Sports provide us with countless be-careful-what-you-wish-for, because time never stops, and restlessness is the inevitable product of time passing. Generally speaking, restlessness in sports means that fans and/or decision-makers get tired of the dang coach. Seventy-eight percent of all coaching tenures unfold like this:
Year 0: Coach! Dang, look at this coach. He’s gonna coach them up so much!
Year 1: Look at coach coaching them up so much!
Year 4: Well, I dunno about this, coach, I don’t know at all. Okay, we’ll see.
Year 6: Look at this jerk! I’m tired of his stupid jerk face and how he’s always smiling when he’s happy!
Al Skinner got more time at Boston College than most coaches get at high-major basketball programs, but still, eventually everyone got tired of his face, and he was fired. Now, sure, Skinner was inconsistent, but he did get the Eagles to the NCAAs seven times. In the 9+ seasons since he was fired, BC has been to the NCAAs none times.
(There’s evidence too that if BC had just endured another down year rather than canning Skinner, he’d have turned it around. Steve Donahue had his best team at BC in his first year, and that’s the team he inherited from Skinner. Oh well!)
BC hasn’t had a winning record in conference play since 2011, and that streak will not be ending in 2019 barring a miraculous late turnaround. In any event, the Eagles aren’t making the NCAA tournament. Here’s a glance at the latest crap factory out of Chestnut Hill (ACC games only):
BC has had its share of standout players over the last decade, but it’s rarely had much depth behind them. This season is no exception—Ky Bowman is having a fine season as the lead dog on offense, but it’s another incomplete team.
Bowman shoulders an enormous load, and he almost never comes off the floor. He is second nationally in percentage of team minutes played at 96.2. He’s gone the full 40 minutes in nine of BC’s 12 ACC games. In the Eagles’ non-conference OT loss to Hartford in December, he played all 45 minutes.
He’s managed that well because he’s really talented, but the fact that it’s necessary points to obvious flaws down the line. Consistency elsewhere is severely lacking and one man can do only so much. “Play our best guy until his legs fall off” is not the the healthiest of strategies, and indeed is indicative in most cases of overriding illness.
So you can expect the Eagles to keep up for stretches on Wednesday night, but finding enough effective scoring to pull an upset ain’t likely.
KenPom likes NC State by 11.