Wednesday, December 9, 2009
First thoughts on Harvard-BC
By Brian MacPherson
Special to ESPNBoston.com
A few quick-hit thoughts on Harvard's upset of Boston College, its second in as many seasons:
1. This wasn't the same as last year
A year ago, Harvard took advantage of a lack of focus from a Boston College team fresh off a win over top-ranked North Carolina. This year, if anything, the Eagles seemed to come in a little too fired up to get revenge on a Crimson team that had embarrassed them a year ago.
The result was a team offense focused on individuals rather than the patient ball movement that proved so effective against Miami.
"We all took ourselves out of the offense," said BC forward Joe Trapani, who scored a team-high 21 points. "We all wanted to win so badly, but at the same time, that killed us"
2. It is possible to beat BC on the boards
The Eagles had outrebounded each of their first eight opponents and had absolutely dominated Miami on the boards on Sunday. Harvard, though, hit the glass hard and finished with 31 rebounds to the Eagles' 30.
"We weren't as alert as I would like to think," BC coach Al Skinner said. "There were a couple of balls bouncing around, and our reaction to that was almost nonexistent."
3. Jeremy Lin can really play
The 6-foot-3 guard took just four shots in the first half -- and he hit all four of them, including a bomb of a 3-pointer to snap a 14-0 BC run. It was in the second half, though, that Lin took charge, driving into the lane and either scoring or dishing to Keith Wright (21 points) in the lane. Lin finished with a game-high 25 points just three days after hanging 30 on UConn.
"I sound like a broken record, but I like sounding like a broken record when it comes to talking about him," Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. "He's one of the better players in the country."
4. Harvard can really play, too
Taking UConn to the brink is one thing. Coming back less than a week later and beating Boston College shows it wasn't a fluke. Cornell was a unanimous pick to repeat as Ivy League champs, but it appears Harvard -- a fourth-place pick in the preseason poll -- is poised to give the Big Red a run for their money for an NCAA tournament berth.