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Men’s Basketball Final Thoughts and Predictions: Boston College Eagles vs Milwaukee Panthers

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Tip off time in Conte!

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Clemson vs Boston College Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It is time folks. At long last, Boston College (0-0, 0-0 ACC) is going to tip off the men’s basketball season in Conte Forum. Anything and everything is possible at this point in the season. Will BC make the Big Dance? Sweet Sixteen? Final Four? Natty? Unlikely, but not impossible

What has changed? Not too much. Just the departure of one of the most talented basketball players to ever grace the Heights (we miss you already Jerome, but we understand). It’s Ky Bowman’s team now, and the first test comes in the form of the Milwaukee Panthers. The Panthers went 16-17 (8-10 Horizon) in the first season under Coach Pat Baldwin, but return virtually nobody. Four transfers (G Deandre Abrams, G Bobby Arthur-Williams, G Jake Wright, and F Darius Roy) and a promoted bench player (F Vance Johnson) make up the starting five. The leading returning scorer (G Bryce Barnes) averaged 6.6 pts last year and comes off the bench. Who knows what the team will look like on the floor.

Keys to Beating the Panthers

It’s too early to point out any flaws in this BC team, but beating a mid-tier Horizon League team handily should be the expectation. Personally I’d want to see good defensive rotations (open threes were an issue for this team last year) and low turnovers. The Eagles can probably walk in and just out athlete the Panthers, but I’d much prefer a clean and technical win. Milwaukee isn’t huge by any measure (the tallest starter is Johnson and Abram at 6-7), so I’d expect Jim Christian to let Nik Popovic and Luka Kraljevic roll.

The real exciting part of this game is the new additions. Jairus Hamilton is the highest ranked BC recruit in recorded history, and Wynston Tabbs isn’t too shabby either. The chance for them to see real game time and confirm the hype surrounding their arrival is huge.

Predictions:

Matt: 85-58 Eags. Best Clemson

Katie: 75-67 Eagles It’s closer than it should be because they’re still working out the kinks. BC fans are panicking on the message boards on Wednesday, but all is forgotten when the football team upsets Clemson.

Toppin: 76-60 Eagles. Closer than it needs to be, until it isn’t.

Hoff: 82 67 Eagles. BC is breaking in new guys but it’s nothing compared to Milwaukee breaking in 10 new players

Food and Non-alcoholic Beverage to enjoy during the game

It’s the first game of the year, so let’s go with some classic BC: Chipotle Chicken from Eagles Deli and a chocolate milkshake. Start the year off right.

Follow Us on Twitter for Coverage During the Game

Matt O’Neil

Toppin

BCI

Hoff

Katie