After an offseason spent grooming promising scorers from last season, acquiring needed front court experience, and bringing in young talented ball handlers, Boston College was shockingly upset in its opening game against Nicholls state, 79-73.
Nicholls was led by guard DeAndre Harris, who finished the night with 26 points. Harris eventually became the only option for the Colonels, taking a half dozen possessions down the stretch as complete isolation sets.
The Eagles entered the game, and the season, looking to play with more tempo than they have in previous years. This was immediately stymied by Nicholls state picking up players 75-feet from the basket. BC’s two freshman point guards, Ty Graves and Ky Bowman, handled the pressure well, but it was clear that it forced the Eagles to make major adjustments on offense.
Graves in particular had a great game despite Bowman getting the start; he finished with 15 points, going 4 of 7 from behind the arc.
“Ty plays with a lot of confidence, we need his three point shooting,” said Head Coach Jim Christian. “His improvements need to come on the defensive end.”
While Graves’ first game for the Eagles will go down as a personal success, other new faces struggled. Graduate transfer Connar Tava was expected to give the Eagles some much needed physicality and low post scoring. Tava may have been too physical though, as he picked up 4 offensive fouls and could only give BC 13 minutes because of it.
The Eagles lost this game in large part to the first seven minutes of play, when Nicholls State jumped out to a 16-1 lead. “The first ten minutes of the game we probably didn’t do anything we practiced,” said Christian.
Despite the loss, the game wasn’t devoid of bright spots. Jerome Robinson, BC’s best natural scorer, finished with 14 points. AJ Turner also finished with 14, including a minute long stretch where he hit a big corner 3, had a block against Harris in isolation, and then a transition lay in off the black to cut Nicholls lead to just one.
Unfortunately, that’s where the run ended. Christian insisted that his team is better than this. “We have practiced so much better than we played tonight, and it was just really sad,” he continued. “We have to hold ourselves to a much higher standard.”
Clear areas for improvement would be foul shooting, where BC was what Christian labeled an “unacceptable” 12-23, and defending without fouling. The Eagles committed 23 team fouls and Christian emphasized that the one-on-one defending was very poor.
Luckily for BC they have an opportunity to bounce back quickly. The Eagles will take on Maryland Eastern Shore Tuesday Nov. 3, at 7 pm here in Conte Forum.
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