Steve Donahue

Is it time to give up on Boston College?

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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.

Florida Gulf Coast’s Demetris Morant out 3-4 months

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Florida Gulf Coast redshirt junior forward Demetris Morant is expected to miss the next 3-4 months after undergoing surgery last week to repair a stress fracture in his right shin, the school announced on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 4.5 points, 4.4 blocks and 1.3 blocks per game in 33 appearances (18 starts) for the Eagles during the 2014-15 season.

“This is obviously an unfortunate setback for Demetris, but it was a procedure that needed to be done,” Florida Gulf Coast head coach Dooley said in a statement. “We decided it would be best to have it completed now to hopefully get him back for A-Sun play. It’s an opportunity now for other guys to step up in his absence, and I have confidence they’ll get the job done.”

The Eagles have the top frontline in the Atlantic Sun, one that returns Marc-Eddy Norelia and Filip Cvjeticanin, a 3-point shooter who missed all of last season recovering from back surgery. VCU transfer Antravious Simmons becomes eligible in the second semester.

Florida Gulf Coast begins the 2015-16 season on Nov. 14 against Ohio.

Bill Self on Cheick Diallo: ‘It may be a couple of more weeks’

2015 McDonald's All American Game
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Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.

On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.

“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.

“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.

“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.

For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.

Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.