Let’s be honest here, nobody sees Boston College as a Basketball school, even though they’ve had great players Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman most notably, but even then that team was still not very good. The Steve Donahue era was pretty forgettable, having just one winning season and they made the NIT with a 21-13 record. Then after an 8-24 2013-14 season, they let Donahue go and hired former Ohio and TCU coach, Jim Christian to take over. They made the NIT in 2017-18 with Bowman and Robinson but still, that’s not the goal for a coach/team while it may be cool for some players they don’t go to the school to play and lose in the NIT. The past 2 seasons were pretty brutal going 14-17, then 13-19 it’s been a rough go of it lately. Even though they’ve had star-level players who are now both guards in the NBA, they just never have gotten over the hump, what’s different about this season? Coach Christian made the most of the transfer portal, along with some very good returnees.
Christian hit the portal last season also pouching Derryck Thornton and to be completely honest he was pretty bad just like his entire college career at Duke, USC, Boston College. I was tricked by Thornton multiple times thinking he would be good at USC and BC and he wasn’t good at either. Many had high hopes for Boston College but with Wynston Tabbs missing the whole season due to injury, that definitely hurt, in addition to that, Nik Popovic was hurt also at times. A player that does look to potentially play a nice role is Steffon Mitchell, he had 7.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. Last year’s best player was Jay Heath, in his Freshman season he had 13 points per game while shooting 42% from the field, 37% from deep that’s extremely solid for a Freshman, and has high potential. Wynston Tabbs only played 15 games in 2018-19 due to injury and missed this entire past season due to injury but he also had 13 points per game in his freshman season at the guard-spot that’s very solid alongside Heath.
Now let’s talk this seasons eligible transfers, Makai Ashton-Langford from Providence he was a 3 point per game guy at Providence but is a solid defender and we’ll see what he worked on while sitting out this past season, he should fill a decent bench role. Moving the Graduate-Transfers, Quinnpiac’s Rich Kelly is a 6’1″ guard who is an elite-3pt scorer. he 45% from deep 2 seasons ago and 39% this past season, while having 16 points per game he’s probably the sixth man for this team but if he can have 10 points per game and be a great shooter, that’s a perfect fit. At the Forward spot, they add a likely starter in Fred Scott from Rider. Scott started his career at DePaul, he played 5 games then transferred, where he played at Rider for 3 seasons, he had 12 points and 6 rebounds per game this past season for a pretty solid Rider Broncs squad. He also shot 40% from deep while shooting 3.
James Karnik is a 6’9 Center who played 3 seasons for Lehigh, he averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds per game this past season, he will be replacing Nik Popovic who graduated plays very similar to him so that should be a seamless transition for BC. Andre Adams is another interesting who started his career under Bobby Hurley at Arizona State, played 16 games in his Freshman Season, and left for Southern Utah. While he’s on the floor he averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game on 63% from the floor, he is very good but the issue is he’s often in foul trouble. If he can clean some of that up he’ll be a good-get but if he’s on the Bench with fouls it’s not much of a help.
PG- Wynston Tabbs
SG- Jay Heath
SF- Fred Scott (Rider)
PF- Steffon Mitchell
C- James Karnik (Lehigh)
Bench: Rich Kelly (Quinnipiac), Makai Ashton-Langford (Providence), Andre Adams (Southern Utah), C.J. Felder, DeMarr Langford Jr.
Departures: Jarius Hamilton (Maryland), Julian Rishwain (San Francisco), Derryck Thornton, Nik Popovic
I’m not sold that they’ll be a contender but they are a solid team who can certainly be on the bubble and that’s much more than they’ve accomplished in quite a long-time and consider that a win. Jim Christian probably isn’t quite on the hot seat yet but depending on how the season starts his seat may be burning, we’ll have to see but if they have a 17-18-19 win season he should be safe. I think Christian is a decent coach but at the same time if they let him go after the season, I’d completely understand but this roster is talented enough to win 20 games and be a first-four, 10-11 seed bubble-type team. The ACC should be back to being what it has been, UNC is back, Duke is Duke, Louisville is good, Virginia is a title contender, Georgia Tech should be good, as should Clemson, and don’t sleep on the Pitt Panthers either, Miami is also very good led by Chris Lykes, I’m un-sure on NC State but they could be good too, not as big on FSU as many but point is that this could be an 8-9 bid-league once again and I wouldn’t be shocked at all if Boston College has an opportunity to contend for one of those bids.