I’ll always have a soft spot for Boston College for one simple reason — their local academic competition. High-school students get absurdly high SAT scores and finish in the top tenth of their classes just for the pleasure of attending BC. However, once they actually get to school they are surrounded by Harvard and MIT students who basically look down their noses at them. That’s gotta be a major mind-fuck.
You get into a really good school and half the city treats you like you’re going to be changing their oil someday. It’s like a multi-millionaire going over to Abu Dhabi and realizing that the sheiks over there use plungers with handles made out of Jesus’ bones. It takes you down a peg.
It’s always better to be a big fish in a small pond, and no one knows that better than Boston College students.
Let’s shift to the subject at hand. The basketball Eagles took a closer than predicted loss against #16 Baylor earlier today. The Flyers face them tomorrow in the first game in the loser’s bracket. Winner advances, loser
goes home plays again regardless. Catch the fever.
Although he is entering his third year at the helm, Coach Steve Donahue must think he is still at Cornell as his roster is chock full of white dudes. This Eagle team is so white that UD might as well be playing against twelve members of the Miracle Whip fan club.
Bad news, Boston College was absolute horrible last season, posting a 9-22 record and finishing tied for ninth in the ACC. Good news, BC has just about everyone back from last season’s modest team and has added some freshmen that have the ability to play right away. Youth is king on Chestnut Hill, as the Eagles will start three sophomores and two freshmen against the Flyers.
Neither a deep team, nor a squad that gets after it defensively, Boston College is undeniably beatable. As long as Dayton doesn’t shoot 33% from the field (which is from far a guarantee), the Flyers have an excellent chance of earning a victory.
The Eagles begin, and almost end, with Ryan Anderson. An All-ACC Freshman selection, Anderson led Boston College in both scoring and rebounding last season. He got off to a quick start this season, registering a career-high 29 points and 17 rebounds in BC’s opener against Florida International and followed it up with 25/6 against a tough Baylor squad. Anderson is an aggressive presence on both sides of the floor, getting to the foul-line at an impressive rate. To be blunt, there is no plausible scenario in which BC wins games this year if Anderson fails to show up.
Donahue went up to Canada to nab freshman guard Olivier Hanlan. Hanlan is already BC’s best offensive guard, a good shooter that is also capable of putting it on the floor and getting to the rim. He comes into tomorrow’s game averaging fourteen points a game, shooting 40% from behind the arc. Look for Hanlan and fellow Canuck Dyshawn Pierre to share a maple syrup smooch before tomorrow’s game.
Three-guard lineups are all the rage and the Eagles have followed suit as Joe Rahon and Lonnie Jackson join Hanlan in the backcourt. Rahon, a true freshman, reminds me a bit of Derek Kellogg back when he played for UMass. He looks to pass first, primarily shoots when given an open look behind the arc and looks like the type of guy who probably volunteered for Habitat for Humanity at some point. Jackson is doing his best Kevin Dillard impression, shooting just 2-of-19 so far this season. Like Rahon, he takes the vast majority of his attempts from the three-point line.
Dennis Clifford, a seven-foot center, had a quietly effective freshman campaign, averaging nine points and five rebounds during the 2011-12 season. He’s all bulked up now and looking to throw his weight around, in theory. For a seven-footer, Clifford rebounds like your grandfather, in slow-motion while hurling racial epithets. Most of his offense comes from put backs and easy looks as a result of deep, soothing guard penetration.
As your handsome correspondent has already informed you, the Eagles feature a small bench. Eddie Odio, Andrew Van Nest and Patrick Heckmann will get most of the burn off the pine. Odio is a 6’7” sophomore forward who has increased his offensive production. Heckmann is a German who likes to stroke it from outside. Van Nest is a graduate student from Harvard, he thinks the curriculum at Boston College is prison-level. He constantly tells people, “Well I technically go to BC, but I graduated from Harvard. So…we gonna fuck or what?” The 6’10” Van Nest can step out and bang threes. He’s Luke Fabrizius, only with a bright future.
Sidenote: I went to grad school with a Harvard graduate; he wore a gaudy gold ring that would inevitably lead someone to ask about it. “Oh that. It’s just my Harvard class ring,” he would tell them indifferently before delving into a story about crew that no one understood or cared to listen to. I’m convinced the only reason that cake-eater wore the ring was so that he could shoehorn his Harvard status into polite conversation organically. I frequently tell people that you’ll know someone is from New York because they will tell you within ten minutes of meeting them; same rule applies to Ivy Leaguers. They’re just the worst. But, they are still better than us, just remember that and you’ll be alright.
“The numbers are a catalyst that can help turn raving madmen into polite humans.”
No way UD shoots as poorly as they did against Colorado, right? I feel like Archie and the boys step it up defensively and pull out a close one over the Eagles, 66-62. I couldn’t be less confident in this prediction.
Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.