Why Boston College Is in a Slump: Two Keys to BC's Success and Failure

JB McCandlesCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2009

It's safe to say that Boston College has gotten a little ahead of themselves after upsetting the then-unbeaten North Carolina Tar Heels. Who knows if the players are reading the news clippings or not, but there are two keys to BC's success and failure.

BC has gotten solid play out of senior guard Tyrese Rice; his points are down, but his assists and rebounds are up, while he has limited his turnovers. It's safe to say that Rice is gonna have a big game every night. Rice scores most of his points in bunches. He's the player that BC needs to sink a three to cap off a huge run.

I remember watching Rice as a freshman. He was never afraid to shoot a three from anywhere on the court. He made his name known well when he played a great game in a home loss to Duke.

There is no question that BC basketball has been on a rapid decline since the departure of Craig Smith. Even with Jared Dudley as a senior, the Eagles were still unable to match the past success with Smith.

This leads us to our first key to a BC win: solid play from Josh Southern. By solid play I mean not committing fouls, but remaining aggressive. Southern needs to be around his average of five and five; if he could average eight and eight, BC would be in great shape.

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Southern needs to stay aware. He has turned the ball over too many times by dropping passes and throwing passes out of bounds. Southern needs to get the free throw line more because he is a decent free throw shooter for a big man.

In BC's upset win, Southern had four points and five rebounds. He was 2-2 from the line and didn't turn the ball over. Courtney Dunn had three points and three rebounds. He also didn't turn the ball over. Combine the two, and it's seven points and eight rebounds. That's what BC needs to get out of their two big men.

In BC's loss to Harvard, Southern turned the ball over once and had six points and five rebounds, but he failed to get to the charity stripe. Courtney Dunn had 0 points and 0 rebounds. He also turned the ball over once. 

The second key to a BC victory is a solid game by three of these: Rakim Sanders, Tyrese Rice, Joe Trapani, Corey Raji, or Reggie Jackson. 

In BC's win over North Carolina, it was Jackson, Sanders, and Rice. The three combined for 64 points. In BC's win over Providence, it was Rice, Raji, and Trapani. The three combined for 48. In BC's win over UAB, it was all five of them (Sanders, Rice, Trapani, Raji, Jackson). The five combined for 72 of BC's 83.

In BC's loss to Miami, it was Sanders, Rice, and Jackson combining for 53, but Trapani and Raji combined for just 12, and Southern failed to score.

For BC to win, they have to be near perfect. The way they have been playing, I would say that they need about 65 to 70 points from Sanders, Trapani, Raji, Rice, and Jackson. Combining that with a combination of eight points and eight rebounds from Southern and Dunn (or Evan Ravenel) should lead to a BC victory. 

One final note: BC turned the ball over just 11 times against UNC, compared to 16 against Harvard and Wake Forest.

If BC can limit the turnovers to under 12, get eight and eight from the big men, and get a combined 65 points from Trapani, Rice, Sanders, Raji, and Jackson, they will not lose another game in ACC play. BC needs to play near perfect because they lack size and rebounding. 

I thought BC would have been better this year, but it looks like we have to wait one more year for BC to return to dominance. Jackson will be the next point guard at BC, and he has the chance to be better than Rice in my eyes. 

BC goes down to the Georgia Dome tomorrow to battle the winless in ACC play Georgia Tech Jackets. BC might have run into Tech at the wrong time. Tech is bound to win sooner or later; they simply have too much talent.

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