As the losses continue to mount, frustrations grow among the Boston College basketball fan base. I guess I should be comforted by the fact that there is any reaction at all at this point. Sure, it sucks to watch the team play top teams close for 30 minutes only to have it all fall apart over the game's "fourth" quarter. And yes, it sucks to lose to Syracuse. Believe me. I care wayyy too much about the Orange Eagle trophy—probably more than is deemed healthy.
I get all that. Still, the reactions following every BC loss are no less confusing.
Let me let you in on a little secret: This team is not very good. That's not meant as a knock on the players. But it's painfully apparent that this team, as presently constituted, is neither talented nor deep enough to string together a bunch of wins in ACC play. The quicker folks come to terms with this, the easier these remaining 8+ games will be for all of us.
So, assuming this team is not staging the greatest college basketball rope-a-dope in NCAA history by running the table and cutting down the nets at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Boston College basketball is going to lose another game this season. To help you cope with that future loss, I've compiled a list of measured and rational responses to all your post-BC loss hot sports takes. Here goes:
This coach was a poor choice.
Well, Jim Christian may or may not pan out for BC in the end. But I'm not sure how you can reach this conclusion after the first 23 games, while Christian is rocking a roster that includes Olivier Hanlan, a pair of 5th year graduate transfers (who Christian brought in, by the way), duct tape and chewing gum.
I am getting tired of the rebuilding process. No one can tell me that it takes this long to rebuild a basketball program.
The rebuilding wasn't going according to plan under Donahue. When a rebuild doesn't go according to plan, programs typically fire that coach and turn to another guy to get it done. And when that happens, the "shot clock" on the rebuilding process resets. This rebuild is 23 games young, not five years old.
So, yes, I can confidently say rebuilding a basketball program takes longer than 23 games.
The recruiting is disgraceful and has to get better in the coming years. The talent gap is grossly obvious at this point.
Yes, the gap in talent is indeed obvious at this point. That's why Steve Donahue is no longer gainfully employed on the Heights. Plus, as maddening and inconsistent as Aaron Brown and Dimitri Batten's play has been at times, can you imagine this year without those players? Both guys Christian brought in, Addazio-style, to plug the roster. I'd argue BC would be in even worse shape this year without these two.
Still, there is simply no overnight fix here. Christian's one high school recruit, Idy Diallo, tore his meniscus in the preseason and will miss the entire year. More help is on the way, but this is gonna take years, not days, to build back up.
Terrence Mann, Josh Sharma, Donovan Mitchell, Aaron Falzon, Tyler Lydon, Jeremy Miller, Alex Illikainen—the list of local players the staff couldn't close on.
Gotta crawl before you can walk. It's going to take time to rebuild relationships in the Northeast after years of neglect on the part of the previous staff. If I'm a 17-year-old kid from the area that's good at basketball, I'm probably not coming to BC either at this point.
For a program that currently enjoys little fan support and hasn't been to the NCAA Tournament going on six seasons now, I think it a tad unrealistic to expect the new staff to win head-to-head recruiting battles with Louisville, Stanford, Florida State, Syracuse and Wisconsin, among others. This program needs impact players, but early on it's gonna have to be more of the under-the-radar / diamond-in-the-rough type players getting it done for BC.
Glad we banked those [# of timeouts remaining] timeouts in [insert game here].
I can assure you the root cause of what ails this program is much more straightforward than Jim Christian's clock management issues.
Ugly uniforms, ugly loss.
I don't know. I thought the uniforms looked pretty slick, though grey wouldn't have been my first, second or third choice. If you want to be upset with BC for forgetting an immutable law of sports: NEVER WEAR ALTERNATE UNIFORMS, well, you have a point.
Disappointed to see how empty Conte Forum is / disappointed to see the number of opposing fans in the building / and/or other attendance gripes.
Look, does it bother me that Conte Forum is always half empty for BC games? Sure. Are we past the point where Conte Forum attendance gripes are:
And yet, nearly every home game there's some crack about Conte Forum attendance, presumably during a fit of temporary amnesia when we forget that this program has been BAD-TO-EXTREMELY-BAD for more than half a decade now. OF COURSE fans are gonna stay away with a team rocking a .353 winning percentage over the last four seasons, a program well on its way to its fourth straight sub-.500 season and one that hasn't sniffed a postseason tournament game in four years.
The on-court product has to improve if fans are going to start responding at the gate. Don't get pissed at BC students and season ticket holders for being completely rational economic actors. Get pissed that the basketball team has been so bad for this long (though I'm not sure how you should direct this anger as the individuals primarily responsible for the program downturn are no longer involved).
BC went through this very cycle starting in 1999-00 / 2000-01 and leading into some strong attendance years in the mid-2000s. As the team starts winning, attendance will improve. It's never, ever the other way around, so let's shelve the poor home attendance discussion for a few years more.