FTRS: Take 5 guys from BC's ACC affiliation days (because we only know BC from thenceforth) and make the ultimate starting line up. Who are the five? How far would they get in your everyday NCAA tournament?
Brian @ BCI: Great question.FTRS: Matt Ryan is pretty awesome. Who do BC faithful pull for if Matt Ryan matches up with Tom Brady in the Super Bowl?
If I’m picking the most talented five players, I’m going with C Sean Williams, PF Craig Smith, SF Jared Dudley, SG Reggie Jackson and PG Tyrese Rice. Coming off the bench would be Rakim Sanders, Joe Trapani, Corey Raji and Louis Hinnant. Four of five of those starters were contributors to the Eagles team that advanced to the Sweet 16 and had the talent to win it all that year (the NY Times even picked BC to win it all that year).
The only change in the lineup from the 2005-06 lineup is Reggie Jackson replacing Sean Marshall. I could be convinced to swap out Tyrese Rice for Louis Hinnant at point guard. Rice is the more talented player and bigger scoring threat, but Hinnant was probably the best pure point guard we’ve had over the last 6 seasons.
That team has the talent to get to the Sweet 16 in 8 or 9 out of 10 NCAA Tournaments, and could probably make a Final Four or two in a good year.
Brian @ BCI: Matt Ryan is indeed awesome.FTRS: Let's talk about this season. The Yale and URI losses look like flukes. Were they flukes? How did the two underdogs defeat the Eagles?
Those of us that pull for the Patriots would naturally root for Tom Brady over Matt Ryan and the Falcons.
I personally don’t care for the Pats. Growing up in New Jersey, I was raised a Giants fan. Obviously I haven’t exactly had the best of years with the Giants missing the playoffs despite winning 10 games. (Mention DeSean Jackson’s name and I might have to hurt you. Way too soon, bro).
NFL fan-dom is a funny thing. Matt Ryan probably hasn’t converted a majority of BC fans who already have an NFL team rooting interest, but for the casual NFL fan, I’m sure seeing Ryan do well has drawn BC alum to cheering for the Falcons. If your team isn’t in the playoffs, then I would venture to say that those fans are pulling for Matty Ice.
Brian @ BCI: I think the word "fluke" implies that Yale and/or Rhode Island got lucky beating the Eagles. That’s not entirely accurate.FTRS: After watching a good deal of Eagle pre-ACC hoops, have the Eagles exceeded or fallen short of your preseason expectations? Would you like to go back and change your preseason predictions?
BC plays an offensive brand of basketball that is very, very different from the tight flex offense under Al Skinner. Steve Donahue’s offense lives and dies by the three ball. More often than not, you’ll see four Eagles on the perimeter and just one player positioned inside the arc. BC moves the ball fairly well and shoots a lot of 3s. I mean, a LOT.
Needless to say, when the Eagles are hot from range, they can play with anyone in the country. When they go cold and don’t protect the ball, anyone can hang with BC. This provides for a lot more volatility in the outcomes of games. So long as BC relies almost exclusively on perimeter shooting, I think you’ll continue to see BC lose some head scratchers … and win games where you’d otherwise think they have no business winning.
In the Yale loss, Donahue didn’t play walk-on turned 3-point specialist Danny Rubin (averaging 2 3PM a game and 7.4 points per game). The Eagles lost by 8. In the Rhode Island loss, guard Biko Paris played just 5 minutes after injuring his ankle, and BC lost by 2. Long story short, BC’s bench isn’t very deep at all, and if a key player isn’t logging a lot of minutes due to injury or foul trouble, the Eagles could find themselves on the losing end of those games.
Brian @ BCI: In terms of the ACC media’s preseason expectations, BC has exceeded them. Far exceeded them. The Eagles were picked to finish 10th in the preseason media poll. Now, those same pundits have BC safely in the NCAA Tournament, finishing anywhere from fourth to sixth in the regular season ACC standings.FTRS: MBA money management problem. Here are your constraints: 1) You have a coach who doesn't appear to care anymore because he is protected by a massive regenerating buyout clause in his contract. 2) You are upgrading your hoops stadium and stretching your hoops donor resources to the max. 3) You are still paying for the Buffalo Bills' head coach's vacation home in Miami. Question: What do you do to reinvigorate your dying fan base?
As for my expectations, the Eagles have exceeded them, but only slightly. In the preseason, I predicted the Eagles would be 11-4 through 15 games. They are 11-4 through 15.
In ACC play, I had BC at 7-9 to finish the regular season with a mark of 18-12. While it seemed a bit optimistic at the time, I think I’ll stick with my preseason. BC might do slightly better in ACC play, but I want to see how Donahue’s offense fares against bigger, more physical ACC teams.
Brian @ BCI: Here’s how I attacked this problem:FTRS: Who wins this game? What individual match ups are you looking forward to in the GT-BC hoops game on Saturday?
1. Look up who the current head coach of the Buffalo Bills is. Find out it’s Chan Gailey. Wait, what?!
2. Assume Georgia Tech is still on the hook for part of Chan Gailey’s contract / buyout. Confirm via Google search.
3. Look up the Buffalo Bills’ 2010 record
4. Question how Chan Gailey got that job in the first place …
5. Then look at the ROI of Chan Gailey buyout dollars ($1 mil a year for 4 years) over the number of Bills wins in 2010.
6. Throw up in my mouth a little after calculating that Georgia Tech paid Chan Gailey roughly $250,000 per Bills win in 2010.
The only logical conclusion from analyzing this poor ROI is to either a) convince Roger Goodell to contract the Bills franchise (or move them permanently to Toronto), thus, in some strange way, invalidating Gailey’s buyout agreement with Tech. Or b) get rid of Gailey by calling in a favor from your friends in Waste Management.
As for reinvigorating a dying fan base, I think the solution is pretty cut and dry. Accept an invite to the SEC and dominate that basketball conference. That conference is garbage for college hoops, anyway. I think even Paul Hewitt could handle that assignment.
Brian @ BCI: I’m taking BC (of course) in a close one. Say 70-66. I’m really looking forward to watching BC guards Reggie Jackson and Biko Paris go up against Iman Shumpert and Glen Rice Jr. Both set of guards have carried their respective teams so far this season. It should prove to be a really good matchup.Thanks goes out to Brian for answering our questions and also to the BC Eagle nation for providing the Falcons with the best quarterback in franchise history.