Boston College had an up-and-down week, upsetting ACC leaders #20 Clemson 62-54 before losing to Syracuse in front of a sold-out Conte Forum 77-68. Let’s break it down:
Interior defense. And especially Quinten Post. Against Syracuse, the Eagles were able to hang in blow-for-blow with the Orange in a back-and-forth game. Unlike the Orange, however, Boston College did not have a go-to bucket-getter down the stretch run. Syracuse, meanwhile, had 6’11 senior forward Jesse Edwards. He dropped 27 points on 12/15 shooting, and was primarily matched up with Post. Post just could not guard him. Edwards got around him for alley-oops, he shook Post with shoulder fakes, he gained separation with jump hooks – Post had no answer. Unfortunately for BC, both of their other bigs – McGlockton and Bickerstaff – both just don’t have the requisite size to deal with a player like Edwards. It was a matchup Syracuse consistently exploited.
Prince Aligbe’s flashes are getting flashier. He is not a finished product, nor arguably even a star – yet. He shot 0/5 from 3 point land against Syracuse. But all season long, we’ve talked about those moments and flashes that show great promise in his future. This week, those flashes really began to stand out. Against Clemson, he was a one-man wrecking ball on the defensive side of the court. His length and athleticism disrupted passing lanes, he has shown good shot-blocking ability, and his effort this week was on another level. The more he plays, the more confidence I have in him becoming a legitimate stopper. On the offensive side of the court, meanwhile, he is a little further behind. His shot selection and handle need some work. But just put on the Syracuse game tape and watch his alley-oops and there’s plenty to be excited about.
Chas Kelley finding his footing. Kelley has not seen the floor often this season, and when he has it has not looked the most comfortable. But this week, something seemed to click. He has never lacked confidence shooting the three ball, but against Clemson he had a clutch driving layup to stop a Clemson run, and against Syracuse he added a triple, nice dime to Aligbe, and another layup. It was the first time I began to see the point guard he could be for this program, something the Eagles desperately need. He, like Aligbe, needs (a lot) of time. But it is very encouraging to see improvements already within his freshman season.