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Takeaways: BC downs Vanderbilt 80-62 in Inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge



Game Recap:

As part of the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge, Boston College took down Vanderbilt by a score of 80-62. The Eagles played their best basketball of the season in the first half, moving the ball extremely well and playing their typical stifling defense, and took a commanding 44-23 lead into the locker room. In the second half, Vanderbilt was able to cut the lead down to as few as 11 points. However, the Eagles were able to regroup and finish the game on a high note with some timely buckets from Claudell Harris Jr. and Mason Madsen in the closing minutes of the contest. Quinten Post led the way with 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks. This is Post’s sixth 20-point game in the young season, and he continues to prove why he’s one of the most productive big men in the country. Harris Jr. poured in 22 points of his own, his highest-scoring game in a Boston College uniform. Finally, Jaeden Zackery had himself a solid game, scoring 10 points, dishing out 8 assists, and forcing 2 steals in his 34 minutes.

Scoring Excellence from Harris Jr.:

While Post has cemented himself as the Eagles’ primary option on offense, Harris Jr. has proven to be an excellent secondary scoring threat. Last night, Harris scored 22 points on an incredibly efficient 9-for-13 from the field, and 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. Harris was a key reason the Eagles were able to build such a dominating first half lead, as 15 of his 22 points came in the first frame. Most importantly, however, Harris was able to carry the offensive load with Post on the bench with foul trouble. While this team has shown signs of struggle with the big man off the court, Harris has more than proven that he can take over when needed. Harris’ ability to hit contested jump shots is something that the Eagles have not previously had in Coach Grant’s tenure, so look for him to continue to shoot at a high volume.

Zackery Dropping Dimes:

While Post and Harris Jr. led the way in scoring for the Eagles, Zackery left his mark on the game with his tenacious defense and surgical facilitation. Once again, the veteran point guard was able to leave his mark on the game without putting the ball in the basket. Though Zackery was scoreless in the first half, he dished out an eye-popping six assists. No one else on either team had more than a single assist in the half. Zackery also drew the tough defensive assignment of Vanderbilt’s best player Ezra Manjon. While Manjon got his 16 points, Zackery made sure that nothing came easy to the guard, who came into the game averaging nearly 20 points a contest. Zackery finished the game with a stat line of 10 points, 8 assists, and 2 steals. Both Zackery’s playmaking and perimeter defense will continue to be key, as the Eagles open up ACC play this weekend.

Front Court Positives (outside of Post):

Nearly every “takeaways” article written so far this season has included a section regarding concerns with front-court depth. However, this article finally has something nice to say about the depth behind Post. With Post’s foul trouble in the first half, sophomore center Armani Mighty played eight crucial first-half minutes. With Mighty holding down the paint, the Eagles did not simply maintain their lead, they added to it. Mighty’s box score stats aren’t going to jump off the sheet to anyone, but the big man played solid defense and knew where to be on offense, which is all any BC fan could reasonably ask of the backup center. Also, freshman forward Elijah Strong provided another spark in his two minutes off the bench. The freshman scored his first career collegiate bucket at the first-half buzzer, prompting the entire Eagles bench to mob him on the floor. While front-court depth will continue to be an issue to monitor, especially come ACC play, last night’s performance was promising.

Late Game Concerns:

After a dominating first half, the Eagles extended their lead to as much as 24 points in the second half. While this should have been a large enough lead for the casual Eagles fan to turn the game off and head to bed, the die-hard fans might have had the late-game collapse against Loyola Chicago in the back of their minds. In stark contrast to their first-half performance, there were several consecutive possessions of sloppy offense and lazy defense, allowing Vanderbilt to cut the Eagle lead to 11 points. There was a brief moment with 2:15 to go, when the Eagles were on defense up 71-60, when some fans might have felt some doubts creeping in. However, BC was able to cast any doubts aside and end the game on a 9-2 run. Despite last night’s win, the past two games have each included some precarious late-game situations.

What’s Next:

With this win, Boston College moves to 5-2 on the season. The Eagles return to action this Saturday, where they will open ACC play with a home game against the NC State Wolfpack. The Wolfpack are 4-2 on the season, and are coming off a 20-point loss to Ole Miss in the ACC/SEC challenge. So, the stage is set for what should be a competitive ACC matchup, and a great indicator of what Eagles fans can expect for the rest of the season.

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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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