The Boston College men’s basketball team started their 2015-2016 season off strong. The Eagles won their first three games of the season before losing three straight to even their record. Second-year head coach Jim Christian has composed a team of 10 freshmen this season, who have shown some flashes of brilliance in their first 6 games, but they have also proven that they are young.
Boston College hosted St. Francis Brooklyn in their home opener. The Eagles took this game by a score of 75-49. Eli Carter, the graduate student from New Jersey, took this game over. Carter had 23 points and 11 rebounds on the night, showing his canny ability to get to the rim. Freshmen guard, Jerome Robinson, also played well in the Eagles first win of the season scoring 19 points. However, BC did struggle holding on to the ball in this game. The Eagles turned the ball over 13 times to this Northeast Conference team. Other than the turnovers the Eagles did play well for their first game of the season at the Heights.
In ther second game, the Eagles blew out the Central Connecticut Blue Devils by a score of 82-57. Carter led the Eagles in scoring again with 18 points, other notable performances go to Jerome Robinson and senior center Dennis Clifford, who went for 9 points and 9 rebounds. The Eagles did struggle from the free throw line in this one, shooting 30%. Christian did a good job of getting minutes to his young team in this game, playing 14 of his 15 players. Overall, this game was a good confidence boost for the young team.
The Eagles hosted Harvard in game number three, a team who has made NCAA tournament appearances four times in the programs past four years. Boston College fought hard in this game and came out with a good 69-56 win against a respected opponent. Yes, Harvard is having a slow season at 2-4 right now, but the Eagles looked good. More players got involved on the stat sheet, with 30 points contributed by the bench. Matt Milon, a 6 foot 4 freshmen guard, led the Eagles in scoring with 16 off the bench. The young team has shown improvement in each of their three games so far, which is what Christian was looking for.
The Eagles were dealt their first loss of the season by the Michigan State Spartans in the John Wooden Classic. The third ranked Spartans, led by big man Denzel Valentine, who notched a triple double, pulled away in the second half for a final score of 99-68. BC played hard in this game, but just couldn't match up against the bigger and stronger players of Michigan State. The Eagles allowed 40 points in the paint and 12 second chance points. Despite the blowout in Boston College’s first away game of the season, their were some positives to take out of the game. The first is Eli Carter can score. It doesn’t matter who the Eagles are playing, Carter will find his way to the rim. The second is that the Eagles played hard. Despite the lopsided scoreline in the second half, Jim Christian’s team played hard until the end. The young team still has a lot of work to do and that was evident against the Spartans, but the team has now seen where they need to be.
Because of Boston College’s loss to Michigan State, the Eagles dropped into the loser’s bracket where they took on UC Irvine. BC struggled in this game, losing 67-80. The Eagles looked week defensively all night. UC Irvine pretty much did what they wanted offensively, whether it was shooting the three or pounding it inside. The Eagles started the game very slowly. UC Irvine outscored Christian's team in the first half 43-31 and again in the second half 37-36. On paper this is a game that Boston College needs to win, but Irvine played well and the Eagles looked tired in their second loss in two nights.
The Eagles matched up against the Santa Clara Broncos in the final game of the John Wooden classic where they continued to struggle. BC shot just 28% from the field in the 62-45 loss. BC finished last in this tournament, and deservedly so. The Eagles struggled to put points on the board in each game, and looked confused defensively many a time.
The Eagles are currently 3-3 and on a 3 game losing streak. Eli Carter (18 ppg) has distinguished himself as the teams go-to scorer with Dennis Clifford and Jerome Robinson also playing good basketball.
Boston College plays Penn State (3-2) at home next, where they looked comfortable in the first three games. This should be another good matchup for BC as the Eagles look to bounce back from their three game losing streak. Christian will look to keep his undefeated 2015-2016 home record in tact tonight.