Jeff and I tackle some of the offseason storylines and other random thoughts on our minds today in a game of Toss Up.
Toss Up - Which National championship game coach, if they were named BC men's basketball coach tomorrow, would first get the Eagles to the Final Four - Roy Williams or Tom Izzo?
Brian: The other day I was having a conversation that asked the question, just how good of a coach is Roy Williams? Now don't get me wrong, the following is not meant to belittle Williams' accomplishments at either Kansas or North Carolina. But I'm just not sold on how good of a coach Roy Williams is. Let me explain. I would venture to say there are about 5-10 college basketball programs out there that simply sell themselves. High schoolers simply want to play for your program. Kansas and North Carolina are certainly two of those programs. I would venture to guess that there are a handful of other programs that could say the same thing. Off the top of my head? Duke, Kentucky, UCLA - maybe no more, Arizona (?), Connecticut, and Indiana, too. These programs have no geographical boundaries as far as recruiting and usually claim the lion's share of the McDonald's All-American population.
Now, I started to read up on Roy Williams career trying to answer the question, where was Williams before Kansas? Wait, his only two D-I college head coaching jobs were Kansas and North Carolina?! How can that be? It seems like Williams was giving Wonka's golden ticket. He inherited a Kansas team coming off a National championship under Larry Brown and turned Kansas into a perennial Big Eight (and later Big XII) power, then used that success to get a job at his alma mater to turn around the program that Matt Doherty sorta ran into the ground. But by then, he had built up enough of a reputation as a great coach at Kansas to turn UNC around.
So, long story short, while I think Williams is a great recruiter and has a laundry list of accomplishments to his name, I'm going with Izzo. I'd have to think that at a school like BC with no college hoops history to speak of and limited depth of local recruiting talent, that Izzo could more quickly turn lemons into lemonade at the Heights.
Jeff: I think you're correct in choosing Izzo. Roy Williams wasn't able to win it all at Kansas which is a powerhouse program and was then able to win at North Carolina. But UNC is the biggest and best program in college basketball nowadays and was that way under Dean Smith and was headed back to that spot before Williams came in. Tom Izzo has taken a much lesser Michigan State program to being one of the tops in the country. This is what BC would need. They don't need someone who can win at a school that sells itself. They need a guy more like Izzo who has proven he can win at a non-traditional power.
Toss Up - More interesting offseason Raji storyline - whether or not he hit the bong or who will actually draft him?
Jeff: Can I choose neither? I don't think the drug test story as a big deal, nor do I really care which team will draft him. He has been though of by BC fans as a first rounder for a while and he shot up some draft boards early on this offseason, but whether he gets drafted 7th, 11th, 19th, or whatever is just not big news in my book since he is a defensive tackle and not a quarterback or other skill position player. Of the two choices, I'll go with the drug test though. It was a little surprising when it came out.
Brian: The more interesting story is whether or not he failed the Combine's drug test. Now Raji and his agent are saying that they haven't been told yet by the independent medical advisors that he actually failed the drug test. Raji, his family, and his agent are now all pleading ignorance that the report was untrue and spread maliciously. I really don't know what to believe at this point. Unfortunately, I think the damage might already be done to Raji's draft stock. As you said, while it will be great to see Raji get drafted in the first round, there isn't nearly the hype with BC fans surrounding Matt Ryan's 2008 NFL Draft experience.
Toss Up - Who you got in the Frozen Four this weekend - Boston U. or the field?
Brian: I think you'd have to be a little crazy to take the field this coming weekend. You have two 4 seeds playing in the National semifinal. Miami "thank his heavenly father BC isn't in the NCAA tournament this year" of Ohio vs. Bemidji State, wherever the hell that is. After that, you have Boston U. vs. a very good Vermont team. You would think that BU is going to steamroll the field en route to the school's 5 NCAA championship. Well, call me crazy then. I'm taking the field. I see Vermont pulling off the upset in the first semifinal (note: they are the only Hockey East team to beat BU in the regular season series, taking the series 2-1-0), and see Cinderella Bemidji State winning the other semifinal. In the final, I like Vermont over Bemidji State for the Green Mountain State's first NCAA championship. And the state of New Hampshire basically soils themselves even thinking about the possibility of Vermont winning an NCAA championship in men's ice hockey before UNH does.
Jeff: You have to take the field because otherwise you'd be supporting Boston U. Sucks to BU!
Toss Up - What is the fate of BC's baseball season - first ever ACC Championship appearance or staying home for the fourth straight year?
Jeff: The baseball team is going to head to the ACC Tournament this year. The Eagles have winnable games up until their last two series which are against North Carolina and Miami. By then the team should have secured a spot in the tourney since they are above .500 in conference at the moment.
Brian: The Eagles currently have a very respectable 7-6 record in the ACC right now, including series wins over Florida State, NC State and Maryland. Despite yesterday's setback to UMass in the Baseball Beanpot, the Eagles do have a couple winnable series coming up. BC has a winnable series at Wake Forest next week, followed by a tough home series with Virginia, and a road series with Duke. I think the Eagles can take 2 of 3 from both Wake Forest and Duke, and 1 of 3 from Virginia, which would push their record to 12-10. From there, as you mentioned Jeff, they close out the ACC schedule with two tough home series against Miami and North Carolina. Since the games are at home, I am optimistic that the Eagles can take 1 of 3 from both Miami and UNC, which would get them to 14-14. I think that will be good enough to get them into the ACC Tournament as one of the top 8 teams. Last year, Clemson got in as the #8 seed with an 11-18-1 record.
For whatever reason, the Eagles miss Virginia Tech this year on the schedule. This is unfortunate, because the Hokies just aren't all that good. And last year, the Eagles only played the Hokies once. What is up with this scheduling?
West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart has been making news recently on Twitter. To my knowledge, no BC head coach is "tweeting" yet ...
Last one, Toss Up - Which BC head coach would you more like to see start Twitter-ing - Coach Spaz or Coach Skinner?
Brian: I think there is a lot of intrigue around Coach Spaz in his first season as head coach at BC and all, but I'm going with Skinner on this one. Spaz is going to basically get a pass in his first season as HC, and Skinner is the more established and more scrutinized coach at this point. I think it would be awesome to get to know what Skinner is thinking ...
Why did you bench Roche last night?
Why can't the team beat full court pressure?
Why do you insist on banking extra scholarship spots every year?
Ever heard of a set inbounds play?
Admit it - you secretly hate Leonard Hamilton for stealing your thunder this year and winning ACC COY.
Defend the Flex offense.
Do you cry yourself to sleep every night with the thought that Troy Bell isn't walking through that door?
Ever heard of a timeout, dude?
Can you show us even a little bit of emotion on the sidelines once in a while?
What percent discount do you really get at Eastern Clothing of Watertown?
In this day and age of blogging, Facebook and Twitter, fans (and Al's critics) want to know instantly what he is thinking and why he made the decisions he made. Al, start tweeting today!
Jeff: This tweeting stuff is terrible in my opinion. But, I would rather hear from Spaz daily without a doubt. After losses, it would be nice to get some thoughts from Skinner, but that's what press conferences are for. I want to hear from Spaz constantly about ...
How practices went?
How recruiting is going?
Is anyone injured?
Who is our starting quarterback is going to be?
Was he considering going for it on fourth down?
If he's getting tired since he's old, etc. etc.
Football is king. Spaz is the correct answer here without question.