Boston College men’s basketball’s season opener saw the Eagles win by 20 points, but the victory did not come without a brief scare. Head coach Jim Christian’s team came out sluggish in the first half against Milwaukee, trailing by 10 heading into the break. BC (1-0) relieved its supporters in the second half, shooting the ball better and ramping up its defense. The Eagles will return to their home floor on Sunday against St. Francis Brooklyn (1-0), the first game of the four they will play as part of the Fort Myers Tip-Off event. BC will look to build off the success it found in its opener and will try to work out some early-season kinks.
Who is BC playing?
St. Francis Brooklyn
When is BC playing?
Sunday, Nov. 11, 1 p.m.
Where is BC playing?
Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
How to Watch:
This game is available to stream on ACC Network Extra via WatchESPN.
By the Numbers:
1) Ky Bowman performed just as expected in the first game of the post-Jerome Robinson era, racking up 19 points and eight rebounds. The junior will be the centerpiece of the Eagles team this season, as he looks to build off a stellar sophomore campaign, a season in which he averaged just under 18 points and seven rebounds.
2) Wynston Tabbs started and played 31 minutes against Milwaukee. While many expected Jairus Hamilton to be the freshman who got the most playing time early on, it was Tabbs who got the starting nod on Thursday, and he capitalized, scoring 16 points.
3) BC will open its season with six of its first eight games at home. The Eagles played much better at home last season, posting 14 wins at Conte Forum and just two in true road games. BC will not play in a hostile environment until its first road test of the year at College Station in early December.
1) The Terriers beat up on Division III Medgar Evers, 92-42, in their opening game of the season. St. Francis erupted offensively, and four different players scored at least 14 points, en route to their first victory of the year.
2) Freshman Stevan Krtinic led the way for the Terriers, notching 15 points off the bench, including a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc. The Serbian will look to provide a punch for St. Francis’ offense this season.
3) St. Francis’ leading scorer from a season ago, Rasheem Dunn, has transferred to Cleveland State this year. The Terriers will need to make up those 15.4 points from somewhere, and it will be up to a combination of veterans and young players to accomplish this.
These sides last met in the 2015-16 season, when BC led wire-to-wire and defeated St. Francis, 75-49, off the strength of 23 points from Eli Carter and 19 from Robinson. The Eagles’ defense held the Terriers to 27.9 percent shooting and closed out on the 3-point line well, allowing just 6-of-24 long balls to fall. It was one of just seven wins for the abysmal Eagles campaign that also featured a winless conference slate.
BC is the more talented team, but the Eagles will have to play within themselves and remember the fundamentals. While flashy on-dribble moves and high-flying dunks are eye-opening, it is the dirty work like rebounding, setting good screens, and staying out of foul trouble that will help BC win. A disciplined approach will allow the Eagles to mesh together and continue to build chemistry.
The bench contributions seem to be a welcome addition to this year’s squad. Getting valuable minutes off the bench from players like Hamilton, Chris Herren Jr., and Luka Kraljevic will lessen the strain on the starting lineup and allow Christian to give teams different looks. He should keep experimenting with lineups amid the young season, especially before conference play begins.
Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Editor