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DiMauro: All in all, a solid year for BC sports



If you are reading this, chances are your primary means of remaining connected to Boston College runs through athletics.

Oh, and we’ve been tortured souls, too, especially in recent years. We are idealists and fatalists, demanding yet forgiving, loyal and resilient, even if sometimes it feels as though we make the long trek up the cliff to Lovers Leap … only to get shoved.

All of which makes the sports year of 2023-24 a time to celebrate. Boston College did itself proud, no small occurrence given that in this unsteady (perverse?) time of expansion and realignment, schools like BC must always look their Sunday best, with no overt warts or love handles.

Women’s lacrosse, BC’s working definition of pride and joy, capped the sports season with the national championship Memorial Day weekend in Cary, NC. It was the program’s second natty in four years, a three-hour infomercial for the entire institution and more proof that, yes, it can be done at BC with the right coach.

Acacia Walker-Weinstein – you’ll note that only the letter “W” separates her from “Einstein” – not only hung a banner, but helped BC earn a distinction few other athletic programs in the country could trumpet. How many other schools made national championship games (both televised by ESPN) in two different sports fewer than two months apart?

Think about that one: Men’s hockey, during an otherwise memorable season, fell short in the national championship game. But the Sons of Greg Brown did the school proud all season. Not a bad accomplishment to see “BC in the national finals” on the ESPN scroll in mid-April (hockey) and late May (lacrosse). It’s hard to buy that kind of advertising, particularly when and if realignment and expansion happen again.

Football won a bowl game over a ranked team at Fenway Park, returns a dynamo in Thomas Castellanos and then made the splash of a cannonball, hiring Bill O’Brien as head coach. Three other women’s sports showed promise as well: field hockey (11-7, made the ACC Tournament); softball (30-24, made the ACC Tournament) and volleyball, which continues to improve steadily under coach Jason Kennedy, finished 19-13 and made the ACC Tournament.

Otherwise, baseball gets a pass as new coach Todd Interdonato assimilates to the ACC and establishes his culture; the soccer programs (3-9-5 and 3-9-6) were lousy; and I remain concerned about men’s and women’s basketball. Put it this way: Sure feels as though better players are leaving than are entering.

Off the field, “Friends Of The Heights,” BC’s Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) collective, grew massively, keeping BC competitive in a cutthroat environment. Friends Of The Heights also homered into the upper deck, hiring veteran athletic administrator Jim Paquette as its new Chief Development Officer. Paquette will advise the Board on overall development strategies, using his 16 years as an administrator at BC that specialized in fundraising.

BC’s overall cachet also made a splash on social media when Forbes Magazine named it one of the country’s “New Ivies.”

Based on its researchForbes, the century-old national business magazine, reported that American companies are souring on hiring Ivy League graduates, instead preferring high achievers from 20 other prominent universities – “Private and Public New Ivies.”

BC joins private school “New Ivies” Carnegie Mellon, Emory, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Rice, Notre Dame, Southern California and Vanderbilt. Ah, to be judged by the company one keeps.

One school year hasn’t produced this much for BC in years. And it’s significant. The idea now is to build, not regress.

Full disclosure: There are many things I still don’t like. I’m told Father Leahy neither attended the Frozen Four nor the lacrosse Final Four. It is disrespectful to the players, coaches and alumni to have a leader who acts as if so much about what makes BC great is beneath him. And we still seem to have these spasms of tone deafness, such as patrolling the parking lots like stormtroopers the day of the spring football game.

But 2023-24 was an encouraging year for BC in many ways. Yes, we always want more. But we were getting less for a long time. Not this year. A tip of the cap to athletic director Blake James, his staff, the coaches and the kids.

We pause now to enjoy summer and await Labor Day night in Tallahassee. Here’s to 2024-25, hollering “Mr. Brightside” again with the kids from the crowded bleachers.

Mike DiMauro, a columnist in Connecticut, is a contributor to Eagles Daily and a member of BC’s Class of 1990. He may be reached at or @BCgenius 

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Boston College lands commitment from transfer Roger McFarlane



Earl Grant and his staff continue to rebuild the roster, landing their fourth commitment from the transfer portal in Roger McFarlane out of SE Louisiana. The guard comes to the Eagles with one year of eligibility and posted an impressive 14.8 points per game to go along with 8.6 rebounds a contest. Additionally, McFarlane impressed with an early season matchup with Auburn, posting 25 points and 11 rebounds. The Fort Lauderdale native recently visited Temple before ultimately choosing Chestnut Hill as his final collegiate destination.

Additionally, McFarlane now becomes the third guard BC has signed through the portal, joining UMBC’s Dion Brown and Clemson’s Josh Beadle. Rounding out the transfer class is center Chad Venning out of St. Bonaventure. Along with three incoming freshman, there is now one remaining scholarship spot left.

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Roster Revamp: Kany Tchanda’s Late Commitment Nearly Completes the Eagles’ 2024-25 Team



Tchanda Showcasing his Elite Athleticism for Sunrise Christian Academy

After a wild couple of weeks in the world of college basketball, with thousands of players leaving their schools, the transfer portal buzz has finally started to cool down. And the Boston College basketball roster has undergone some major reconstruction, even by today’s standards. The Eagles saw six of their key returners enter their name in the portal: Jaeden Zackery, Mason Madsen, Claudell Harris Jr, Prince Aligbe, Devin McGlockton, and Armani Mighty. And, in relatively short order, brought in three names to replace them: Chad Venning, Josh Beadle, and Dion Brown (and nearly one more that I won’t mention). However, after the flurry of transfers in and out, the Eagles were left with three roster spots yet to be filled. 

And earlier this evening, one of those three spots was filled, as Boston College landed a late Class of 2024 commitment from Kany Tchanda, a forward from Wichita, Kansas. The 6’9 forward adds depth to the Eagle front court, with some much needed length and athleticism. 247Sports has Tchanda as the 3rd-ranked player from Kansas, the 31st-ranked center, and 205th-ranked overall player for the Class of 2024. For reference, 247 gives Tchanda an 88 “Player Rating”, which would put him right between Chas Kelley’s 86 and Prince Aligbe’s 89. While recruiting rankings are by no means a reliable predictor of collegiate success, Tchanda certainly has the potential to be a contributor down the line. 

In his three years at Boston College, Coach Grant has shown a willingness to take on long-term projects in the front court. Most notably, under his tutelage, Quinten Post became an NBA-caliber talent and Devin McGlockton went from an unranked recruit to one of the better forwards in the ACC. But even freshman Elijah Strong exceeded his (albeit low) preseason expectations, and has many Eagles fans excited about his future with the program. And last season, Grant red-shirted Jayden Hastings, the highest-rated recruit in the Eagles’ 2023 Class, opting to give him a full year of development before trotting him onto the court. Perhaps Grant has similar plans for Tchanda, who certainly looks the part of the slept-on, high-upside forward.

With Kany Tchanda’s signing, the 2024-25 Boston College roster is starting to take shape, as they have just two scholarships remaining. Last season, the program opted to use just 12 of their 13 scholarships, so don’t be shocked if they bank on this season in hopes of a larger 2025 Class. 

For more Boston College Hoops updates, follow along @EaglesDailyBC and @JackPSeiberlich on Twitter, as we eagerly await the final pieces of the Eagles’ 2024-25 roster to come together. 

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The Wild, Wild, West of College Basketball: Where Boston College Currently Stands



Jaeden Zackery taking the ball to the hoop against his next team

With the transfer portal and NIL becoming more and more pervasive in the world of intercollegiate athletics, the college basketball landscape has begun to resemble the wild west. Athletes are free to transfer as many times as they please, and are now immediately able to compete for a new program, so long as they are academically eligible. And the Boston College Men’s Basketball team has played the role of both the beneficiary and the victim of the transfer portal. As many fans know, the Eagles’ basketball team saw something of an exodus this offseason, as they lost six key contributors to the transfer portal. 

The Eagles’ first departure of the offseason is arguably the one that hurts the most. On April 3rd, Jaeden Zackery announced that he would be entering his name in the transfer portal. Though many fans expected that Zackery might look elsewhere after this past season, it certainly did not do anything to ease the pain. JZ was one of the first players the Coach Grant brought into Chestnut, and averaged over 10 points a game in each of his three seasons with the Eagles. 

Zackery’s story is a remarkable one, as the Wisconsin native came to Chestnut Hill from Chipola College, a little-known, yet highly successful, junior college in Florida. JZ had no Division-I offers after high school, but bet on himself by going the JuCo route, and eventually turning himself into one of the best perimeter defenders in the ACC. After 18 days in the portal, Zackery announced that he would be staying in the ACC, and join Brad Brownell’s Clemson Tigers, following the path taken by former Eagle great Brevin Galloway. The Tigers surprised everyone with their run to the Elite 8 in this season’s tournament, but with starting point guard Joe Girard graduating, JZ should be a key contributor.

Just two days after Zackery announced his plans to explore the transfer portal, fellow rotation pieces Claudell Harris Jr. and Prince Aligbe reportedly entered their names in the portal. Harris Jr. will be a huge loss, as the junior guard was the Eagles’ second leading scorer, averaging 13.7 points per game. This will be Harris Jr.’s second time transferring, after he came to BC last offseason by way of the portal. Last week, Claudell Harris Jr. announced that he would be spending next season in Starkville, playing for Mississippi State Bulldogs

Also last week, Aligbe announced that he would be transferring to play for the Seton Hall Pirates. This came as a surprise to some, as Aligbe saw his role on Eagles decrease significantly throughout the season, and Seton Hall finished fourth in the always-competitive Big East. But the Pirates are suffering from a similar exodus, as the portal has claimed many of their key pieces as well. Coach Shaheen Holloway will certainly look to take advantage of Aligbe’s elite athleticism, and hopefully the change in scenery can get Aligbe’s collegiate career back on track. 

Then, as if the previous three days weren’t painful enough for the Eagles’ basketball roster, fan-favorite guard Mason Madsen entered his name in the portal. Madsen had an excellent 2023-24 season, after recovering from an unknown illness in seasons prior. The senior guard played his way from the bench to the starting lineup, and ended the year averaging 8.1 points per game. Madsen announced that will be transferring to Utah, joining his twin brother Gabe. The Utes will be among the nation’s best three-point percentage and hair style. 

Once Madsen entered the transfer portal, only one player from the Eagles’ starting lineup remained: Devin McGlockton. And, like clockwork, McGlockton followed his teammates’ lead, and entered the transfer portal. After redshirting his freshman year in 2021-22, and having a solid 2022-23 season, McGlockton turned out to be one of the most improved big men in the conference, more than doubling his conference scoring and rebounding averages. The Georgia native will be taking his talents to Vanderbilt. Though Vanderbilt has not had much success on the court lately, the university’s NIL collective is reportedly pumping an exorbitant amount of funds into the basketball program.

The final member of the 2023-24 Eagles’ basketball team to enter the portal (so far) is reserve center Armani Mighty. Mighty, a rising junior, spent the majority of his two seasons with the Eagles on the bench. This past season, Mighty averaged just 0.8 points and 1.2 rebounds in his 5.6 minutes of play. With the coaching staff shopping veteran big men in the portal, and freshman Jayden Hastings returning from his redshirt season, it was becoming increasingly clear that Mighty’s minutes would not be increasing in Chestnut Hill. Last week, Mighty announced that he would be taking the path that Kanye Jones paved, and take his talents north to the University of Buffalo. 

With star center Quinten Post graduating, and losing six of their remaining nine rotation players to the portal, the Eagles seemed primed for a bottom three finish in the ACC. After all, the Eagles return just 14.8% of their minutes, and 12.5% of their from last season. However, while the transfer portal has largely decimated the 2023-24 roster, it is also the primary tool to rebuild this team. And thus far, Coach Grant has started putting some pieces together. 

Chad Venning at the charity stripe for the Bonnies

Grant’s first portal addition of the season was senior center Chad Venning. Venning averaged 13.4 points per game for a St. Bonaventure’s team that finished 20-13. The 6’10 big man has a great highlight tape, which showcases his excellent footwork and touch in the post. However, Venning’s key weakness appears to be that he tends to get himself into foul trouble, especially against high major competition. In four games last season against ranked opponents/power conferences, Venning fouled out of all four. If the Brooklyn native is going to be an effective replacement for Quinten Post, he is going to need to be able to stay on the court, especially in ACC play. 

Josh Beadle in a promo video for the Clemson Tigers

Just days after Venning announced his commitment to play for Grant, the Eagles received a second portal commitment, this time from Josh Beadle, formerly of the Clemson Tigers. In his sophomore year at Clemson, Beadle was a bench piece, averaging just 3.0 points in 10.8 minutes per game. Beadle saw his playing time fluctuate greatly throughout the season, seeing the court for either 2 or 25+ minutes in ACC play. The 6’3 guard has a slight build, weighing in at just 180 pounds, but has shown a knack for getting to the rim and finishing through contact. However, Beadle has struggled to hit from the outside, connecting on just 9 of 49 shows from beyond the three-point arc. Hopefully, a more well-defined roll with Eagles could lead to some more consistency on the offensive end. 

Dion Brown taking the ball up the court for UMBC

Coach Grant’s third and final transfer signing (at the time this article was released) is the Eagles’ biggest portal signing to date: sophomore guard Dion Brown, by way of UMBC. Brown was one of the best guards in the America East last season, averaging 19.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. The numbers are great, but the most exciting part of this signing is the highlight tape. While just about every player can put together a solid highlight reel, Brown’s jumps off the screen, literally. 

Brown’s athletic ability is immediately apparent, and suggests that his game will translate immediately to the ACC. The signing is very reminiscent of Claudell Harris Jr.’s signing last offseason, in that both players put up huge numbers in lower-tier conferences. Brown should immediately have a spot in the starting lineup, and is a strong favorite to be the Eagles’ leading scorer in ‘24-’25.  

So, after all the departures and arrivals via the transfer portal, the Eagles are left with a roster consisting of returners Fred Payne, Chas Kelley III, Donald Hand Jr., Elijah Strong, and Jayden Hastings; freshman: Luka Toews and Nick Petronio; and transfers Chad Venning, Josh Beadle, and Dion Brown. This leaves the Eagles with three roster spots to fill before the season begins. And lastly, there has been one big-name player that the Eagles have been heavily linked to in the past few weeks. And if you got to this point in the article, you likely know who I’m talking about: TJ Power.

Massachusetts Native TJ Power playing for the Duke Blue Devils

Power, a Shrewsbury, Massachusetts native, was a Top-20 recruit in the Class of 2023, and had his pick of the litter for colleges. While Power ended up enrolling at Duke, Boston College made his final five schools, as he has strong ties to the program (some might be familiar with the Power practice gym). 

While Power had a very limited role for the Blue Devils, he has been one of the most sought after players in the transfer portal, receiving interest from Arkansas, Kentucky, and BYU, among many others. Should Power join the Eagles, he would be one of the highest ranked recruits in the program’s history. And, even better, he could potentially stay in Chestnut Hill for three years. 

But, in this era of the transfer portal, nothing can be labeled a certainty until pen is put to paper. While the transfer portal, and graduation, have taken all five members of the starting lineup, the 2024-25 season should not be written off as a lost season. With Quinten Post’s impending graduation, next season was always going to be a rebuilding year. But the transfers in and out of the program have certainly adjusted expectations. While next year’s team probably won’t be competing for an ACC title, the right moves in the transfer portal could set the program up for success in seasons to come.

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