Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Boston College vs. North Carolina Recap. Well, That Was Brutal

Boston College-74 UNC-106. Yes, you are reading that score correctly. UNC dropped triple digits on BC last night in Conte Forum. UNC came up to Boston in the middle of a snow storm at 9 PM and made the Eagles look like complete fools on the basketball court. Everyone knew this Tar Heels team had talent. Harrison Barnes, John Henson, and Tyler Zeller are three of the best players in the country in terms of pure athleticism, but they hadn't put it together to play winning basketball this year. Luckily for UNC, one of the best cures for lackluster basketball is going up against the Eagles' defense, and last night BC did everything they could to make sure that UNC had one hell of a night. It seemed as if almost every defensive possession at least one BC player lost their man and allowed the Tar Heels to get an open shot. Don't believe me? Not only did North Carolina shoot 57.4% from the field, but they shot an insane 52.4% from beyond the arc. Yes, you read that right, UNC came into Conte and shot well over 50% from 3 point land. You know when the last time BC gave up that much offensive production from beyond the arc? Their loss to Yale when the Bulldogs shot an insane 57%.

So let's get into some specifics of what went wrong last night (with hilarious plays on famous movie quotes).

1. O Reggie, Where Art Thou?
Has anybody seen Reggie Jackson lately? You know, that guy who was averaging 19 PPG and 4.5 APG in ACC play and had many analysts thinking he was a darkhorse ACC Player of the Year candidate. Anybody seen him lately? Because ever since that FSU game some other guy has been putting on his uniform and pretending to be a basketball player. Seriously, look at his statlines the last few games.
FSU- 13 Points, 7 Assists. Not bad, you can live with the lack of points due to the huge assist production
Duke- 7 Points, 6 Assists. Not good. Not good at all. 6 assists are nice, but Reggie is a scorer, and the team depends on him to be just that. Reggie is the dynamic slasher this team needs so opposing defenses can't afford to completely focus on the outside shooters. If Reggie isn't threatening to drive the hoop, our long-range shooters suddenly become a lot easier to defend.
UNC- 6 Points, 3 Assists. Wow. Just awful. 6 points, and anyone who watched the game realized what an incredibly quiet six points this was. Reggie is in a definite funk right now, and the entire team is suffering because of it. He needs to break out of it in time for Saturday's home game against Virginia Tech.

2. Defense? We Don't Need No Stinking Defense
Actually, contrary to popular belief, defense can be relatively helpful to basketball teams. It can prevent, oh I don't know, an opposing team coming into your building and drop over 100 points on you! BC scored 74 points last night, which normally would be plenty of point to get a win in a conference game. But BC's defense (I use that term loosely) made sure that UNC was able to get an uncontested shot off almost every single possession down the floor. Granted, it didn't help that North Carolina was absolutely shooting the lights out from the floor, but BC did not help their cause by getting mixed up every possession and sometimes looking downright lazy on the court. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't one of Gene DeFilippo's main hiring points for Donahue the efforts that his teams made on both ends of the court? Because I think all us Eagle fans are still waiting on delivery of the defensive end of that bargain.

3. Frankly my Dear, I Don't Give a Damn (about a coherent player rotation)
Now, don't get me wrong. I like a deep bench for my teams. I'm a Knicks fan, and I'm friends with a Suns fan, so I've seen how D'Antoni's short benches can really hurt players in the long run. But last night's rotation from Donahue did not make any sense to me. Two huge examples:
1. Why was Kowalski on the court so early? This seemed absolutely crazy at the time and is still just as insane now. Kowalski is a serviceable player, to be sure, but it's baffling that he should be on the court so early in a huge in-conference game against an opponent with hugely athletic big men. Kowalski got burned by Zeller and Henson on both ends of the court and as soon as Kowalski got subbed into the game it started a huge 22-3 run for the Tar Heels that completely put the game out of reach in the first half.
2. I'm pretty sure Courtney Dunn deserves a little more than 1 minute. Dunn hasn't been a great player all year, but even still, we know from past experience that he can at least hold his own in ACC play and maybe be a spark off the bench. Donahue, inexplicably, left him on the bench as the rest of the team got burned on the offensive and defensive teams.

I don't think there are many positives to take out of this game. One obvious one, however, was the effort of Joe Trapani. Traps had a huge game last night, going for 25 points and 15 rebounds, and single-handedly kept this game from being one of the worst losses in decades. Trapani was the only Eagle who really showed up to play last night, and he deserves his props.

The Eagles have Virginia Tech coming to town on Saturday and that game is now an absolutely gigantic must-win. Not only from a resume perspective, but just from a team-confidence standpoint. BC just got blown out and exposed in 3 straight games and they need a win to fall back on and remind themselves that they are a good team. Here's to hoping they are.

I'll have my official game preview for the Virginia Tech game up by Friday, when hopefully some of the negative vibes from last night's debacle had dissipated. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to follow me on Twitter at DShaw31.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Boston College vs. North Carolina. Do or Die for BC?

Hello out there BC Sports fans. I have arrived, as the prophets foresaw, to breathe new life into this blog. I come to you at a crossroads for BC basketball. Up to this point, the Eagles have definitely defied any expectations that any reasonable fans had coming into the season. Come on, if I were to come up to you before the season and offer you the chance to be 14-7 with a win over a team from every power conference, including a win over top 15 Texas A&M, every one of you would have signed on the dotted line (and incidentally given me control of your eternal souls). Don't forget this past offseason, Coach Al Skinner was fired and Rakim Sanders, Evan Ravenel, and every one of our incoming recruits fled the scene. This was not a pretty scenario for Coach Donahue to walk into. And yet here we are, 14-7 with a new excitement surrounding the team, and the North Carolina Tar Heels on the horizon.

And yet, with this new success comes new expectations that must be met. Before the season, most fans would have been happy with a .500 season and a program that is looking like it's moving in the right direction. But now, with some signature wins under our belt, the Tournament is no longer quite so pie in the sky. But BC's two losses at home to Ivy League schools will really hurt these chances. That's why tonight's game against UNC is so huge. BC needs another big, in-conference win to really boost their resume. There are some more chances down the road for BC to gain some big wins, but tonight's game at Conte Forum will be a huge chance for BC to set the tone for the rest of the season and get the taste of the two game losing streak out of their mouth.

Keys to The Games

Can Josh Southern Keep Up With Tyler Zeller- Zeller is UNC's 7 foot forward who is averaging 13.8 PPG and 7.1 RPG. Zeller is a dynamite post player on both offense and defense, and Southern will have to stay strong against Big Z (I'm calling him that), but make sure to stay out of foul trouble. One more thing, even if Zeller is contained, the 6-8 John Henson just went off against NC State the other night, going for 16 and 16, so BC will definitely have its hands full down low.

Will the Threes Start to Fall Again?- This entire year BC has lived and died by the Three Ball. The last two games (against two great defensive teams mind you) BC has only shot about 35% from beyond the arc. While those are nice numbers for most teams, it's not going to cut it for a team whose main weapon in the long ball (Impressed by the amount of 3 point euphemisms I just used?). BC needs to knock down their open shots and get some extra points on the board because there is no way BC is going to win with their 222nd ranked scoring defense.

Get to the Line- The Eagles need to get to the foul line early and often and hit their shots from the charity stripe. One theme that will be a constant for me on this blog are the Three Key Stats to Winning Basketball Games (or TKSWBG for short. I'll think of something more clever someday.) The three key stats are Free Throws Made, Offensive Rebounds, and Three Pointers made. Normally if a team wins two of these three categories, they win the game. This is because all of these stats give the team more Points Per Possession, which is the key stat in basketball. We know BC will get outrebounded in this game due to the lack of size and the fact that they are awful at rebounding, but if they can knock down their Threes and Free Throws, BC can easily pull out a victory over the Tar Heels.

Boston College- 78 North Carolina- 71. BC is back riding high in the ACC standings

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eagles Commence Title Defense

The 2010-2011 Boston College Men's Hockey Team picked up right where last year's squad left off with a win Saturday night at Matthews Arena against Northeastern. It was not the typical 4 goal effort that we've grown accustomed to seeing, but it was a win nonetheless.

The defending national champions walked into a rowdy crowd decked out in all black and sporting "Beat BC" T-shirts, a difficult environment to open the season in. But the Eagles settled them down early with a strong first period. As expected, the top line of Joe Whitney, Brian Gibbons, and Cam Atkinson led the way and three new lines followed suit. John Muse matched the great play of the Huskies' Chris Rawlings (both with 12 saves in the opening period) and the two teams returned to the locker room knotted at 0-0.

The crowd woke up in the second period as the Eagles began to struggle breaking the puck out of the zone, one of the few things that plagued them at times last season. As if that wasn't bad enough the Eagles earned a seat in the penalty box 6 times. With the loss of Matt Price and Matt Lombardi, two excellent senior penalty killers last year, the Eagles should have been concerned. But John Muse stepped up to the challenge, standing on his head for 16 saves, keeping the undisciplined Eagles tied through 2.

The third period was back and forth and physical up until the 11:45 mark when, much to the crowd's dismay, Northeastern's Anthony Bietto was called for interference. The rare 5 forward power play unit of the Eagle's had been 0/2 thus far, but Joe and Steve Whitney proved the third times the charm. At the 12:06 mark Joe did what he does best, making a perfect pass across the Northeastern defense to his younger brother who buried it top corner. That would be all Muse needed as he finished his shutout and earned defensive player of the week honors.

Last year the defense was a huge question mark, but after Saturday's game that doesn't seem to be an issue. Tommy Cross, the first junior to be named assistant captain since Mike Brennan in '06-'07, and Edwin Shea enter their third year on the blue line; Brian Dumoulin returns after a record breaking +/- season; Patch Alber really emerged in last years playoffs; and Wey and Samuelsson each have a year under their belts. Combine that with a two-time national champion goaltender and arguably the best back-up in college hockey - aside from the two-headed beast in Miami, Ohio - and scoring against the Eagles will be quite the task. The offense, who return 79% of their goals last season and bring in 1st round pick Kevin Hayes, can breathe a sigh of relief.

The Eagles take their season opening road trip out west as they travel to Denver for a weekend double header against the Pioneers.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Final Scrimmage

Hello, hello all.
Last scrimmage in the books, 9 days 'til kickoff, hooray!

First update which I tweeted first on the WZBC Sports twitter is that Herzy may start working on Saturday which would put him in for some snaps against the fearsome Wildcats from Utah (Weber State)

It monsooned today, but the weather calmed down to a drizzle for the last scrimmage of the summer.

Let's recap:

Shinskie and Marscovetra are close, I think it's Shinskies job...for now. Spaz says it's like last year with the competition, but both guys are better. Shinskie had a low completion percentage today and the rain and drops didn't help that, but Marscovetra still is quite efficient. Both guys are visibly looking defenders off and finding their check down routes which I love.

Sterlin Phifer broke off a nice 19 yard TD run today and showed that he can be more than a power back. Tajh Kimble seems to have taken the lead on the third RB spot despite the fact that Williams had a great first scrimmage.

13 guys caught passes today with Bobby Swiggert tying with Tajh Kimble with four receptions. He'll be a valuable second string slot guy and have an immediate impact as a freshman. Spaz says he likes what the kid's doing but he's still got a ways to go.

For those emailing me about Momah's lack of hands I say to you, he's fixed that problem. He only caught three passes today, but when he did, he used his size to shield the defender and hung onto the ball. Clyde Lee had the longest reception of the day with a 26 yard grab.

The defensive line looked a little different today with Albright, Ramsey, Scafe, and Newman out (those are the projected starters when healthy). Holloway and Edebali played end today and if they ever have to play with the first team, I like them as backups. Murray, Quinn, and O'Neal got reps with the first team at DT and all three have a little something different. Murray is good with his hands, Quinn just pushes hard into the backfield, and O'Neal seems to have a sweet little spin move.

Linebackers lit up the field today. Kuechly and Clancy tied with 10 tackles and Thompson completed the trio at the other LB spot. Kuechly's hitting harder than last year, which excites me. Morrissey anchored the second string guys with Kevin Pierre-Louis and Steele Divitto playing extremely well. Watch out for those guys in the future.

Seconday played well, were quick to the ball, and hit hard. Isaac Johnson had a very good breakup on a pass to Momah.

Though Shinskie led some drives down field, the red-zone defense turned up the pressure and did not allow a touchdown inside the 20 in the second half. In the first half, the first team offense played the second team defense and vice versa, which is when Phifer and Harris got their TD runs.

Frozen Leg missed a 48 yarder that banged off the cross bar and converted on a 47 yarder. Spaz smiles when he talks about Nate Freese.

Well the scrimmages are officially over which means I'll give you my young guys to watch this coming season:

Watch out for:#85 Nate Freese, #86 Bobby Swiggert, #80 Johnathan Coleman, #92 Dillon Quinn, #91 Kasim Edebali, and...#40 Luke Kuechly because he's going to be miles better (scary I know).

Thanks so much for following WZBC Sports both here and on
We'll be bringing you EVERY game live on 90.3 WZBC Newton FM as well as streaming anywhere on planet Earth at

I'm Adam Rose, it's been a blast, and I'll blog you soon.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Scrimmage Three

With Albright, Holloway, Herzlich, Scafe, Amidon, Flutie, Phillips, Quigley, Ian White, and most importantly, Colin Larmond Jr. out with injuries, the scrimmage today was cut in the half (the weather played a part in this as well).

Dave Shinskie's first pass was tipped by Kasim Edebali, who has looked good during the scrimmages, and picked off by Dom LeGrande. Shinskie bounced back pretty well and ended the day completing 9-14 attempts for 116 yards. He threaded the needle a few times but completed those passes. Marscovetra was a perfect 12-12 on the day or 90 yards and a TD to Bobby Swiggert. The lack of hitting the QB helped Marscovetra in a few situations, but he had crisp passes and also threaded the needle once or twice.

Bobby Swiggert stepped up today in the absence of Larmond and Flutie and showed he could play at this level. he tied for the lead with five receptions for 29 yards. Clyde Lee also had five receptions for 43 yards. Momah only caught two balls, but shows he's ready to step up this year as well, he stiff armed Donnie Fletcher and got a nice 22 yard gain down the sideline.

The running backs are playing a bigger part in the passing game, Montel didn't play much today but I wouldn't be too worried. Marscovetra and Shinskie both agreed that they are more comfortable with the offense and using their checkdown routes more.

Kuechly lead defense in tackles, no surprise there. Dillon Quinn continues to impress at DT, he gets great push off the ball and I think fans should watch out for him.

I keep saying it, but Freese can kick. He connected from 39 yards and get this, a 51 yarder that bounced in off the cross bar. I asked Santa for a FG kicker last year for Christmas and it looks like we found one. He missed on a 47 yarder that had plenty of distance but clanged off the upright, Spaz said it got tipped at the line.

Speaking of the Mustached leader of the Eagles, he said that the team as behind where they needed to be and addressed the fact that depth is an issue at many many positions, hence the shortened scrimmage. Let's all hope Colin's injury isn't as serious as some believe and that those who sat out today can get back in.

The last scrimmage of the fall is on Wednesday at 3:30, so look for a new blog then.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Women's Soccer Vs. Stanford

The crowd tonight at the Newton Soccer was filled to capacity as they watched a rematch of the 2009 quarterfinal matchup. Alison Foley said her team was excited to play the Cardinal on their own turf because they felt like it would give them a little something extra. "This is our house," Natalie Crutchfield said. The game ended after two overtime periods with a score of 1-1.

Stanford was very aggressive as their attack was lead by Christen Press who Foley called, "one of the best forwards in the country." Countering Press was Eagles goalkeeper Jill Mastroianni who played fantastically tonight. Stanford's shots had Jill diving to each side, jumping and punching them and everything in between. The one goal she gave up to Lindsay Taylor was a magnificent strike by Taylor as she curled it right towards the right post and it went in.

Kristen Mewis, who played will in the UConn scrimmage, was noticeably absent from today's game, though she did provide an assist on the one BC goal, scored by Natalie Crutchfield. Foley said she anticipated Stanford playing lockdown on Mewis who she calls, "one of the best players in the country if not the world".

Stanford controlled the ball for most of the game and BC didn't register a shot in OT, but Alaina Beyar and the defense played well and didn't allow an easy shot.

This solid performance should give the girls good momentum going into the season, here's my recap written for The Heights.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Second Scrimmage

Alrighty folks, second scrimmage in the books. Let's recap!

Mark Herzlich was back in PA getting a Ewing's Sarcoma checkup and his team continued without him. Some wonder if 94's return on 9/4 will really happen. I really still believe that he will be back this season but if he doesn't see any action in the next two scrimmages, the time table is a little in question. The Globe will make a big deal out of it, but I'm not going to because there's on field stuff we can talk about.

There were lots of people out including Colin Larmond Jr., Mike Goodman, Wes Davis, Nate Richman, and Ryan Quigley.

So some stats are here from athletics and you can interpret what you'd like.

Here are my observations:
Momah and the tight ends are going to be very valuable options for the QB's this year. All show great pass catching abilities and they all worked hard after the first hit to gain a few more yards.
Rettig looked for Momah on an end zone fade, which I think we'll see a lot of but it was broken up by the defense.

Montel's going to be better and that's not a surprise. He got more carries tonight and showed fantastic vision and good cutting ability. He's also going to become a bigger factor in the passing game. I didn't have a lot of faith in his hands last year but he held onto each ball that was thrown his way.

Kaleb Ramsey looked good in his first action back to the team. If he can stay healthy and Scafe can get back, the line will be strong. Plus, the second team d-line looks very good as well.

McGovern will be bringing more pressure. Gause frequently came on the blitz and Kuechly and Morrissey got into the backfield numerous times.

Freese can kick...the end.