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Preview: Boston College takes on Miami in Crucial Matchup

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Claudell Harris Jr. earlier in the season

CHESTNUT HILL, MA – At 4PM this afternoon, the Boston College Eagles (14-10, 5-8 ACC) will take on the visiting Miami Hurricanes (15-10, 6-8). The Eagles are coming off of a 12-point win against the last-place Louisville Cardinals, while Miami is coming off of a three-game skid, with losses to Virginia, North Carolina and Clemson.  

With the two teams separated by just half a game in the ACC standings, this game is massive in terms of ACC tournament implications. The middle of the ACC is so congested, with right teams with 6-8 losses. So the winner of this matchup will put themselves in a great position to compete for the first round bye in the ACC tournament. 

Both Boston College and Miami are in desperate need of a solid ACC win. The Eagles have allowed too many closely-contested league games to slip away. And Miami, as previously mentioned, has lost three straight games. But, Miami is not the same team that made the Final Four last season, as they lost their top two scorers in Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller. 

But the Canes still return key pieces in Nijel Pack, Norchad Omier, and Wooga Poplar. Omier has been the Hurricane’s best player this season, as he’s sixth in the ACC in scoring and second in rebounding. And Pack has been a veteran presence at the point for Miami, averaging 13.7 points and 3.9 assists. 

Miami boasts some considerable length in their starting lineup with 6’5 Poplar, 6’7 Matthew Cleveland, and 6’8 Kyshawn George filling out their wing positions. The Eagles have struggled with similar length (see Syracuse and FSU), but Quinten Post should have a considerable height advantage against the 6’7 Omier. If the Eagles want to have a chance to win this game, Post and McGlockton will need to dominate the glass, and limit the second chances that hindered them against FSU and Louisville. 

Eagles fans will hope that Claudell Harris Jr. and Devin McGlockton can ride their momentum from last game against Louisville. Harris Jr. led the Eagles with 20-points on an efficient 8-12 shooting, a refreshing change from his prior few games where he struggled from the field. McGlockton added 19 of his own on a similarly efficient 8-11 shooting. McGlockton has been the Eagles most consistent performer in ACC play, averaging 13.8 points on an absurd 62.7% shooting clip.  

Lastly, look for Mason Madsen to make his third consecutive start this afternoon. The junior guard was inserted into the starting rotation after Prince Aligbe suffered an ankle injury. However, even with the sophomore Aligbe returning to action, Madsen has more than earned his spot with the starters, averaging 13 points and 4 rebounds on 52.9% (9-17) shooting from the field, and 37.5% (3-8) from three. 

Boston College enters this game as 1.5-point favorites, so this could very well be another game that comes down to the final few minutes. Coach Grant must avoid the Eagles getting off to another slow start, as they’ve spotted their opponents double-digit leads far too many times. As always, Eagles Daily will be live on the scene, in what should be packed Conte Forum. So, follow along for all updates, as the Eagles have one of their most pivotal games of the season. 

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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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