Wake Vs. BC round two. Who's with me? /raises hand slowly. Okay, so it's no Missouri-Kansas, but it's what we've got. We reached out to Conrad from BCI fame (you can find more of his quality work at Fear The Sword, the Cleveland Cavaliers blog) to get another perspective on Eagles-Deacs.
We talk the team's progress, BC guard Jordan Daniels, the talent gap and more after the jump...We're at the tail end of Steve Donanue's second season at Boston College. The Eagles sit at 239 in the KenPom ratings, but all things considered, have looked to be playing better the last few games. Where do you see improvement? Where does the team need to get better?
The team needs to get more consistent. I love the job that Steve Donahue has done so far, but he's still working with freshmen. It took him a while to figure out his rotations, but he seems to have found some that work. The team used to collapse with about eight minutes remaining in the game, and now they seem to be able to get closer to playing a full 40 minutes. The main concern is the extended scoring droughts that come from a lack of consistency. That needs to improve and will come with maturation.
How have the Eagles adjusted to the loss of Patrick Heckmann (mono)? When is he expected back?
It's hard to say how much BC misses Heckmann because he played so few games before getting sick. He is one of the few players that has the size and quickness to create his own shot, to a certain degree. He was supposedly practicing with the team this week and should be back next week, but it's hard to tell with something like mono. I do wonder how far behind he will be when he gets back considering how much growth we have seen from the healthy guys since he has been out
I've been really encouraged with spurts from freshman Jordan Daniels. Give us a scouting report on his game. How has he progressed this year?
He's gotten a lot better and looks to be the only truly solid point guard on this roster. He's incredibly quick and shifty. He's got a pretty tight handle and sees the floor pretty well. He's pretty good in the pick and roll, but obviously all of these things are a work in progress. His best attribute may be how quickly he can get his shot off.
Being undersized (that's an understatement), it's important that he has a quick release so that he can get his shot off whenever he gets some breathing room. As with all of our players, his biggest weakness is consistency and getting overwhelmed. In any other situation, he'd be the backup point guard behind a veteran. He'd get to play 15-20 minutes per game and learn gradually. Instead, he's thrown directly into the fire and has to learn on the fly.
The first time the Demon Deacons played Boston College this year, it looked like Wake had the three best players on the floor in some parts. Does the talent gap worry you at times, or do you have faith that Donahue's system and personnel will eventually be compatible with time?
The talent gap worries me, and then I realize that Donahue has only had one recruiting class, and they are all still freshmen. Ryan Anderson looks to be quite talented, as does Dennis Clifford. These guys need time to grow (literally and figuratively) and get used to playing college basketball. This isn't Kentucky or Carolina, BC is not going to recruit freshmen that are instantly stars. However, the freshmen that BC does get have the potential to become stars, it will just be a year or two down the road.
What's the storyline to watch in this one (I mean, aside from the obvious #QuestFor12)?
I guess it would be the idea of Donahue being in the running for ACC Coach of the Year. You wouldn't think so, but with this roster and all that youth, the job that he has done is remarkable. Watching this team from a couple months ago to now is insane. They are almost unrecognizable. A few more ACC wins, and I think he has a legitimate case.
How do you see this game playing out? What's your final score?
I firmly believe that this team is getting better with every game. I think they've improved enough to beat a team like Wake. I'll be a homer and say that the Eagles win by a score of 63-56. Ryan Anderson leads all scorers with 19 points.
Thanks again, Conrad.