Laura: So how are you guys feeling about men’s basketball after game one? Has it changed your expectations for the season at all either way?
Curran: Well, the game was much closer than it needed to be. That being said, we were missing Langford and Post, and three freshman played in their first ever collegiate game. So I’m fine with saying that the turnovers, bad shots, and overall sloppiness was probably more first-game-rust and the team needing some time to gel than anything else. I think this team’s ceiling is much higher than last year’s.
Joe: Listen, it’s Cornell, I know. But... we’ve lost to teams we shouldn’t before in nonconference, even during the ‘promising’ seasons. I liked that they overcame the adversity of both having injuries and almost blowing the game in the final minute. I was definitely getting some bad deja vu when they had the bad turnover when they had the ball up by 3 with the chance to salt it away - how many times have we seen them do stuff like that through the years?
Not to fully nerd out, but so many times when I watch BC teams in recent years I think about that concept of fear of success. Tensing up when the opportunity is there to pull one out. They ultimately got it together and made the big play they needed to win. Also, it was great to see Prince Aligbe look like one of the best players on the floor right away in game one (again, I know, it’s Cornell). We’ve had anticipated prospects come in and show flashes of their skillset but seem like longer term projects - whereas Aligbe looks a lot closer to being ready to be a serious contributor right off the bat.
Arthur: A win is a win, and even against lesser teams (like Cornell ought to be), showing grit at the end is a positive. I think it’s definitely encouraging to see.
Joe: If/when they get healthy, they have a number of legitimate weapons. You already saw how valuable it was to have multiple options just on the final shot - Aligbe was not the guy the D was honing in on and that allowed him to get off that shot.
Joe: I’d like to see the team tighten up and get more healthy, but overall I’m satisfied with where they are right now.
Again, not to hone in too much on the mental piece of it, but we saw their season end last year basically by making a boner on the final play and giving up an improbable basket in the other direction. It’s hard for stuff like that not to get in to your head when it seems to happen a lot. BC did show some legit mental toughness through some bumps in the road last year and it was nice to see it on display in game one.
Curran: It’s a good problem to have. BC has better depth, more offensive contributors and hopefully the same defensive mentality as last year’s team. I have some hope for the future
Curran: I wonder what the rotation will look like when we are fully healthy. Post automatically slides to the 5 and Lanford to the 3, so will Aligbe or Bickerstaff start at the 4?
Laura: Who do we think is going to make the bigger impact on returning from injury?
Curran: I think Langford is objectively the better player, but BC really needs Post’s height on the boards and defending the rim. The team struggled with rebounding last night, especially when Bickerstaff was off the floor. Post will help with that, not to mention that he’s more than capable of holding his own on the offensive end.