In only a few more weeks, we get our first taste of a brand new Boston College Men’s basketball season. While some might roll their eyes and look the other way, I am more so on the side that cannot help but be a little bit excited and curious to see what new coach Earl Grant is cooking up. Now, I am not going to convince myself that BC will finish at the top of the table, but I will convince myself that it will be a great opportunity to see this new Eagles team in action. And when I say new, I mean NEW.
A quick glance at the roster for this season highlights how dismantled our team has become in the off-season and how Grant really will be working from the ground up with this program. Specifically in the guards, the biggest news for the team was Jay Heath’s departure to Arizona State. This was the black cat that seemingly crossed our paths as we blindly walked under a ladder stepping on every crack along the way. All poor analogies aside, this was a difficult blow to see our best player transfer shortly after Grant was sworn in as the new coach. Looking forward, the only guards the seemed to stick around for the ride this season are the Langford brothers who I assume will get a good dose of the backcourt work. As for the rest of the guard slots, they are pretty much baby faces to the program who have little to no experience in the Maroon and Gold. Lets delve a little deeper into each of their roles and past experiences to see how they will work in Grant’s system:
DeMarr & Makai Ashton-Langford (I.e. the Langford Bros)
Ahh yes, the Langford brothers. We had some solid exposure to both of them last year and I anticipate we will get a heavy dose of them this year as well. Needless to say, both of them had their shining moments last year along with some duds. In other words, I think the best word to describe their play was inconsistent. Now, with that said, I do envision a ton of upside for DeMarr as I believe he will continue to mature in a way where he will ultimately become Jay Heath’s replacement on the Heights. His stat-line right now may not show it, but I expect a breakout season for him this year and I believe Coach Grant is going to instill a lot of confidence in this young man. As for Makai, this is his last go-around at BC and for collegiate ball so he has to lay it all out on the floor and be more consistent. One thing I hope he polishes up on his control in driving to the basket. Makai is an extremely fast guard and can blow by defenders with ease. It is finishing at the rim where he seems to lose control and not get a clean layup.
Brevin Galloway (Graduate Transfer)
Brevin is a product of the Earl Grant system as he transferred in from the College of Charleston in the offseason. Galloway was averaging 15.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game last year before going down with a season-ending injury in mid-December. He is certainly a destined scorer and loves to hang around the three-point line where he has made 139 career threes and shoots 36% from beyond the arc. He will definitely bring some veteran experience to the team, but how well that will translate to playing for a team in the ACC compared to the CAA only time will tell. Since he already has a rapport with Grant, I expect to see him on the court for a quite a solid amount of time per game.
Abe Atiyeh (Sophomore)
Abe has a clean stat sheet through his first year at BC with no stats to boast of. He played all of two minutes, split between the blowout loss to Duke and the only blowout win of the year for the Eagles against Maine. Clearly we have not seen much of Abe or how we will find his way into the rotation - he is simply just another question mark to this loose BC backcourt
Kanye Jones (Freshman)
Kanye comes into the fold as one of the newer faces to the program hoping to make a lasting impact. He has a solid frame for a freshman at 6-4, 170 but will certainly need to bulk up over the years when going against ACC guards. He was a scoring machine in high school where he averaged 21.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game in his senior year. Really curious to see how Kanye unfolds as one of the first recruits for Coach Grant in his tenure at Boston College
Jaeden Zackery (Freshman)
In a similar vein as Jones, Jaeden is the other guard in Grant’s recruiting class joining the Eagles this season. This is the first time as far as I can remember (and someone please correct me if it is more recent than I think) where BC actually recruited someone out of a JUCO. Not a lot to be said about this addition aside from that I am really curious to see Zackery’s style of play and what specifically had Grant going out to scout him and bring him to the Heights.
Quinn Pemberton & Jonathan Noel will to be the walk-ons for the season. Otherwise, this is pretty much a brand new team in the backcourt for this season with a lot of unfamiliar faces. Yet, unfamiliarity can bring out the best in these players as they look to make a name for themselves and become the talk around campus. Only time will tell.