Brian: While we both weren’t able to watch this game, I did listen to the game on radio. Credit BC’s two game losing streak to Harvard and Rhode Island for my interest in BC’s game against a winless Bryant team.
After Bryant took a 2-0 lead, the Eagles never looked back and cruised to a 72-46 victory over the Bryant Bulldogs. Joe Trapani led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Rakim Sanders was fairly quiet on the day as he was held scoreless in the first half and finished with only 5 points on 2-of-10 shooting.
We know that Al Skinner typically likes to set his lineup and the beginning of the season and rarely deviates from that lineup barring significant injuries. But Skinner and the coaching staff did exactly that, going with the smaller lineup of Paris, Jackson, Sanders, Raji and Trapani. Josh Southern was limited, playing only 14 minutes and registering 2 points. Southern had previously started 44 straight games for the Eagles going back to last season. I know this was only Bryant, but is this lineup change significant?
Jeff: I would say the lineup change was without a doubt the big news from yesterday's game. With three different starting lineups so far this season, this is already unfamiliar territory for Al Skinner. I would venture to guess that despite suspensions and injuries and all other considerations, Al has gone with less than three different starting lineups for the entire season more than half the years he's been at Boston College. But did it work? Will it work? It's tough to tell against a Bryant team that has not won a game yet this season. But it will be interesting to see if he sticks with the smaller lineup and how it works against better competition and bigger ACC teams. But regardless, it is at least showing everyone on the team and the fans that more is expected out of this group than what they have shown so far this year.
Brian: The starting lineup of Paris, Jackson, Sanders, Raji and Trapani is clearly the most athletic and talented group for the Eagles. Skinner might go back to this lineup for a smaller UMass team, but when we play taller teams in ACC play, we'll need Southern to step up and play well if the Eagles want to win.
The Eagles have only a couple of days to prepare to host 6-5 UMass team on Wednesday. Don’t let UMass’ record fool you though. This team is coming off a 73-72 win against Memphis and their losses have come to decent major conference programs (including Seton Hall, Rutgers, and Michigan State). Do you expect the Eagles to keep things rolling and win another Commonwealth Classic?
Jeff: I do like the Eagles' chances to get a win here. UMass has that win that sounds good over Memphis but that is not the same Memphis team that it has been since Calipari left. This is a game BC should win even considering who BC has lost to so far this season. The Eagles next four opponents - UMass, South Carolina, Maine, NJIT - are very beatable. They aren't nearly as tough as even Rhode Island, Harvard and Northern Iowa. South Carolina will be our toughest test before we get back to ACC play, but they also have a lower RPI than those three teams we have lost to this season.