It’s senior night on the Heights as we honor the career of our lone senior, Tyler Roche. Hookset, New Hampshire's finest. Hard to believe this will be the tenth Eagles basketball team we have watched since enrolling at the Heights.
While this year won’t be the best senior class we’ve had in the last 10 years, we set out to answer the question: which seasons did have BC hoops best class of seniors?
Food Chain: Best Senior Classes of the Last Ten Years of the Al Skinner Era
We review the last 10 seasons worth of seniors from the Al Skinner era to determine our top 5 senior classes.
Class of 2001 - Jonathan Beerbohm, Xavier Singletary, Kenny Harley, Nicolas Dunn
This senior class really placed BC basketball back on the map, including capturing an improbable 2001 Big East Tournament Championship. Jonathan Beerbohm, Xavier Singletary and Kenny Harley captained this team to a 27-5 record and a three seed in the NCAA tournament. There weren't many superstars in this senior class, but they helped paved the way for future BC classes in the 2000s.
Class of 2002 - Kenny Walls, Brian Ross
Kenny Walls finished his BC career 26th on the all-time scoring list with 1,194 points. Brian Ross was a role player that was good for a few points and a few boards off the bench. Walls captained this team (along with Uka Agbai and Troy Bell) to a 20-12 record and a second straight NCAA Tournament berth. The #11 seeded Eagles would fall to Texas in the first round of the 2002 tournament.
Class of 2003 - Adam DeMong, Troy Bell
Troy Bell was instrumental in getting the Eagles to the previous two seasons' NCAA Tournaments. In Bell's senior year, he led the Eagles to a 19-12 record and a share of the Big East East regular season title. Unfortunately, BC failed to make the tournament that year and the Eagles were bounced from the second round of the NIT. Bell earned Big East Player of the Year honors for the second time his senior year and finished his career as BC's all-time leading scorer with 2,632 points.
Class of 2004 - Uka Agbai
Agbai was granted a fifth year of eligibility after his 2002-2003 season was cut short by a neck injury that left him immobilized for 3 months. Agbai was a critical component of the Eagles' success in the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 seasons, and things were no different when he returned for his senior season. He was the unquestionable leader of the 2003-2004 team that got to 24 wins and earned a #6 seed in that year's NCAA Tournament. Agbai finished his career with 1,277 points, good for 20th on the Eagles all-time scoring list.
Class of 2005 - Nate Doornekamp, Jermaine Watson
While not instrumental to the Eagles' tournament run in 2004-2005, both Doornekamp and Watson provided a spark in their senior seasons, as the Eagles started the season 20-0 and rose to as high as #3 in the national polls. Doornekamp averaged 5.2 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game as the Eagles center. Watson provided a spark off the bench as backup guard to Louis Hinnant, averaging 9.6 and 3.3 in his senior year.
Class of 2006 - Louis Hinnant, Craig Smith, Ted Dunlap
Hinnant and Smith headlined this senior class that took BC to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. BC earned a #4 seed as a Tournament at-large in 2005-2006 and were some expert's picks to win it all that season. This team also came within a bucket of winning the ACC Tournament title in their first year in the league. Smith finished his career with 2,349 points, second only to Troy Bell's mark of 2,632, an incredible accomplishment for a big man. Hinnant was crucial to running Al Skinner's Flex offense, finishing 5th on the Eagles' all-time assists list with 501.
Class of 2007 - Jared Dudley, Sean Marshall, Tyler Neville
While Dudley and Marshall were significant contributors to the previous three seasons' success, both had breakthrough seasons in their senior year. Dudley averaged 19.0 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game en route to taking home ACC Player of the Year honors. Dudley finished his career with 2,071 points, good for 6th on the all-time scoring list. Marshall provided the 1-2 scoring punch with Dudley, averaging 14.8 and 4.5 in his senior season. His 1,491 points place him 15th on the all-time list. The duo led BC to a 21-12 record and a #7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, eventually bowing out in the second round to #2 Georgetown.
Oates and Blair were role players that contributed to the Eagles' 2006-2007 tournament run. Unfortunately, their senior seasons were fairly unmemorable. BC limped to a 14-17 record this year and missed the postseason entirely. Blair, a transfer from Loyola-Chicago, averaged 5.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as the Eagles' center. Oates averaged 4.3 and 3.4, but had the occasional breakout performance (like his 21 points, 5-for-5 3 point shooting performance in a 70-65 loss to Maryland).
Class of 2009 - Tyrese Rice
Rice almost single-handedly led the Eagles back to the NCAA Tournament in his senior season. While his scoring was down from the year before (16.9 as compared to 21.0 PPG the year before), you could almost always count on Rice for 15 points a night. Rice led this team to a 22-12 record and another at-large NCAA Tournament berth as the #7 seed. Rice eclipsed the 2,000 point mark for his career, finishing 5th on the all-time scoring list.
Class of 2010 - Tyler Roche
Roche is a solid role player who has made his strongest contribution in his senior year. Roche has had two breakout performances this year, including dropping 30 on Dartmouth in the season opener and 31 on the road at Wake Forest. He ranks 5th in scoring on this year's team behind Trapani, Jackson, Raji and Sanders while averaging only 18.8 points per game. He leads this team in 3 point shooting percentage, connecting on nearly 45 percent of attempts from behind the arc.
Jeff: It is hard to believe that there are now 3 seasons in the last ten that only one senior was on the team. I have no stats to back it up but that must be abnormal in Division I basketball, even at schools that routinely have players jumping for the NBA. But on to my top 5.
Jeff's Food Chain
5. Class of 2009 - Tyrese Rice. One of the five best players of the last ten years so Rice makes the list despite being a one man show.
4. Class of 2001 - Jonathan Beerbohm, Xavier Singletary, Kenny Harley, Nicolas Dunn. No superstars in this group but its a large class with 3 big contributors to the 2001 Big East championship.
3. Class of 2003 - Adam DeMong, Troy Bell. Troy Bell alone gets consideration for the top senior class ever.
2. Class of 2007 - Jared Dudley, Sean Marshall, Tyler Neville. Sean Marshall gave BC fans plenty of great memories and was hated by opponents but he was outdone in both of those categories by Jared Dudley.
1. Class of 2006 - Louis Hinnant, Craig Smith, Ted Dunlap. I think this is a clear #1 because Louis Hinnant is the best true point guard of the Skinner era and Craig Smith is the best big man. This was the team that Sports Illustrated picked to win the NCAA tournament which might be as close as BC will come to doing so.
Brian's Food Chain
5. Class of 2004 - Uka Agbai. Agbai wasn't even supposed to be in this class, but his contributions to the Eagles program over his 5 seasons cannot be overstated. I'll go with Agbai over the single senior classes of Rice and Roche.
4. Class of 2001 - Jonathan Beerbohm, Xavier Singletary, Kenny Harley, Nicolas Dunn. Like you said, no superstars but a solid supporting cast for Troy Bell and the Big East champs.
3. Class of 2007 - Jared Dudley, Sean Marshall, Tyler Neville. An ACC Player of the Year and two players in the top 20 all-time BC scorers.
2. Class of 2006 - Louis Hinnant, Craig Smith, Ted Dunlap. This class enjoyed tremendous success including the only Sweet Sixteen appearance of the Skinner era.
1. Class of 2003 - Adam DeMong, Troy Bell. With due respect to Hinnant and Smith, Bell set the new standard for BC basketball and served as the mold for future "diamonds in the rough." Without Bell, BC basketball over the last decade probably looks very different.
Your thoughts? Best senior class of the last ten years?