The Eagles played at a slow tempo last year in an attempt to stretch out games. According to KenPom.com, BC ranked 253rd in the country in tempo, which put them in the bottom quarter in the country.
After watching some practices I can tell you that this team likes to run up and down the court. It looks like there is a concerted effort by the staff to encourage these players to try and score before the defense can setup and not "over think it" in half court sets. We will have to see if they can translate that philosophy into a game.
On the flip side, I’m interested to see the team try and press a little bit tonight. The staff would love to play some more full court pressure defense this year but it’s all about the players picking up the system.
It will be exciting to watch all of the young players but this is a guy that I’m paying special attention to. One BC coach told me that Pop has been "the surprise of camp" and it showed during the "secret scrimmage" against George Washington on Saturday. Popovic put up 16 and 6 against a George Washington crew that has a decent front line which includes Wake transfer Tyler Cavanaugh and former BC recruiting target Kevin Marfo.
I think BC fans are a little leery of getting too excited about big men with the recent history here. Because of injuries it took Dennis Clifford five years to pan out to his hype, and Will Magarity and Idy Diallo were both non-factors early in their careers. However, I think Popovic can at least be a nice role player this year and make BC fans excited for the next three years of his career.
I don’t think the starting lineup is going to surprise anyone. My best guess from watching practices is that Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson in the back court paired with AJ Turner, Mo Jeffers and Connar Tava upfront. From there, it’s anyone’s guess how this plays out.
Tonight and as the season goes on I’m excited to see who steps up as the go-to-guys off of the bench. Ty Graves will be valuable as the best shooter on the team, Jordan Chatman and Garland Owens as defensive specialists, and Popovic and Johncarlos Reyes as big men.