February 16, 2009
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of BC/Duke
What more can you say about Tyrese Rice? When it's all said and done for Rice he might go down as one of the most misunderstood and unappreciated players in recent BC memory, even though he's one of a handful of players who scored 2000 points at the Heights.
If you attended any BC games early in the year it was tough to ignore murmurings from both fans and media at the games questioning Rice. Why isn't Rice scoring more? Is Tyrese even trying out there?
By mistake, many of Rice's critics were correlating points scored with effort. Little did those people realize that BC's 1st Team All-ACC performer wasn't scoring as much because he was trying to give the young players around him confidence by deferring to them. Sure, Rice could've scored 25 against Bryant instead of 10, or 20 against USC Upstate instead of 0, but that wouldn't have helped down the stretch.
On top of that it allowed Rice to save his legs for late in the year when his team needed him most like against Duke on Sunday. Rice came through in a big way scoring 21 combined with 6 assists and 6 rebounds.
Was there more of an enjoyable moment then when Rice drilled a three from 26 feet to give BC a 74-72 lead? Maybe only when Rice grabbed a rebound off Gerald Henderson's three pointer with 23 seconds left and then nailing two free throws to ice the game.
Trapani was named the player of the game, and nobody can really argue about that, as he scored 20 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Trapani had quite a few thunderous dunks that really got the crowd fired up. The best of those dunks came off of an alley-oop from Josh Southern in the 2nd half that came off of an inbounds play that Al Skinner called after a timeout.
"We actually ran the same play against St. John's in the beginning of the year here and I think Evan Ravenel threw me the lob. We pick and choose when we do it. It's obviously based upon how the team is playing us defensively. When we get it it's a great energy booster," said Trapani.
Off all the great plays Trapani made perhaps the biggest came on a rebound he made. With a little over 2 minutes remaining in the game, Duke had taken the lead 70-69 off of a John Scheyer bucket. On BC's next possession, Rice launched a three that missed and Trapani grabbed an offensive rebound in the middle of traffic. Trapani was fouled on the rebound and his two free throws gave BC a 71-70 lead. If Duke got the rebound off of Rice's miss who knows what the outcome would've been.
Rakim Sanders 1st Half/ Reggie Jackson 2nd Half
In the early going Sanders was key as he scored 9 of BC's first 11 points. The Eagles came out of the gates pretty sluggish on the offensive end, and if it weren't for Sanders the Blue Devils might have taken a double digit lead very early.
In the 2nd half, Jackson picked up where Sanders left off by scoring 11 points. The biggest of those points came on a gutsy shot with under a minute left when Jackson hit a short range floating jumper with a defender in his face and another defender trying to draw a charge.
Not only was it cool of Dudley to come to the game during his off time, but it was fun to watch the former BC star get emotionally involved in the game and actually help the players on the court.
How did Dudley help? Well, Dudley actually acted almost like an extra assistant. Dudley was sitting opposite the Duke bench on the end of the court that the Blue Devils shot at in the 2nd frame. When Duke was setting lots of screens Dudley was yelling out at the players when a screen was coming their way. Thus it was almost like BC has an extra assistant that was allowed to sit on the other end of the court.
BC's NCAA Tournament Chances
The win over Duke is obviously huge as it gives the Eagles what will most likely be the 2nd victory over a top ten opponent at years end. At this point you have to figure that BC would all but lock up an NCAA Tournament berth if they finished the regular season 2-2 and won a game in the ACC Tournament.
Another factor that's not looking to hurt BC's chances is how they'll end up finishing in their last 12 games, which is an important factor for the selection committee. To take a pretty conservative view lets assume that the Eagles play a pair of games in the ACC Tournament. That of course means that you'd combine their 1-1 tournament record with their last ten regular season games. The last ten games starts with the 1/27 game at Maryland, so that would put BC at 4-2 out of the gates in their last 12 games, and really you can say 5-3 if you assume they go 1-1 in the conference tournament.
If you want to talk about bringing nothing to the table check out Paulus' stat line. He played 25 minutes and had 2 points, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, and seven flops.
BC's 1st Half Rebounding
Without being too negative let's just say that the victory wasn't the equivalent of a perfect game in baseball. BC's rebounding was pretty poor in the 1st half, particularly on the defensive end as they allowed Duke to grab 9 offensive rebounds which led to 10 2nd chance points.
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