Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ACC basketball preview: Boston College


Boston College

2009-10 record: 15-16 overall, 6-10 ACC (eighth)

Postseason: none

Projected starting lineup: G Reggie Jackson, G Dallas Elmore, F Joe Trapani, F Corey Raji, F Josh Southern

Plus

• New coach

After Boston College quit against Virginia in the opening ACC tournament game — four days after quitting in the second half against N.C. State — it was obvious the Eagles either had to get rid of the coach or their entire roster.

Boston College AD Gene DeFilippo took the path of least resistance and fired Al Skinner, despite seven NCAA tournament appearances in 10 years and a school-record 247 wins.

Enter Steve Donahue, who took Cornell to the Round of 16 in 2010 and three straight NCAA trips. And don't dismiss that accomplishment as "Oh, it's the Ivy League," because before Donahue got there, Cornell hadn't won an Ivy title since 1988.

Under Donahue, Cornell led the country in 3-point field goal percentage and ranked third in 3-pointers per game last season. Given how many coaches in the ACC attempt to win with defense and play at a glacial pace, Donahue gives BC a different and promising perspective.

• Reggie Jackson and Joe Trapani

With seven scholarship players on the roster, and zero freshmen as of June 29, Donahue's options are limited for his first team. In guard Reggie Jackson and forward Joe Trapani, he at least has two players who will excel in his up-tempo, perimeter-based system.

Given the transfer of Rakim Sanders, it doesn't take much imagination to project Jackson (12.9 ppg last year) and Trapani (14.1 ppg) to be in for big statistical seasons.

Minus

• Tough transition

It's not quite as jarring as Nebraska football going to the West Coast offense, but BC's in for a difficult transition with a roster of players built for Skinner's physical, halfcourt offense going to an up-tempo scheme.

Even Jackson and Trapani are inconsistent from the 3-point line, where Cornell made its living.

• Dry well

Skinner had a knack for finding and winning with players overlooked in the recruiting process (Craig Smith, Jared Dudley, Tyrese Rice). He understood how to develop players for his system but not necessarily how to coach within the 40-minute walls of the game.

He got lazy, beat or both on the recruiting trail in his final two classes, adding zero players in 2009 and having the one he signed in 2010 (Kevin Noreen) skip town with him.

It's tough to sustain a program's success when you aren't adding any players.

It's likely that Donahue will still add freshmen to this roster but he's obviously picking from the scrap heap.

Bottom line

DeFilippo made a good hire and it's going to work out in the long run but BC's in for some Steve Carell-hot-wax pain this season.

The Eagles are going to take a bunch of 3s and they have a roster built for a flex offense, which doesn't preclude good 3-point shooters, but it's not predicated on them, either.

The Eagles will definitely finish with fewer wins than scholarship players. Four, maybe five, seems about the level best that anyone could in this situation.

Returning players
Yr.
PPG
RPG
APG
F Joe Trapani Sr. 14.1 6.4 1.3
G Reggie Jackson Jr. 12.9 5.7 4.5
F Corey Raji Sr. 11.4 5.8 1.0
G Biko Paris Sr. 4.8 2.0 4.1
F Josh Southern Sr. 4.4 3.2 0.8
G Dallas Elmore Jr. 3.9 1.6 0.6
F Cortney Dunn Jr. 3.2 2.7 0.5
Gone
PPG
RPG
APG
F Rakim Sanders (transfer) 11.3 3.7 2.1
F Tyler Roche 7.2 2.4 0.7
G Brady Heslip (transfer)
DNP
New
Yr.
Ht.
Wt.
Rank
None



17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Donahue better recruit his butt off this year, because next year he will have 3 players on scholarship.

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Trapani, he at least has two players who will excel in his up-tempo, perimeter-based system.

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