Tag Archive | "bc"

Game Recap | bc (5-8, 14-13) 80, Hokies (8-5, 21-6) 60


Box Score

The Virginia Tech Hokies dropped their second straight game, 60-80, on the road to a bad boston college team. Tech played flat and looked defeated from the opening tip. They were never in the game as the eagles bolted out to a quick 7-0 lead and never trailed, leading by double-digits for much of the game.

Jeff Allen was once again in foul trouble, picking up his second less than seven minutes into the game and fouled out with about seven minutes to go in the game. Bottom line, the Hokies couldn’t hit a shot and bc couldn’t miss, especially early on.

Malcolm Delaney and Dorenzo Hudson provided virtually all of the scoring with Delaney getting 21 and Hudson adding 14. Ten of Delaney’s 21 were free throws, where he was a perfect 10-10. Allen was the only other Hokie in double-digit scoring with 10 points.

Tech shot just 31 percent from the field and a paltry 13 percent (2/15) from behind the arc. Meanwhile, the iggles shot better than 50 percent from the field and 44 percent (7/16) from three. Joe Trapani lead bc with 17 points, virtually all of which came in the first half.

This loss is a bad one. In fact, it’s easily their worst loss of the season. And you have to wonder if Sunday’s loss to duke stuck with the team. bc was 4-8 in ACC play and a very weak 13-13 overall.

Now the Hokies have to return home to face a good and dangerous maryland team that could easily hand Tech a third straight loss. With the loss to bc, the Hokie need to win two of their last three games to be in a comfortable position for an NCAA bid.

Posted in 2009-10 Season, Game RecapsComments (0)

Preview | VT (8-4 | 21-5) @ bc (4-8 | 13-13) | Wed, 7 PM | ESPNU


THE SETUP:

This game worries me… a lot.  Many Hokie fans I’ve spoken with just assume Tech is going to beat bc and nc state, then hope we win one of the games against maryland and georgia tech.  But that logic is flawed for a couple of reasons:

  • It is very tough to win on the road in the ACC, with the home teams taking about 70% of the games.
  • The eagles had VT beat in the meeting in Blacksburg, back when VT was just 1-1 in conference.  The Hokies were the beneficiaries of a very controversial jump-ball call with 21 seconds to go (Jeff Allen was touching the basketball and clearly standing out of bounds and the bc player was clearly trying to call a timeout even before that).

So don’t just chalk this one up as a ‘W’ and start preparing for the trash that is maryland.  This game is a ’50/50′ game as one of the Hard Times patrons put it the other night.

That said, if the Hokies can build off that hunger of losing to duke and play with passion and intensity like they have since the game in miami, you have to like the Hokies’ chances.  Actually, I’d like to see VT come out and just shave the eagles bald, just like they did at nc state two weeks ago (not sure what that meant but it sounded good).

And there are some good omens going into the game Wednesday:

  • VT is 8-1 in ACC games not on Sunday and 5-0 on weekdays.  Their only ‘weekday’ loss all season was the game against temple, which was after Friday happy hours had started so I’d call that a weekend game.
  • Tech has won 5 of the last 6 against the eagles.
  • The Hokies are the better team (thanks, Captain Obvious).

THE FIRST MEETING – VT 63, bc 62

Recap | Game FilmPhoto Gallery | Boxscore | The Opposing View

(I rewatched the game) The game in Blacksburg back in mid-January was a classic 2009-10 Hokie slugfest – low scoring and at times, low excitement.  Tech jumped out to a 14-point lead largely due to its ability to create live ball turnovers into fast break points.  By my count, VT had 10 fast break points out of their first 21 points and three of them were on breakaway dunks.  This allowed Tech to build up a 38-24 lead thanks to a 15-3 run late in the first half.  Then Delaney picked up his second foul and had to sit the remaining 3 minutes.  bc shaved the lead down to 9 at the half.

The second half wasn’t any better offensively once Delaney was back in.  The Hokies scored just 4 points between the 3:30 mark of the first half and the 10:30 mark of the second half.  Just 4 points in 13 minutes of play!  By then the lead was gone and it was nip-and-tuck the rest of the way.  Neither team led by more than 4 in the final 10 minutes.  Tech, down 3 with 30 seconds to go, got 2 free throws from Delaney and then the questionable jump-ball call on the baseline.  After draining clock, Victor Davila fumbled the ball away inside (stop me if you’ve seen that before) but Zo Hudson was right there on the right side of the basket to grab the ball and lay it in.

The clock showed 9.2 seconds after the Hudson make but the refs determined the clock had stopped during the possession.  bc was given 5 seconds to try and win the game.  Reggie Jackson dribbled up the court but ran into his own man and Delaney and the ball rolled away to Jeff Allen as the clock ran out.

The game was also very physical with 40 fouls called, 24 on bc.  Coach Greenberg called them the most physical team in the league, which I find hard to believe after the VT/clemson game.

Offense:

VT really had no offense except for fast break points.  Like I said above, half their points early on were off bc turnovers leading to easy buckets.  At the half, bc had over 10 turnovers to just 3 for VT.  The Hokies were not knocking down open looks.  They shot just 39% for the game (32% in the second half).  Davila and Allen missed a couple of really easy shots near the rim (actually, the whole team did).  Tech had way too many misses close in, and were just 2/14 on three-pointers after Delaney hit his first 2 from deep.

In this game Tech needs to be aggressive again and get out in transition.  That is when this offense is at its best.  Hopefully Allen and Davila will do a better job finishing near the rim (if Allen can stay on the floor).  VT didn’t do a great job getting to the line in the last meeting so really attacking the tin will be key (JT Thompson, Hudson, and Delaney).

In the second half VT started taking bad shots and turning the ball over.  All in all, they had a 4 minute scoring drought in the second half, and 13 minutes with just 4 points in the second.  Not good.

When Tech gets out in transition, they MUST take better shots.  All season they have settled for jumpshots on the break when they have numbers.  It almost never goes in.  And when they do drive and dish, they often pass too late where it is an achievement just to get to pull the ball back out.  The Hokies have 1) go at the goal on the run, and 2) either pass it about 10-12 feet from the hoop (not 5 or less), or go up strong and draw a foul.

Defense:

bc shot 53% in the first half yet trailed by 9.  The reason was all those turnovers the Hokies were forcing.  bc was actually getting a lot of good looks from 15-18 feet.  The eagles run a flex offense with 3 or 4 men on the baseline and the Hokies were getting lost in all the screening and movement and not flashing out to pick up open eagles as they went out to the perimeter.  Tech must do a better job of either getting through screens or helping out if you see your man is stuck down in the quagmire on the baseline.  bc was getting nothing in the paint.

The second half wasn’t any better as the eagles shot 57% then.  For the game they hit 55% of their shots.  But they ended up with 20 turnovers and that is what ultimately did them in.  Plus, they grabbed just 4 offensive rebounds as Tech did a great job on the glass when they missed.

The scary thing is they shot 55% and Joe Trapani, their best shooter, was just 2/5 from the field (his lowest number of shot attempts all season).  He only had 6 points for the game.  Tech did a great job not giving him good looks.

The Hokies used a tiny bit of zone in the first meeting and I think that could work since bc is not a good three-point shooting team.  They are 10th in the league in 3-point FG% and 9th in makes.

Starters:

  • F – Joe Trapani – Their best pure shooter and scorer.  Despite being 6’8″, he is not very good with his back to the basket.  Good perimeter shooter (32% on threes) and this year has done a good job of pump faking and then driving.  Likes to face up, not play with his back to the basket.
  • PG – Reggie Jackson – He’s the only guy that can break you down with his handle for the eagles.  He is a good finisher around the hoop, very athletic.  He is second on the team in scoring and assists, and is third in rebounds despite being a point guard.  Not a good 3-point shooter but shoots about 3.5 per game (30% makes).  Used to come off the bench but now starts again and plays 30 minutes.
  • F – Corey Raji – Another guy that does his damage closer in.  Hasn’t made a three all year.  Is just 6’6″ but can get offensive rebounds.  Guard him from 15-feet in and get a body on him on shots.
  • G/F – Rakim Sanders – Despite his size (6’5″ and 230) at the 2-guard spot, he isn’t a good rebounder.  Another average 3-point shooter (30%).  Decent mid-range shooter and he is decent off the drive, just not as good as Jackson as his ballhandling isn’t that great.  Shoots under 40% from the floor and will take bad shots.
  • C – Josh Southern – Just a goon to eat up space inside, not a scorer.  Hasn’t reached 20 minutes in any of the last 8 games.

Bench – Tyler Roche is the X-factor in this game.  He scores just over 7 ppg but has surpassed 30 twice this year, including 31 against wake.  He loves to shoot from the outside.  I said they stink at 3s, and other than him, they do.  He hits 44% of his 70 threes, but even that breaks down to just 1.3 makes per game.  But if he’s hot, look out.  Hope he misses his first shot or two, then he may just disappear (Tyler had just 1 shot and 0 points the game after he went for 31 against wake).

Biko Paris, who was starting at the point, will spell Jackson and other at guard.  He is a very good assist man.  Expect him to dish if he gets into the paint on the drive.

Dallas Elmore had a decent game off the bench in the first meeting but doesn’t play a lot normally – most of his time was due to others’ foul troubles.

Check out the Opposing View article with Brian from BC Interruption (linked above) for more on bc.  That was from before the first meeting.

STARTERS:

Position VIRGINIA TECH bc
Guard 23 Delaney 6’3″ 0 Jackson 6’3″
Guard 5 Hudson 6’5″ 15 Sanders 6’5″
Forward 1 Bell 6’6″ 11 Raji 6’6″
Forward 0 Allen 6’7″ 12 Trapani 6’8″
Center 14 Davila 6’8″ 52 Southern 6’10”

bc STATS:

Pts Reb Ast
Trapani 14.2 6.6 1.4
Jackson 13.5 5.7 4.1
Raji 11.5 6.3 1.0
Sanders 11.2 3.3 2.1
Roche 7.3 2.5 0.7
Paris 5.6 2.1 4.6

VT STATS:

Pts Reb Ast
Delaney 20.2 3.8 4.1
Hudson 14.0 3.6 2.0
Allen 11.3 7.0 1.3
Thompson 7.0 4.5 0.5
Bell 5.8 6.0 1.7
Davila 5.7 4.6 0.3

BORING FACTS ABOUT boston college:

  • Established in 1863
  • Type: Private – Jesuit
  • Undergrad: 9k
  • Postgrad: 4.5k
  • Location: Chestnut Hill (just west of downtown Boston)
  • Mascot: Baldwin the eagle (get it?  Bald eagle… win games… Baldwin)
  • bc participates in the Beanpot Tournament – a hocket tourney of bc, bu, northeastern, and harvard at the Boston Bruins (and Celtics) arena.
  • Their football stadium seats just 44.5k (and they still don’t sell it out for big games and basketball arena seats 8.6k

Famous Alums:

  • Ed McMahon (Yes!)
  • Chris O’Donnell
  • Leonard Nimoy (no relation)
  • Amy Poehler
  • Elisabeth Hasselbeck
  • Tip O’Neill
  • John Kerry
  • Mike Lupica
  • John McLaughlin
  • Bob Ryan
  • Lesley Visser
  • Jared Dudley
  • Bruce Pearl
  • and of course, Doug Flutie – Flutie Hail Mary against miami

Posted in 2009-10 Season, Game Previews, GamesComments (4)

Game Film | VT 63, bc 62 | 1.23.10


Update: The Raycom Sports highlights now have commentary

Here are the highlights of the game courtesy of Raycom Sports (if you are into professional video footage). The highlights play after a quick commercial, just click below to play.

Here are the final five seconds of the boston college at Virginia Tech game that I shot if you like that gritty, fan experience footage. It shows bc’s final possession (well, most of it).


Watch VTvsbc_012310_Ending in Sports |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

[Note: this was my first effort filming with my camera... I won't quit my day job.]

[Note from Cope-acabana: Thank God. Was there an earthquake at the Cassell tonight?]

Posted in 2009-10, 2009-10 Season, HighlightsComments (0)

Game Recap | VT (15-3, 2-2) 63, bc (11-9, 2-4) 62 | 1.23.10


Photo GalleryBoxscore |

Dorenzo Hudson scored on a put back of a Victor Davila mishandled shot attempt with 5.0 seconds remaining to lead Virginia Tech to a thrilling 63-62 victory over boston college in the Cassell. Dorenzo led the Hokies with 18 points and 4 rebounds including the game winner.

Malcolm Delaney struggled offensively but toughed out a 13 point and 4 assist effort, including two huge free throws with 0:22.8 remaining to cut bc’s lead to one, 62-61. Perhaps the unsung hero of this game was Terrell Bell, who scored 11 points, but used his long arms to his advantage and was seemingly in the passing lanes defensively all day. Bell spent a lot of time guarding the eagles leading scorer Joe Trapani and held him to just 6 points.

Virginia Tech came out strong in this one and as Seth Greenberg would say afterwards, they were “seeing a big basket” early on. Malcolm hit his first two 3-pointers and had a nifty pass in transition to Bell for a two handed rim rocker that juiced up the capacity Cassell crowd.

This was a very physical game from the outset. The Hokies came out in a man defense and, led by T. Bell and Jeff Allen, the Hokies quick hands frustrated the eagles for much of the first half. Tech scored 16 points off 11 bc turnovers in the first half, en route to a 38-29 lead at the break, and for the game they forced the eagles into a season high 20 giveaways.

The Hokies led by as many as 14 points in the first half, 38-24 with around 3:00 to go before halftime, and seemed to be cruising to an easy win to the delight of the home crowd. But from there, bc used a 5-0 run over the rest of half, much of it with Delaney resting on the bench, to cut the Hokie lead to nine at the break.

Tech came out ice cold to start the second half, as boston college outscored the Hokies 14-4 coming out of the locker room and took their first lead 43-42 with just under 13:00 to go. The eagles were led during this stretch by reserve Dallas Elmore – who came into to game averaging only 3.3 points in 14 minutes – who had 10 points and frustrated Delaney on the defensive end.

The game was back and forth the rest of the way with neither team leading by more than four points, that being when the Hokies’ Allen connected on a jump hook in the lane off a deflection to take a 55-51 lead with just over four minutes to go. bc sixth man Reggie Jackson hit a step back 3-pointer just before the under four media timeout to cut Tech’s lead to 55-54. After the timeout, the eagles edged back in front with a Trapani follow, as the Hokies did a poor job blocking out. The Hokie D continued their momentary lapse as they allowed Jackson to drive down the lane for a layup and a turnaround off a post up by Rakim Sanders, allowing bc to take a two point lead.

Things weren’t looking too good for the Hokies after Hudson missed an open three point attempt and Reggie Jackson, who led the eagles with 15 points, followed by hitting both ends of the one and one, giving the eagles a 62-59 lead at the 0:29.4 mark. Delaney drove to the hoop and was fouled hard by Elmore. Malcolm hit both shots to cut the lead to one with 22 tics on the clock. This is where the key play in the game occurred.

On the ensuing inbounds pass three Hokies – Allen, Hudson, and Bell – trapped bc’s Biko Paris along the baseline, tying him up before he could call timeout. The possession arrow favored Virginia Tech, and the Hokies were back in business. After a Tech timeout, Delaney ran about 10 seconds off the clocked before feeding Davila who then drove to the basket along the baseline. Victor lost the handle and after a brief scramble for the ball Hudson put the ball in off the window with the clock showing 0:9.2. The officials correctly noticed the clock had stopped during the possession and reset it to 0:5.0. Jackson took the inbounds pass but was cut off by Delaney before he could get a shot off, Allen picked up the loose ball as time expired, and the Hokies had secured the all important win.

Now at an even 2-2 in conference (and a perfect 10-0 in the Cassell), Virginia Tech travels to Charlottesville to face uva , who will still hold on to the top spot in the ACC even with a loss at wake, for a 7:00 contest Thursday night at the jpj arena. The entire Techhoops team will be in the house rooting on the Hokies!

Posted in 2009-10 Season, Game Recaps, HomeComments (11)

Preview | bc (2-3 | 11-8) @ VT (1-2 | 14-3) | Sat., 1:30 PM | Raycom


THE SETUP:

For the second time this week the Hokies play host to eagles, with bc flying in from Boston to renew their ACC rivalry.  As I said before the miami game last week, this isn’t a must win for Tech.  It is too early to say that.  But the Hokies need to win this game.  The eagles are one of the weaker teams in the league (I have them in the bottom three).  Both their conference wins were against a miami team whose season has gone from a hurricane of success to a gentle sprinkle.  Heck, the canes might have trouble beating north carolina central right now, whom VT disposed of with extreme prejudice on Monday, 72-30, the lowest total by an opponent in 50 years. 

The eagles will have some confidence after overcoming a 17-point second half deficit to win in Coral Gables against miami on Tuesday.  Reggie Jackson led the furious comeback, scoring 15 second half points.

SERIES: bc 10-6, but VT has won four of the last five.  Tech was just 1-6 in Big East play against the eagles, but the two teams have split the eight ACC match-ups.  The teams both won on their home floors last year, though bc needed a put-back to win by one just before the buzzer.

SIX PACK OF KEYS TO WINNING:

  1. Where’s the beef? The Hokies must get more production from their big men, namely Victor Davila and Jeff Allen.  Allen might start appearing on milk cartons if he cannot find his game soon.  His scoring average is the lowest it has been in his three years and he’s averaging just 7 ppg in Tech’s three ACC games.  That said, Allen scored 53 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the two games against bc last year and the eagles aren’t any better inside, so this might be just the tonic to get him going.  Or is it nagging injuries and we just have to lower our expectation for the Big Donut?  This game might be a telling sign.  Davila hasn’t been any better, scoring just 11 points in VT’s three ACC games.
  2. Bid on the line: The last two years Virginia Tech has waited until March to try and earn their NCAA Tournament bid, and it didn’t work out either year.  Losing a game like this, to a team in the lower third of the league, at home, would be devastating.  These are the games where the Hokies need to start stockpiling wins.  8-8 and I think the Hokies are in the dance, and they need this one.
  3. Hunker down, dawgs!  The Hokies need to start playing like the “junkyard dogs” Seth Greenberg wants the Hokies to be.  That means 40 minutes of scrappy, aggressive play.  The defense has been good, even in the fsu loss.  Tech needs that every night, or in this case, every day.
  4. No charity: The eagles are 11th in the conference in Field Goal Percentage (VT is last) and last in 3-Point FG Percentage (VT is 10th).  But the eagles are fourth in the league in Free Throw Percentage.  Force bc to hit shots from the field, not the line.
  5. We must protect this glass! One thing the eagles do well is rebound.  They are third in the league in Offensive and Defensive Rebounding Percentage.  The Hokies, who are fourth in Defensive Rebounding Percentage, need to limit the eagles second chances.  Do that and bc doesn’t have much on offense, especially considering how poor they are at shooting.  The difference in the loss at bc last year was rebounding.  In the Hokie win at VT, bc had just 9 offensive rebounds.  That increased to 14 in Boston, including the game-winner by Rakim Sanders with 0.4 seconds left.
  6. Come on baby, turnover! Not sure what that meant but anyway, the Hokies should, and need to, win the turnover battle.  bc has a negative turnover margin while the Hokies are close to +3.5.  And live ball turnovers need to turn into transition opportunities.  Tech has enough trouble scoring, but do well in transition.  Any easy buckets they can get are a plus.

Also, one other thing, Tech got off to a terrible start against fsu and played up-hill all game.  That hasn’t been a problem this season but was a huge issue last year.  Let’s hope it doesn’t become a trend.  A solid start would be nice.  Heck, another 30 point first half lead would be even better.

THE OPPONENT:

Check out our Opposing View article with Brian from BC Interruption for more on the eagles.  Unlike Brian, however, I do not feel bc has the talent to compete in the ACC this year.  I think they have the 10th or 11th best talent in the league with star and ACC Second Team member, Tyrese Rice, gone.

The eagles’ best player is vermont transfer Joe Trapani.  He is a forward and is 6’8″, but he loves to play on the perimeter.  Joe hit 52 threes last year and has already drained 33 this season.  But he shoots a pedestrian 35.5% from deep and just 43% from the field, low for a big man.  He has improved his post moves this offseason and can drive to the goal if you over-pursue on the perimeter.   That said, if he’s open, you have to rush at him and take your chances at him penetrating versus letting his shoot from deep.  He is 11th in the ACC averaging 15.2 ppg and Joe had 23 points in the loss in Blacksburg last year, with 13 in the win at bc.

Corey Raji and Rakim Sanders are similar players for bc.  They are undersized in the paint and are more threes than fours.  Both are around 6’6″.  Both were suspended for the first two games for the well know “violation of team rules”, along with reserve Courtney Dunn.  Sanders also missed several games with an injury.  Sanders will shoot the three, though he is terrible at it, hitting under 30%.  Raji won’t shoot from deep.  Both though battle inside and despite not being that tall, can grab offensive rebounds.  Raji is second in the league in offensive rebounds, grabbing 3.9 per game.  Tech must get a body on him.  Sanders averaged 13 ppg in the two games versus VT last year and had the game winning putback with 0.4 seconds in the 67-66 win at bc.

Reggie Jackson, as you might expect by his name, is the straw that stirs the drink for the eagles.  He has double his point production from 7 ppg last year to almost 14 this year.  He has averaged 15.6 ppg in conference play and even grabs 6 rebounds per game.  Reggie is not skilled in the long ball, though, he is better at driving.  Tech must cut him off and limit his transition opportunities.  Reggie has been coming off the bench but he is really one of their stars, and is second on the team in scoring average and assists, and third in rebounds.

Biko Paris runs the point for the eagles.  He is not a scorer but does average 5 assists per game.  Give him room and expect him to dish when driving.

Tyler Roche is a three-point threat off the bench for bc and Josh Southern is their big man inside.  Josh, despite being 6’10” is not much of a shot-blocker.

On offense bc runs a flex, but not the one VT destroyed against nccu.  They will run it closer to the paint than out on the perimeter like nccu ran.

STARTERS:

Position VIRGINIA TECH bc
Guard 23 Delaney 6’3″ 5 Paris 6’1″
Guard 5 Hudson 6’5″ 15 Sanders 6’5″
Forward 1 Bell 6’6″ 11 Raji 6’6″
Forward 0 Allen 6’7″ 12 Trapani 6’8″
Center 14 Davila 6’8″ 52 Southern 6’10”

bc STATS:

  Pts Reb Ast
Trapani 15.2 6.8 1.6
Jackson 13.6 6 4.1
Raji 11.8 6.8 1.1
Sanders 10.4 3.7 2.5
Roche 7.1 2.2 0.6
Paris 6.5 2.6 5

VT STATS:

  Pts Reb Ast
Delaney 19.9 3.6 4.2
Hudson 12.5 3.6 2.2
Allen 11.3 8.1 1.4
Davila 6.6 5.1 0.5
Bell 6 5.6 1.8
Thompson 5.6 4.1 0.5

BORING FACTS ABOUT boston college:

  • Established in 1863
  • Type: Private – Jesuit
  • Undergrad: 9k
  • Postgrad: 4.5k
  • Location: Chestnut Hill (just west of downtown Boston)
  • Mascot: Baldwin the eagle (get it?  Bald eagle… win games… Baldwin)
  • bc participates in the Beanpot Tournament – a hocket tourney of bc, bu, northeastern, and harvard at the Boston Bruins (and Celtics) arena.
  • Their football stadium seats just 44.5k (and they still don’t sell it out for big games and basketball arena seats 8.6k

Famous Alums:

  • Ed McMahon (Yes!)
  • Chris O’Donnell
  • Leonard Nimoy (no relation)
  • Amy Poehler
  • Elisabeth Hasselbeck
  • Tip O’Neill
  • John Kerry
  • Mike Lupica
  • John McLaughlin
  • Bob Ryan
  • Lesley Visser
  • Jared Dudley
  • Bruce Pearl
  • and of course, Doug Flutie – Flutie Hail Mary against miami

Posted in 2009-10 Season, ACC Tournament, HomeComments (2)

The Opposing View | Fly Like an eagle (bc)


The Hokies host their second eagles of the week on Saturday, facing their ACC rivals from boston college. I interviewed Brian from BC Interruption – a site for the eagles and by the eagles – with a 12-pack of questions.

Also, here is the interview I did with Brian at BC Interruption: Niemo Crashes Bean Town (Note: he capitalized the other schools in my quotes, you know I didn’t)

BASKETBALL QUESTIONS:

Q1: Tell me about this year’s bc team…

Brian: It’s been a strange year for BC. Early season suspensions, injuries, strong victories over Providence, Michigan and Miami, soul-crushing, embarrassing losses to mid-major programs like Harvard and Maine, and recently three listless efforts against ACC foes. I don’t know what to make of this team.

This team has all the talent to compete in the ACC this year, but they have come out flat and played up or down to their level of competition thus far this year. Vermont transfer Joe Trapani leads the way for the Eagles, averaging 15.2 per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. On any given night, BC will also get solid performances from Reggie Jackson (13.6 ppg), Corey Raji (11.8 ppg), and Rakim Sanders (10.4). The Eagles run a very tight flex offense. The one weakness this year has been post play, as the BC lineup doesn’t really showcase a dominant center.

Q2: How much do the eagles miss All-ACC Second Teamer, Tyrese Rice?

Brian: We certainly miss Rice’s production, especially with guys like Sanders and Corey Raji struggling to score since ACC play started. However, Rice never struck me as a true leader of the team. That’s something the Eagles’ desperately need this year. We thought that person would be Rakim Sanders but he is going through a serious funk on the court this year. To be honest, I’m really not sure what the cause of his funk is. Increasingly this team is looking to a player like sophomore Reggie Jackson to lead this team and be the vocal leader on the court.

Q3: bc has the third most wins in ACC play (behind unc and duke) since joining the league in 2005.  What do you attribute that to?

Brian: Coming out of the gate strong …

Jared Dudley is one big reason the Eagles have had so much success in the ACC. Dudley only played in the ACC two seasons but was a big reason the Eagles won 11 ACC games in 2005-2006 and came within a bucket of winning the whole thing against Duke in the ACC Championship. In his senior year when he was named ACC Player of the Year, Dudley got the Eagles to 10-6 with an additional win in the ACC Tournament before bowing out to North Carolina. Craig Smith’s contribution to the 2005-2006 also helped.

After a fairly awful 2007-2008 campaign in which the Eagles won only 4 ACC games, last year’s success was one part Tyrese Rice stepping up and one part benefitting from the unbalanced ACC schedule (although BC did beat both North Carolina and Duke).

Al Skinner has had a knack for finding what we like to call “diamonds in the rough” on the recruiting trail. Guys like Dudley, Smith, and Rice get a shot to play at BC when they may have gotten overlooked by their local area programs. I think that puts a bit of a chip on their shoulder when they play for the Eagles. I also think that BC brought to the ACC a very different, more Big East-like style of play that the rest of the ACC might not have been accustomed to facing on a daily or weekly basis.

Regardless, and unfortunately, I think you’ll find BC come back down to earth in terms of total number of ACC wins since 2005 over the next few seasons as programs like Clemson, Florida State and Wake Forest enjoy basketball resurgence.

Q4: BC recruiting has not been particularly strong since joining the league.  According to Rivals.com, bc has not signed a single recruit over 3-stars since joining the league.  Why the struggles?  Is it hard to recruit in Big East territory?

Brian: This is slightly misleading given that BC didn’t bring in a recruit this season. Al Skinner likes to bank scholarships for future seasons. He’ll need those scholarships so that he can reload over the next two seasons. BC will lose 1 player this season to graduation (Tyler Roche) and then have to replace 7 players (and all 5 starters) in 2011-2012.

FOX Sports’ Jeff Goodman has hinted that the coaching staff turnover has contributed to the apparent downfall of BC basketball recruiting. Assistants Bill Coen (Northeastern) and Ed Cooley (Fairfield) have since gone on to head coaching gigs. I’m not sure I completely buy this argument though. Skinner’s teams have rarely recruited well in New England, instead scouring the country for those “diamonds in the rough.”

All hope is not lost though, as the Eagles bring in two 3-star recruits and one 4-star, 6’8” power forward Kevin Noreen out of Minneapolis, MN.

Q5: Speaking of the Big East, do you think the Big East or ACC is the better basketball conference?

Brian: This year, I think the Big East is better. I can’t make heads or tails of what is going on this year in ACC basketball. Duke looks dominant and then NC State shoots lights out and topples them last night. UNC is in a serious funk. Georgia Tech, Clemson and Florida State go in and out of being contenders. At 1-4, I think we are finding that Miami isn’t for real.

I think the Big East has the better programs at the top (Syracuse, West Virginia, Georgetown, Villanova, Pittsburgh, Louisville) but have more deadweight at the bottom (DePaul, Rutgers, South Florida, Seton Hall, St. John’s). The ACC seems a bit better top-to-bottom. That’s the only reason I could maybe be persuaded that the ACC is a better basketball conference this year. However, if you were only comparing the top 12 teams in each conference, hands down the Big East is better this season.

Q6: Is Head Coach Al Skinner’s job in any jeopardy?

Brian: I don’t think so. At least not this year. Much like Paul Hewitt used the promise of a good recruiting class (read: Derrick Favors) to weather the storm that was a 2-14 season a year ago at Georgia Tech, I think you’ll see the same thing at BC with Skinner. Skinner will bring in the aforementioned Noreen as well as Papa Samba Ndao and Brady Heslip (who has already joined the team) next year. As far as BC recruiting classes go, that’s a pretty decent class. I think the AD and the school want to see what the next year or so will bring in terms of success on the court before making a move.

When Skinner’s back has been against the wall, he’s pushed the right buttons to get this team back on track. If anything, I guess he deserves the school’s patience with all the success he has brought to the program.

Q7: Prediction for the game?

Brian: I think the Eagles will put forth a solid effort but I’m not convinced that they will have enough to beat Virginia Tech. I’m interested to see what the Hokies bring because like I asked you guys, VT doesn’t have that marquee win on the early season just yet. I think this game will be close with the Hokies winning by 3. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles can pull out the W.

FUN QUESTIONS

Q8: bc is VT’s cross-division rival in football and we play twice every year in basketball.  Do you think there is a real rivalry between the schools or is that just because of the Big East ties?

Brian: I think there is a nice rivalry forming between the two schools. Back in the Big East, Virginia Tech used to dominate the Eagles in football, while BC returned the favor in basketball. Now the tables have turned a bit. Virginia Tech has now won 4 of the last 5 against the Eagles in basketball, while the Hokies have probably struggled to put away BC the most of any team in football the last few years (at least in the regular season). I’d like to think that BC has gotten under the skin of Hokie fans just a little bit. Whether it be the 2007 Matt Ryan-to-Andre Callender game (denying VT a shot at the National Championship), or the 2006 regular season game where Tech failed to score a touchdown for the first time in I don’t know how many games. At least I rationalize a rivalry in my head.

Q9: What do bc fans/alums think of Virginia Tech in general?

Brian: Outstanding football program. Average basketball. A general respect for the athletics program. I like to say that without BC and Virginia Tech these past 5 years, ACC football looks more like the MAC than it does a BCS conference. So I think the conference and the other ACC programs should give both schools a little more credit than they currently are.

Q10: How much did those two losses in the ACC Football Championship sting?

Brian: As an attendee of both the 2007 and 2008 ACC Championships, yes, they sting quite a bit.

Q11: What schools in the ACC, and in general, do eagle fans really hate and why?

Brian: Not sure I hate them, but I am generally annoyed at the Tobacco Road ACC purists who want to give BC and Miami the boot and return to a 10 team league where they can play a balanced schedule. I think BC, in particular, has done more in the league than most of those other schools, and we have earned some respect. There’s also the NC State-Tom O’Brien tie, but State hasn’t beat BC in football since TOB left for greener pastures. So really, we just feel bad for TOB for making what in hindsight appears as a lateral move at best.

Outside of the ACC, I personally hate UConn, because they sued Boston College for conspiring to weaken the Big East and UConn football when we defected to the ACC. They then turn around and b*tch about how BC will never schedule them in football. “We were destined to be New England’s college football rivals!” Yeah, ok. Randy Edsall will be waiting for that call for a long time.

Q12: Through a small sampling of bc fans I know, I get the sense eagle football is #1, hockey #2, and basketball is #3.  Is that accurate?

Brian: I think it used to be, but the times, they are a’changin. I really think now its football #1, basketball #2, and hockey #3. With the move to the ACC, I’m assuming that opened up the geographic footprint of students from parts of the south and other areas underrepresented at BC. Given that a lot of kids in the south don’t grow up following hockey, I think hockey’s popularity has waned at the expense of basketball. When BC was a smaller, more New England school, hockey was definitely the #2 sport and maybe even #1 for stretches of time. But with BC taking on more and more students from all over the country, I think hockey has taken a back seat to basketball. That’s a shame because hockey has traditionally been BC’s most successful athletics program.

Bonus Shot: Is BC happy to be in the ACC, or missing the Big East?

Brian: We’re happy in the ACC. I think people have to remember that had Boston College stayed in the Big East, it still would have been forced to expand to programs like Cincinnati, Louisville, Marquette, South Florida and DePaul. Because of Miami and Virginia Tech bolting, the Big East would never be the same with or without BC. A lot of fans point to the lack of a regional rival or increased travel time and cost, but traveling from Boston-to-Milwaukee or Boston-to-Louisville is just as far and as expensive as traveling to North Carolina or Georgia.

The money is better. The bowl tie-ins are better. It’s easier not to get lost in the mix as you could in a 16-team mega conference in basketball. There’s nothing about the Big East that’s better, other than the Big East basketball tournament at MSG (but even that has changed) and the fact that had BC stayed in the Big East, we would have at least 3 BCS bowl appearances under our belt.

Thank you to Brian for participating in this Opposing View!

Brian is an Editor and Co-writer for BC Interruption, the SB Nation Boston College sports blog. Brian and Jeff created the blog in 2007 as a way of debating and discussing all sorts of topics about BC football, basketball and hockey. Brian is a 2004 graduate of Boston College. His favorite BC sporting experience is wondering why he drove 9 hours in the pouring rain to sit in the Lane Stadium stands for 57 minutes and 49 seconds and not see the Eagles score a single point … [ouch... a tasteless reference to bc's comeback win in football in 2007 led by current Atlanta Falcons QB, Matty Ice.  Good death blow to finish.]

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Previews | VT (14-6, 4-2) @ bc (16-6, 4-3) | Sat., 8 PM


THE SETUP

On Saturday the Hokies play Greenberg’s most hated game of the year: the short turnaround game.  Once every season the Hokies have to play an ACC game less than 48 hours after their previous game ended.  This year, for the second year in a row, the short turnaround game is about as far away from Blacksburg as it can be – in Boston, Taxachusetts.  Approximately 47 hours after the end of the clemson game, Tech will be back on the court trying to sweep the eagles.

While Seth hates this short turnaround game, the Hokies have actually been money in the bank in them.  In Tech’s four years in the ACC, they are a perfect 4-0 in these games.  Here’s a look back at them:

  • 2008 – VT 81, @bc 73 (OT) – Hokies won without suspended Jeff Allen just 2 days after duke blew them out
  • 2007 – VT 92, @miami 85 – The ACC sure doesn’t do any favors for VT by making these games close!  This win was less than 48 hours after the Ice Bowl ended (the win over maryland at home).
  • 2006 – VT 76, @wake 70 – This was A.D. Vassallo’s coming out party, scoring 29 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to give the Hokies their first ACC win.  Tech was playing without a suspended Deron Washington (hmm… I see a pattern… wonder who will be suspended next year?)
  • 2005 – @VT 71, miami 58 – Tech has just upset #7 duke on Thursday in a landmark win for the program, but there was no letdown in this game as VT blew the hurricanes out of town

THE SERIES

Meeting Two Weeks Ago: Recap – @VT 79, bc 71  |  Game Film  |  Niemo’s Notes on the Game

The Hokies will look to continue their recent success against the eagles.  Virginia Tech has won the last four meetings between the teams.  That reversed a previous trend of failure against bc.  In Tech’s first 10 games against bc as a member of the Big East and ACC, the Hokies won just once. 

The eagles’ talent has fallen off a bit over the last few years, and Tech has been able to exploit them.  VT has superior athletes to bc.  boston college historically wants to grind things out and play a Big East style of ball.  But the Hokies have been able to use their athleticism to beat the eagles. 

Last year at bc, the Hokies led most of the game before a late rally sent the game to overtime.  Hank Thorns scored nine points in OT to lead VT to a 81-73 victory.  Jeff Allen was suspended for this game.  In his place, J.T. Thompson continued his coming out party with 14 points and 12 rebounds.  J.T.’s hustle helped Tech get numerous second chance points.  (Game Film)

In the meeting at Cassell, VT played fantastic defense and used a 19-3 run in the second half to roll to a 67-48 beat down of the eagles.  Tech dominated the glass again, out-rebounding bc 46-31.  Jeff Allen had 13 points and 10 rebounds in his debut against the eagles.

  • All Time: bc 9-6
  • At bc: bc 6-1 (the “one” was last season)
  • In the ACC: VT 4-3
  • Streak: VT 4 in a row
  • In the Big East: bc 6-1

LINEUPS

Position

VT

Height

bc

Height

Point Guard

23 – Delaney

6′3″

4 – Rice

6′1″

Wing/SG

40 – Vassallo

6′6″

15 – Sanders

6′5″

Wing/SF

33 – Thompson

6′6″

11 – Raji

6′6″

Power Forward

0 – Allen

6′7″

12 – Trapani

6′8″

Center

14 – Davila

6′8″

52 – Southern

6′10″

Bench

34 – Diakite

6′9″

0 – Jackson

6′3″

 

10 – Thorns

5′9″

21 – Roche

6′7″

 

1 – Bell

6′6″

5 – Paris

6′1″

 

21 – Witcher

6′9″

55 – Dunn

6′8″

 

5 – Hudson

6′5″

30 – Elmore

6′5″

THE OPPONENT

While bc was colder than my car’s leather seats at 12 AM last night when they came to Blacksburg two weeks ago, they are now hotter than that chili cheese Big Bite I ate from 7-11 last night.  The last four weeks have been quite the roller coaster for the eagles.  bc upset then #1 unc in Chapel Hill on January 4th for their 10th consecutive victory.  The eagles entered both polls. 

Then, the eagles promptly lost to harvard (harvard’s first ever win over a ranked team), miami, and wake, all at home, then lost at Virginia Tech.  But since the loss to the Hokies on January 17th, bc has won three in a row.  Granted, they have beaten winless georgia tech, nubbins nc state, and a quickly fading maryland team, but this has to give the eagles confidence.  In the maryland game, bc trailed by as many as 16 in the first half and were down 11 at the break, but outscored the terps 47-27 in the second stanza on their way to a 76-67 road win.  The amazing thing is Tyrese Rice scored just four points in the first 38 minutes of the game while battling foul trouble, yet bc found a way to win.

It is not that surprising that the eagles have been up and down of late, especially now that they are in ACC play.  They are a very young team.  They have just one senior (Rice) and one junior (Roche).  The eagles play two freshman and six sophomores, including one player, Joe Trapani, who is in his first season with bc after transferring from vermont.

The eagles are led by their lone senior, Tyrese Rice.  Rice is from L.C. Bird HS in Richmond, VA.  He earned first-team All-ACC honors last season and is well on his way again this year (he was All-ACC 2nd-team his sophomore year).  Tyrese is averaging 18.0 ppg and 5.8 apg, but also 3.7 turnovers.  The offense runs through him, plain and simple.  His career reminds me a lot of Zabian Dowdell’s, and not just because both are left-handed.  He started as a long range bomber (and he has NBA range), but has developed into a player that can split any double team and get to the hoop.  Tyrese gets to the line a lot and nails free throws at an 86% clip.  He shoots 38% from downtown, though his three-point shooting has become less frequent (better shot selection).  Rice is similar to Malcolm Delaney in that he is more of a shooting guard playing the point.  Rice had 19 points in the game at Blacksburg but was just 6/19 from the floor.

Shutting Rice down is not the key to victory — he is going to get his points.  The key is to limit what he creates for others.  In bc’s six losses, he has been held to 4 or fewer assists in each game except one (he had five at VT).  In their 16 wins, he has had at least 6 assists in 12 of those games.  Tech does need to keep him from going nuts, which he did in two of their bigger wins against st. john’s and unc.  Last year he nearly beat unc by himself, scoring 46.  He had maybe the greatest half of basketball I’ve ever seen in that game.

The big surprise for bc this year has been the play of Joe Trapani.  The 6’8″ transfer from vermont has averaged 13.8 ppg and 7.2 rpg.  He was a good player as a freshman for vermont, but has really stepped up his game in the ACC.  However, he is lanky and can be out-muscled on the glass.  Joe has a good inside-outside game.  He hits about 1.5 threes per game, but also can score in the low post and gets to the line a fair amount.  VT will have to guard him from anywhere on the floor. 

In the first meeting, Trapani was bc’s best player.  The eagles were killing the Hokies with the pick-and-pop.  Trapani would screen for Rice on the perimeter, then move to an open spot where Rice would hit him with the pass for an open three.  The Hokies were keying on Rice, but also need to make sure someone is in range to get a hand in Trapani’s face.  He won’t shoot unless he’s wide open.  Trapani had 23 points in the game at Blacksburg, but 18 of those were in the first 21 minutes.  Tech did a much better job on him in the second half.

Corey Raji and Rakim Sanders start on the wing for bc.  Both average between 11 and 12 ppg.  But Raji is in a major slump.  He has reached double digits just twice in their last ten games, after hitting double digits in six straight.  He has seen his minutes greatly reduced the last two games in favor of freshman Reggie Jackson.

Sanders is a streaky shooter.  If he’s on, he’s deadly.  If he’s off, he can become invisible on offense.  If he makes his first three-pointer, look out.

Josh Southern is the classic bc goon they like to have inside.  Big body.  Not a great scorer, but decent on the boards.  He isn’t a great shot blocker, either.

Jackson, bc’s top recruit from this past class, has seen his minutes increase since his career high 17 point effort at unc.  The 6’3″ guard chipped in 14 against miami, but pooped the bed against wake going 1/6 from the floor.  He is also foul prone, reaching in too much instead of moving his feet.  Tech limited him to four points in the first meeting, but Reggie has played well since.  He was the ACC Rookie of the Week last week.

Posted in 2008-09 Season, Game Previews, GamesComments (2)

Game Film | Hokies 79, eagles 71 | 1.17.09


Recap | Niemo’s Notes | Box Score

Posted in 2008-09, 2008-09 Season, Games, Highlights, HomeComments (2)

Preview | bc (13-5, 1-2) @ VT (11-5, 1-1) | Sat., 4 PM | ESPNU


Spread: VT favored by 5

THE SETUP

On Saturday, the Hokies close out their three-game home stand against the boston college eagles.  Tech has won the first two games of their longest home stand of the season, a 78-75 win over arch-rival uva, and a 62-48 woodshed beating of in-state foe richmond.  VT has won six of their last seven games heading into the contest.

I called last week’s game against uva a must win if VT wanted to keep their Big Dance slippers handy.  While this isn’t a “must win”, per say, it is a “strongly should win” game.  bc was picked 11th in the preseason ACC media standings.  In all honesty, they are pretty close in terms of talent to the Hokies based on performances this year.  But this game is in the Cassell.  If VT is going to win nine ACC games (which they likely need to in order to have a shot at the NCAA Tournament), you have to beat a team like this on your home floor.

THE SERIES

The Hokies will look to continue their recent success against the eagles.  Virginia Tech has won the last three meetings between the teams.  That reversed a previous trend of failure against bc.  In Tech’s first 10 games against bc as a member of the Big East and ACC, the Hokies won just once. 

The eagles’ talent has fallen off a bit over the last few years, and Tech has been able to exploit them.  VT has superior athletes to bc.  boston college historically wants to grind things out and play a Big East style of ball.  But the Hokies have been able to use their athleticism to beat the eagles.  Last year at bc, the Hokies led most of the game before a late rally sent the game to overtime.  Hank Thorns scored nine points in OT to lead VT to a 81-73 victory.  Jeff Allen was suspended for this game.  In his place, J.T. Thompson continued his coming out party with 14 points and 12 rebounds.  J.T.’s hustle helped Tech get numerous second chance points.  (Game Film)

In the meeting at Cassell, VT played fantastic defense and used a 19-3 run in the second half to roll to a 67-48 beat down of the eagles.  Tech dominated the glass again, out-rebounding bc 46-31.  Jeff Allen had 13 points and 10 rebounds in his debut against the eagles.

  • All Time: bc 9-5
  • At the Cassell: 3-3
  • In the ACC: 3-3
  • Streak: VT 3 in a row
  • In the Big East: bc 6-1

LINEUPS

Position

VT

Height

bc

Height

Point Guard

23 – Delaney

6′3″

4 – Rice

6′1″

Wing/SG

40 – Vassallo

6′6″

15 – Sanders

6′5″

Wing/SF

33 – Thompson

6′6″

11 – Raji

6′6″

Power Forward

0 – Allen

6′7″

12 – Trapani

6′8″

Center

14 – Davila

6′8″

52 – Southern

6′10″

Bench

34 – Diakite

6′9″

0 – Jackson

6′3″

 

10 – Thorns

5′9″

21 – Roche

6′7″

 

1 – Bell

6′6″

5 – Paris

6′1″

 

21 – Witcher

6′9″

55 – Dunn

6′8″

 

5 – Hudson

6′5″

30 – Elmore

6′5″

THE OPPONENT

In just a week, the eagles have gone from the penthouse to the outhouse.  After upsetting #1 unc in Chapel Hill in front of a national audience over a week ago, the eagles have dropped three straight games at home, and lost their short-lived ranking.  This streak includes an embarrassing loss to cross-town “rival” harvard, marking harvard’s first ever win over a ranked team.  Then, bc lost to miami and got waxed by wake (83-63) in Beantown. 

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Al Skinner mix things up in this game with his lineup to send a message.  He has to be disappointed with his team’s effort against wake.  wake could have easily had a let down after an emotional with over unc on Sunday night, but instead they scalped the eagles, jumping out to a 20-point halftime lead.

It is not that surprising that the eagles have been up and down of late, especially now that they are in ACC play.  They are a very young team.  They have just one senior (Rice) and one junior (Roche).  The eagles play two freshman and six sophomores, including one player, Joe Trapani, who is in his first season with bc after transferring from vermont.

The eagles are led by their lone senior, Tyrese Rice.  Rice is from L.C. Bird HS in Richmond, VA.  He earned first-team All-ACC honors last season and is well on his way again this year (he was All-ACC 2nd-team his sophomore year).  Tyrese is averaging 17.5 ppg and 6.0 apg, but also 3.8 turnovers.  The offense runs through him, plain and simple.  His career reminds me a lot of Zabian Dowdell’s, and not just because both are left-handed.  He started as a long range bomber (and he has NBA range), but has developed into a player that can split any double team and get to the hoop.  Tyrese gets to the line a lot and nails free throws at an 84% clip.  He shoots 38% from downtown, though his three-point shooting has become less frequent (better shot selection).  Rice is similar to Malcolm Delaney in that he is more of a shooting guard playing the point. 

Shutting Rice down is not the key to victory — he is going to get his points.  The key is to limit what he creates for others.  In bc’s five losses, he has been held to 4 or fewer assists in each game.  In their 13 wins, he has had at least 6 assists in 11 of those games.  Tech does need to keep him from going nuts, which he did in two of their bigger wins against st. john’s and unc.  Last year he nearly beat unc by himself, scoring 46.  He had maybe the greatest half of basketball I’ve ever seen in that game.

The big surprise for bc this year has been the play of Joe Trapani.  The 6’8″ transfer from vermont has averaged 13.7 ppg and 6.9 rpg.  He was a good player as a freshman for vermont, but has really stepped up his game in the ACC.  However, he is lanky and can be out-muscled on the glass.  Joe has a good inside-outside game.  He hits about 1.5 threes per game, but also can score in the low post and gets to the line a fair amount.  VT will have to guard him from anywhere on the floor.

Corey Raji and Rakim Sanders start on the wing for bc.  Both average around 11.5 ppg.  But Raji is in a major slump.  He has scored 6 points or less in four of the last five games, after hitting double digits in six straight.  He has seen his minutes greatly reduced the last two games in favor of freshman Reggie Jackson.

Sanders is a streaky shooter.  If he’s on, he’s deadly.  If he’s off, he can become invisible on offense.  If he makes his first three-pointer, look out.

Josh Southern is the classic bc goon they like to have inside.  Big body.  Not a great scorer, but decent on the boards.  He isn’t a great shot blocker, either.

Jackson, bc’s top recruit from this past class, has seen his minutes increase since his career high 17 point effort at unc.  The 6’3″ guard chipped in 14 against miami, but pooped the bed against wake going 1/6 from the floor.  He is also foul prone, reaching in too much instead of moving his feet.

Posted in 2008-09 Season, Game Previews, Games, HomeComments (1)

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