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Boston College Basketball vs. New Hampshire / Massachusetts: Final Thoughts & Predictions

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A new season and a new era for Boston College men's basketball gets underway tonight at Conte Forum.

A new season and a new era of Boston College basketball begins tonight at Conte Forum. Let's see how the Eagles match up with the New Hampshire Wildcats and the Massachusetts Minutemen.

Game Facts

Game 1 vs. New Hampshire Wildcats

Friday, November 14, 2014, 7:00 PM
TV: ESPN3
Radio: BCEagles.com

Preseason Opponent Preview: New Hampshire

Series History: Boston College and New Hampshire have met 30 times. Boston College leads the all-time series 24-6.

Last Five Meetings:

W - Boston College 61, New Hampshire 59 (OT) (December 16, 2012)
W - Boston College 67, New Hampshire 64 (November 14, 2011)
W - Boston College 67, New Hampshire 57 (November 10, 2007)
W - Boston College 86, New Hampshire 47 (November 10, 2006)
W - Boston College 84, New Hampshire 62 (November 23, 2004)

Game 2 vs. Massachusetts Minutemen

Sunday, November 16, 2014, 3:00 PM
TV: NESN
Radio: ??

Preseason Opponent Preview: Massachusetts

Series History: Boston College and Massachusetts have met 46 times. Boston College leads the all-time series 26-20.

Last Five Meetings:

L - Massachusetts 86, Boston College 73 (November 13, 2013)
L - Massachusetts 82, Boston College 46 (November 21, 2011)
W - Boston College 76, Massachusetts 71 (December 4, 2010)
W - Boston College 79, Massachusetts 67 (December 23, 2009)
W - Boston College 85, Massachusetts 81 (December 6, 2008)

Roster Notes

Coach Jim Christian confirmed Darryl Hick's second knee surgery, so the guard from Louisville is out for the foreseeable future (possibly the whole season?). Lonnie Jackson is also day-to-day with a deep calf muscle strain.

The good news is that Clifford is healthy, supposedly, and Christian raved about him. "He's like getting a new recruit. You get a guy like that who was a very good player before he got hurt, to see him back healthy, it's uplifting every day."

Think fans will be excited to see what Aaron Brown can do and Diallo is pretty raw but full of potential.

Projected Starters

G Olivier Hanlan, junior
G Aaron Brown, graduate
G Patrick Heckmann, senior
F Will Magarity, sophomore
C Dennis Clifford, junior

Three-Point Preview

1. Play Defense -- Cliche, sure, but excited to see this team's renewed focus on the defensive end after years of neglect under Onahue. I worry about foul trouble with a lack of depth in the front court, but I'm expecting big things from guys like Clifford and Diallo on the defensive end of the floor.

2. Get The Ball To Brown In Space -- Like I said, I think fans will be excited to see what Aaron Brown can bring to the table. With Hanlan taking on more of the point guard responsibilities this year, Brown's gonna be relied upon to shoulder more of the offensive workload.

3. Limited Second Chance Opportunities -- UNH has only one player on the roster that stands at 6-foot-9 (freshman forward Iba Camara). This is a team that's sorely lacking in height. With Clifford back, a transformed Magarity and Diallo, hoping that BC can dominate on the glass and limit the Wildcats' offensive rebounds and second-chance opportunities; something that killed the Eagles in a lot of games last year.

Steve Addazio* Previews New Hampshire and UMass

Getting ready for our first game of the season. It's a new era of Boston College basketball. New season, new system. Renewed emphasis on defense. Being tenacious...getting after it. I'm really pleased with how the offseason went. I feel like this team is really gelling at as unit, as a family. But it's time to get down to business. Our guys are tired of seeing each other in practice.

UNH is a young, hungry team. A young team like that, you know they're hungry and they're gonna give effort. That's what we've been trying to stress here--EFFORT. Have to hustle, win those individual battles. We've worked a lot on that, particularly on defense.

UNH had six underclassmen see significant time last year. So you know they'll be improved this year with a full offseason under their belt. I look at a guy like sophomore guard Daniel Dion--8.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists--as a true freshman. He's a tremendous talent and should step in right away and contribute. We need to knock the rust off and come out flying. I'm really proud of how our guys have worked in the offseason. They've bought in to the system, they've bought in to everything Coach Christian is trying to do. They're excited to get out there.

Then we've got UMass coming to town. They've got some experienced guys. Guys with NCAA tournament experience, which just takes it to another level. They play in the Atlantic 10, one of the toughest leagues out there. We're really going to have to execute against this kind of team. We have to eliminate the mental mistakes, play smart, disciplined basketball.

They won 24 games last year. Keep an eye on junior guard and West Virginia transfer Jabarie Hinds. We have our work cut out for us guarding Hinds...7.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists over 22.8 minutes per game with the Mountaineers. Adds a TREMENDOUS boost to the Minutemen's backcourt.

Really need to see a comfort with playing away from home in what should be a raucous crowd. A hostile environment. This program may be coming off a few down years, but Boston College...Massachusetts...the Commonwealth Classic. This is what it's all about, you know? The Minutemen are gonna be there and they're gonna be ready to play. That is one hell of a team--a tough, tough team--and we've got our work cut out for us.

Scoreboard Watching / Out of Town Notes

UMass opens the season tonight at home against Siena. The Saints finished the regular season just 15-16 (11-9 MAAC), but went on to win last year's College Basketball Invitational with a 5-1 record, taking two of three from Fresno State in the championship series best-of-three. The New Mexico Lobos, Boston College's first round opponent in next week's Puerto Rico Tip-Off, begin the year with home games against Idaho State (Friday) and Cal State-Fullerton (Sunday).

Gametime Song of the Week

A.J. has your hardcore rap needs covered. I'm more of an alt rock guy myself ...

Jack White - Lazaretto. The first thirty seconds of this track are straight fire. "Yo trabajo duro / Como en madera y yeso" is probably one of my favorite lyrics of all time, even if it's sort of bad Spanish.

Random Factoids

Boston College and Massachusetts have met on a neutral court 13 times. UMass has won 9 of those contests.

Dot Dot Dot

On Sunday, Boston College and UMass will square off for the second straight year in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tripleheader at the Garden. The Eagles and Minutemen will be joined by Boston University vs. Northeastern (12:30 p.m.) and Harvard vs. Holy Cross (5:30 p.m.). Just...why?

Let's work on filling Conte and Mullins before outsourcing another Commonwealth Classic game to the Garden to be played in front of a cavernous, 1/4-filled NBA arena please. The game doesn't even appear to be televised, which, lame.

BCI Predictions

New Hampshire Massachusetts Season Record
Brian Favat 0-0
Jeff Martyn 0-0
A.J Black 0-0
John Fidler 0-0
Dan Doolan 0-0
Joe Gravellese 0-0
Grant Salzano 0-0
Dan Rubin 0-0
Kwani Lunis 0-0
CSOM_97 0-0
hoyaeagle 0-0

Brian Favat:

Boston College 65, New Hampshire 55 -- This one has the potential to look pretty ugly, but style points don't matter as the Eagles get the Jim Christian era underway with a victory in the opener.

Boston College 75, Massachusetts 72 -- I have a feeling Olivier Hanlan is going to take over and go on an early season tear. The combo of a healthy Clifford, Magarity and Diallo are able to limit the damage that Lalanne can inflict on the Eagles and BC ekes out a 3-point victory.

Jeff Martyn:

Boston College 72, New Hampshire 60

Boston College 76, Massachusetts 71

A.J Black:

Boston College 74, New Hampshire 58 -- Christian's gang starts off slow but turn it around and dominate second half.

Massachusetts 65, Boston College 61 -- Close, but can't see this team beating Amworst

John Fidler:

Boston College 74, New Hampshire 54 -- UNH is bad...real bad...chance to see if the Eagles can really lock down a bad opponent to start the season.

Massachusetts 77, Boston College 67 -- We then find out they aren't ready to lock down a decent opponent after that

Dan Doolan:

Boston College 78, New Hampshire 62 -- It's the Hanlan show all night as he torches the Wildcats for 30.

Boston College 70, Massachusetts 60 -- The empty TD Garden somehow gives BC the advantage as they pull away late. Also I simply can't bring myself to give UMASS the win.

Joe Gravellese:

Boston College 77, New Hampshire 59

Boston College 81, Massachusetts 80

Grant Salzano:

New Hampshire 3, Boston College 2 -- UNH is pretty solid this year.

Boston College 4, Massachusetts 0 -- UMass sucks.

Dan Rubin:

Boston College 69, New Hampshire 64 -- One of those low-scoring games where nobody plays particularly great since it's the first night.

Massachusetts 84, Boston College 69 -- UMass is still better than we are, even though Chazz Williams graduated after spending 74 years in college.

hoyaeagle:

Boston College 68, New Hampshire 53 -- Jim Christian era starts off with a comfortable win. Dennis Clifford notches 10 points and 8 boards and is a welcome sight on the court.

Massachusetts 64, Boston College 56 -- BC loses a back-and-forth game against the Minutemen, who will be decent this year despite losing Chaz Williams.

Kwani Lunis:

Boston College 80, New Hampshire 65

Boston College 70, Massachusetts 67

(I just want to win em all! )

CSOM_97:

Boston College 87, University of No Height 68

Boston College 79, Massachusetts 74

I'm an optimist by nature. BC should have the best guard and the best big man on the court. *waves hands at rest of positions* Lack of depth scares me, but I think we have enough to get it done.

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Leave your thoughts / predictions on the weekend's slate of games below. Go Eagles!

* Steve Addazio actually didn't say these things