Friarblog: First of all, what the heck happened against UMass?
BC Interruption: BC jumped out to a nice 16-8 lead at the beginning of the game, but as the game wore on, the Eagles were simply outmatched by the Minutemen. Not five minutes into the game, UMass effectively shut down the BC offense. Credit to Derek Kellogg and the UMass coaching staff. UMass employed a full-court press and pressured the Eagles for most of the game, forcing an amazing 23 turnovers.
Later on, you could tell BC simply got frustrated. This is an extremely, extremely young team, and after getting a bit frustrated, the Eagles allowed UMass to score at will in the second half. Chaz Williams had his way with the BC defense, netting 16 points and 5 assists. UMass got plenty of open looks in the second half as they wore BC down.
Friarblog: Boston College is obviously a young team in rebuilding mode. Did you see enough good things last season with new coach Steve Donahue that you’re not in complete panic mode over the poor start?
BC Interruption: Two things. First I don’t know if any of the good things achieved last season under Donahue apply this season. Last year’s 1 seed in the NIT and 20+ wins was achieved with Skinner’s team, not Donahue’s. This year we lost seven seniors (including Reggie Jackson to the NBA) and most of our offensive production with it. This season, Donahue is literally starting from scratch.
Which leads me to two, we’re not in complete panic mode yet over the poor start. Eagles fans are going to have to be patient with this team. Progress can’t be measured in wins and losses. Rather it’s going to have to be measured in terms of improvement throughout the year, particularly on defense and in playing a complete 40 minute game (which the Eagles have yet to do this season).
Friarblog: I know we talked about this when the Friars were making this coaching change, but let’s get into it a little more. Why did Boston College pass on Ed Cooley after Skinner was canned, and what were your thoughts with the decision?
BC Interruption: I think the decision ultimately came down to wanting to make a clean break from the Al Skinner era. Personally, I thought that Skinner deserved one more year (last year) before getting canned, but I guess you can only trade on a 2001 Big East Tournament title for so long.
With due respect to Donahue, I may have leaned towards wanting to see Cooley become the next head coach, but I understand the thought process. Donahue was a more proven, more accomplished head coach at the time, and if you couldn’t tell, former Ivy League coaches seem to be all the rage these days.
Donahue now has a clean slate in which to work, and it will be interesting to see what he does with this team over the next few years. If he was able to bring in the right players, things should start to pay off in 2-3 years when all these freshmen are upperclassmen. Only time will tell.
Friarblog: The Friars are excelling this season when getting out in the open court, allowing Vincent Council, Gerard Coleman, and Bryce Cotton to do their thing. How will BC matchup against PC’s quick guards?
BC Interruption: Not well? Gabe Moton will probably be assigned to guard Vincent Council, but this is simply a bad matchup for BC.
Friarblog: I must say, looking at the roster I don’t recognize any players (Thank God that Trapani guy is gone, I feel like he always killed us). Who should the Friars be looking out for?
BC Interruption: Junior Matt Humphrey, a transfer from Oregon, can be effective if he does a better job of distributing the ball and not forcing shots. Also keep an eye on freshmen Ryan Anderson and Patrick Heckmann. Heckmann may be the most complete player on the team. He seems to be the one guy on the team not afraid to make a play. It’s still pretty early but I would argue Heckmann will wind up being BC’s leading scorer and leader when it’s all said and done this season.
Friarblog: If Boston College is going to beat the Friars, they must ___
BC Interruption: Play a 40 minute game. BC hasn’t put together a solid 40 minutes all season. Donahue was quoted as saying that the Eagles played a good 33 minute game against Penn State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Eagles are slowing getting to the point where they can put together a full game, but I’m not sure BC is there yet.
Friarblog: Score Predictions?
BC Interruption: Pain. PC poses a bunch of matchup issues for the Eagles and I don’t like the fact that the game is at the Dunk. I think BC sticks with the Friars for a half before the PC offense wears them down early in the second half. Providence 75, Boston College 58.