us have been frustarated with the way things have been in this program since his tenure ended. I have been around many coaches throughout my life and I see a common pattern: when a program has wronged a coach, the program eventually suffers.
Boston College basketball has suffered worse than any other ACC program since Skinner's dismissal. Even though I'm confident that Jim Christian will turn this program around, this program is going to continue to suffer from the Steve Donahue era for a while, or is it suffering from the karma of firing Al Skinner? We may never know.
All I'm here to say is that despite GDF saying our fans deserved a more exciting brand of basketball, I just want to state that Al Skinner's brand of tough hard-nosed play is what drew me in to being a Superfan hundreds of miles away from campus. I'm hoping Jim Christian can bring back a similar attitude to this program.