The Jackets take on Boston College, looking for their first ACC win of the season. Before the game, we sat down with Will Bagnall from BC Interruption to get his insight on what he expects when the Eagles and Jackets battle in Chestnut Hill.
FTRS: Boston College has had an up and down season, including a nearly 20 point victory over Notre Dame and a loss to lowly Albany. What has been the biggest difference from game to game?
BC’s offensive efficiency. BC is not a team that can just run up the court and jack up three pointers, nor are they some high tempo, get out and run kind of offense. It’s all about getting high percentage looks which often means driving into the paint for either a layup or kicking the ball out to the perimeter for clean shot. Limiting turnovers has also, obviously, been a big part of that too. When the Eagles have struggled it has been when they can’t penetrate the paint and turn the ball over. There is the Covid element which has disrupted BC’s schedule unlike in the early part of the year and has made it hard for them to maintain their rhythm.
FTRS: Which player(s) should Tech watch out for? Which player is most important to this BC team? Is there a player that could be considered an x-factor?
One of the aspects that I really like about this BC team is the fact that they have multiple players who can become X-factors.
However, the most important players to look out for are the Langford brothers, Makai-Ashton Langford and DeMarr Langford Jr. These two guards have really been the straw that has stirred BC’s drink so far this season. The brothers are BC’s first and second leading scorer, Makai leads the team in assists, and the ball almost always starts in one of their hands. The other pair I would keep my eye on is the front court duo of Quinten Post and James Karnik and it isn’t necessarily for their physical presence alone. Both Karnik and Post can hit shots from three and are quality shooters at times and when they can get their shots to fall it really allows BC to stretch the floor.
FTRS: What are the biggest strengths of this Boston College team? Biggest weaknesses?
The biggest strength of BC is their ability to play cohesive team basketball. When BC has been at its best, it has been because the team has been able to patiently move the ball around till they find the look they like. There hasn’t been a great deal of “hero-ball” on display. The biggest weakness is the team’s 3-point shooting. The Eagles don’t shoot a ton of threes and they don’t have a go-to long range marksman. There are certainly players who can hit shots from beyond the arc but it isn’t a major facet of their game.
FTRS: This is the first season of the Earl Grant era in Chestnut Hill. What are your thoughts so far and the general vibe around the program currently? Are fans excited about the future or disinterested after a fairly rough past decade of basketball?
From the first game I attended in Conte Forum this season, I have felt a different energy surrounding this year’s BC team. I think a combination of a new coach and coming off a year where BC fans couldn’t go to games has generated quite a deal of excitement and support for the team. Beyond that, listening to the players talk and seeing their body language on the court, has me convinced that the team is really buying into what Coach Grant is preaching. Grant brings a new intensity and passion to the team that I think was sorely needed.
FTRS: What’s your prediction for this one? Who wins and why?
Eagles come away with a much-needed home win. While BC ended up losing to Pitt there were signs throughout the course of the game that this Eagles team is starting to re-gain their early season form. I also believe that BC has guards capable of slowing down Michael Devoe and have other players that can step up if Georgia Tech is able to slow down the Langford brothers. BC wins a back and forth shoot-out 71 to 66.