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Takeaways: Eagles Lose to Wake Forest, Drop to 0-2 in ACC Play

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Recap:

On Tuesday night, Wake Forest handed Boston College its fourth loss of the season in disheartening fashion. After taking a 40-36 lead into halftime, the Eagles struggled on both ends of the floor in the second half, ending the game with an 84-78 loss to the Demon Deacons. For the Eagles, Quinten Post had 20 points, and Claudell Harris Jr. and Devin McGlockton each added 15 of their own. However, it wasn’t enough, as Wake Forest saw four players score 13 or more points. The Eagles got off to a hot start in the first half, and found themselves up 34-24 with 4:51 to go in the half. But the Demon Deacons were able to go on a run before halftime, and carry their momentum into the second half, finding themselves up 77-67 with 3 minutes to play. A heroic last ditch effort by Harris came up just short, and Boston College dropped to 0-2 in ACC play. 

A Tale of Two Halves:

Tuesday’s game against Wake Forest was truly a tale of two halves for both teams. In the first frame, BC was firmly in control of the game, setting the tone with their stifling defense and excellent shot-making. Post dominated both ends of the floor, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the first 20 minutes, and blocking two shots at the rim. Jaeden Zackery looked to be at the top of his game in the first half, scoring both inside and out. Zackery also played his patented defense, drawing two offensive fouls in the first half. 

However, as previously mentioned, Wake Forest was able to turn things around coming out of the locker room. After the Eagles went up 43-36 on the first possession of the half, Wake responded with a 13-2 run to take a 49-45 lead. Outside of McGlockton’s scoring, the Eagles were not able to get much going on the offensive end, and struggled to get the same open looks they saw in the first half. After shooting nearly 50% in the first half, the Eagles shot just 35% in the second half. Post shot just 1-5 in the second frame, and Zackery was held scoreless. 

On the defensive end, the Eagles couldn’t touch their intensity from the first half. After holding Wake to 44% shooting in the first half, the Deacs were able to convert 62% of their second half field goal attempts.  Most notably, in the second half alone, Wake Forest’s Cam Hildreth scored 14 points on 6-8 shooting, and the Eagles allowed Wake’s Efton Reid to score 11 on perfect shooting from the field. 

Questionable Timeout Usage:

Coach Grant’s timeout usage is so harped on within the BC Basketball fandom, it is hardly ever worth noting. But Grant’s timeout usage last Tuesday was particularly suspect, even by his standards. There were several key runs by Wake in this game that could have been mitigated by calling a timeout. First, after going up 34-24 in the first half, Wake Forest responded with a run to cut this lead to just four points going into the locker room. Next, coming out of the half, the Demon Deacons were able to put in 11 points before the first timeout on the floor. Fans might have liked to see Grant try to stop the bleeding at some point during either of these scoring outbursts by Wake. 

Lastly, and most suspect, Grant declined to call a timeout after Harris Jr. cut the Wake lead to 79-78 with 40 seconds left. Instead, Grant allowed his team to play out the possession on their own, which led to a defensive collapse and a wide-open three-pointer, which effectively put any hopes of a BC comeback to rest. When asked about his decision in the press conference, Grant defended his decision, saying he trusted his defense did not want to allow Wake coach Steve Forbes a chance to draw up a play during the timeout. 

Perhaps a timeout in this instance could have given Grant a chance to communicate his defense. Whatever the case, it does not appear that Grant will be changing his game management going forward.

Execution Down the Stretch:

In both ACC games this season, BC has had opportunities to win the game in the second half, and in both games, BC has failed to come out with a win. The parallels between the Eagles’ loss to NC State and Wake are almost scary. In both games, the Eagles struggled with free throws, suffered a back-breaking defensive breakdown in the final minutes, and even lost both games 84-78. Against NC State, BC missed 12 (!!) free throws in a game that went to overtime. Further, in a key possession when the Eagles had a lead in overtime, McGlockton over helped on defense, leaving his man open to knock down the go-ahead three. 

Similarly, on Tuesday night against Wake Forest, the Eagles went 15-22 (68.2%) from the free throw line. While this isn’t a horrible percentage, three of these seven misses came in key spots in the final 6:36 of the game. Then, on the final defensive possession of the game, McGlockton (again) helped off his man and let up the game-ending three. Hopefully the Eagles’ coaching staff will be able to address both issues in practice going forward. 

Player Highlights: 

While this loss to Wake was incredibly disappointing, there are still several positives fans can pull from this game. First, Devin McGlockton proved he can be an elite player in the ACC. While I was hard on him for his defense in the previous section, the sophomore forward played one of the best games of his career. Against a very long Wake Forest team, McGlockton scored 15 points on 5-7 shooting, and pulled down 9 rebounds (7 on the offensive glass!). The sophomore’s stats continue to climb, as McGlockton is now averaging 8.8 points and 6.2 rebounds on the year. 

Next, as mentioned earlier, Post looked absolutely dominant in the first half, scoring 14 points in the first half. Post stuffing the stat sheet is nothing new to Eagles’ fans, but the way he scored was awe-inspiring. The seven-footer was attacking his matchup, and getting whatever he wanted on offense. Unfortunately for the Eagles, this game was a tale of two halves. In the second half, Wake was eventually able to wear the big man down, as he played all 20 minutes, and saw his play suffer as a result. If the Eagles want to see Post at his best, it is absolutely necessary that they find a way to stay afloat so he can catch his breath.

Lastly, I would be journalistic malpractice if I failed to mention Harris’ absurd scoring in the closing minutes of the game. The junior guard scored 10 of his 15 points in the final three minutes of the game, and nearly brought the Eagles’ back from the dead. Unfortunately, it was not quite enough. Nonetheless, Harris Jr. showed that he is always a threat to score and is emerging as an excellent scoring option behind Post. 

What’s Next:

The Eagles return to action Saturday afternoon, when they will take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlanta. Georgia Tech is 8-5 on the year, and 1-1 in conference play, but they do hold ranked wins over Duke and Mississippi State. So, Saturday should be a great test for the Eagles, who will look to get back to their winning ways. Following Saturday’s game, the Eagles’ road trip continues with a trip up north to Syracuse on Wednesday. Then, BC takes on 16th-ranked Clemson on Saturday the 13th down in South Carolina. The Eagles return to Conte Forum on Monday the 15th for a matchup against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. If the Eagles want to keep their postseason hopes alive, it will be crucial to pick up some wins on the road.

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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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