Men's Basketball

Notebook: Seminoles Burn Eagles’ Poor Defense for 104 Points

Both Boston College men’s basketball and No. 19 Florida State were coming off troublesome losses entering Monday’s game in Tallahassee. BC blew a big halftime lead against Notre Dame at Conte Forum, and Florida State had just lost at Pittsburgh. The pace of play was extraordinarily fast from the opening tip, and it seemed as though the shot clock never hit single digits before either team shot the ball or turned it over. Both teams needed a win badly, but the Seminoles had more to lose than the Eagles—and they played like it, too. FSU put up its second 100-plus point game this season, and trounced BC at home, 104-72.

Boston College (9-19, 2-13 Atlantic Coast) found itself down early, and never took the lead as the Florida State (22-6,10-5) offense picked apart the poor play of BC’s defense. Florida State’s two-headed monster of Jonathan Isaac and Dwayne Bacon, both future NBA Draft picks, overpowered the Eagles, and the deep bench of the Seminoles was unrelenting as well. Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson continued their strong offensive play for BC, as each scored over 20 points. The Seminoles are one of the many capable teams in the ACC, and showed the full extent of their ability in Monday’s game.

Three Up

1. A.J. Turner Gets His Juice Back

Coming into this game, Turner had struggled to find his rhythm on offense for much of the season, and needed a breakout game to help him regain confidence. This contest was just what he needed, as Turner racked up a smooth 13 points on 5-of-9 from the field.

Boston College men's basketball

The Eagles have been searching for a third scorer all season to complement the dynamic duo of Bowman and Robinson. At the beginning of the season Turner seemed like the obvious choice, but at times it has looked like Chatman might be the man for the job. With this efficient display, Turner regains the lead in that race, and hopefully he can continue to build on this performance.

2. Perimeter Shots  

While BC shot a vastly underwhelming 32.3 percent from behind the arc, it shot very favorable attempts. Not every good shot is going to fall, and although the Eagles only made 10-of-31, they had plenty of great looks that head coach Jim Christian has to be happy with. Bowman, Turner, Chatman, and Robinson all hit at least two 3s each, and the perimeter game is a facet of competition that BC continues to excel in.

Boston College men's basketball

The ball movement from Chatman to Garland Owens, and then from Owens to a wide-open Bowman is textbook, and you can count on Bowman to cash the check on that open shot. If the Eagles can continue to move the ball around the outside to find open men, they will sink more of those shots and will regain their form as a great 3-point shooting team.

3. Ky Bowman continues to play sensationally

Bowman was a bright spot in an otherwise relatively dark game for the Eagles. The Flamin’ Hot Cheeto was phenomenal again, dropping a game-high 24 points, and grabbing a game-high 11 boards for an impressive double-double. The point guard continues to impress as he also shot an efficient 10-of-17 from the floor. Among highly-touted prospects and future NBA players, Bowman fit in perfectly, and even occasionally stood out.

Boston College men's basketball

Bowman continues to put on a spectacle almost every time he touches the court, and with his second double-double of the year, the freshman phenomenon looks set to keep tearing up the ACC.  

Three Down

1. Paint Protection

With Mo Jeffers battling an illness, he was limited to only 13 minutes off the bench and was largely ineffective when playing, only recording a steal and a foul as his only stats. Nikola Popovic started in place of Jeffers, and had a challenging task ahead of him trying to stop the talented Florida State offense in the post. The Seminoles boast the likes of 7-foot-4 center Christ Koumadje, the tallest student-athlete in Florida State history, and with BC’s lack of a true rim-protector, there was trouble ahead. Jarquez Smith ended up doing a lot of the damage inside, and added a few highlight plays along the way.

Boston College men's basketball

Boston College men's basketball

Jarquez Smith received the ball, backed down Jeffers, and converted an easy layup for two of his 10 points. As Braian Angola-Rodas found himself in an easy 2-on-1 situation with Smith against Johncarlos Reyes, he gave Smith an easy lob. Reyes went up to knock down the pass, but it got through to Smith, who attempted to put Reyes on a poster with a powerful dunk. This trouble in the paint will continue to plague the Eagles until either Jeffers or Popovic can establish themselves as a real threat to big men inside, but BC still lacks a big shot- blocker to stop players like Smith from finishing in the key.  

2. Turnovers and Transition Defense

Live-ball turnovers aided in Florida State’s 32-point victory, as players finished almost every easy opportunity BC coughed up to them. Boston College turned the ball over 15 times, almost double that of the Seminoles.

Boston College men's basketball

Boston College men's basketball

Chatman tries to find Connor Tava cutting to the basket, but the pass is easily intercepted by Bacon, who gets the ball back in transition and finishes the play off with a monster slam. The other play looks very similar, as Bowman makes a poor pass right into another Florida State player’s chest. The ball is pushed back down towards BC’s end of the court, and the Seminoles capitalize with another dunk on a fast break that the Eagles cannot defend. Not only did these type of turnovers add points on the board for Florida State, they also deflated the BC attack and made it difficult to recover from both scoring-wise and mentally.

3. Florida State’s Big Play Ability

Florida State is blessed with a plethora of athletic playmakers, namely potential lottery pick Isaac and stud guard Bacon. It seemed as if every bucket the Seminoles scored should be on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays, and a few of them found their way there.

Boston College men's basketball

Boston College men's basketball

Bacon showed off fantastic athleticism with this pure destruction of the rim, again against BC’s abysmal transition defense. Trent Forrest also stormed in from the wing for a flush, but thankfully Turner anticipated the dunk and shrewdly backed away from potential annihilation at the rim. While both impressive, the best play of the night has to be credited to CJ Walker who kept his dribble while falling down and proceeded to dice up the BC defense on his way to a beautiful high kiss off the glass to finish the sequence. Some of these dramatic plays can be attributed to luck, or what is expected from competitive beasts, but the Eagles can not allow these types of plays to extinguish any momentum that they have built in these types of games.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

February 21, 2017