|Skinner ‘very disturbed’ by his team’s effort||01.16.10 at 7:30 pm ET|
CHESTNUT HILL – When your team lays a gigantic egg on its home floor, that’s humiliating. When your team does it without showing much fight, that’s something altogether more serious.
That was the message Al Skinner had for his team following a disheartening 73-57 stinker at the hands of the Maryland Terrapins Saturday at Conte Forum.
“Yeah, in very gentle terms,” Skinner said, tongue-in-cheek, when asked if he made his feelings known to his team.
What led to the general malaise? Was it the 18 turnovers? Was it a hangover from the nightmare second half against Duke just three days earlier? Was it just senior Greivis Vasquez’s lucky day on his 23rd birthday and an inspired Maryland team?
“I’m not exactly sure what it is,” said Skinner, who didn’t address the media for nearly a full hour afterward. “That’s what took me so long to get down here.”
“Usually, I can walk down here and feel satisfied and comfortable with out effort, and I’m not. For me it’s a terrible place to be because very rarely have I felt lack of effort. Everyone thinks I’m laid back but this is the one part of the game that’s very disturbing to me.”
Another reason for concern is the trend that BC is showing. After beating Miami in the ACC opener way back on Dec. 6, the Eagles have been extremely inconsistent, losing to Harvard, Rhode Island and Maine while beating UMass and South Carolina.
“The fact is this team has played the way we want them to play,” Skinner said. “We have to find those ingredients again.”
But this week has set off louder alarms at the Heights. They lost by 16 at Clemson on Jan. 9. They were outscored by 17 in the second half at Duke and lost by 20. And they trailed by as many as 25 in the second half Saturday to Maryland.
“It’s not the fact that we’ve lost three games,” Skinner said. “It’s how we’ve lost and the point differential is very disturbing to me. The lack of energy we’ve shown under these conditions, that’s got to change.
“This team has demonstrated the ability to improve themselves but some reason we’ve been very hesitant to do it. And it has to be collective. It can’t be one or two guys, it has to be all 12 guys that are there and that’s what we will be addressing.”
One of the team’s leaders, junior Joe Trapani, was in the locker room listening to Skinner postgame. He got the message.
“Off the court, we love each other, we’re like a family off the court,” Trapani said. “Lately, on the court, I feel like there’s been a little separation and we definitely need to come together. I realize it. Our point guard Biko Paris realizes it and everyone’s willing to make some adjustments to get back on track. I’m not worried. We have 12 ACC games left and I really think we can do some damage in this league.
“It’s just depressing. It’s depressing to lose for any competitor. You obviously want to win and right now we’re not winning and right now, it’s not a great mood in the locker room.”