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Key Losses for the Eagles and the Big Finish

Brian: Yesterday wasn’t such a great day for BC basketball. While coaching changes usually are accompanied by some player turnover, I don’t think many of us expected yesterday's player losses. Along with senior Rakim Sanders, the Eagles will be losing freshman point guard Brady Heslip with the status of the other two members of the 2010 recruiting class - Noreen and Ndao - still up in the air.

To make matters worse, John Gallagher, who was named to Steve Donahue’s coaching staff as an assistant coach last week, has left the Heights to take the top job at Hartford.

My question is this: which of yesterday’s losses will hurt the Eagles’ basketball program more in the long run? Rakim Sanders or Brady Heslip?

Jeff: Regarding the long run, the answer is clearly not Sanders since he was going to be a senior. To be perfectly honest, you can't expect too much out of the Eagles next season. For those who though Brady Heslip was going to bring BC an ACC Championship, I have to wonder where they were coming from. BC has not made a name for itself in football or in basketball by producing top recruits. BC's best football and basketball recruits have been unexpected when they first came in as freshman. The basketball recruits have been well documented and Skinner made a name for himself by getting the "diamonds in the rough."

I would imagine that if Donahue really wanted either one of these players, he would have been working them since the day he got the job to make sure they stuck around. From what we know right now, it doesn't sound like that was the case. So that leaves the John Gallagher being the biggest loss for the program yesterday and if he just got a head coaching job, Donahue probably knew he wouldn't be around for more than 2 or 3 years at BC before getting the head job somewhere.

So the answer is maybe Gallagher, maybe Heslip, but probably none of the above when you look at the program long term. BC will be fine long term, and they will be better in three seasons from what has happened this offseason than where they would have been otherwise.

Brian: The loss of Sanders is still a blow to the program in the short term. Around the ACC, each of the other 11 programs have lost some key contributors to either graduation or the NBA Draft. BC was in a position to return all five starters, which would have put them in a better position to contend in the ACC in spite of the coaching change. Now with Sanders gone, like you said, I wouldn't expect much from the basketball team next season.

As for Heslip, it's hard to say what his contribution to the program would have been, but this seems to be a much more significant loss. To me, this is significant in so far as it could also trigger the departure of BC's two other recruits in the Class of 2010 - forwards Kevin Noreen and Papa Samba Ndao. I'm all for giving the coach discretion to shape the program as he sees fit (including player personnel changes), but we do have to field a team next season, and we currently only have 10 scholarship players.


Big Finish

Brian: The NCAA recently changed the rules regarding bowl eligibility. Under the new rules, teams that finish with a 6-6 record will be given the same consideration as the teams with a winning record. That’s really bad news for BC, right?

Jeff: Yes. Now when Florida State goes 6-6 they won't need a special Bobby Bowden farewell party exemption to jump BC in the pecking order.


Jeff: The Emerald Bowl has been renamed the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and has been pushed back to January 9, the day before the National Championship. Your thoughts?

Brian: I always liked the name "Emerald Bowl" because you almost forgot that it was named after a company. Also, no one wants to watch a Pac-10-WAC game on the next to last day of the season.


Brian: The NCAA has banned eye black with messages written in it this fall (coincidentally after Tim Tebow graduated). What will Herzlich do now?

Jeff: He can still paint his entire face, just no writing up there.


Jeff: Speaking of Herzlich, he was recently named to the Lott Trophy watch list. Chances he wins the award?

Brian: I would say slim. An ACC player has never won the award, despite being known as a defensive league the past few seasons.

Jeff: Despite HD being on sabbatical, the ESPN ACC Blog still managed to snub Herzlich by not including him as an ACC player on that Lott Trophy list.

Brian: Maybe they were confused by the fact that he won an honorary Lott Trophy last season.


Brian: The Eagles baseball team beat Harvard 10-9 on Tuesday to advance to the Beanpot Title game on Tuesday. Can they knock off Northeastern to win their first title since 2006?

Jeff: Sure, why not? They still have a very good record since returning north this season and already beat Northeastern once.


Jeff: The Lady Eagles softball team is 0-9 in ACC play this season. BC heads to Georgia Tech this weekend for three games. Any chance they break through?

Brian: No clue. I'm assuming Georgia Tech softball is pretty good, right?


Brian: Last one, Monday is Patriot's Day in Boston for the 114th running of the Boston Marathon. Where’s the best spot to watch the race near campus?

Jeff: Can't say I really watched the race. I just partook in the festivities.