The 2009-2010 basketball season is slowly drawing closer. Every Tuesday and Thursday this fall, Crazie Talk will preview each of the twelve ACC teams in order of conference standings – from the bottom up.
Today, we’ll take a look at the Boston College Eagles.
2008-2009 Record: 22-12 (9-7 in ACC)
Postseason Record: 1-1 in ACC tournament, 0-1 in NCAA tournament (lost to USC in First Round)
Projected Starting Lineup: Reggie Jackson (So.), Rakim Sanders (Jr.), Corey Raji (Jr.), Joe Trapani (Jr.), Josh Southern (Jr.)
The Good: The Eagles return seven of its top eight scorers and six players who played in all 34 games. They will be led by a pair of juniors, explosive guard Rakim Sanders and versatile forward Joe Trapani. Last season, both Sanders (22 points, 4 threes) and Trapani (20 points, 5 blocks) played a huge part in victories over UNC and Duke, respectively. Al Skinner will have plenty of players to count on late in the second half of close games because he has players with big-time experience, as Boston College returns almost everybody.
The Bad: Even with all the returning players, the loss of four-year starter and leading scorer Tyrese Rice cannot be underestimated. Rice was the catalyst for this Eagles team, scoring big basket after big basket in wins over UNC and Duke. He was also BC’s closer, as he shot 85.6% from the free throw line. Currently, there is only one player on the Eagles’ roster that shoots over 72% from the line – Trapani – with many players shooting in the 60s. Teams will have the luxury of fouling anyone but Trapani in the final minutes of tight games.
The Crazie: The Eagles inexplicably lost to Harvard, a team that didn’t even win the Ivy League, at home, immediately after its biggest win of the season on the road against UNC in January. Over a month later, they lost at Miami immediately following its big victory over Duke in Chestnut Hill. After defeating ACC runner-up Florida State in late February, they lost to NC State in Raleigh. Safe to say, this team needs to avoid letdowns like they have had following important victories.
We Love to Hate… Reggie Jackson, who hit the tiebreaking shot against Duke in their victory on February 15th. Look for Al Skinner, who has a history of developing overlooked high school recruits (Troy Bell, Jared Dudley and Rice) into All-ACC players at Boston College to do the same with Jackson, who is only a sophomore.
The Bottom Line: Expect BC to remain in the top half of the ACC. As long as they avoid letdowns after big wins and beat teams they should beat, they can make a push into the upper third of the conference. Even with the loss of their best player, the Eagles have a good coach in Al Skinner and players that have experience in big games.
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Crazie Talk’s ACC Rundowns: