On November 10, the Boston College women’s basketball team will begin the 2017-18 season. The last time the Eagles has a winning record was the 2010-11 season, and they have never finished with a winning record under Head Coach Erik Johnson. Last season, the Eagles went 9-21 overall and won only 2 ACC games (Clemson and UNC). Unfortunately for fans and players alike, this year does not seem much more promising.
Between graduations and transfers, this BC squad has lost a huge chunk of talent. The Eagles lost their top two scorers - Mariella Fasoula had 463 points last season and Kelly Hughes recorded 340. The next highest scorer, Georgia Pineau (a sophomore this year) had 224 points. The Eagles also lost their top rebounder in Fasoula, who also led the team in takeaways and blocks. Finally, BC lost the top 4 players on the team in terms of steals: Hughes, Fasoula, Emilee Daley, and Kailey Edwards.
This season, the Eagles add 3 new players - two freshman and a grad student. Andie Anastos, who is sticking around at BC for a graduate degree after playing for the WIH team, was a late addition to this year’s squad. Anastos was a skilled basketball player in high school, but has spent the past 4 years dedicated to hockey, so it is difficult to know what she will bring to the team. BC’s 2 incoming freshmen are skilled players, but not necessarily top level recruits. Milan Bolden-Morris, a guard from Florida, is her high school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,393 points. Sydney Lowery, also a guard, is a 3 star recruit who had scored 1,000 points by the time she was a sophomore in high school. Both Bolden-Morris and Lowery will need to make immediate scoring impacts if this team wants to win.
In addition to immediate impact from the incoming freshmen, BC will need sophomores Georgia Pineau, Emma Guy, and Taylor Ortlepp to step up their games. All 3 women showed marked improvement as their freshman season went on, and they will need to continue to improve on both offense and defense to try to make up for the loss of Hughes and Fasoula.
One of BC’s biggest problems last season was turnovers. The Eagles averaged 19.2 turnovers per game. When you consider the fact that BC lost a lot of games by small margins, it becomes clear that excessive turnovers essentially handed wins to opposing teams. This should be an easily coachable fix to make, but the fact that we did not see marked improvement in this area last season is troubling. The Eagles will also need to work on their conditioning, stamina, and perseverance. There were a number of instances last season where the Eagles came out strong and then fell apart in the second half to lose their lead. Again, this should not be a particularly difficult issue to fix. It is in the players’ and coaches’ control to improve conditioning and limit turnovers, and it is vital that we see more improvement in these areas than we did last season. Losing Fasoula, who carried the team offensively, is a huge obstacle for an already struggling team to overcome.
Unfortunately, this is probably going to be another rough year for the Eagles. I do think they have a lot of raw talent though, so I wouldn’t count them completely out just yet...