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Takeaways: BC downs Fairfield in season-opener

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Recap:

Boston College opened their season with a dominating 89-70 victory over the Fairfield University Stags. Star center Quinten Post led the way, scoring a career-high 31 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and swatting 4 blocks. Jaeden Zackery contributed 10 points and 4 assists, converting on some fantastic finishes in the process. The quartet of MJ Harris, Devin McGlockton, Mason Madsen, and Donald Hand Jr. each added 9 points. Aside from a shaky end to the first half, the Eagles dominated both sides of the ball, limiting Fairfield to just 38% shooting from the field, while shooting over 49% themselves.

Read the full recap here.

Post’s Dominance:

The star of this game was unequivocally Quinten Post. As any Eagles’ basketball fan would tell you, this basketball team goes as Quinten Post goes. And tonight, he took his game to new statistical heights. Post dominated the paint with his finishes on the block, he dominated perimeter with his 5-6 performance from three-point territory, and he dominated on the defensive end with his 4 blocks. Post led the Eagles to a rapid 31-15 lead in the first 10 minutes of this matchup. The Eagles thrived with Post on the court, yet struggled at times with him off the court. With Post on the bench to end the first half, the Stags were able to cut the Eagle lead to just 12 points going into the locker room. However, upon returning to the game in the second half, Post continued his dominance, helping the Eagles stretch their lead to as much as 26 points.

Three Point Success:

Following the sheer dominance of Post, the next biggest takeaway from the Eagle’s season opener was their volume and efficiency from behind the arc. Led by Posts’ five three-point field goals, BC converted on 11 of 27 attempts from three-point land. In addition to Post’s success, Madsen and Hand both connected on three shots from deep. This performance from behind the arc is something Eagles fans have not seen from Earl Grant’s past two teams, as they had traditionally achieved success on limited three-point attempts and stifling defense. While 41% on 27 attempts per game is likely not sustainable over the course of an entire season, it certainly suggests promising development in Grant’s offense.

Superior Bench Depth:

This iteration of the Eagles’ basketball team has far more depth than fans are used to seeing. Grant played eleven players in the first ten minutes of the game. He started the game as expected, with Zackery, Harris Jr., Prince Aligbe, McGlockton, and Post. Madsen, Chas Kelly, and Armani Mighty came off the bench together about four minutes into the contest. And Fred Payne, Elijah Strong, and Hand also saw the court in the opening minutes of the game. Following Fairfield’s run going into halftime, Grant tightened his rotation, only playing seven players in the first ten minutes of the second half. Once the Eagles regained a comfortable lead, Grant was able to test his bench once again, finishing the game with Fred Payne, Chas Kelley, Donald Hand Jr., Elijah Strong, and Armani Mighty.

Stifling Interior Defense:

The only way Fairfield was going to have a chance in this game was to make an incredible amount of contested jump shots. And, in the first half, Fairfield’s Brycen Goodine and Michael Rogan were able to keep them within striking distance with some impressive shot-making, scoring 15 and 10 points, respectively. However, with Fairfield missing some big men, BC’s superior size proved to be far too much for the Stags to handle. Behind six total blocks from Post and McGlockton, the Boston College front court dominated the interior. The frontcourt held the Stags to 7-20 on layups and a mere 20 points in the paint. Front court depth will continue to be a concern for this team, but tonight’s performances were definitely cause for hope.

Looking Ahead:

The Boston College Eagles return to action this Friday night in Charleston, where they will take on the Bulldogs of the Citadel. The Citadel just last night lost 72-59 against NC State, and according to ESPN analytics, has a 49% chance to take down BC. While the Bulldogs will likely pose a greater challenge than the injury-ridden stags of Fairfield, BC will look to capitalize on the momentum gained in tonight’s victory. The Eagles return home to Conte Forum on Wednesday November 15th, where they will take on the Richmond Spiders.

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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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