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Next Up - BC

A tough road trip very possible.

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Next up for Duke is BC, and while the Eagles are having a disastrous season, this is still a dangerous team as Virginia found out.

If you look back over the last month or so, BC has not won much (twice) but the losses haven't been that bad, either.

Clemson won by two, Syracuse by 10, UNC by 11, Georgia Tech by eight, Notre Dame by three in OT and Virginia by ten.

But in the UVa game, BC nearly climbed back from a terrible hole to pull off a shocking upset.

There's no question that Steve Donahue can coach. We saw his Cornell team in Cameron, and that team gave Duke a hell of a game.

So what gives? Why are the Eagles 6-16?

This was the stretch Donahue was looking for when he recruited 10 freshmen. They're juniors now and even last year this group was showing signs: it almost upset Duke and came very close to knocking off Miami.

We know a healthy Dennis Clifford would help, but it's not like everyone in the ACC is huge in the post. And BC was credible against Syracuse, UNC, Notre Dame and Virginia, all of whom are bigger inside.

And Lonnie Jackson was out early but he's playing loads of minutes and his shooting is far better than it has ever been.

Except for the foul line. There he's barely been and his percentage has fallen off the cliff, going from 83.1% last year to 58.3% currently.

The other returnees should be further along, too. Olivier Hanlan was ACC Rookie Of The Year and his stats are solid. Ryan Anderson is putting up 15.2 ppg and get 7.1 rpg. Joe Rahon is still solid. Patrick Heckmann is a useful player.

So what gives? Last year almost the exact same group went 16-17.

We just don't get it. Donahue is an excellent coach with talent. What went wrong?

Whatever has happened, Duke tends to bring out everyone's best, so we're sure that'll happen here too. And we expect BC will have watched tape and will figure on spreading the court and driving, possibly kicking out to a three point shooter.

Plus minds may wander to next week's match up with UNC.

We have no idea what to expect from BC, frankly, but we hope to see Duke's game at a high level to meet whatever the Eagles bring out.