After allowing Georgia Tech to start the game on a 14-0 running, Steve Donahue urged his team to be more aggressive during the under-16 timeout. Olivier Hanlan had missed his first two shots, and passed up an open three before the stop in play.
"I said something like, 'You've got to take,'" Donahue said. "And both of these guys [Rahon and Hanlan], I've harped on them all year about taking the three. That's got to be a weapon that we use and both of them over the last month have utilized that. I think they sense if [Hanlan's] not making shots we can keep him out of the lane and he made them pay for that."
Hanlan came out of the timeout firing, and he finished with 41 points on the way to an 84-64 Boston College win.
What Went Right
In the second half, pretty much everything was working well for the Eagles. It was the best they've looked all season. Not only did Hanlan score at will, but Ryan Anderson was effective inside and distributed the ball efficiently. Joe Rahon ran the offense with poise and directed traffic confidently. Patrick Heckman found a way to contribute without mixing in the head-scratching plays. During BC's four-game winning streak, Rahon is shooting 59 percent on 19-of-32 shooting while Heckmann has gone 54 percent on 29-of-53 from the field.
What Went Wrong
Just like last year in the ACC Tournament, the Eagles got off to a very slow start. This is a common trend for BC and against a team like Miami in the next round it will be more difficult to recover. It wasn't just that shots didn't fall in the first five minutes. BC came out passive on offense and lackadaisical on defense.
Donahue relied on two different trapping presses against the Yellow Jackets, and his players found a way to make it work despite rarely running the press this year, especially for such an extended amount of time.
BC first threw a 1-2-1-1 diamond look at Georgia Tech. It forced a couple of turnovers, but more importantly it forced the Yellow Jackets to start their half court offense much later in the shot clock. After Georgia Tech started figuring out the diamond, Donahue dropped the team back into a half court zone where Eddie Odio would trap the ball-handler immediately after crossing half court. This didn't force many turnovers, but it did slow down the offense.
Heckmann was the biggest surprise for the Eagles. He's usually good for one or two bad decisions a game, even when he's playing well, but that didn't happen today. On three different possessions, Heckmann stopped Georgia Tech from scoring in transition by jumping straight up and down and keeping his hands up while still taking contact. All three plays were very impressive. He also had a nice Euro-step finish and continues to be a very good 3-point shooter when his feet are set off the catch.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Olivier Hanlan - After the Yellow Jackets' 14-0 run, Hanlan was only outscored by Georgia Tech 41-50 on his own. His teammates did plenty to help him get there, but Hanlan proved that he earned the rookie of the year award with his performance.
2. Joe Rahon - Donahue was right when he said that Rahon has been lost in the shuffle with Hanlan's accolades. Rahon handled the ball for nearly the whole game so that Hanlan could work the off-ball action to get open. He is a vocal leader on the floor and doesn't get rattled.
3. Ryan Anderson - Anderson had a hockey-assist or an actual assists on a lot of Hanlan's points, but he also showed off some offense of his own. He made one great post move by doing a counter to his usual fadeaway shot, and then he had a highlight-reel dunk after a fancy behind-the-back dribble.