Baylor vs. BC Likes and Dislikes
(Photo by Graham beck/Heights Editor)
By Austin Tedesco, Asst. Sports Editor
Boston College pushed No. 16 Baylor for about 75 percent of its matchup this afternoon in the first round of the Charleston Classic, before falling 84-74 to the Bears. Here are three likes and three dislikes from the game.
1. Ryan Anderson
Offensively, the power forward couldn’t have been better in the first half. His post moves are at another level this year, he’s extremely confident, and he’s executing well. Rolling off the screen, he can either spot up from the elbow or finish at the rim with a dunk in a more explosive fashion than he ever could last season. The offense strayed away from him a little more than it should have as Baylor pulled away in the second half, but the guards were turning the ball over and Baylor began putting more pressure on Anderson. He did a good job of staying on his feet when defending Isaiah Austin in the post, and didn’t give the star freshman too many easy looks. Overall, he had an incredible game and the future is very bright for the BC star.
2. Donahue’s willingness to make adjustments
Baylor was killing BC off the dribble and on pick-and-rolls (which will come up later), but Donahue made a smart move and switched to a 2-3 zone to slow down the Bears. The Eagles gave up some easy 3-pointers because they either helped too far in the post or didn’t rotate quickly enough, but the zone did its job and slowed down Pierre Jackson enough for BC to take the lead. Donahue isn’t afraid to make any adjustments necessary to get the victory, and it’s a great thing to see in a coach. Yet again, Donahue proved his ability to be an impressive in-game coach, especially with his ability to draw up clean looks out of timeouts.
3. Rahon and Hanlan’s playmaking
Joe Rahon and Olivier Hanlan both did a good job running the point guard position. When even one of the two guards is off the court, the offense isn’t nearly as effective. Both freshmen did a great job hitting Anderson in the pick-and-roll as well as pushing the ball in transition. Rahon should shake his shooting slump as he gets more used to the college game, and Hanlan will figure out ways to finish at the rim at this level. Against a long and athletic Baylor squad, both rookies played admirably on the offensive end.
1. The defense, all of it
There weren’t a lot of positives on the defensive end for BC, with the biggest negative coming on pick-and-roll defense. Donahue said going into the season that he felt comfortable switching the pick-and-roll defense to a more aggressive attack where the bigs show and recover quickly. That didn’t happen against the Bears. As the guards slid underneath the screens, the big men stayed glued to the screener and Jackson, especially, found open look after open look. It’s fine for the guard to go under a couple of times if he has to, but only if the big man defending the screener is already hedging with a hand up. If the big plays lazy defense by sticking to the screener, then open shots like the ones Jackson nailed will occur time after time. Unlike Anderson and Dennis Clifford, who have struggled with this in both games, Andrew Van Nest has done a great job defending the pick-and-roll the right way. The 2-3 zone was better, but the rotations were poor and it led to too many easy shots. Baylor has some monsters up front and BC should’ve been expected to give up some offensive boards, but on too many occasions the Eagles were late to even get a body on Corey Jefferson or Austin. BC dominated FIU on the glass because of a size advantage. The Eagles won’t be able to rely on that when conference play starts. BC will need to box out early and effectively.
2. Jackson’s one-dimensional game
Lonnie Jackson is a great three-point shooter when he is on, but when he’s off he shuts down too quickly and too easily. He’s streaky, and streaky shooters need to find other ways to affect games. After Jackson had a big game against Sacred Heart last season, he insisted his game went beyond just perimeter shooting. He needs to prove that. If his shot isn’t falling, and in plenty of games this season it won’t, he either needs to find ways to get to the rim or create for his teammates. There’s nothing wrong with continuing to take open looks, as long as they’re open, until he gets hot, but he also needs to mix in some variety in order to be effective on the court.
3. Transition defense
Baylor started way too many fast breaks off of made baskets from BC. The Eagles aren’t finding guys spotting up on the arc in transition early enough and it led to too many points for the Bears. Even when BC does get back, early screens or cuts have been hurting this squad. The furthest player back needs to sprint back to the rim after a make, miss, or turnover, and then work out from there with the other players finding shooters and stopping the ball as quickly as possible. It’s one more important step for this team to take before it starts knocking off elite opponents like this, and those wins probably won’t come until mistakes like this are fixed.