Basketball Preview: Catching The BC Basketball Wave
Four Freshmen From California Ride A Wave Of Enthusiasm
Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Every wave is different. Some can be tidal waves. Some can be small ripples. Some brush up against you, and others knock you down. Waves rise, and they fall. They can travel thousands of miles before they reach their destination. But when one knocks you down, how do you respond? Do you let it keep you down, or do you get up to face the next one, and endure it?
In California, Ryan Anderson, Kyle Caudill, Jordan Daniels, and Lonnie Jackson all live within about an hour from the ocean. They have all seen plenty of waves from their time at the beach. Now they are all freshmen in Chestnut Hill, 2,500 miles from home, and they are prepared to take on the tide headfirst. Except these waves won't be the ones in the ocean; they'll be the ebb and flow of success as members of Steve Donahue's nine-man freshman class on the Boston College basketball team.
Last week, head coach Steve Donahue was straightforward with what he expected to see from his young team.
"You're not going to get a steady incline of progress. You're going to get this," he said, moving his hand up and down in a wave motion. "You're going back and trying to get better."
Anderson, Caudill, Daniels, and Jackson are four of the nine members of Donahue's first full recruiting class, and they are buying into Donahue's wave analogy. They came to BC because they are not afraid to make mistakes, because they have the ability to change the face of the program.
"We knew there was going to be a steep learning curve, but what Coach says is that we have to learn from the first mistake, not the second mistake," Jackson said. "So during the year, we know there's going to be downs, but we have got to bounce back after those downs and come together as a team and help each other out. That's the main thing, just picking each other up when we're down."
"And I feel like Coach has been making it a big point that, since we're so young, we're making a lot of mistakes," Anderson added. "But I feel like he wants us to keep playing through the mistakes and not to sulk on the ones that we make and just bounce back to the next play."
The four Californians are an essential piece of the rebuilding puzzle for Donahue. They want to make a splash starting Monday night in Conte Forum. But if the tidal waves of the ACC knock them down, they won't back down. They'll get up and jump right back into the action.
Anderson, Caudill, Daniels, and Jackson came to the East Coast with plenty of familiarity with each other. All four had played either with or against each other at some point before they got to BC.
Daniels and Jackson were the first to meet each other when they were 10 years old, playing on an AAU team.
"This dude's been shooting forever since we were 10," Daniels said, looking at Jackson next to him.
"This guy," Jackson responded, referencing Daniels, "when we were 10 years old, he was able to shoot a left-handed layup. I was just like, ‘He can shoot a left-handed layup, that's crazy!' He was ahead of the game when he was young."
A few years later, Jackson met Anderson and Caudill when they began playing for the Pump N Run, an AAU team, during their sophomore year of high school. Anderson left the team going into his junior year, but Jackson and Caudill continued to play together on the AAU circuit for two more years.
Before they started playing with each other though, they had played against each other.
"Before I knew [Kyle], I used to hate playing against him because he sweats so much," Anderson said. "I hated guarding him."
During section playoffs one year, Daniels' Etiwanda High School squared off against Jackson's Valencia High School. Etiwanda came out victorious over Valencia, but, in the next round, Daniels' team was knocked out by Long Beach Poly, led by Anderson.
"It's funny," Jackson said. "We always kid about that."
"That was all right before we all moved down here," Daniels added.
"My team didn't make the playoffs," Caudill piped in, garnering the laughs of his teammates.
In the eyes of the players, the experience of playing with and against each other in southern California played a key role in the four coming to Chestnut Hill together.
"It was a big influence," Anderson said. "Me and Lonnie took our visit together on the same weekend, because they knew we already had known each other before."
Back in California, Anderson had been working out with Caudill, who was the first to commit to Donahue and the Eagles. Before Anderson left for his visit, Caudill filled him in on the school since he had already been there. Anderson and Jackson enjoyed the visit enough to commit, and then relayed their experience to Daniels, who had not seen the school yet.
"I kind of just took these guys' word for it," Daniels said. "I asked them about everything. I met the coaches myself during the recruiting process, but as far as the school and stuff, I relied on these guys."