Steve Donahue

Is it time to give up on Boston College?

Leave a comment

Boston College lost this afternoon to Auburn, 77-67. Auburn isn’t a very good basketball team, and it is safe to say that Boston College isn’t a good team, either. Many seemed to hold out hope that the Eagles would figure it out as the non-conference schedule moved along, but they haven’t. Not even close.

The difference between these two teams is that Auburn’s expectations were low heading into the season, Boston College’s were not. In fact, many thought that the Eagles were primed to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Al Skinner was the coach, and had the talent to make some noise in the ACC.

Steve Donahue is in his fourth year at BC. He has his players and his offensive system in place. Yet, none of that has translated to results. After today’s loss to Auburn — their worst of the season, by far — BC is now 4-8 on the season. They haven’t beaten a Division 1 team since November 26th against Sacred Heart in overtime.

Against the Tigers, they trailed 37-24 at the half and never were able to recover. The story all season has been the much maligned defense, which is among the worst in the country. Steve Donahue coached teams are seemingly always offensive juggernauts, dating back to his years at Cornell, but the defense leaves much to be desired.

Entering today’s game, BC had a defensive efficiency ranked 303rd by Ken Pomeroy. They are allowing the opposition to shoot 40% 3PT and 50.8% 2PT. Auburn’s shooting numbers held true to the aforementioned percentages in today’s game: 45.5% 3PT and 50% 2PT. Regardless of how strong their offense is, they will struggle if they continue to be allergic to playing defense.

Ultimately, the question becomes: Are Boston College’s issues, especially on the defensive end, a scheme or personnel problem?

They have talented players. Ryan Anderson and Olivier Hanlan are two of the ACC’s best. Yet, given Donahue’s track-record of trotting out poor defensive teams, one has to assume this is schematic. Those talented two aside, it’s hard to see Boston College turn things around when ACC play begins. Perhaps they were over-hyped in the preseason and simply are not the team many believed.

Until they get better on the defensive end, they are going nowhere.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: Buddy Hield isn’t going anywhere

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) drives to the basket as LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
Leave a comment

It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.

And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.

The rest of the top 10?

They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: