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Boston College 74, North Carolina State 66: 3 Observations

A few observations from another (?!) ACC win

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Duke Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College is a completely different team from last year, which so far is working out pretty well

One year ago, the Boston College Eagles were just getting into an ACC slate in which they would go on to lose every single game. Eli Carter, a one-and-done graduate transfer, and Dennis Clifford, a senior center, were the leaders of an aging basketball team that never really clicked together. Steve Perpiglia, a walk-on guard, was getting playing time. The only contributing players that remain from last year’s team are Jerome Robinson, then a freshman averaging 12 points a game and missing games due to injury, A.J. Turner, who played a bunch but only average 6 points a game, Johncarlos Reyes, who missed the majority of the season to foot injury, and Garland Owens. The rest of this year’s team? Transfers and freshman. Ky Bowman has come into BC and lit Conte forum on fire, immediately making an impact to the tune of 13 points a game, and has come on especially strong of late (he’s averaging 19.6 ppg since the Providence game). Transfers like Connor Tava, Mo Jeffers, and Jordan Chatman, meanwhile, have immediately stepped in as impact role players for a BC team that is now 2-2 in ACC play. Obviously, the emergence of Jerome Robinson as one of the best players in the ACC and the leader on this BC team has been key in the improvement this year. But the freshman and transfers that Jim Christian brought in have immediately changed the culture of Boston College basketball, and although we’ll have to see what happens in the rest of the season, that’s a really good thing.

Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman are a Real Deal Duo

Yeah, it’s only been 3 games of ACC play, but the duo of Robinson and Bowman have been an unstoppable force (when they’re on) for this BC team. The stats from this season, especially in the last few games, obviously back this up, but so does just watching these two play against some high level talent. Both Jerome and Ky are athletic enough to get to the hoop while also having the basketball skill and IQ to either finish at the rim, find the open guy for a shot, or take the 3-point shot themselves. There will probably be nights when one of them doesn’t show up (most likely the younger Bowman) and those won’t be fun nights for BC basketball, but in games like the win over NC State, this duo can lead the team to some impressive wins. There was a reason so many NBA scouts were in attendance on Wednesday night, and it wasn’t just NC State’s star freshman point guard.

This team has given fans something to look forward to in ACC play

After a disappointing start to the season that includes losses to Hartford, Nicholls State, and Fairfield, there wasn’t all that much to be excited for as a BC fan. For reasons that can solely be traced back to Ky Bowman’s quick emergence in recent games, that has all changed heading into mid-January. Another game against Syracuse awaits, and then, when Boston College students (like myself) get back to school next week there will be home games against Virginia and North Carolina on the docket. I’m not saying BC is suddenly going to become a top-tier ACC contender just because they beat Syracuse and NC State, but combining those wins with the fact that they didn’t get blown out by Duke at least gives us some confidence heading into those big ACC games. Also, the more clear reason why fans have something to look forward to is how good that duo of Robinson and Bowman have been. Whether or not the supporting cast will be good enough for BC to upset the top teams in the country is neither here nor there; those two young players are really fun to watch and can provide the big plays that really get fans excited on any given night. The attendance issues have been well-documented by a very small BC sports media and will definitely continue to happen if BC can’t compete in the coming games. But if BC continues the strong play they’ve have in recent games, look for Conte Forum to be nearly full during the big-time games, even if a lot of those fans may be rooting for the opposition.