With the 2023-24 men’s basketball season quickly approaching, we gathered our writers to talk about all of their hopes, dreams, and fears for what could be a breakout year for Earl Grant’s squad. Boston College opens their season against Fairfield on Monday November 6th in Conte Forum.
The 2023-24 Boston College men’s basketball season is upon us! First off, what gets you most excited looking ahead to this season?
Brian: I’m excited for the return of Quinten Post, and for the Eagles to build on the success they had last year in conference play.
Kieran: I’m just excited to see how much returning players can improve, and what the newcomers can bring to the squad. A new season always brings renewed hope, and this year is no different for the Eagles.
Curran: Earl Grant’s core is back! Yes, the Langford brothers are gone, and while they were huge for the program, BC’s ceiling was limited with those two leading the team. Grant brought back pretty much everyone else, and his culture is now instilled. It’s time for the breakout year.
Curtis: This team has a lot of up and coming players and I’m excited to see how they develop and play together. Between sophomores Chas Kelley and Prince Aligbe, Donald Hand returning from injury, and incoming transfer Claudell Harris, there are a lot of exciting unknowns.
What is the baseline that would make you count this season as a success?
Brian: The biggest thing for the Eagles is taking care of business in their non-conference games to start the year. If they do that, I don’t see any reason why they can’t sniff the NCAA tournament this season.
Kieran: Well, BC was ranked 12th in the ACC preseason poll, so I’d like to see the team prove some people wrong. If they can finish slightly above a .500 record and give the top teams a run for their money, that would be a success to me. A big upset or two would also be nice.
Curran: An overall winning record with at least a .500 finish in the ACC. Earl Grant has the program headed in the right direction, but I think the talk of making the tournament is premature. After positive signs last season, I want BC to look strong against OOC opponents and to really emerge from “ACC Bottom-Dweller” status.
Curtis: I’m really just looking for improvement over last season. They lost Makai Ashton-Langford, but they have enough talent to fill that gap and keep building. A record above .500 in the ACC would definitely be a success. And a couple of ACC tournament wins could be some icing on the cake, too.
Who is your player to watch this season?
Brian: My player to watch this year is Quinten Post. If he can be the player he was when healthy last year, we will be in a great spot.
Kieran: Quinten Post would be a pretty obvious answer here, but I think I’ll go with junior guard, Jaeden Zackery. He is undoubtedly one of this team’s most important players and leaders now, and if the can bring his game to a higher level, that could spell great things for the entire team.
Curran: Devin McGlockton. He won’t lead the team in scoring or post dominant defensive stats, but in my opinion he is BC’s biggest X-factor. I think he will be playing big minutes at the 4, and he is the best rim defender on BC’s roster. His rebounding, pick and roll game, and even shooting ability — he flashed a decent-looking stroke at times last season — are all needed elements for the team. Beyond QP, McGlockton is really the only proven big on the roster.
Curtis: Transfer junior Claudell Harris Jr. has a lot of buzz around him. He was a prolific scorer at Charleston Southern and this team desperately needs some consistency on offense outside of Quinten Post. I’m excited for what he brings to the table.
2022-23 featured a big freshman class with a lot of talent. Which of those guys do you think is ready to make a jump in their sophomore season?
Brian: I think Prince Aligbe is ready to make a big jump this year. I’m looking for him to contribute more offensively and continue to be a catalyst on the defensive end.
Kieran: On a team that will be looking for new sources of scoring, I think Prince Aligbe could be ready for a bigger role. He should see more minutes and thus more opportunities to make an impact, and it just feels like he could excel in a larger role.
Curran: I cannot wait to see Donald Hand Jr. back and healthy. Now more than ever, BC needs ball handlers who can just get a bucket. Don’t get me wrong — Post is that dude, but when it gets into clutch time we need a skilled bucket-getter who can run the offense. I think Hand could be that guy. He brings size at 6’5, and his shooting stroke could be huge in spacing the floor.
Curtis: Chas Kelley III showed flashes of skill in his freshman season and I think he’ll get more opportunities to develop at the guard position this year. He’s a great ballhandler and could be a solid facilitator for his teammates on offense.
What about this team do you think could be a big weakness?
Brian: I think the offensive side of the ball can be the biggest weakness. Defensively, we can hold our own with anyone under Earl Grant. However, the offensive side of the ball can be hot and cold.
Kieran: There isn’t much depth in the front court, so I worry that Quinten Post could get overworked, and BC would be in a very rough spot without him in tip-top shape.
Curran: A lack of size. I expect Devin McGlockton and Quinten Post to start in the front court, but as of right now who sees significant minutes backing those two up is a complete unknown. Freshmen Elijah Strong and Jayden Hastings, along with sophomore Armani Mighty, are probably the most likely. At least one of them will need to emerge as a viable option off the bench.
Curtis: They’re young and the offense still needs to improve. They have a couple of solid veterans in Quinten Post and Jaeden Zackery, but otherwise they’re going to need the young guys to step up big. I am hopeful that they can do it, but I’m sure that there will be some struggles along the way.
Any bold predictions or unexpected developments you think could play out for the Eagles this year?
Brian: No bold predictions. I think Claudell Harris Jr will provide the 3rd piece we need on offense. He’ll help take some pressure off of QP and JZ.
Kieran: Bold predictions you say? BC will knock off UNC and Miami this season.
Curran: BC has two guys — Quinten Post and Claudell Harris — average over 15 PPG. I think BC’s offense will have a chance to really improve this season.
Curtis: Claudell Harris Jr. could become the leading scorer for BC, supplanting Quinten Post. I think this offense is still in flux and Post took on a big role last season because there weren’t many other scoring threats. Harris has the potential to be what is basically a better version of Makai Ashton-Langford and lead this offense as a scorer.
Finally, what is your prediction for how Boston College’s season concludes?
Brian: After a semi-final appearance in the ACC tournament, the Boston College Eagles sneak into the NCAA tournament field as a 12 seed as one of the last 4 in.
Kieran: I think it will finish with the team right around .500, with some impressive upsets and a few head-scratching losses. But that said, I hope they prove me wrong and win 20 games.
Curran: Three wins in the ACC tournament. Two years ago, BC suffered a heartbreaker OT loss in the third round of the tournament, and last year BC got demolished by a pretty bad UNC squad to end their season. I want three wins this year.
Curtis: I think they’ll probably have another up-and-down journey through the beginning of the season, potentially dropping games to schools like Richmond or Harvard or The Citadel. But I think they will improve by year’s end and will finish a hair above .500 in the ACC. It won’t be flashy, but improvement is improvement, and I think Coach Grant is taking this team in the right direction.
Interested in BC’s roster?
Check out our men’s basketball page to look at all profiles we did of the players for this upcoming season.