This Boston College team looks better and better by the day. Five games into ACC play and the Eagles stand at a more than respectable 2-3. After wins against Syracuse and NC State, this team is starting to look like a real ACC basketball team, which is much more than they could have said at any point last year. Even their losses don’t look terrible.
While they were outplayed throughout the whole clash with Duke, the team showed grit and heart, led by freshman Ky Bowman, to make things interesting down the stretch, cutting the lead to as little as six in the final minutes. In the Wake Forest game, they probably would have won if they weren’t held without a field goal for nearly eight minutes in the second half. Considering that this team was picked to finish dead last in the ACC this year, it’s pretty safe to say that expectations were pretty low coming in.
No one, including myself, expected the Eagles to win many games in the ACC. In fact, if you had told me at the beginning of the year that they would have two ACC wins at the end of the year, I would have been pretty content. However, with a backcourt of Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson, the wing presence in AJ Turner, and the steady play of Connar Tava, BC has a really strong four man lineup at any point. More importantly, they’re young, very young, which means that this team will be good for at least the next couple of years.
Robinson and Turner are both sophomores, while Bowman is only a freshman. Bowman, through the five games in ACC play, looks like he has a real chance to be the ACC Freshman of the Year, which would make him the second diamond in the rough that Jim Christian has found in the past two years. BC’s dynamic backcourt of Bowman and Robinson looks like it is near the top of the ACC’s guard-heavy talent. I would put Bowman and Robinson as a backcourt behind only Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard of Duke, Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes of Florida State, and Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson of UNC. All three of those backcourts are more experienced than Bowman and Robinson, yet I believe the young Eagles can compete with anyone in the conference.
Tomorrow night, BC will welcome UVA into Conte Forum, a team that has been amongst college basketball’s elite in recent years, especially on the defensive end. It will be interesting to see how the Eagles will fare against KenPom’s number 4 ranked defensive team in the country. However, this is a very good test for the young team. After a very strong showing while students were on break, many students should look to come out and support their team in the first game back in Conte. After playing Duke to a close game in Durham, one of the toughest places to play in the country, I expect the Eagles to play UVA to a strong game in front of a home crowd in Chestnut Hill. This is a team that has the potential to make the NIT, and the current students should start to get behind the men’s basketball team on the Heights. This is a team that will start to turn around the program and that starts with a strong showing, both in the crowd and on the court, in Conte tomorrow night.