RIVALRY RENEWED! Friday night's game against Providence was easily the Eagles best played and most intense game of the season. The crowd was into it from the tip, which was a nice change, and gave the Eagles a noticeable boost as they upset the Friars and snagged their second quality win so far this year. Below are three ups and three downs from Friday night's match-up:
1) The Crowd
A huge shout-out has to go to all the fans that showed up to Conte Forum on Friday night. Granted, it wasn't a sell out, but this one had the feel of an old school Big East tournament game. I would use the old saying, "quality not quantity", as the fans that did show up gave the Eagles a clear home court advantage, something that has been missing over the last couple of years. Keep it up superfans.
2) Containing LaDontae Henton
Containing might not be the right word. How about...shutting him down. The Eagles, led by Patrick Heckman, were all over the Friars leading scorer from the tip. Coming into the game averaging just over 21 points, Henton managed only 9 on an abysmal 4 of 16 shooting. BC played incredibly physically against Henton and simply didn't let him get comfortable. If BC can continue to shut down opposing teams number one options then they should find themselves competitive in plenty of games this season.
For the first time since Jared Dudley left the Heights, I witnessed a team that wasn't going to take crap from anyone, even if that person is the opposing team's Head Coach. I cannot tell you how pumped up I got to see Olivier Hanlan respond to Ed Cooley midway through the second half. While it's probably not a good idea to engage with a Head Coach in the future, it's just what the Eagles needed Friday night to show the Friars that they weren't just going to roll over and give them the game. Hat tip to Olivier for showing some heart and firing up his team. A little tip to Mr. Cooley...stay on your sideline.
1) Free Throws
It didn't hurt us tonight, but it has hurt us in the past and it will hurt us in the future. BC shot an embarrassing 16 of 28 from the charity stripe for 57%. Numbers like those simply aren't going to cut it. If BC hopes to keep winning games and become competitive in the ACC then they're going to have to make the freebies. They're called freebies for a reason.
2) Post D
The beginning of the game saw Providence feed the ball into the post repeatedly and come away with easy buckets time after time. BC's defense made Providence forward Carson Desrosiers look like an All-Big East selection throughout the game. Desrosiers had his way in the paint in the first half, posting up or slipping underneath for an easy dunk. Granted this might have been due to the amount of focus the Eagles defense was putting on LaDontae Henton, but there is no reason Desrosiers should be putting up the numbers he did. Against teams like Duke, Virginia, and Louisville, post defense like this will get us in trouble...quickly.
3) Magarity Going Rogue
I'm assuming that Jim Christian mentioned something to the Sweedish big man, because after his second first half turnover, he began to settle down and play the game we are all accustomed to. However, before this theoretical conversation with coach Christian, Magarity was trying to do way to much with skills he simply doesn't have. On two separate occasions Magarity got the ball on the perimeter, looked to pass, and when he didn't see anyone open he tried to take it to the rack himself with different types of spin moves and crossovers. Needless to say both drives ended with turnovers and quick Providence buckets. That being said, Magarity played a solid game, especially in the second half, and began playing his game after a lapse of judgement.
Overall, I. AM. FIRED. UP. The Eagles played great Friday night, and for the first time all season, they put together 2 solid halves of basketball. The result of this solid play? A convincing win over a NCAA Tournament caliber team. The Eagles have four more home games before they open up ACC play at the ruthless Cameron Indoor Stadium to play the Dukies. The upcoming schedule features games against Maine, Binghampton, Southern Cal, and UMass-Lowell, all of which should be wins. I look for BC to be riding a 6 game win streak when they head to Durham, and with that type of momentum, who knows? Maybe they steal a win. Lol.