Three-Pointer: Eagles' inconsistency strikes again

February 15, 2010 - 7:23 am

Coming out of the half tied at 30, Boston College needed a spark. It never got one. Instead, Florida State rode a juiced, full-capacity crowd to a runaway 62-47 victory over the Eagles. It'€™s becoming increasingly clear what the issue is for BC '€” consistency. At times, the Eagles look like a team that could very well compete for an NCAA tournament spot. And there are even times where they look like a squad that could do some damage if they made it. But then there are times where they simply look lost on the court. The second half of Sunday night'€™s game was one of those times, as turnover after turnover and fumbled dribble after fumbled dribble led to a Florida State explosion, leaving the Eagles in the dust as they dropped to 12-13 on the season (3-8 ACC). It looked good early on for the Eagles '€” a team that was only one week removed from a game in which it took Duke to the brink. Junior Joe Trapani led the charge for BC, notching 14 of the team'€™s 30 first half points, drilling two 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes of play. But in the second half, the game got away from BC, as the Seminoles exposed the Eagles' weak interior defense, one that was essentially without 6-foot-10 center Josh Southern, who found himself rendered nearly useless thanks to a bruised shoulder he suffered in the early going. Here are three other questions/observations from Sunday's game: ANYBODY HOME? At its core, basketball is a simple game. You have to have both an inside and an outside game, both of which play off each other. Take the Orlando Magic for example '€” a bunch of guys who like to shoot 3's, anchored by 6-foot-11 monster Dwight Howard, who devours paint for breakfast. Both aspects of the Magic'€™s game play off one another, spreading opposing defenses thin and creating matchup nightmares. For the Eagles, the second half was a story of a team without an inside presence '€” an approach that closely resembled a bicycle without one of its wheels. Both teams went into the break with 10 points from inside the paint. The Eagles then tallied just two the entire second half, failing to sink a single basket from underneath in the first 19 minutes of play '€” including an eight-minute stretch when they didn'€™t score at all. This, of course, allowed the Seminoles (18-7, 6-5) to attack the Eagles' interior and suffocate BC's outside shot, using their athleticism and size to simply overpower the visitors. Without Josh Southern to anchor the inside, BC couldn'€™t compete with Florida State for long. Because after all, basketball is a simple game '€” to be successful, you must have two successful parts. And if you have nobody inside, it doesn'€™t matter who you have out there shooting '€” opposing teams will sit on your range. And that'€™s exactly what the Seminoles did. JOE TRAPANI'S BACK MUST BE HURTING Because again, he'€™s carrying this team. If the Eagles want any success down the stretch, they'€™ve got to give the 6-foot-8 forward some help. In the first half, Trapani took the offense under his wing, scoring 14 of BC's 30 points. In the second half, however, Florida State made adjustments. Those adjustments, combined with the sheer fact that one man can only score so many points, eventually led to BC'€™s demise. After his torrid start, Trapani finished Sunday'€™s game with only 17 points, something that attests to the Eagles'€™ difficulties with spreading the scoring around. WHERE'S THE CONSISTENCY? It'€™s been the issue with the Eagles all season long. Some nights, the outside game doesn'€™t work. And some nights, like Sunday night, the inside game doesn'€™t work. When both of those games work, they get into foul trouble. And when it'€™s not foul trouble, it'€™s the turnovers. You get the picture. Bottom line is, the Eagles haven'€™t shown much consistency all of 2010. When they have played together as a team, they'€™ve taken down Clemson and Miami and nearly defeated Duke. The only thing is, there'€™s no telling what night it will come on. It'€™s on Al Skinner to start to get this team to play with some fluidity, because when the Eagles do, the results are solid. Whether or not that happens this season remains to be seen.