Brian: The BC basketball team ended the Old Spice Classic on a winning note, dispatching the Cal Bears 68-46 behind 12 points from both Joe Trapani and Biko Paris. The Eagles finished the tournament winners of two of three games during the four-day tournament, defeating Texas A&M 67-65 and falling to Wisconsin 65-55.
Reggie Jackson was the team's leading scorer, scoring 50 points in a team-high 104 minutes of work over the three games. Joe Trapani and Corey Raji each recorded a team-high 17 rebounds, while Jackson added a team-high 11 assists. Corey Raji was the team's leading shooter, connecting on 10-17 shots for a 59% field goal percentage. Finally, Cornell walk-on turned Boston College walk-on Danny Rubin shot 62.5% from behind the arc, scoring on 5-9 attempts from long range.
Who had the most impressive performance in this year's tournament? Which players' performance was the most surprising? Your thoughts?
Jeff: I would say that Danny Rubin is the most surprising. When I first heard a little about him, I wasn't sure how he would fair once we got into ACC play ... if he would even be getting significant time at that point. Wisconsin, Cal and Texas A&M might all be teams that are worse this season than they were last season due to each school graduating significant contributers, but they are legit pre-conference tests nonetheless. Rubin might not see a ton of minutes once we get to conference play. But if he can play and knock down some 3s that will be some scoring that this team might struggle to get at times once we play some competition that has more significant size advantages on us.
Brian: Having gotten your first taste of BC basketball under Steve Donahue, how have your expectations for this year's team changed, if at all?
Jeff: Well, finishing third in the Old Spice Classic already exceeded my expectations so I think I do need to change my expectations for the season. We'll get a better idea of how Wisconsin, Texas A&M, and Cal stack up to the competition we'll see in the ACC starting with Wisconsin hosting N.C. State on Wednesday. But in the Old Spice Classic, BC ended up playing the second (Wisconsin), fourth (Cal) and fifth place (Texas A&M) finishers while finishing third themselves. BC is certainly looking like it will be competitive against most of the ACC. Being competitive certainly doesn't mean winning all those games, but that is better than I had thought going into the season. I'll put a number on BC's in conference record by saying the Eagles will go 6-10. That is better than the 4-12 type record I expected before this weekend.
Brian: You expected BC to only go 4-12 this season in the ACC? That's a pretty strange role reversal -- me the optimist and you the pessimist -- given that I predicted the Eagles to win 7 ACC games to start the season. I'm going to stick with my preseason prediction after watching this team over the weekend. Even though they are short on bodies, there is still a lot of talent on this team and I think BC will surprise some teams this season.