Tuesday, April 5, 2011

2010-2011 Basketball Season in Review: Postseason Awards

For the second part of the review series, I hand out some awards.

Most Outstanding Player(s)- Reggie Jackson and Joe Trapani
Reggie's success this year has been well documented. He was the best player on this team and was the go-to scorer for BC. At times, Reggie carried this team. I couldn't leave Joe Trapani out of this, though. While Trapani didn't always put up the greatest numbers, Trap came to play every game and busted his ass. If only everyone could have played like Joe. He will be missed.

6th Man of the Year- Corey Raji
I know he ended the year in the starting lineup, but for most of the year Raji was a great contributer of the pine. The senior was second in the team in rebounding and was a nice third scorer to go along with Reggie and Trap. He knocked down clutch shots, including the game-winner against Maryland.

Rookie of the Year- John Cahill
The senior walk-on sensation was a great story. Cahill, who was an intramural star and scout team player for the women's team, actually became a starter for the stretch run of the season. Cahill was a three point machine, hitting over 50%. While he was not the most athletic kid out there, he played hard, battled on defense, and was a great role player.

Most Improved Player Award- Biko Paris
Although inconsistent at times, Biko Paris took a big step forward from his first three years at the Heights. Paris worked on his outside shot and became a great three point shooter. Paris had only reached double figures in 13 games coming into the year, but managed to eclipse that number by four games in his senior year.

Friday, April 1, 2011

2010-2011 Basketball Season in Review: Report Cards

I've put this off for a little while, but this is the first post of the basketball version of the season in review series. We start by giving out some player grades.

Reggie Jackson- A
Reggie was a superstar this year. Coming off a solid, but not great, 09-10 year, Jackson took the next step and earned first team all-ACC honors. Jackson electrified BC fans with his ferocious dunks, clutch three pointers, and acrobatic plays. Reggie led the team in PPG (18.4) and APG (4.5). Sure, Jackson did have some no-shows this year, but without him, who knows where this team would have been?

Joe Trapani- B+

After struggliong early in the year, Trapani played great in ACC play. Trap averaged 14.8 PPG and 7.0 RPG. His tremendous effort and countless hustle plays never seized to amaze me. BC fans are going to miss him. Joe earned all-ACC third team honors.

Corey Raji- B-

After the Yale loss, Raji was benced in favor of freshman Danny Rubin. But he embraced his role and became a great 6th man for this team. The senior forward stayed relentess on the offensive glass and even added the three point shot into his game, becoming a reliable outside shooter. Raji's late season play moved him back into the starting lineup for the final 7 games of the season.

Biko Paris- B-
Although Paris struggled in the middle of the year, Biko played some great ball and was a valuable asset to this team. In his senior season, Biko became a three point sharp shooter, hitting 6 three pointers in four different games. Paris was a very nice compliment to Jackson, as he could play off the ball and run the point.

John Cahill- C+
The senior walk-on became a fan-favorite this year. The former women's scout team player came out of nowhere to become a starter at the end of the year. Cahill shot over 50% from three, fitting perfectly into Donahue's system. What he lacked in athleticism, he made up for in intelligence. The only reason why he's not graded higher is because he wasn't in the rotation for much of the year.

Gabe Moton- C
The freshman wasn't meant to play as much as he did this year. However, Moton was suprisingly decent this year. While he was a liability on offense, Moton ate some minutes and played solid D.

Dallas Elmore- C-
Elmore didn't take the next step like some thought he would, but was solid role player off the bench. Like Moton, he played good defense and and improved his outside shot. Unfortunately, he wasn't the scorer some hoped, and it looks like he could be on his way out.

Danny Rubin- C-
Rubin's contributions can be easily forgotten because of his benching late in the year, but the freshman surprised many early on when he took Corey Raji's starting job after the Yale debacle. Rubin was a sniper from deep, hitting 43% of his threes. Unfortunately, Rubin quieted down in ACC play, leading to his benching and removal from the rotation.

Josh Southern- D+
Perhaps he wasn't as bad as his grade indicates and this could just be my frustration with him kicking in. Southern's season was dissappointing to say the least. Not that people expected much, but his traveling violations and his layup attempts being swatted became somewhat of a normalcy. That being said, it was not all bad for the senior this year. Southern scored 18 against Bryant and 16 against Providence, UMASS and Bucknell.

Cortney Dunn, Chris Kowalski, Nick Mosakowski, Peter Rehnquist- Incomplete
Dunn was hurt by Donahue's system. Kowalski played a few minutes here and there, but didn't bring much to the table. Mosakowski barely saw the floor and Rehnquist had a nice dunk, but didn't see any action.

Friday Youtube Video of the Week!

Every Friday, I'll bring you classic Youtube videos that in some way has to do with BC athletics. Today, we start with one of my favorites...

RIP Tim Russert

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reggie Declares for NBA Draft

Junior guard Reggie Jackson has declared for the NBA draft. Yeah, take a minute to swallow that one. However, Jackson will not hire an agent, which reserves the right for him to come back to BC.

This is not good news, but it may not be as bad as people think. There is a possibility that Reggie is just testing the waters. He could just want to find out where his stock is and where he could potentially be picked. I honestly don't think Reggie's stock is that high. He was an outstanding player this year, but was extremely inconsistent and disappeared at times. Another year in school could make him a lock for the first round and a potential lottery pick.

There is also the issue of the looming NBA CBA expiring. It almost seems certain that there will be a lockout next year, and if Reggie does get drafted, he could be spending next year on his couch. May 8th is the official deadline for players to withdraw their names. I'll have more posts in the coming days about Reggie and what this could mean for BC hoops. C'mon Reggie, one more year!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Atkinson & Hayes Sign

As you probably know by now, juniors Cam Atkinson and Jimmy Hayes have signed their NHL contracts and will effectively forgo their senior years at Boston College. Atkinson, who scored 31 goals and 21 assists this year, will be assigned to the Columbus Blue Jackets' AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. Hayes tallied 21 goals and 12 assists for the Eagles will be playing for the Chicago Blackhawks AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.

While disappointed, I can't say I am surprised at both of these departures. Both of these guys are terrific players who are ready for the next level. But obviously this hurts next year's team. Along with Atkinson and Hayes, BC will lose seniors Brian Gibbons and Joe Whitney. Those guys are four of our top offensive threats and will not be easily replaced. The 2011-12 hockey team will have a lot of holes to fill. Let's hope we can keep Kreider.

But, like the BC folks on twitter keep pointing out, we still have Jerry York. Nuff said.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Skinner Fires Back

If you haven't already, I encourage you to read the Boston Globe article on Al Skinner. For the first time since his firing last year, Skinner broke his silence. I was a little puzzled by his comments, because I thought Al was the type of guy who would just let it go and say all the "right" things. Instead, Skinner showed some bitterness towards Gene and BC. Let me break down some of his comments:

"I look at my résumé and the success I had at BC, and I look at the résumé of some coaches who are in the tournament now, and I look at my résumé and I think it compares favorably."

Yes, Al, you do have a good resume. You've won a Big East title, you've won National Coach of the Year, and you've had success in the tournament, but college basketball is a 'what have you done for me lately' business. And quite frankly, your last few years at BC sucked.

“I ran a good program, I graduated my kids. Everybody has problems, but we addressed them and handled them in a matter that satisfied every one."

You did graduate your kids, Al. You did run a good program. Your kids represented BC well. But there are other coaches who can do that and win basketball games. And you weren't doing that.

"I put the program in a good place. I raised the program to the level where we were always in the hunt.’’
Al left the program in a better place than when he arrived. I don't think anyone can disagree with that. But were we always in the hunt? Were we in the hunt last year? How about the year before that? I don't know how you define "in the hunt," but in my mind, BC hasn't been in the hunt since the Dudley-Smith-Williams years.

“I know the potential we had. We would have had a dog in this fight, and that we don’t bothers me.’’
Really, Al? He and anyone who thinks that this team would have been better with him coaching is crazy. If anything, this team is less talented than last year. If anyone watched a BC game this year, the difference between Skinner and Donahue couldn't be clearer. This year's team played harder, executed better, and won more games. This team wouldn't have won 16 games with Skinner.

“I was the second-winningest coach at URI, the winningest coach at BC. Does that lend itself to someone who doesn’t work? If I can do all of that and not work, then you should hire me anyway.’’

Some fighting words here from Skinner. I think Al may have gotten a bad rap on his work ethic. I don't think he was working 24/7, but I don't think he was as lazy as some people made him out to be. I understand his frustration, but there are guys who work much harder than Al.

No one is discounting what Al Skinner did for BC basketball. Like I said, he left BC basketball in a better place than when he got there. He is the winningest coach in BC history, but at the end of the day, his flex offense and "diamond in the rough recruiting" was just not working any more. I think Al will find a job somewhere. Maybe not this year, but Al Skinner will be coaching again.