The Boston College men’s basketball team begins their 2018-19 campaign looking to improve on last year’s exciting season. In 2017-18 the Eagles were able to surprise skeptics by advancing to the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. While some may have thought the Eagles could advance further, they were bounced in the first round of the NIT. BC looked impressive against good teams and managed to get young players into the rotation, readying them for the upcoming season.
BC will look to build around a younger core this year with a few key upperclassmen leading the team. The biggest hole in the squad is left by Jerome Robinson, who went 13th overall in last year’s NBA draft to the Los Angeles Clippers. Robinson averaged 20.7 points per game last season while shooting just over 40% from deep and was named First-team All-ACC.
His obvious replacement is Ky Bowman, the junior point guard, and star of the team. Bowman and Robinson proved to be one of the most dangerous back court duos in the ACC last season. Robinson’s departure will force Bowman to take on a bigger offensive role. The Eagles’ role players from last season, including senior guard Jordan Chatman and sophomore forward Steffon Mitchell, will need to improve their production as well.
Chatman, a dangerous three-point shooter, shot from deep at just under a 40% clip. Mitchell showed his importance on the defensive end, gathering 8.3 rebounds per game and also holding Marvin Bagley III to a relatively quiet performance in BC’s incredible win over Duke.
A final addition to the roster is freshman forward Jairus Hamilton, the number 56 recruit in the ESPN100. In his senior season, Hamilton was a McDonald’s All-American nominee while averaging 28.3 points and 13.2 rebounds for the Cannon School in North Carolina.
Ky Bowman – The Nation’s Most Dynamic Guard – has been named to the 2019 Bob Cousy Award national watch list.
The award is presented annually to the top point guard in the country.
As per usual, the ACC will be one of the strongest conferences in the country. Duke and UNC add some of the top freshman recruits, while perennial contenders Virginia and Notre Dame look impressive as well. To have a successful season, the Eagles will have to overachieve in-conference against some of the nation’s best teams.
BC also needs to avoid any slip-ups against non-conference opposition. They did not schedule any extremely difficult games out-of-conference, with a trip to Texas A&M and visits from Minnesota and Providence the only games of note. The Eagles will also face some of their toughest opposition, notably UNC and Virginia, in Chestnut Hill. This gives the Eagles the all-important home-court advantage.
If BC can avoid being upset early and steal some wins from college basketball’s big boys, they will certainly have a chance at a high seed in the ACC tournament and could sneak in as an at-large bid come March.
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