Evan Ravenel emerged today as the clear choice for who should be the starting big man. He had a series of back-to-back blocks, forced an airball by getting in Tyler Zeller's face, had a nice spin move off the glass for two, slipped behind the UNC defense for a dunk after a made basket, was boxing out Deon Thompson - who for the most part was abusing BC on the offensive glass, was going up strong with both hands for rebounds, and had a nice flush to give BC their first lead of the game before the end of the first half.
Then Ravenel all but sealed the game with his thunderous jam that he caught off the back of the rim after a Reggie Jackson miss. The key to being successful in college hoops relies more on how much effort you put into it than how much skill you have. Evan Ravenel was a prime example of this today.
The Reggie Jackson show
Finally, Al Skinner came to his senses and gave Reggie Jackson his first start of the season at the point. Jackson did not disappoint his coach, as he got 17 points, had 7 assists (and should have had 9 or 10 if his teammates could finish), and only one turnover in leading the Eagles to victory.
Jackson's ability to slash and get in the lane opened up numerous scoring opportunities for the Eagles, and UNC had been on a 7-0 run when he came back after a rest with 6 minutes left in the game. Reggie had a nice feed to Trapani for a layup - that Trapani blew - and then Jackson got a little lucky as he drove to his left, threw up and underhanded scoop shot with his off hand, and since it hit the glass first, UNC was called for a goaltend on a shot that had no chance of going in.
Add to that a nice baby hook in the lane, a signature jersey-tug pull up three, and a monster back door alley-oop jam on a nice feed from Rakim Sanders and it's easy to see that Jackson was the deciding factor in a close win.
Trapani - colder than Vanilla Ice
Joe Trapani's scoring average has headed south since the start of ACC play, and he missed plenty of open looks today. Trapani was ice cold going 3-11 from the field, 1-6 from 3-point range, and Al Skinner somehow allowed him to play 34 minutes - the most of any Eagle. With Trapani that ineffective, it was surprising to not see Tyler Roche get more playing time.
I can't help but notice that Roy Williams looks a lot like Huckleberry Hound. And I think he's looking for sympathy points at this stage of the game, as his defending national champion Tar Heels look lost and hopeless.
While I understand that losing Ed Hardy to a broken left wrist, and not having Tyler Zeller for 10 games has hampered this team, Ol' Roy has some serious mental lapses during the end of games.
With 55 seconds left, the Heels were down four, and Roy let 24 seconds off of the clock before telling his team to foul with 11 seconds left on the shot clock. Reggie Jackson then nailed two free throws, the game was shortened, and UNC looked to get to Logan Airport as soon as possible.
Josh Southern's Game
We almost might need to start a section just for Josh Southern. In the first half, he literally stunk Conte Forum up. He had a bad pass that led to a dunk, as he loafed getting down the floor.
His frustration was evident after he grabbed Tyler Zeller after fouling him, which led to a technical. Luckily, UNC missed two of the four free throws, and didn't convert on the extra possession. In a game where BC won by four, Southern could have single-handedly lost them the game with his stupidity.
Al Skinner's rotations can be baffling sometimes. Why do the five starters have to be on the floor to start the second half? Evan Ravenel didn't make it back on the floor until the 8:06 mark of half number two. He wasn't nearly as effective as his first half output, because he got cold between halftime and two TV timeouts.
While Al gets kudos for finally putting Paris on the bench and allowing Reggie Jackson to start, he needs to do the same the rest of the season with Southern and Ravenel. Southern has done nothing to earn the minutes that Al gives him.
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