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Takeaways: Eagles overcome early deficit to beat Richmond

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Recap:

In their most impressive outing so far this season, the Boston College Eagles were able to overcome an early 14-point deficit, and beat the Richmond Eagles 68-61, securing their third win of the season. After falling behind 28-14 with 7:11 to play in the first half, the Eagles were able to pick up their intensity on both ends of the floor. On offense, the Eagles were led by senior big man Quinten Post and sophomore forward Prince Aligbe, who scored 17 and 15 points, respectively. On defense, Coach Grant’s team was able to hold a high-octane Richmond offense to a season-low 61 points. Despite a tough shooting night, Jaeden Zackery made his mark on the defensive end. With his stifling defense, Zackery was able to hold Richmond’s best perimeter threat, Jordan King, to just 10 points on the night, including a scoreless second half.

Inconsistent Effort:

The first takeaway from this game was the inconsistent effort shown throughout this contest. After a tough road game to The Citadel, Eagles’ fans might have expected a bit more intensity going into this matchup with Richmond. The first 12 minutes of this game saw a Boston College team that looked completely unprepared. The Eagles showed no urgency on offense and gave up layup after layup on the defensive end. Then, after falling behind 28-14, the Eagles were somehow to flip a switch and went on a 13-0 tear, cutting the Richmond lead to a single point. After going into halftime down 34-30, the Eagles carried their momentum into the second half, going on a 16-6 run to take a 46-40 lead. With the uptick in intensity, BC fans saw a completely different team than the one that went down 14 points early. While the Eagles showed tremendous fight coming back from their first half deficit, fans might hope that it will not take another double-digit deficit to elicit this same effort.

Zackery’s Stellar Defense (Again):

As mentioned in my previous article, Zackery epitomizes the saying “Gritty not Pretty”. Despite shooting just 2-10 from the field, Zackery led the team in +/- with a +13. So, even on a night where he just couldn’t put the ball in the basket, Zackery left his mark all over this game. Zackery drew Jordan King as his defensive assignment, an incredibly shifty guard who came into this game averaging 22 points per game. And Grant could not have asked for a better defensive performance from his veteran guard. Zackery didn’t let King breathe once he crossed half court, hounding him all the way around the perimeter, and forcing Richmond’s other players to make plays instead. In his 38 minutes, King was limited to just 10 points on 3-11 shooting for the game. With another incredible defensive performance, Zackery continues to prove why he’s an All-ACC caliber defender.

Front Court Concerns (Again):

While Post was not able to match his incredible 31-point performance from opening night, he was able to stay out of foul trouble and stay on the court, playing 38 minutes in this game. In a physical matchup with fellow seven-footer Neal Quinn, Post had a hard-fought 17 points,10 rebounds, and 5 assists on 6-14 shooting. However, while Post had a fantastic game, it is not reasonable to expect 38 minutes from him on a consistent basis. Armani Mighty was only on the court for 15 seconds, and immediately gave up a shooting foul. Post returned to the game after this foul, and Mighty never returned from the bench. Then, in the second half, Grant gave Post a rest going into the under-12 media timeout. Rather than sending Mighty back on the floor, Grant trotted out a three-guard lineup with Aligbe and Devin McGlockton in the front court. Post was only on the bench for 1:58 before returning for the remainder of the game. In order for this Boston College team to be successful in the ACC, Grant needs to figure out how to manage lineups with Post off the floor.

Gritty Not Pretty:

The last, and most important, takeaway from this game is that this Boston College team fights. The Eagles shot just 37% from the field, doubled Richmond’s turnover total, and came into this game completely flat, but they still found a way. Just as they found a way to win last Friday at The Citadel, they were able to get the job done last night. Between Zackery hounding guards on the perimeter, and Post getting physical in the paint, the Eagles once again showed why their team mantra is “Gritty not Pretty”. The first 12 minutes of this game were certainly not pretty, and Grant’s team had to grit their way out. Once the Eagles were able to lock in defensively, they were able to dictate the flow of this game.

What’s Next:

The Eagles return to Conte Forum this Saturday for a regional matchup against the Harvard Crimson, where they will look to start their season 4-0 for the first time since the 2007-2008 season. Due to the Ivy League’s scheduling, Harvard will be coming into Conte less than 24 hours after their away game against UMass. So, BC will likely be favored going into this matchup. But, as most fans of this team know, not much can be taken for granted with this team. The Eagles are far from perfect, but they are 3-0. And what’s the best part about being 3-0? Having the chance to go 4-0.

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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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