The Boston College men’s basketball team has taken a bit of a tumble in recent weeks. After starting a with a promising 9-3 record in 2023, they’ve dropped to 11-8 in the new year and have just a 2-6 record in ACC play. It’s definitely not a great start to 2024, but based on some of the reactions online, the team might as well be the Detroit Pistons of the NCAA. Folks everywhere seem to be writing this off as a lost season, calling Earl Grant a terrible coach, and are already looking towards next year. Here are a couple of examples from Twitter, though I’ve seen posts/comments like this everywhere, including on our own site:
Thanks for coming out folks, from 9-3 to 11-8 in the blink of an eye. Unless you think there’s a miracle two week run coming after Duke this will go down as the most disappointing BC season in more than a decade. pic.twitter.com/UaM3SUixF8— Beacon Street Ball (@beaconstball) January 24, 2024
Genuinely cannot wrap my head around how bad this team sucks. Way to go, let’s give a hand to everyone involved!— Martin Artest (@ArtestJones) January 24, 2024
Most disappointing season in a decade? Really? This is a program that went winless in the ACC in 2015-16. A program that took a lot of momentum from a 2018 NIT bid and turned it into... a downward slide to 14-17. A program that went 4-16 literally three years ago! So if you genuinely can’t wrap your head around a mediocre 11-8 record, you must not have a very big imagination.
Actually, the problem might be your imagination. Because these are the same kinds of people who were predicting a Boston College bid to the NCAA tournament this season. The ones who somehow managed to overlook a ton of flaws, a lot of young, inexperienced talent, and a coaching staff that’s still figuring things out. Those of us with their head on straight knew that this would be yet another developmental season, just one step in the long journey back to respectability for BC basketball. If your expectations were in the clouds instead, it’s no wonder you’re falling back down to Earth really hard and really fast.
Back in November, I predicted the Eagles to drop some ugly games but finish at about .500 in ACC play. And I’ll stick by that prediction! Especially with two games against Louisville still on the schedule. The team is playing with a lot of passion, especially in the second halves of games, and they’ve competed punch-for-punch with mid-tier ACC programs like Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Syracuse, and others. You have to believe that some of these balls will start bouncing our way and the close games will turn out better. Not to mention that some of these losses have come while the team was dealing with the flu.
Yes, they’ve struggled to play with energy in first halves of games. They struggle to find shooting if Quinten Post or Claudell Harris is having an off-night, with usually only JZ or McGlockton filling that hole. They struggle to close out close games. And they struggle with plenty of other stuff, too. But many of these are fixable issues, and Earl Grant has proven to us year-over-year so far that his teams will get better with time. Especially a team as young as this one. We have two sophomores in the starting line-up and a bunch more filling out the bench!
So I urge you to be patient and see how the season plays out. Don’t panic about a few single-digit losses in January. Looking at the recent history of this program, we actually have a lot of positive momentum. Come along for the ride, even if it’s not always pretty.