As we preview the 2021-22 Boston College Eagles squad we turn our attention to the Eagles’ front court. This unit, like the rest of the team, will feature a lot of new players as many of the familiar faces left the program, including Steffon Mitchell, CJ Felder, Kamari Williams, Luka Kraljević, and Andre Adams. It will truly be a start of a new era for BC and for Earl Grant, particularly when it comes to the front court.
T.J. Bickerstaff, JR, F
Bickerstaff is a newcomer to the Eagles program (like several other players on the roster), coming to the Heights from Drexel University where he started all 20 games during the 2020-21 season. During his career playing for the Dragons, he averaged around 10 points per game, 5 rebounds, and just over 1 assist per game. Shooting wise, Bickerstaff was very efficient, shooting 51% from the floor. Inside the arc he’s closer to 60% shooting and from the free throw line he was a 83.2% shooter. Bickerstaff averaged 17.3 points, 5.3 boards, and 3.3 asists per game in the final three regular season contests and played a key role leading Drexel to a CAA Tournament championship and into the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Quinten Post, JR, F
Post is an intriguing addition for the Eagles in many ways. Firstly, he gives the Eagles size at 7’0”, 240 pounds. Secondly, even after transferring from Mississippi State, Post retains three years of eligibility. Post was a key piece of an MSU Bulldogs squad that reached the 2021 NIT title game as well as member of Team Netherlands at the FIBA European U20 Championships in Portugal in July 2019. During that competition he averaged 7.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and ¼ assists per game. A versatile post player, the junior averaged 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game last season while averaging about 9 minutes per game. Post isn’t just a tall blocker either. He’s demonstrated an ability to hit the three ball as well: 10 of Post’s 34 made field goals came from beyond the arc. Post could challenge Karnik and Vander Baan for playing time this coming season.
Frederick Scott, GR, F
Scott was a transfer from Rider University last season and returns for a graduate senior season. Scott saw limited action this past season but saw more increased minutes towards the end of the season and the ACC tournament. He played in 7 games averaging 18.3 minutes in those game, scoring 7.6 points per game, shooting 40% from the field, 40% from 3-pt land, and was 50% from the free throw line. Amongst the Eagles’ big men, Scott is a veteran, as strange as that sounds. Scott may also turn out to be one the impact players for Earl Grant’s squad if he can continue to be an effective shooter. With so many key departures from last year’s team, particularly in the front, Scott will need to make the most of his potential in order for BC to have any kind of success.
Devin McGlockton, FR, F
An All-State selection out of Atlanta, McGlockton is an exciting recruit for the Eagles and hopefully can be a key building block for Earl Grant in the years to come. McGlockton was a key piece of South Forsyth High School’s record setting 23-win season, which included 17 straight victories and ended with the school’s first regional championship in 23 years. During that record setting run, Devin averaged 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, finishing his career as South Forsyth’s all-time leader in points and rebounds and second in blocked shots. In addition to being an All-State selection, the Atlanta Tipoff Club also tabbed him as a 2021 All-Metro selection. The year before he was named the Forsyth County Player of the Year. The 6’7” wing player was also a highly recruited tight end at South Forsyth and an All-State selection in that sport as well. The Eagles are in desperate need of forward who can play the wing position so McGlockton fills a big need for the team.
Andrew Kenny, JR, F
Kenny did not see a great deal of action 2020-2021 season, playing in only 9 games. In those 9 games, Kenny was 4-10 from the field and 3-8 from beyond the arc. With the front court depleted as it is, Kenny may see more minutes this coming season than most Eagles fans would expect. However, much of that depends on how the incoming freshman perform.
Gianni Thompson, FR, F
Thompson arrives at the Heights with a fair amount of hype, being that he was ranked as a four-star recruit and was the top ranked recruit in the state of Massachusetts according to 247Sports.com. According to ESPN.com he was the 33rd-best forward nationally and the 2nd best recruit in Massachusetts. He had offers from schools such as Providence, Penn State, Xavier, and Virginia Tech. In his junior season, Thompson averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds per game. If Thompson can add some weight to his 6’8”, 205 frame to go along with his athleticism and his impressive ball handling skills, he could turn into a real force.
Justin Vander Baan, SO, C
Vander Baan is another seven footer but could also be a one of the Eagles’ first true centers since Nick Popovic. The issue is that Vander Baan has not seen a lot of game action since arriving on BC’s campus. He only appeared in 10 games and in those games he was 2 for 5 from the field and 0-3 from beyond the arc, and only averaged 0.8 rebounds. The former three-star recruit averaged 14.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 4.0 blocked shots per game for Whitinsville Christian. With so much change going on in the off-season just from a roster perspective its hard to say how Vander Baan will feature in the BC rotation. I really see him as being James Karnik’s backup but time will tell.
James Karnik, SR, F/C
Much like Frederick Scott, Karnik was a transfer student this past season and played in 14 games. Karnik did show some promise in those 14 games last season in which he averaged 20 minutes; he shot 43.9% from the floor, 76% from the free throw line, and averaged 5.4 rebounds, but he only averaged 6.8 points per game. Like Scott, Karnik will need to step up this season for the Eagles. As a junior at Lehigh, Karnik finished second on the team in scoring with 12.2 points per game and first in rebounding with 7.2 boards per game. It is likely that Karnik will be among the Eagles starting five when BC starts the season given his experience and it remains to be seen how he’ll perform with the increased workload. He will need to find a way to fill the massive shoes left by the likes of Steffon Mitchell and CJ Felder.