The Eagles dropped three games in California. Let's look at what went right and what went wrong.
What Went Right
- Compete level vs. Michigan State: Look, the Boston College Eagles were never going to beat the Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans were No. 3 in the country going into the game, they have one of the best players in the country in Denzel Valentine. BC simply could not compete with that. What they could have done is play with energy and perseverance, and they did just that. Can't ask for much more than that. (Don't worry, I will)
- Eli Carter: Carter needs to work on slow starts, but when he heats up he can be very dangerous. He put in three solid second halves scoring-wise during the tournament. If he gets a full 40 minutes in, he can keep BC in games.
- Idy Diallo's first half vs. Michigan State: I always viewed Idy Diallo as someone who, with work, could become a solid contributor. We caught a glimpse of what he could do in the first half. He was well disciplined, only taking one foul, and he played aggressively. He wasn't perfect, but he is showing signs of improvement.
What Went Wrong
- The second half vs. Michigan State for big men: Dennis Clifford and Idy Diallo both took three fouls in the second half against Michigan State. I'm getting less concerned about foul trouble for BC's big men (or at least it is getting lower on my list of concerns for BC's big men), especially with Johncarlos Reyes looking like a solid option. However, having two bigs in foul trouble is a concern.
- Second chance points/rebounding: I would like to see BC convert on second chance opportunities more frequently. Of course, that would mean winning the rebounding battles, which BC did not in all three games.
- Losing to Santa Clara: I've intentionally left most references to Sunday evening's game out up until this point, because this performance deserves its own point. BC's performance against a winless Santa Clara Broncos team was inexcusable. A Power 5 team cannot lose to a winless WCC team, let alone get blown out. But it goes further. BC looked listless, and never got into a rhythm in the game. They got out-rebounded by a smaller team that historically doesn't dominate the boards. The worst part was shooting from the field. The Eagles shot a ghastly 21.21% from the field in the first half, and the Eagles closed out the last 5:58 of the first half without getting a single point. Even with a team that is rebuilding, a game like this cannot happen. The games against Michigan State or teams of comparable stature in the first half of the schedule can be acceptable losses because BC simply isn't at the level where beating Michigan State should be expected. Games against the Santa Clara's of the schedule need to be wins. If they aren't wins, the team is regressing, to say nothing of the team's performance Sunday evening. This needs to be a game the team remembers and builds from.