Kansas Handles BC

Out of the 300+ Division 1 basketball teams, Boston College would have no problem giving 99% of them a run for their money.

On Saturday, the Eagles and their fans got to see one of the handful of teams that doesn't fit in with that 99% group, as Kansas rolled BC 85-60 at Conte Forum.

Kansas' dominance inside was one of the handful of factors in the blowout. The Jayhawks' front court duo of Darrell Arthur and Darnell Jackson was just too much for BC to handle, as they combined for 47 points and 16 rebounds on the day. It looked so easy for Arthur and Jackson to score that it reminded me of the old arcade game "NBA Jam" where the players could dunk at will anytime down the court once they were "on fire".

"We just didn't defend the frontcourt as well as we should have," said Coach Al Skinner. "Along with our turnovers that's pretty much the story of the ballgame."

The turnovers Skinner alluded to were BC's 10 turnovers in the 1st half. With 8:24 remaining, BC was actually tied with Kansas at 22 all, but the Eagles then proceeded to commit 5 turnovers the rest of the half. The result was the Jayhawks finishing on a 25-7 run.

Things looked even worse for BC in the 2nd half when Tyrese Rice (20 points) picked up his 4th foul around the 17:00 mark. The young Eagles were able to show some backbone behind Rakim Sanders (21 points, 5 assists), as they cut the Kansas lead to 14, but that's as close as BC got.

It's tough to take many positives out of a game like this, but Rice thought that the Eagles might have learned a lesson.

"I think they (Kansas) basically showed us how hard you have to play to be a great team. We all know that they are a great team, they're 15-0 or something like that, and they proved to us why. We just didn't match their intensity from beginning to end. They are relentless and they never stop, and I think we realize that…it should be a big wake up call to us."

Coach Skinner had a similar view as his point guard. "If we learn anything else from this game it's how hard you've got to play for 40 minutes. Hopefully we will learn to do that, because we'll be facing other quality opponents here in the future."

What else can the Eagles take away from this game? Well, in the end, BC shouldn't get overly concerned about getting dominated inside. The good news is that besides North Carolina, there's not another team on the schedule that comes close to matching the firepower of Kansas down low.

However, the area of concern for Skinner had to stem from the sloppiness of the offense in the 1st half. It wasn't just all bad passing either (although that was part of it). The other cause of the turnovers was that the BC players were not sealing off Kansas defenders in the flex offense. When an offensive player seals off his opponent correctly in the flex it makes it hard for:

1) The defender to steal the ball when the "sealer" has gotten position

2) The defender to block a shot without fouling once the offensive player has gotten position and received the pass.

Unfortunately for BC, with their poor execution it allowed Kansas to make steals and block shots fairly easily. The Eagles didn't make Kansas "work" for their turnovers most of the time, and it led to many easy layups. Look for Al Skinner to get this problem fixed as early as Monday night against Robert Morris.

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