BC went 1-1 this week, losing to preseason no. 1 UNC 72-64 before completing the season sweep over Notre Dame with a 84-72 victory. It was a relatively steady week for a team that really needs some consistency.
BC’s guards biting on pump fakes. I briefly mentioned this last week. BC is a defense-first team, and there is no question that the Eagles play hard and give the effort on defense. However, it is sometimes too much. Jaeden Zackery, DeMarr Langford Jr., and Makai Ashton-Langford play the vast majority of the minutes in Grant’s backcourt. The Langford brothers are two of the best pure athletes on the team, and Zackery is a dogged on-ball guard. But all three bite way too hard and way too often on pump fakes from beyond the arc. I mean like fully jumping, arms outstretched, total commitment to contesting a shot – that ultimately does not come. It happens multiple times a game, and the end result is never good for BC – it either creates a wide-open look for the opponent from 3, or it creates a mismatch 3-on-2 in the paint that leads to a layup. It is a simple thing that can definitely be rectified, and it needs to be. BC does not have the shooting to make large comebacks, so every missed shot or turnover they can force is critical against elite ACC teams like UNC or Miami (UNC might not be elite but they definitely have the talent).
Lazy and forced entry passes. Quinten Post had himself a week, and I will talk about that later. But in order for him to go to work, he has to get the ball. Boston College is not good at that. Against Notre Dame alone – who fields a very small team – BC must have committed 3-5 turnovers on forcing entry passes to Post (or any other BC big). ND realized quickly that Post could dominate against any defender 1-on-1 in the post, and so they countered by doubling or threatening to double him on the entry pass. Yet the amount of times BC passed around the perimeter, uncreatively waiting for an entry pass to materialize, was very frustrating. If the pass is not there, BC guards need to learn to not force it – when we do not make a three pointer in an entire game, any and all empty possessions are not good for BC. I think Grant could be more creative in finding ways to get Post the ball, and BC’s guards need to play smarter. Feed Post, but do it smartly.
Quinten Post’s offense. Now, once Post gets the ball, this week was a big reminder of what he can do with it. He poured in 17 points against UNC while battling with Armando Bacot all night, then dropped a career-high 29 against ND. He can shoot the three ball (he hit 4 threes against ND), he has nice footwork in the paint, and he also shows (limited) flashes of being able to put it on the deck and drive to the rack. On the season, he’s averaging 14.3 points and 6.4 boards while shooting 58.2% from the floor. I’ve talked a lot about how BC’s defense tends to struggle with Post on the floor, but his offense is absolutely critical. He offers a consistent outlet for offense – when a play breaks down, he is able to go and get a bucket when he’s 1-on-1 in the paint.
When Langford looks for his offense. He does not do it often, but an aggressive DeMarr is one that generally helps the Eagle’s offense. I will preface this by saying I think he occasionally forces a drive too much, and ends up stranded without his dribble against two defenders in the post. But he was in attack mode in the second half of the Miami game, and since then there have been spurts of DeMarr looking to be aggressive. He is silky from the midrange, and in the pick and roll he can find his spot and make shots. Last season, I saw way more Langford fadeaways and midrange jumpers, but he has severely reduced those shots in favor of trying to get to the rack more. He is not decisive enough, and not good enough of a ball handler, to consistently win 1-on-1 when he’s driving to the basket. That is when he runs into trouble. I want to see DeMarr look for the shots he can make more often, because he can add so much more to the BC offense.
That’s all for this week. As always, Roll Eags.