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Christian Refuses to Use Youth as Crutch

“Youth? We’ve played 7 games. These guys have played a lot of ..."

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In the grand scheme of things last night’s game against Harvard was just another non-conference home game on the schedule in December. However, for some it was a measuring stick to see how Harvard’s new young gun class of Chris Lewis, Seth Towns, Bryce Aiken and Robert Baker stacked up against BC’s young core of sophomore and freshmen players. While Harvard’s freshmen players outperformed BC’s freshmen, one of the reasons for the difference was senior point guard Siyani Chambers, who finished the night with 11 assists and no turnovers. In comparison, the BC freshmen backcourt of Ky Bowman and Ty Graves finished with a 4 assists to 5 turnovers line.

Chambers was a key catalyst early in the game setting up his teammates for open dunks and even some wide open three pointers. Harvard attacked BC with ball screens early and often, which Chambers turned into 5 assists in the first 10:30 to put his team ahead by 14. The lead got all the way up to 18 points from there and BC just wasn’t able to chip away at the deficit.

"They killed us at the point of the ball screen," said BC coach Jim Christian. "That was a huge emphasis for us going in and we did an awful job the entire night. We just let them turn the corner."

Christian went on to explain that his team gambled too much on defense and just didn’t play well particularly in the first half. Christian was asked if the youth of his team played a role in their inability to stop Chambers and his teammates. BC fans can take a little solace that Christian refused to use the youth crutch as a reason to explain why his team didn’t perform well and came out flat.

"Youth? We’ve played 7 games. These guys have played a lot of minutes. Bad defense is bad defense. We just did an awful job," said Christian.

Harvard’s freshmen trio of Lewis, Towns and Aiken weren’t perfect in their performance by any means as they combined for 9 turnovers and 5 assists, which was actually a little worse than the BC freshmen point guards assist to turnover ratio. The difference was that the Harvard trio found ways to contribute by scoring an eye popping 60 of Harvard’s 74 points in the game. Towns and Aiken combined to hit 5 three’s on only 9 attempts.

Along with the break downs on defense Christian was also discouraged by the amount of turnovers by his club. Asked if the rate that the team is turning the ball over is alarming, Christian didn’t hold back anything.

"It’s very alarming. We are averaging 15+ turnovers a game. They are all silly turnovers. They aren’t forced turnovers or great defensive plays. We are just throwing the ball one-handed lazy passes," said Christian.

The turnovers were such an issue that Christian had to move Jerome Robinson to the point for long stretches in the 2nd half. Christian acknowledged it was out of necessity because of the high turnover rate. The BC coach said that he thinks it was just an off night for Graves and Bowman and isn’t worried about them.

Robinson more than held up his end of the bargain last night scoring 25 points to go along with 6 assists. A.J. Turner helped him out a little with 13 points, but his defensive lapses in the first half were not what the BC coaches have come to expect from the team’s best wing defender. It’s clear that the Eagles are going to need to get more than just production from Robinson as the schedule starts to beef up this month.