Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sacred (Broken) Heart

Just got back from the BC-Sacred Fart hoops game. You'll be happy to know that BC put together one serious ass-whuppin'. I know the Pioneers (5-6, RPI 153) are pretty low on the D1 totem pole, but these are the kind of games that can get ugly when a power conference team mails it in against a vastly inferior opponent, and then finds itself in a 5 point struggle midway through the 2nd half, getting tighter by the minute. But today the Eagles absolutely put the wood to them, and led big pretty much wire to wire. They were up 60-30 at the half for crissakes, then traded baskets in the second half while playing a lot of the scrubs. Dudley continues to amaze me with the way he lets the game come to him. He dropped 20 on Sacred Heart on 8-10 shooting. His shooting percentage over the current 6 game winning streak must be close to 70% (I'm going to confirm that), pretty incredible for a wing player. Sean Williams scored 16 points, and I'm beginning to think he really has improved his offensive game, and those double digit performances early were no fluke. That's good news for BC. Sean Marshall was OK but a little uneven, typical for him. Rice drilled a few 3s and looked great shooting the ball, but also had 5 turnovers. However, most of his TOs were because he was trying for style points with the game confortably in hand, an annoying but forgiveable offense. Shamari Spears had a nice game with a double double (11 points, 12 boards), and looked downright nasty with some loud snatches of rebounds. He looks more and more like a bulkier Danya Abrams when Abrams was a freshman. His flaw is the same as Abrams' (height), but I think if he can figure out a way to get off his shot against taller opponents like Abrams did, he will be a 15-17 point scorer for BC in the years to come. Tyrelle Blair got an unexpectedly long look in the first half, and had a nice offensive output (8 points) coupled with some solid defense (4 blocks). By the way, he led the Horizon League in blocked shots his freshman year before transferring to BC. Oates was OK, he buried a three and had a couple of putbacks, but his defense still sucks. Haynes had a couple of flashes with some athletic drives to the hoop. Here's the boxscore

The next game is December 23 at Kansas. This is the last big out-of-conference game for BC, and if they can somehow pull out a win against a young but very talented Jayhawks squad, it would go a long way toward burnishing their credentials for an at-large bid come tourney time. Short of a W, a strong showing would be great, as the game is on national TV (CBS, 2:00 PM), and a lot of people will be watching over Christmas weekend. The Kansas game is also significant in that it will be Akida McLean's first game back. McLean looked good in the scrimmage I attended pre-season, but has been sitting on the sidelines serving a 9-game suspension (undisclosed violation of team rules). It will be interesting to see (1) if he gets much playing time against the Jayhawks and (2) whether his game has indeed improved since last year. If McLean has improved, BC could use him. He is a really long frontcourt player, a legitimate 6-9 guy with a nice offensive touch.

In a game related note, my sons' "I've got a Whipple Boner" t-shirts were a big hit with the coeds at Conte Forum. Man do I miss college.

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