Jeff: If I were to tell you that Josh Southern finished the night 7-7 from the floor while the rest of the Eagles shot just 41.9 percent from the field (18-43), you'd probably expect the Eagles to lose that game. As it stands though, Josh Southern had a big, big night at the Garden -- 16 points, 7 rebounds -- and BC took care of the then undefeated UMass Minutemen 76-71. Southern's final bucket -- a dunk off a Reggie Jackson feed -- gave the Eagles a 72-67 lead with 55 seconds left, all but sealing the victory.
What did you think of Southern's performance on Saturday night? And is this a sign of good things to come from Southern?
Brian: I liked Southern's performance on Saturday night. Any time BC's center goes for double-digit scoring, the Eagles are usually in a good position to win the game. Southern always has a couple of these games in non-conference play where he breaks out and has a great night. His 16 points against the Minutemen were a career high.
Southern has been recovering from minor surgery this offseason, so it's good to see him out there and contributing. As to your question about whether this is a sign of good things to come, I'm really not sure? My guess is Donahue's new offensive system will benefit Southern's game, as BC's three-point shooters stretch the defense. But at the same time, Southern has had a way of coming up big in non-conference games against smaller, less physical opponents. But when ACC play comes around, his overall contributions decrease as he goes up against, taller and much more physical opponents.
The Eagles played in front of a crowd of 10,642, most of which were cheering for the "home" team Minutemen. In the earlier game of the inaugural Boston Tip-Off Classic, Drexel defeated Northeastern 63-58. In your opinion, was the first Boston Tip-Off Classic a success? Would you want BC to play in future editions of the Classic, even if it meant giving up a home game? Your thoughts?
Jeff: Considering the lack of buzz surrounding the Eagles entering this season, I would say the games at the Garden were a success. BC and UMass are certainly going to be the teams that organizers hope to bring the crowds and probably rely of mainly BC to potentially secure a nationally televised game sometime in the future. If there were some higher expectations for the Eagles, the BC-UMass game might be something ESPN will pick up in the future so long as it does not happen on Championship Saturday again. When the two programs play at Conte Forum, it is enough of a struggle to sell the game out, so I don't think anyone really expected the inaugural Tip-Off Classic to sell out or anything. There was a reasonably realistic possibility that attendance would not even sniff 10,000 so I would imagine organizers are pleased looking back on it and will do it again.