Opening Night Observations

The Boston College men's basketball team opened up the season on a sour note when it was announced three players had been suspended. They shook it off and thumped Dartmouth at home to notch their first win of the season. Team captain Tyler Roche lead the way with 30-points and five blocks, as BC cruised to a 30-point win over Dartmouth.

After one game, it is far too soon to make any judgment about this team. The only thing that is known at this point is they can win without three key players. Tyler Roche took advantage of his increased minutes in a big way Friday night with a career high 30-point explosion leading the way for an 89-58 defeat of Dartmouth in Boston College's season opener.

Roche was highly efficient, shooting 10-of-12 from the floor, including four treys. He also played strong defense at the power forward spot tallying five blocks. Roche benefited from the suspensions of Courtney Dunn and Corey Raji and the early foul trouble that limited Joe Trapani to just three minutes in the first half.

Roche, along with Reggie Jackson, played a total of 38 minutes in the contest. He helped to quickly put Dartmouth away by nailing back-to-back three points to stretch the Eagle's lead into double figures mid-way through the first half and BC never looked back from there.

Tyler attributed his success to having increased confidence, especially when he is getting consistent minutes. Coach Al Skinner said, "it is an indication of how hard he has worked", adding that Roche "has continually improved throughout his college career."

Jackson added 16 points, six rebounds, and four assists in an impressive all-around showing. In the post-game Jackson acknowledges the increased role he will be taking on this season saying, "sometimes I feel that I take it upon myself -- that if we're in a slump, it's my responsibility to get a bucket."

As expected it was a sloppy game for both teams. Boston College committed 19 turnovers and Biko Paris had as many turnovers (six) as he did points.

Skinner said of his team's performance, "There were times I was very pleased. But, inconsistency on defense was a problem." Much of the blame he put simply on laziness by his players, which allowed Dartmouth to beat BC for some easy backdoor moves.

BC fans got to see plenty of Dallas Elmore as he played 25 minutes in this contest. His athleticism, particularly on the defensive end, was impressive and he had 10-points to go along with six rebounds and three blocks. One of those blocks was a highlight reel type rejection that he smacked hard against the backboard on a fast break lay-up attempt.

Evan Ravenel, who was dubbed the most improved player by several of his teammates, contributed little in his 19 minutes.

Joe Trapani picked up two quick fouls in the opening minutes and was ultimately held scoreless in the first half. Slowly he came alive and by the end of the game he was knocking down his patented pull-up jumper. He finished the game with 11-points.

Coach Skinner declined to elaborate upon his player's suspensions. The three players were dressed in sweats and sat on the bench and eagerly supported their teammates throughout the game.

As first games go, particularly against a modest opponent, it was good enough to keep fans thinking this team can go places this year. Two years ago, this team would have lost if they were missing three key starters. Last year they would have had to scratch and claw to get the win. So, a blowout, under the circumstances, is a good sign.

On the flip side, it is never a good thing when three veteran players get suspended. At this point in their careers, they should be more responsible and more committed to their teammates. When guys are not living up to their responsibilities, it is never good for team chemistry.

Boston College looks to duplicate their efforts next Tuesday at home against St. Francis (NY). The Terriers are coming off a loss to Brown in their opener. BC will then prepare to travel to the Virgin Islands to participate tin the Paradise Jam Tournament.

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