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BC basketball notebook: Men and women both grab first ACC wins

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With over 30 of his friends and family in attendance, Atlanta native Devin McGlockton knew he couldn’t disappoint.

Boston College took down Georgia Tech 95-87 Saturday, and the 6-foot-7 McGlockton put on a show. He put up 30 points leading the Eagles to their first ACC win of the season. Entering Saturday he had just five 3-pointers on the season, but he went a career-high 3-of-4 from range against the Yellow Jackets.

“Apparently everything,” McGlockton said when asked what went right for him postgame. “I had my family here, I’m back hometown, so everything was going well for me.”

But, some drama ensued postgame for McGlockton. In the dying seconds of the game, Georgia Tech was pressing Quinten Post after the Yellow Jackets’ made free throw. So, Post chucked it all the way down the court to McGlockton, who converted the rather easy layup with six seconds left on the clock to get him to 30 points total on the night.

That started tension between the two sides in the postgame handshake line due to McGlockton grabbing a bucket in what many would consider “garbage time.” The broadcast cut out right as it appeared something was about to happen, and Beacon Street Ball (who travels to literally every game) did not get a great look at it despite being close to it — however, what’s vividly shown on the broadcast is Yellow Jackets head coach Damon Stoudamire in both Earl Grant’s face and having some words for McGlockton.

Neither McGlockton nor Earl Grant were asked specifically about what was said in the handshake line postgame with there clearly being some rather angerful words exchanged. But as for the last play in general, both defended the layup that some — debatably many — would consider rather unsportsmanlike.

“We didn’t want to shoot that ball. They were pressing us. It was hard to get it in,” Grant said. “We ended up throwing it long. (McGlockton) caught it right under the rim and he shot it in. I think those guys weren’t happy with that.”

“They were still pressing. I mean, I got the ball in position,” McGlockton said. “They’re still playing defense, I got that last bucket. I mean, that’s it. That’s what happened.”

Battling back

BC was down 51-38 after the first half thanks to an ugly 20 minutes defensively — which was capped off by the Yellow Jackets’ 11-0 run that ended the half. Shots were falling for the Eagles, but they couldn’t figure it out on the defensive end.

“We were really out of character,” Grant said. “I don’t know if it’s we hadn’t played a lot of games recently. I don’t know what it was, but seemed like we just couldn’t execute our game plan. And they made nine threes and made us pay.”

Coming out of the gate, the Eagles then responded to the halftime deficit with a 9-0 run that cut Georgia Tech’s lead to just two. BC then took the lead for the first time since the first half with nine minutes to go in the contest. And with BC down 79-76 and just under four minutes of play left, it was a pair of triples from Claudell Harris Jr. and McGlockton that began an 11-0 run, and the Eagles ran away with it from there.

“We wanted to go out and do better, be more to our details, how we wanted to execute our game plan,” Grant said. “So we just tightened up some screws on everything. And then the guys showed great character. Our ball movement wasn’t as good as it needed to be in the first half. We took a few questionable shots. We could get better shots. And the second half, we just really did a great job of valuing the possession and moving the ball and playing team basketball.”

“Must-win”?

With BC dropping their first two ACC games to Wake Forest, many considered Saturday a must-win for Boston College especially given the difficult slate coming up (aside from the pair of Notre Dame games obviously) that features No. 16 Clemson and No. 8 North Carolina.

However, Grant views things differently.

“In my heart, and in my mind, I never really had must must-win in my mind. I had it in my mind that we needed to go play and play well, and try to figure it out to execute our plan,” he said.

“I felt like if we executed our plan at a high level, we could probably win,” Grant added. “But I think it was an important one. I think it was an important one because we’re on the road for a while. So it was an important one because it’s a road win. It’s an important win because it’s a conference game. You want to stay in the race as much as you can.”

Ladies beat the men to an ACC win

While many were ecstatic over BC’s win over Georgia Tech Saturday, it was the women who grabbed their first ACC win this week before the men did. They took down Miami 70-64 on Thursday, moving the Eagles to 1-1 in conference play.

“It was exciting,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said of the win. “It was a really good team win. These ladies played so, so hard and played together and through some adversity of maybe missing some shots they wanted to make and having some turnovers that were a little bit uncharacteristic of us, they still stuck together and played a great team basketball game.”

After a tough 80-75 loss at Duke that opened the ACC slate for the ladies, they rebounded with Thursday’s win. Four of the five BC starters had over 12 points, as Andrea Daley lead the way with 17. And the one starter who had less than 12 points, Kaylah Ivey, totaled an impressive eight assists for BC with as many points.

The Eagles did turn the ball over 20 times and the bench contributed just four points total. But back to the positive side of things, they shot a very strong 40% (8-of-20) from beyond the arch — take away the bench’s three misses as well and that’s 8-for-17/47%.

“I think this game is something now we can build on because now I thought we stuck to our standards for the majority of the game defensively,” Bernabei-McNamee said.

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Boston College basketball roster turnover

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Coming into the offseason for Boston College, there was plenty of speculation as to what carry over there would be from the present roster to next season’s. After losing five players and as well as a graduating Quinten Post the answer is simple – not much.

There has been plenty of speculation as to whether or not Jaeden Zackery would return for his senior season. After scoring a career high in points, (11.3) and a strong showing in post-season play, it became evident there would be other suitors. He ultimately became the first to enter the portal.

The next player, Claudell Harris, was certainly a surprise. The junior guard, who originally transferred in this past season from Charleston Southern, and became a key scorer for BC. He integrated himself quickly within his new team, and higher level of competition, to the tune of 13.7 points per game, good for second on the team in scoring. His sudden departure completely vacates the backcourt, joining fellow starter Zackery, in the portal.

Not too long after, the originally prized recruit, Prince Aligbe announced his intentions to transfer as well. This was not much of a surprise, and good for both parties, as the 6’9″ wing struggled to find a place in the offense. Aligbe lost his starting spot in early February, and subsequently saw his minutes drastically reduced.

Mason Madsen, who took over for Aligbe in the staring five, enjoying great production over a six game stretch. Madsen went on to experience some shooting woes down the stretch, but still providing really good play for the Eagles, finishing his career high in points per game (8.1) and shooting just under 40% from three. It should be of note, his twin brother Gabe is currently at Utah and the two could be seeking to pair up again.

Finally, back up big man Armani Mighty was the fifth guy to announce his intention to leave the Eagles. The sophomore forward never was able to carve out consistent playing time in Earl Grant’s rotation, averaging 3.9 minutes per game as a freshman and 5.6 in his second season.

The five players, along with graduation senior Quinten Post, BC now has six scholarship players remaining in Chas Kelley, Fred Payne, Donald Hand Jr, Elijah Strong, Jayden Hastings, and Devin McGlockton. The two incoming recruits, both guards, are Luka Toews and Nick Petronio. McGlockton is now the last retainer starter left on the roster. Grant and his staff will now have four spots to fill with transfers of their own.

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Jaeden Zackery enters transfer portal

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Boston College point guard becomes the first Eagle to announce his decision to enter the transfer portal. The junior guard, who originally hails from Salem, Wisconsin will have one more year of eligibility.

Originally coming to Chestnut Hill by way of junior college in Chipotle College, Zackery introduced himself to Eagles fans early, providing a steady guard play and shooting an impressive 47% from 3-point land. He finishes his BC career with 102 games, averaging just under 11 points per game, including a career-high 11.3 this past season. Zackery also belongs in BC’s top 10 career steals all-time.

There will be plenty of interest in the now former Eagles’ three-year starting point guard.

“BC Nation, I cannot possibly thank you enough for all the love and support you have given me the last 3 years. From the love of all the fans/sickos, to the coaches who took a chance on me, to all the teammates I can now call family, and to the entire BC community, it has truly been an honor to be apart of this program. Boston College will always feel like home to me and have a special place in my heart.

With that being said, I have made the decision to enter the transfer portal to explore other options for my last year of eligibility.”

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Boston College 70, UNLV 79: Eagles’ Postseason ride comes to an end in Las Vegas

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Photo Courtesy of the Las Vegas Review

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – After extending their season into the fourth week of March, Boston College’s basketball season finally came to an end tonight, as the Eagles dropped the second round NIT matchup to UNLV by a score of 79-70. After going into the locker room tied 37-37, the athleticism of the Running Rebels proved to be too much for the Eagles, as UNLV turned the game on its head with a 15-3 run in the second half. After going down by as much as 10, the Eagles made their best attempt at a comeback, cutting the UNLV lead to 70-66 with just over 3 minutes to play. However, UNLV’s Justin Webster and Keylan Boone proved to be too much for the Eagles to handle, as the pair put the game, and the Eagles’ season, on ice.

As he has throughout the season, Quinten Post led the Eagles in scoring and rebounding, dropping 22 points and grabbing 9 boards. The big man did all he could to keep the Eagles afloat, getting buckets at all three levels, including a late three pointer from nearly 30 feet. Jaeden Zackery and Devin McGlockton each added their steady doses of scoring, adding in an efficient 10 and 11 points, respectively. McGlockton also did more than his share of playmaking, picking up 5 assists on the night. Zackery did his work on the glass, securing 6 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists of his own.  

The two other starters for the Eagles, Claudell Harris Jr. and Mason Madsen, each ended their seasons with some tough shooting performances. After they each hit early shots from behind the arc, the guard duo struggled from the field, combining to shoot 6-25 from the field (6-17 from three) on the night. Since his hot streak in February, where he was arguably the Eagles’ best player, Madsen has been on a bit of a cold stretch, and couldn’t right the ship in Las Vegas. And after keeping the Eagles’ season alive with his huge 17-point performance against Providence last Tuesday, Claudell Harris Jr. just did not have the shooting stroke tonight. 

Coach Grant got 10 excellent minutes from Elijah Strong off the bench. The freshman forward carried his momentum from the Providence game, scoring 7 points tonight in Vegas, including a highlight-worthy coast-to coast drive off of a steal on the defensive end. Strong accounted for 7 of the Eagles’ 9 bench points, as Donald Hand Jr. added a pair of free throws, and Prince Aligbe and Armani Mighty were each held scoreless. 

The Eagles finished Year 3 of the Earl Grant era with a 20-16 (10-13 ACC) record, tying their best win total since the 2010-2011 season. While this year was filled with its ups and its downs, its triumphs and its frustrations, Earl Grant’s job appears to be safe for the time being. The Eagles have seen their win total steadily rise since Grant’s hiring. After taking over a gutted 4-16 (2-11 ACC) Boston College team in 2021, Grant has led the program to 13-, 16-, and 20-win seasons. With the departure of all-ACC forward Quinten Post and the transfer portal looming, it is not clear if fans can expect this trend to continue. But Grant seems to believe that the rising win total, combined with their new facilities, will be enough to attract a new crop of talent to the Heights. 

With the transfer portal being open for the next few weeks, fans can expect some potential turnover within the Eagles’ roster. So, stay tuned to Eagles Daily for the latest news, as Boston College Basketball now looks ahead to the 2024-2025 season!

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