The Boston College men’s basketball team’s season came to a disappointing end on Tuesday after a loss to Pitt in the first round of the ACC tournament. The Eagles were the 11 seed, higher than the 14 seed Panthers, but BC came up short by a final score of 80-70. Nik Popovic ended his tremendous year on a high note, scoring 21 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
Ky Bowman and Jordan Chatman each (likely) ended their BC careers with good games as well, with Bowman scoring 14 and securing seven rebounds, while Chatman finished with 16 points, 10 of which came from the free-throw line.
The Eagles’ defense was their downfall, however, with the team allowing Pitt to shoot nearly 50 percent from the field and allowing two players to go for more than 20 points. They were also outrebounded, which was a theme late in the season, by a total of 42-35.
While it would’ve been unlikely for there to be any postseason basketball past the conference tournament for the Eagles, the loss will undoubtedly leave a bad taste in the mouths of fans and returning players alike.
Film session, followed by a walk across the street to Second Ward Gym for shootaround. That's how the Eagles spent their morning. BC begins ACC Tournament play tonight at 7 pm against Pitt. #WeAreBC 🦅 pic.twitter.com/CWgvntxttM
— Boston College Men's Basketball (@BCMBB) March 12, 2019
BC finished the season with a record of 14-17 overall, 5-13 in the ACC. This conference record was somehow the second best under head coach Jim Christian, who is very much on the hot seat and may not be roaming the sideline for the Eagles next season. Christian is now 62-100 at the helm, a record that does not warrant a return as coach, especially considering the poor recruiting classes that have come in the past two seasons.
The larger issue for BC is certainly Ky Bowman’s decision of whether or not he will return to the Heights for his senior year. The star guard averaged 19 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, both of which were career highs. It is highly unlikely that he will come back, considering his comments on Twitter in the previous weeks, as well as his position as a late first-round or early second-round draft pick in many mocks.
With Bowman likely leaving and Chatman finishing his last year of eligibility, there is going to be a massive hole in offensive production next season. Nik Popovic has improved every season, but the way the game is played today, the Eagles might not have a huge amount of success with a traditional big man as their best player.
Before his injury, Wynston Tabbs looked to be a great player, averaging 13.9 points per game on 44 percent shooting. If he can step up, along with a few other role players such as the Hamilton brothers and Chris Herren Jr., the future might not look so bleak for BC basketball after all.
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