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Seiberlich’s thoughts heading into Saturday vs. UNC

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Recap:

On Monday Night, Conte Forum finally saw the Boston College Eagles win an ACC game. In an intense back-and-forth affair, the Eagles took down the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a score of 63-59, Jaeden Zackery led all scorers, with an efficient 20 points. And Quinten Post added 17 points of his own, with 11 coming in the final 5 minutes of the contest. After falling behind by double digits in the first half, the Eagles rallied to open the second half, opening the frame with a 10-2 run to regain the lead. The final 15:00 of this game featured some thrilling back and forth between the two teams, highlighted by three ties and eleven lead changes. 

However, the Eagles nearly gave the game to the Irish, after leading by four points with 19 seconds to play. Up 61-57, the Eagles gave the Irish’s Markus Burton a free layup with the foul, gave up an offensive rebound, and left Carey Booth wide open for a three which would have put the Irish ahead. Fortunately, the Irish big man missed the shot, the Eagles secured the rebound, and escaped the night with a win. 

Keeping The Status Quo:

While it was fun to finally see the Eagles take down a conference opponent in front of a home crowd, my first takeaway is that fans did not really learn anything new about this team. We’re far enough along in the season that we largely know who this team is and what can be expected of them. We know that Coach Grant tends to not call timeouts in the midst of an opposing team’s scoring run. After taking a 17-16 lead early, the Eagles gave up a 15-2 run to the Irish, soon finding themselves down 31-19. We know that these Eagles love to dig themselves into a hole early, but that they can also dig themselves out. Of their eleven wins on the season, the Eagles have trailed by ten or more points in five of them. 

And lastly, we know that the Eagles have had struggles closing out tight games. They could not hold on to late leads against Wake Forest, NC State, or Syracuse. BC nearly blew a four-point lead with 19 seconds to go, and had they been playing a more talented team than Notre Dame, perhaps they would have. However, we don’t live in a world of hypotheticals, and the Eagles will take any ACC win they can get. This win now puts the Eagles at 11-6 (2-4 ACC), and it looks a heck of a lot better than 10-7 (1-5 ACC). 

JZ Returning to Form:

Zackery and Post combined for a total of zero (0) points in a frustratingly close loss to Syracuse. So seeing Zackery tear off a couple of good scoring games against Clemson and Notre Dame was extremely refreshing. In their last two games, Zackery has scored 38 points, shooting a combined 16-22 from the field, and 3-5 from three. Zackery was especially excellent against Notre Dame, and was the main reason the Eagles went into halftime within spitting distance of the Irish.

The junior guard continues to show the value of continuity and veteran leadership on this team. So, with a handful of very winnable games coming up for the Eagles, hopefully Zackery can keep this momentum going. One area that Zackery could look to improve is his three-point shooting. After shooting close to 50% from deep as a freshman, Zackery saw his percentage drop to 32.2% in his sophomore season, and is down again to just 29% this season. If JZ can continue his hot shooting, and get that three-point percentage close to 35%, it

Post’s Health:

After coming down with a stomach illness that kept him out against Clemson, Post came into last Monday’s game having not scored a point in nine days. And, outside of an early bucket, he seemed like he was in for a tough shooting night against the Irish. In the first half on Monday, Post scored just two points on five shots from the floor. Post appeared to be laboring far more than usual, leaving every shot short and playing way out of character.

However, with 5 minutes left in the game, Post was able flip the switch at the exact right time. When the Eagles found themselves trailing 55-49 with 5:12 to play, the big man finally took control of the game, going on a personal 8-0 run, before hitting the go-ahead three-pointer with 44 seconds left on the clock. As mentioned earlier, Post scored 11 of his 17 points in the last 5 minutes of the game. While Post certainly did not look 100% healthy against Notre Dame, the Dutchman made the shots when they counted most. The five day break before tomorrow’s game against UNC should help Post get healthy and back to his normal self. 

Trust in Chas:

My last takeaway from this game was Coach Grant’s unwavering trust in sophomore guard Chas Kalley III. While I was a bit harsh on Kelley III in my player grades, Grant continues to trust the young guard, even calling him “a coach on the floor”. While Kelley III is not stuffing the stat sheet, he’s been a solid floor general, and a willing defender. Despite not attempting a single shot from the field on Monday, he led the team in plus/minus with a +15. The Houston native also hit the game-clinching free throws with seven seconds to play. However, in my opinion, the Eagle will eventually need some scoring from the young guard if they want to compete with the better teams in the ACC. 

What’s Next:

After picking up their second win in the conference, the Eagles will stay in Chestnut Hill, where they will take on the North Carolina Tar Heels tomorrow at 2:15 PM. The Tar Heels, currently ranked fourth in the country, will be the Eagles’ toughest opponent to date. UNC’s RJ Davis has a  legitimate argument for being the best guard in the country, and poses a massive challenge for Zackery defensively. And Armando Bacot, now in his fifth year wearing the Carolina Blue, has owned the paint for the Tar Heels for the better part of his collegiate career. With a 14-3 (6-0 ACC) record, UNC poses a massive challenge for the Eagles, but also presents a tremendous opportunity. If the Eagles can somehow engineer an upset tomorrow, not only will they climb the ranks of the ACC, but the fan support will be back in Conte in full force. The BC Nation got a taste of it on Monday, but a win over a fourth-ranked opponent will bring the “Conte Buzz” to a whole other level.

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

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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 m.dimauro@theday.com or @BCgenius 

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Boston College lands commitment from transfer Roger McFarlane

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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

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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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