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UMass Lowell 68, Boston College 66: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

BC somehow managed to lose to yet another local team from a smaller conference yaaaaaaaaaaay let's take a look at what went right (not much) and wrong

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Good:

Johncarlos Reyes: Reyes was called upon to play big minutes against UMass Lowell with Dennis Clifford sidelined. Reyes stepped up big time in replacement, registering a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. He was aggressive inside and he showed signs of good things to come. Reyes still needs more strength, but that game demonstrated some potential.

Massachusetts Collegiate Basketball: Look, we'd all love BC to run the state, and the region, athletically. There are some upsides to a state that is strong in terms of its basketball. Strength leads to renewed interest statewide. That's good for BC basketball, probably? I guess?

No Manatee On Scoreboard Sunday Afternoon: I hate that infernal manatee. Come at me.

The Bad

Food Poisoning: Talk about bad luck for Jim Christian. We can talk about how bad the loss was for the program, how it was a referendum on Christian's tenure as BC's coach as much as we want. It is a little bit absurd for him to be faced with losing two players to food poisoning (and one to an ankle sprain). The team was already weak. That setback makes things even more difficult.

Shut Down The Perimeter: I highlighted in my Final Thoughts and Predictions the necessity for BC to shut down the perimeter, especially since UMass Lowell has a degree of success this season from beyond the arc. BC struggled with leaving men open around the arc. The second half was more pronounced than the first in terms of issues, but neither half was particularly good, despite the shooting percentage in the first. The Eagles are getting burned on shots from behind the arc, and it needs to get corrected, and soon.

BC Interruption Basketball Prognosticating:

Perhaps I should stop.

The Ugly

Free Throw Shooting: Shooting 52.2% is absolutely brutal. It is inexcusable. It needs to be corrected. It should also be mentioned, incidentally, that Ervins Meznieks missed two crucial free throws right after UML took the lead. That could have changed the dynamic of the waning moments of the game considerably.

Game Planning Down The Stretch: Matt Milon was fouled with around 5 seconds left on the clock with the Eagles down by three. Milon made the first shot. Then some strategy came into play. Should Milon miss the second and have the Eagles go for the rebound, or should Milon make the second shot, try to force a turnover or foul and take their chances with the fouls hots. Considering the Eagles were a bigger team, had won the rebound battle against a team that struggles with rebounding, and the time left on the clock, the Eagles should have gone for the rebound by putting Reyes into the game, missing the second shot and taking their chances with the rebound? The Eagles did not. Instead, Milon made the free throw, and the Eagles didn't force the turnover, and the game was largely decided. Why, with an obvious rebounding advantage, does Jim Christian not instruct Milon to miss the second free throw, put Reyes in to give the lineup size, and try to go for the rebound? It's not like the second point meant anything.

Second half shooting from the field: 26.5% from the field, 13.3% from beyond the arc. Brutal.