Tuesday, February 3, 2009

game preview: Boston College

Tomorrow's D-Day in the football world, so what better way to celebrate than with a basketball post?

First, here's what to expect on these pages tomorrow. As you know, 1 PM is H-hour, and barring any craziness, it's the only major announcement that Wahoos are waiting for. I'll likely post a short blurb, whatever the choice. Otherwise, posting will be determined by events and how often the boss walks past my office door. Don't expect to burn out your F5 key here - up-to-the-minute updates are best found at TheSabre or Rivals or one of those sites where people have Al Groh's cell phone number on speed dial. In the afternoon/evening I'll post my thoughts on the day's events.

Also going on tomorrow is a basketball game. Which we'll probably lose.

Virginia Cavaliers (7-10, 1-5) vs. Boston College Eagles (17-6, 5-3)

Possible starting lineups:


PG: Sammy Zeglinski (9.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.6 apg)
SG: Calvin Baker (7.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.6 apg)
SF: Sylven Landesberg (17.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.4 apg)
PF: Mike Scott (11.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 0.7 apg)
C: Assane Sene (3.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.9 bpg)

(It's kind of silly listing how many assists Sene gets. That's not what he's on the court for. It's very cool, however, that he's tied for third in the conference in blocks per game.)


PG: Tyrese Rice (17.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.7 apg)
SG: Rakim Sanders (12.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.6 apg)
SF: Corey Raji (10.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.8 apg)
PF: Joe Trapani (13.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.7 apg)
C: Josh Southern (5.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.7 apg)

I could just plagiarize the Duke game prediction from below. I mean, this game isn't likely to go any different. In the interest of living by the honor code, I do at least have a couple other thoughts about this game.

BC, you see, was supposed to stink. Going into the season, they looked like a one-man show of Tyrese Rice and a bunch of no-loads. Instead, they upended UNC and then, after an ugly losing streak brought on by a loss to Harvard, they righted the ship and now have all the makings of at least a tourney bubble team.

The scouting report used to be, stop Rice and you stop BC. Last season, Rice averaged over 38 minutes a game. He basically never left the floor. This year, Joe Trapani has done a remarkable job taking over for - and being way better than - the departed, disgruntled Shamari Spears. The rest of the starting lineup has also picked up some slack, allowing Rice the luxury of occasionally taking a break.

These days, though, it's hardly worth scouting the opponent. Until we fix what's broken with our offense, we're not going to win a single game. Period. We're averaging 73 points a game, which isn't completely awful, but take away that VMI game in which you're forced to score a bucketload win or lose, and we drop from 7th to 11th in the conference. I don't know how to fix the offense, but a moratorium on threes would be a great start. Better to have a shot-clock violation and have the opposition take the ball out of bounds than to give up the long rebound after the inevitable miss and allow a transition opportunity. Our 3-point percentage is pathetic, and Curtis Staples isn't walking through that door. The last two games have been a good step in that direction - much better than the 27 we jacked up against UNC - and maybe it's resulting in more turnovers since they're getting the idea that they can't be bailed out by the three, but hey, it's a learning process.

So I dunno....honestly, I don't expect anything different out of this game than the last few. Lousy first half, respectable second half, and the worries about Dave Leitao's offense will grow steadily louder.

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