By Eric Hoffses
BC fans knew going into this season that there would be nights like the one last night at the Carrier Dome where the team would look really bad. It’s one thing to say it and another night to watch it though. The BC offense against Syracuse was literally as bad as it has been in this millennium, with the point total being the lowest number since the 99-00 team scored 40 points in a 45-40 loss at Providence in Troy Bell’s freshman season.
One of the most frustrating parts for BC fans right now is watching this team play through funks that they seem to sink into on the offensive end of the court. The problem seems to be a lack of aggressiveness combined with a love for shooting three pointers, which statistics back up.
According to KenPom.com, 34% of BC’s points come from three pointers, which puts the team in the top quarter nationally in that category. The problem is that BC shoots only 32.4% from beyond the arc, which ranks in the bottom half nationally in that category. It’s a good chunk of the reason why BC’s offensive efficiency is the worst of any Power 5 team in the country and puts them in the bottom 25 nationally along with programs like UT Rio Grande Valley, Savannah State and Prairie View.
Does this mean that the freshman class stinks or that Jim Christian forgot to coach? Of course not. But it does mean that the offense has to recalibrate and get back to what makes it run efficiently.
It starts with point guard Eli Carter who gets a little too comfortable shooting the three ball at times, as is evident by his 101 three point attempts which is 35% more attempts than anyone else on the team. The bad thing about the number of attempts is that Eli is shooting only 30% from beyond the arc this year and 31.9% in his career. While Carter isn’t the best at outside shooting he is really good at using his solid frame and getting into the lane. All during fall camp I watched Carter weave his way into the defense and either create contact and draw a foul or put up a little floater in the lane. I’m not sure why Carter has gotten away from that but if he chose to drive more instead of shooting threes I think his points per game and overall efficiency would go up.
Carter is first on the team in three point attempts and he is followed by A.J. Turner, who is second on the team in three point attempts. Like Carter, Turner would do wonders for his game if he could gain the confidence to be more aggressive and attack the rim. As a prep star at New Hampton, Turner gained notoriety for his ability to handle the ball from the wing and score or setup open teammates off a drive. For whatever reason---most likely a lack a confidence--- Turner isn’t doing that and as a result 65% of his field goal attempts have been three pointers.
This isn’t meant to single out these two players or anything; it’s actually quite the opposite. Next to Jerome Robinson, Carter and Turner are the best on the roster at being able to attack off of the dribble and get into the lane. The Eagles are going to need at least one of these players to start doing this in order to get out of the ACC basement in the points per game category.
Eric Hoffses is a contributor for BCI. Follow him on Twitter at @EAHoffses
Eric can also be reached at EricHoffses@Gmail.com