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Takeaways: BC picks up its first ACC Win against Georgia Tech

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Recap:

Last Saturday, the Boston College Eagles captured their first ACC win of the season, beating the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on the road by a score of 95-87. This game was truly a tale of two halves, as the Eagles went into halftime trailing 51-38. However, thanks to the second half heroics of Devin McGlockton and Claudell Harris Jr., BC was able to come all the way back. The Eagles outscored Georgia Tech by an eye-popping 57-36 margin in the second half. 

McGlockton, a native of the Atlanta area, had over thirty friends and family in attendance, and led all scorers with a career-high 30 points on 12-15 shooting from the field. Harris Jr. added 26 crucial points, on an efficient 8-10 shooting. And Quinten Post also stuffed the box score, with 15 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds. 

Second Half Resurgence:

After two disappointing losses at home, many fans felt this matchup in Atlanta was a “must-win” game. While the season is not going to be decided by 3 games, a 1-2 ACC start is worlds better than 0-3. And after an ugly first 20 minutes of basketball, 0-3 seemed all but certain. However, the Eagles came out of the locker room with a newfound sense of urgency, and were able to tie the game with 10:57 to play. After going back and forth down the stretch, BC was able to pull away in the waning minutes, thanks to some clutch shotmaking from Harris Jr. and McGlockton. 

While fans might have been surprised to see this second-half rally from the Eagles, this was not the first time they displayed this second half resilience. BC also overcame substantial second half deficits against The Citadel, Richmond, and Harvard. So this team that’s shown immense resiliency in the first half of this season. The Eagles’ ability to make second half runs will surely be crucial as they take on more competitive opponents going forward. 

Huge Homecoming for McGlockton:

Devin McGlockton was clearly the Eagles’ player of the game. The Georgia native put on quite the show for his friends and family that made the trip to Atlanta, obliterating his previous career high with a 30-point performance. The sophomore forward did his work both inside and out, showcasing some nice finishes around the hoop, and stepping outside to hit three of four attempts from behind the arc. 

McGlockton’s three point success is definitely something to monitor, as the big man had not not shot many prior to this season. But at the urging of the Eagles’ coaching staff, McGlockton has shown some more willingness to let it fly from distance. If McGlockton can become more of a perimeter threat, it would add an interesting wrinkle to the Eagles’ offensive scheme, which has already proven to be far more dynamic than in previous seasons.

Harris Jr.’s Shooting Symphony:

Speaking of dynamic offenses, Claudell Harris Jr. once again showed that he is the Eagle’s most electric scorer, as he knocked down jump shot after jump shot in the win. Harris Jr. ended with 26 points on absurd efficiency. The transfer guard only missed two shots all night, and knocked down all four of his three point attempts. The most impressive part of Harris Jr.’s game, however, was the variety of shots that he was able to convert on. Harris had a four-point-play off the hand-off, a step-back three from the corner, a turnaround fadeaway from the elbow, and many more. Since his early season struggles, the junior guard has been electric. Harris Jr. continues to raise his scoring average, and is now up to 15.5 points per game on the season, and 21 points per his last four games. 

Defensive Dilemmas:

While a road win in the ACC is never something to take for granted, the Eagles escaped Georgia Tech with much to work on defensively. It is nearly impossible to win a college basketball game after giving up 51 points in the first half, but the Eagles managed it thanks to Harris Jr. and McGlockton each having their best games of the season. However, the BC cannot always rely on McGlockton to score 30 points, or on its offense to score 57 in the second half. 

Ever since Coach Grant was hired, he has billed his teams as being “Gritty Not Pretty”, emphasizing the defensive end of the floor. However, in three ACC games, opponents have put up 85 points per game against the Eagles, which is neither Gritty nor Pretty. In the first half against the Yellow Jackets, BC could not guard the high pick and roll whatsoever. It seemed as if every possession in the first half either resulted in a good look at the rim, or an open three off of help defense. In the post game press conference, Grant agreed that his team’s defense has not been where he wants it to be, and will look to make some key adjustments before Wednesday’s game against Syracuse. 

What’s Next:

The Eagles return to action in Syracuse, where they will take on the Orange for a late night affair, looking to pick up its second win in the ACC. Syracuse enters Wednesday with an identical record to BC, coming in at 10-4 (1-2 ACC). The Orange hold a win over Pitt, and 20-point losses to Duke and Virginia. After losing starters Joe Girard and Jesse Edwards, the Orange do not appear to have the fire power they previously had under Jim Boeheim. But Judah Mintz and JJ Starling make up one of the best back courts in the ACC, so the Eagles will have their work cut out for them. 

Following their game Wednesday, the Eagles fly south to South Carolina, where they will take on the Clemson Tigers on Saturday. The Eagles finally return to Conte for a Monday night game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. With Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech, the Eagles kept their postseason hopes alive. But with two early home losses, they can ill afford to give away many more games to the middle of the ACC.

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Eagle in the NBA! Quinten Post selected 52nd Overall by the Golden State Warriors

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QP working in the Post against Regional-Rival Harvard

For the first time ever, the NBA Draft was held over a two-day span, with the first round occurring last night at 8 PM, and the second taking place earlier this afternoon. And for Quinten Post, this meant that he had to wait an extra 20 hours for the most tumultuous event of this basketball career.

Quinten Post played three seasons under Earl Grant, who found the big man in the transfer portal prior to his inaugural season coaching the Eagles. Under Coach Grant’s tutelage, Post developed tremendously, transforming from a 2.8 point per game scorer at Mississippi State to an NBA prospect. Last season, Post averaged a 17/8/3/2 on 51% shooting from the field and 43% from behind the arc, good enough to earn the Dutchman a spot on an all-ACC team.

Throughout the 2023-24 season, everyone around the Eagles’ program knew Post would play professional basketball at some level. After all, he declared for the 2023 NBA Draft following his junior year. However, most mock drafts had Post going undrafted. But Post performed well at the NBA Combine, measuring in as the third-tallest player (behind just Zack Edey and Donovan Clingan), and impressing teams with his outside shooting.

Post was then invited to work out for Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. So, QP’s draft stock continued to rise leading up to the draft. Fast forward to Thursday afternoon, and the second round was underway. 

The second round of the NBA Draft is always unpredictable, with first-round talent falling well past their projections; teams taking chances on high-upside, yet unproven talents; and GMs looking to make moves heading into free agency. And in classic second-round fashion, Quinten Post was selected 52nd overall, with a pick originally owned by the Warriors, traded to the Trail Blazers, then to the Thunder, and then finally back to the Warriors. So, Post will be packing his bags, and heading for the Bay Area, joining Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green on the Golden State Warriors. 

Post will likely sign a two-way contract, and see time with both the Golden State and Santa Cruz Warriors. This marks Boston College’s first NBA Draft pick since Jerome Robinson went 13th overall in the 2018 Draft, and first under Coach Grant. Best of luck in the league, QP!

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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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