ACC Burning Questions: Boston College Eagles

Posted by Matt Patton (@mpatton0) on October 19th, 2016

This team preview is part of the RTC ACC microsite’s preseason coverage.

Burning Question: Can Boston College show enough improvement to buy Jim Christian some time?

As we and others predicted would occur, last year was an unmitigated, winless disaster for the Eagles. With only one starter returning, Boston College didn’t field a team that had any chance of realistically competing in the ACC (the Eagles’ final KenPom ranking (#226) was nearly twice as bad as next worst Wake Forest). It was a rebuilding year in every sense of the phrase. This year might turn out better in Chestnut Hill, but Jim Christian‘s squad must drastically improve its offense while still lacking the necessary talent to compete and win regularly in conference play. Eli Carter and Dennis Clifford, the team’s most used and important players last season, are both gone. Sammy Barnes-Thompkins, Matt Milon and Idy Diallo also transferred away, although none were systemically very important. These departures present an opportunity for the remaining players to quickly improve, but they are also another steep hurdle in Christian’s efforts to rebuild the program.

Jerome USA TODAY Sports

Jerome Robinson was a lone bright spot for the Eagles last season. (USA TODAY Sports)

A lone bright spot last season was the play of Jerome Robinson. He was a crucial part of the offense and a very efficient shooter. The two big questions surrounding Robinson are whether he is ready to be the center of Boston College’s offense and if he can improve on his atrocious turnover rate. Unfortunately, the responsibility of carrying more of the offense makes keeping his turnover rate down an impossibility, but a second year of conditioning and experience should only help in most other areas. Christian will also need leadership and improvement from sophomore AJ Turner, senior Garland Owens, and redshirt freshman John Carlos Reyes (who is tasked with replacing Clifford).

Boston College’s incoming recruiting class is sizable and points to a strategy of using transfers to jumpstart the program. Conor Tava, a Western Michigan transfer, has NCAA Tournament and leadership experience. He struggles to protect the ball but is an efficient scorer inside the arc. The true freshmen in the class; Ty Graves, Ky Boman, Nik Popovic (all consensus 3-star players), and Mike Sagay will have to play immediately.

This looks like another year where Boston College simply won’t have enough ACC-caliber talent to compete each night out. Ironically, the team’s best chance for a conference win (apart from pure odds) will probably come on the road at Georgia Tech, another roster that looks incapable of competing in conference play. For Christian’s sake, the team needs to show substantial improvement this season. His main leverage is that the school probably wants to avoid a buyout, but without a hint of progress this year, the Eagles’ program risks fading even further into basketball obscurity.

Share this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *