If you, like me, were stealing glances at the score of this game online from work this afternoon, then you are probably digesting the game tape tonight along with your dinner. Here are a few quick takes I had from my DVR rewatch.
- Solid bench minutes
Let’s take a look. Vin Baker Jr.: 11 minutes, 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks. Johncarlos Reyes: 8 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds. Ervins Meznieks: 3 minutes, 2 rebounds, 1 assist. First of all, can we start calling Mez “Larzarus”? It’s nice to see Jim Christian reward his solid performance against Florida State with some playing time in the tournament after being relegated to the very end of the bench all season. Second, the stat line that sticks out to me most is just 1 turnover in 22 bench minutes. Having a handful of bench players who can provide solid minutes without being a liabaility are a MUST for this team in the back-to-back-to-(hopefully)back games of tournament play. With Luka Kraljevic out, this trio is basically it for the forseeable future. Today, they looked decent.
I did not expect Nik Popovic to go off for 20 points when he matched up against All-ACC defensive player Ben Lammers. Popovic frequently found himself open down low with Robinson and Bowman drawing extra defensive attention and he took advantage. There have been nights this season when Pop was in the same situation and could not handle passes, turned the ball over on dribbling violations, or missed layups. It was great to see him take advantage of offensive opportunities today. He will need more of this tomorrow as there is no reason to believe the Wolfpack won’t concentrate their defensive efforts on the BC guards.
13 turnovers from Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson. Bowman was driving and scoring at will this afternoon and was a valuable rebounder as always. However, unforced turnovers from sloppy passes will not cut it if BC is going to keep advancing in this tournament, especially from this team’s two leaders. The full court press from Georgia Tech also pressured the Eagles into turnovers during inbounds plays at the end of the second half. This has been an issue for BC that teams are increasingly taking advantage of. The first game of tournament game is a time for getting nerves out of the way, and hopefully the unforced turnovers were a function of nerves.
4. BC was the better team
Sure, they had a chance to put the Yellow Jackets away in the second half and let them hang around for a late push. But a late push from an ACC team playing for their postseason lives is to be expected. BC looked in control for most of the game. Georgia Tech never led. Even during their final minutes’ push, Georgia Tech never pulled closer than three possessions. BC took care of business and most likely secured an NIT bid with this win. They live to play another day and will take on NC State at 2:00 tomorrow on ESPN.