Wednesday, December 8, 2010

season preview: Boston College

Time for basketball season previews, and this is the first time in three tries that I'm really able to do it how I want. The first go-around, I thought I could get it done during football season and before any basketball games were played, and that was stupid. The second time, I totally meant to get busy on them and then we fired our football coach and that somehow seemed more important. Third time's the charm. Pretty good way to fill the finals week gap between hoops games. As with football, FOV readers will be the most well-informed UVA fans in existence about the rest of the ACC.

Boston College Eagles

Media prediction: 10th

Last season:

Record: 15-16 (6-10) - ACC 8th seed
Postseason: none
KenPom: 62nd of 347

Returning scoring: 78.1%
Returning rebounding: 75.6%
Returning assists: 86%

2009-'10 All-ACC:

1st team: none
2nd team: none
3rd team: F Joe Trapani
Rookie: none
Defensive: none


PG: Reggie Jackson (Jr.)
SG: Biko Paris (Sr.)
G: Danny Rubin (Fr.)
F: Joe Trapani (Sr.)
F: Cortney Dunn (Sr.)


F: Corey Raji (Sr.)
C: Josh Southern (Sr.)
G: Dallas Elmore (Jr.)
G: Gabe Moton (Fr.)

Coach: Steve Donahue (1st season)

ACC schedule:

Once: Clemson (A), Duke (A), Florida State (A), Georgia Tech (H), NC State (H), Wake Forest (H)
Twice: Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech

If you think Tony Bennett has a rebuilding job to do, then thank your lucky stars Al Skinner wasn't our last coach here at UVA. Steve Donahue stepped into the Boston College job earlier this year after Skinner was fired, and found himself entirely without either a freshman or sophomore class. The 2010 recruiting class Skinner had put together all decommitted when he was fired, and Skinner didn't even bother signing any 2009 recruits. Not one.

So the future is looking really, really rough at BC, with a 2011 class next year that rivals our '10 class in size, and eight seniors departing after this season. But this season is what we're here to talk about. And despite the media's grim prediction of 10th place, the Eagles should be one of the conference's overachievers for the year. An early loss to Yale notwithstanding, Boston Colleg does, after all, have eight seniors.

The offense is run through Reggie Jackson, who does everything for BC. Jackson averages almost 19 points, 4.5 assists, 2 steals, and he's the team's third-leading rebounder and second-leading shot-blocker. And don't foul him because he hits over 90% at the stripe. He and freshman starter Danny Rubin are the Eagles' main three-point threats (in this respect, Jackson has really improved his game from last year), but forward Joe Trapani will launch from beyond the arc too. Trapani is another do-everything type, only down low, and along with Jackson is the heart and soul of the team.

BC isn't big in the frontcourt but they are deep, with Trapani and Cortney Dunn starting and Corey Raji and Josh Southern coming off the bench. Raji could easily start, but instead he cleans up against other teams' second string; he leads BC in rebounding and FG% and did so last year, too. Southern and Dunn are non-scoring types who are depended on for defense and rebounding, and Southern is the only true center on the roster at 6'10".

They're probably going to fall off a cliff next year, but Boston College is a threat this year to make some noise in the ACC. The schedule is slightly unfavorable, but I see the Eagles landing much higher than their 10th-place predicted finish, and they could secure a postseason berth of some kind. After that? It'll be a loooooong climb back up.

No comments: