The Boston College Eagles are coming off what would appear to be a disappointing 16-17 record, 7-11 in the ACC, but they did that with a rotation that featured mostly sophomores and freshmen. They were a team that got better throughout the year, taking six of their last ten games, including four in a row before falling to the top-seeded Hurricanes in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament.
Looking ahead, Boston College will benefit from having just about everybody back, losing only Andrew Van Nest’s 10 minutes per game. However, the best part is, this is still a young team. None of their projected starters are seniors, so the future looks bright. Barring injury, the Eagles should win 20 games this year, with 10 wins in the ACC not out of the question. If all goes well, this team could challenge for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
GONE: Andrew Van Nest and Jordan Daniels (left mid-season last year)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
PG – Joe Rahon (SO), 6-2/195
SG – Olivier Hanlan (SO), 6-4/188
SF – Patrick Heckmann (JR), 6-5/205
PF – Ryan Anderson (JR), 6-8/220
C – Dennis Clifford (JR), 7-0/250
Inside, Ryan Anderson will remain the star. If not the star, at the very least, he’s one of two players Eagles’ fan doesn’t want to see missing any time. A two-year star, he’s been a double-digit scorer since stepping on campus. He’s got a legit back the basket game and is extremely agile for a man his size. The problem has been maturity, which hopefully will be less of a problem now that he’s a junior.
At the three spot Boston College has a prototype wing man in Patrick Heckmann. Long and athletic, he’s been compared to Manu Ginobili, a slasher, capable of showing off his jumper (38-percent from three).
However, if the Eagles want to get to the next level, it will come down to their guards, Rahon and Hanlan. The two are interchangeable, both capable of running the point, both capable of moving without the ball and finding open spots. For me, if Rahon can improve his assist to turnover ratio, then his quickness and court vision will make him one of the better points in the conference. Hanlan is a scorer, plain and simple. Thanks to good length and solid footwork, the man knows how to get a good look. He averaged 15.4 as a freshman and should challenge for the league scoring title this coming season.
The only weak spot in the starting lineup is at center. Clifford has the size (a seven-footer) and a developed hook shot. He’s also not afraid to step out and drain a jumper. However, he’s a weak defender and a terrible rebounder, which is true of all the big men on this team not named Ryan Anderson.
G – Lonnie Jackson (JR), 6-3/173
F – Eddie Odio (JR), 6-7/205
F – Alex Dragicevich (JR), 6-7/220
With the addition of Notre Dame transfer Alex Dragicevich, the Eagles have a solid eight-man rotation. At 6-7, The Serbian Sensation has an excellent jumper, but is not afraid to take the ball inside, thanks to some quality ball handling. He’s not a great athlete, but he is willing to sneak behind the defense through the back door. If Heckmann comes off the floor, the production at the 3-spot will not drop off with Dragicevich in the game.
Jackson is a lights out three-point shooter…the kind most teams would kill for off the bench. He led the team in three pointers last year despite coming off the bench. The problem is, he’s not a strong ball handler and struggles to work inside. Odio is the opposite of Jackson, he’s a terrible shooter from deep, but he’s a solid athlete, with great hop, and a really good offensive rebounder.
The best part about these three is their versatility.
G – Danny Rubin (SR), 6-6/190
C – K.C. Caudill (JR), 6-11/275
For me, the Eagles are solid with a eight-man rotation, simple because there is a major drop in talent from here on out. Now Caudill could easily move up. He’s the only true backup center on the bench and since Clifford has struggled to stay healthy, Caudill could see some minutes. He’s a beast inside, arguable the biggest boy in the league, but like Clifford, he’s a terrible rebounder, who really needs to work on his conditioning.
Rubin looked like he had a future as a freshman, as he averaged 16 minutes per game. However, the last two years he’s been stuck deep on the pine. Since he’s a senior, he could spell Rahon at the point, but it has been three years and he still hasn’t been consistent enough from behind the arc.
G – Darryl Hicks (FR), 6-2/190
F – Garland Owens (FR), 6-5/205
F – John Cain Carney (JR), 6-7/220
Hicks and Owens are the new kids of on the block. While both have solid futures ahead, I just don’t think the future is now. Hicks has good size and athleticism. However, he’s a streaky shooter and he can’t go left.
Owens is a explosive athlete, who loves to run. He can attack the rim with both hands and can guard multiple positions. The problem is, there is nothing these two can do that can’t be done by the more experienced bench players above.
For the Eagles, this is a important year for them to prove that all the losing hasn’t been for not. This is a team looking to win 20 and make it to the tournament. The freshmen, as well as Carney, will get some looks early in the schedule, but I don’t expect to see much of them come ACC play.
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