Befuddled. Bamboozled. Flat out speechless. I really do not know what to say about this team. After showing much promise through their first two games, the Eagles seemingly fell flat on their faces this time out dropping their second game of the season to the Red Storm.
The Eagles appeared to dominate the pace in the early minutes but the second they gave away the lead to St. John’s, the Red Storm turned into an absolute category 5 hurricane. As mentioned, the first few minutes proved the most promising for the Eagles. They were setting the pace, keeping control of the game, and again flashing zone defense that left St. John’s a little confused. CJ Felder was doing his thing down low finishing some nice put backs and rattling the rim with a few dunks. However, SJU coach Mike Anderson did exactly what any good coach would do, he adjusted. While it looked like BC was going to run the Red Storm out of the building early, SJU matched BC’s fast pace and dominated the transition game and capitalized on BC turnovers. They eventually found themselves on a 14-5 run with Freshman Posh Alexander shooting perfect from the floor. It almost appeared as though Coach Christian told his team to focus so heavily on Vince Cole that he forgot to scout the other four players on the court for SJU. Specifically, BC could not have any answer for Julian Champagnie who was an absolute stud in his debut game for the Red Storm where he finished with 29 points and 9 boards.
Overall, the first half was well dominated by the Red Storm in pretty much every aspect of the stat sheet. They shot 55.3% from the field, 44% 3FG, and committed only 5 turnovers compared to BC’s 9. A lot of that was in reaction to Coach Anderson’s idea to take the tempo of the game back by putting in a full court press early, trapping the guards Heath, Tabbs and Kelly and picking apart Christian’s 3-2 zone. Christian, once again, simply was outcoached.
The Second half carried more of the same with SJU going on run-after-run with BC failing to really play with any sense of urgency until around the four minute mark. Not quite sure what took them so long to play with some heart. Maybe it was being down by 20 at one point, not really sure. Either way, I will give credit to the Eagles in the sense that they made this seem like a closely fought battle when for those of us who watched it truly know who the better team was for forty minutes. When it comes to silver linings, I have to give credit to Tabbs who seems like he’s back in the form he was over a year ago as he dropped 23 pts leading all Eagles. I will also give a tip of the cap to CJ Felder who is certainly maturing into a great ACC forward as he had the best game of his young collegiate career finishing with 18 Points and 4 rebounds.
All in all, the stock in this team depreciated quite a bit tonight for me. Overall, it was a tough game to watch and there just are not many positives to draw on for the Eagles coming out of this one. Maybe that is just the pessimist in me speaking, but please feel free to share any positive insights in the comments below to help me get out of this rut.
After a some rescheduling, the Eagles are now set to play the Florida Gators at 9:30 EST this Thursday.