|11.14.09 at 2:36 pm ET|
Let’s make a trade. New England will take them remnants of tropical storm Ida from the soaked mid-Atlantic region and in return send our premier college football team south. Sounds fair, yes?
Hence, Boston College travels to Charlottesville, Va. today looking for its first road win of the season against the Virginia Cavaliers.
“We’ve got to get out of the confines of Alumni at one point,” senior co-captain center Matt Tennant said. ” We’ve got to understand that we are not always going to be playing here and, you know, it is very important. We are not going to be playing our bowl game here and we are at Maryland too. So, we definitely need to get it done.”
The road has not been a friendly place for the Eagles this season. They were horrible in Clemson, horrendous at Virginia Tech and heart-broken at Notre Dame. Against the Irish they were at least competitive, battling back and forth before freshman quarterback Dave Shinskie’s interception in the final moments sealed BC’s fate.
There are a variety of reasons for the road blues. Young, inexperienced team. Maturing quarterback. Then quality competition taking advantage of those factors. Yet, in the 10th game of the season, BC hopes that the youngsters have made enough progress to get the job done and Shinskie is a much different (better) quarterback than he was at the beginning of the season.
“I am not trying to make excuses for anything,” Tennant said. “But, guys haven’t experienced it. They are new games. We are getting up and driving to Clemson and Virginia Tech. You know, you have to get used to not being in your comfort level. You are not going to be in your hotel, eating the same thing. It is part of growing up, you have to understand, it is going to be different everywhere you go.”
The situation may be a little different this week. Whereas in Clemson and Virginia Tech players said they had an hour on the bus before getting to the stadium, in Charlottesville they are staying at a Double Tree hotel that is, at most, 15 to 20 minutes from Scott Stadium. That
Then there is the competition.
The Cavaliers (3-6, 2-3 ACC) are a constant enigma in the ACC. They bring in a lot of NFL caliber talent (Matt Schaub, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Chris Long) and then proceed to snap defeat out of the jaws of victory. Al Groh’s squad is a annual source of headaches in central Virginia because there is always hope that usually becomes squashed with bitterness and disappointment as the season progresses. This year, where they were picked to be dead last in the ACC (right below where BC was supposed to be) they have lived up to the billing.
Virginia was stunned in its opener by losing to Colonial Athletic Association also-ran William & Mary before getting blown out by then No. 16 Texas Christian University and then traveling to Southern Mississippi for a wild 37-34 loss. The Cavaliers then pumped hope into the Wahoo fan base by squeaking a win against North Carolina, blowing out Indiana and handling Maryland. At 3-3, maybe things would not be so bad after all.
Then, in the manner of Virginia teams, the bottom dropped out again with three straight ugly losses to Georgia Tech, Duke and Miami. In an odd scheduling quirk, the Eagles and Cavaliers have not had a shared opponent yet in the season. BC’s last two games are against North Carolina and Maryland while Virginia has Clemson and Virginia Tech. Hence, comparison along the lines of commonality is kaput.
The Eagles defense should be able to handle the anemic Virginia offense led by senior Jameel Sewell. The Cavaliers are second-to-last in the ACC (Maryland is last) in scoring offense (15.8 points per game) and rushing offense and 10th in passing offense. Their defense, which has its moments, is middle of the road — sixth in scoring, 11th against the run, fifth against the pass. Shinskie joked earlier in the week that it would end up being a passing game for BC because last time they faced a team with a defensive strength NC State was tops in the conference in rushing defense when BC faced them, Montel Harris set a BC school record for rush yards and touchdowns. Shinskie will have to contend with two quality cornerbacks in Ras-I Dowling and Chris Cook but the Eagles have a chance to set up a solid play-action if Harris can get uncorked against the soft Virginia line.
Kick off is about an hour from now in Charlottesville, stay tuned to The BC Blog for highlights throughout the day.
|11.13.09 at 11:22 pm ET|
Boston College doesn’t match up that often against Dartmouth. In fact, the last time these two teams did battle, it was back in 2005.
That’s good news for the Big Green, who once again couldn’t handle anything the Eagles threw at them. In front of an announced crowd of 4,277, BC rolled to a decisive 89-58 victory over visiting Dartmouth, an even larger margin than the 80-61 win back in ’05.
Playing without two of their starters, Rakim Sanders and Corey Raji, who along with Cortney Dunn were suspended for two games due to team rule violations, the Eagles didn’t miss a beat, shooting the lights out from whistle to whistle. BC fired an impressive 60 percent from the field, led by senior Tyler Roche, who started in place of Raji and went off for a career-high 30 points. Roche hit 10-of-12 shots, including 4-of-5 3-pointers, and added a career-high five blocks.
“He’s a senior on the club, and he’s got a great understanding of our offense and what we need to do,” BC coach Al Skinner of the New Hampshire native. “He has continued to make improvements throughout his college career. … Tonight he had some good opportunities and was able to put the ball in the basket.”
In a game in which BC was expected to roll, it was a pleasant showing from Roche, who suggested that he will give the Eagles a legitimate scoring threat off the bench. Between Roche and Reggie Jackson (16 points), the first game without the graduated Tyrese Rice went pretty smoothly. Granted, playing against Dartmouth also helped.
Nonetheless, the first game can provide a good indicator of how a team will compete as the season rolls on. Yes, it’s a very early sign, and it was against a Dartmouth team that is 1-11 overall against BC, the lone victory coming all the way back in 1963. Nonetheless, the Eagles showed quite a few positives in their first game of the 2009-10 season.
Here are three things we learned from BC’s season-opening victory:
ROCHE IS MORE THAN A VIABLE OPTION OFF THE BENCH
If there’s any silver lining that comes from seeing three players suspended for the season-opener, it’s that players who normally come off the bench get a chance to see some serious minutes.
Roche was one of those beneficiaries in Friday’s skirmish against Dartmouth, and he certainly took advantage of it.
Roche not only took control of the scoring department for BC but also electrified what otherwise may have been an unenthused crowd that watched the rout of the Big Green.
“I knew some extra minutes were coming my way, so I just mentally prepared myself to play in the game,” Roche said. “I’ve gotten a lot more confident over the years, and tonight I just felt really comfortable and I just gained confidence as the game went on.”
The best part about Roche’s explosion of points? When BC gets that kind of contribution from beyond the arc, it makes everything inside it that much easier. Guys such as Josh Southern, Joe Trapani and Jackson get significantly more space when Roche takes off from downtown.
Case in point Friday night: Southern and Trapani combined for one point in the first half. Roche started heating up midway through the game, and by the time the final horn blew, Southern and Trapani finished with 20 points between them.
Again, it’s important to remember who the Eagles were playing. Even so, when someone drops an 80 percent night from long range, it really doesn’t matter who the opponent is — they’re going to pay.
REGGIE JACKSON CAN PLAY
That much is for certain. After posting 16 points and dominating the offensive court for the Eagles, Jackson made it clear that he has the skills to bring the rain. Though he scored 16, one of the most impressive things on display from Jackson was his ball-handling. The sophomore was able to use his explosive speed and quick handle to help create separation that not only allowed him to get open looks but also gave some very nice lanes to Roche, who took advantage.
“We all know what we can do,” Jackson said. “Sometimes I feel like I take it upon myself that if we’re in a slump then I feel like I can get a bucket. Obviously, tonight Roche was the guy. … But I have a lot on my shoulders and the team depends on me each and every night.”
The one question Skinner and most of the BC staff had about Jackson before the season began was his mental toughness, suggesting in an ESPN preview that Jackson “still needs to continue to grow.”
A season-opener against an overmatched Dartmouth team isn’t exactly a good measure as to a player’s mental toughness. Those tests will come down the road against opponents such as Michigan (Dec. 2), Clemson (Jan. 9) and Duke (Jan. 13). But for now, at least the Eagles can rest assured that when Jackson sets foot on the floor, he brings the explosiveness that BC will need against elite opponents — and it should only get better.
FROM THE OUTSIDE, IN
Most teams use a definitive inside presence to set up their outside shot. And the rest of the teams would prefer to, for a multitude of reasons — the big one being, a dominant inside game is much more consistent. Sometimes the long balls will clink and clunk, but it’s tough to go in slumps shooting from 4-8 feet.
But sometimes there are nights where it just doesn’t work like that. Last night was one of them.
Dartmouth made it clear that its objective was to shut down the Eagles’ inside game, specifically Southern and Trapani. After the first 10 minutes, during which Southern racked up just one point and Trapani had a goose egg, it appeared the Green were succeeding.
But then again, that’s why there are five guys on the court at once. Enter Roche. The second Roche started lighting up the building with a barrage of deep balls, Dartmouth was forced to move more men outside to defend the perimeter. Naturally, that allowed both Southern and Trapani to get some good looks down low, and they converted on nearly every one of them.
On most nights, the Eagles are going to want to start inside and work it out. But it has to be refreshing for them to know that when things don’t work out the way they want, they can adjust.
|11.13.09 at 3:42 pm ET|
Jeff Goodman of WEEI.com and FoxSports.com has learned that three Boston College Men’s Basketball Players have been suspended for the first two games of the season: tonight’s season opener at home against Dartmouth, and Tuesday’s home game against St. Francis (NY). Junior guard/forward Rakim Sanders, junior forward Corey Raji and junior forward Cortney Dunn are all out for tonight’s game. The cause of the suspensions is not yet known. The suspensions leave BC with seven scholarship players.
Sanders averaged 12.9 points per game last year, ranking him second among returning BC players, while Raji average 9.9 points a contest in 2008-09. Both averaged approximately 28 minutes a game last season. Dunn averaged 0.9 points a contest while playing 13 minutes a game.
For more on the season outlook for BC Hoops, see Ian Tasso’s season preview.
|11.13.09 at 3:38 pm ET|
The 2008-09 season came to a screeching halt with an all-too-familiar sour taste in the Eagles’ mouths. Yet again, Boston College was ousted early — perhaps too early — in the NCAA tournament against an opponent (USC) that some thought should have been manageable.
Nonetheless, the summer months have passed, and Al Skinner’s squad reports back to the court as young as ever, and with the same starting five as in 2009 — minus second-team All-ACC guard Tyrese Rice. The loss of Rice leaves an undeniable hole in the Eagles’ offense, coming off a season during which he led the team in scoring with a powerful 16.9 points per game.
Still, even with the loss of Rice’s scoring, Skinner remains confident that the Eagles, who finished 22-12 last season, will be able to rely on their cohesiveness and youth to move forward. The Eagles made an important step last season with key victories over rivals UNC and Duke, games that will prove to be building blocks for this season. With a returning core that includes four of their starting five from 2009, the Eagles hope to compete once again for an NCAA tournament berth.
The Starting Five
Rakim Sanders, G-F, jr:
Strengths: Very physical and can score/rebound with the best of them. Looks to be a strong breakout candidate this year within the offense. If BC wants to make up for the loss of Rice, Sanders could emerge as a key player.
Weaknesses: Sanders’ passing leaves something to be desired, along with his consistency. Those things will need to improve if he hopes to lead the Eagles to an NCAA berth.
This is going to be the guy they’re counting on all year. Without Rice, the Eagles are going to have to make up for scoring somehow – and Sanders is it. He has it all; the ability to do whatever he pleases down low with his muscle, the skills to run around defenders, and the ability to create for not only himself but everyone else around him. If he can brush up on his perimeter shooting as well as his passing in the lanes, Sanders could morph into the elite player the Eagles hope he will.
Joe Trapani, F, jr:
Strengths: At 6-foot-8, 218 pounds, this kid’s a tough out down low. Trapani averaged 6.6 rebounds per game last year with a solid 13.4 points to go with it. The junior may even see as much time at his forward position as he does as a rotating guard, allowing Boston College to spread the floor against some opponents since Trapani features a nice perimeter shot as well.
Weaknesses: At 6-8, Trapani may be considered a little small for his position. He’s going to be matching up against the best the ACC has to offer, and on some nights, it might not work out too well for him. Even so, Skinner doesn’t think there’s a player in the league who can consistently take advantage of Trapani at the 4. It remains to be seen if the coach is right.
This is the versatile member of the group. His size down low and solid perimeter shooting make him a viable option to be switched around between the guard and forward position. This could come in very handy against some of the stronger opponents in the ACC, especially ones who like to stack down low. The Eagles are going to need big contributions from Trapani as center Josh Southern continues to grow into his own.
Josh Southern, C, jr:
Strengths: At 6-10, 250 pounds, Southern has tremendous size for his position, something that will undoubtedly come in handy against the league’s heavyweights. He’s a great finisher and a dominant rebounding force. As long as he continues to mature, Southern will become a force in the frontcourt.
Weaknesses: He may have top-100 prospect value, but Southern still has a lot to learn about the position. Something he needs to focus on in 2009 is his low-block scoring and a post shot. If he can master those two things, Southern will have the looks of a very good ACC center.
It seems like Skinner’s main concerns about Southern aren’t his skills, but rather his consistency and his confidence. Southern has to be effective if the Eagles want any hope at a deep NCAA tournament run. Without a solid big man, it will be tough for BC to compete against the UNCs and Dukes of the world. Southern has a lot of work ahead of him, but his big frame is a tool that few players have. Skinner will work something out of him no doubt.
Corey Raji, F, jr:
Strengths: He has the grit and the toughness that you need at his position. Raji also has a passion and intensity that is tough to match on the court. Despite his 6-6 frame, Raji has shown he is able to rebound against some of the tougher defenders in the league.
Weaknesses: His somewhat small size for his position could prove troublesome for the Eagles. Much like Sanders, Raji lacks a very good perimeter shot, posting a putrid 1-for-14 from beyond the arc in 2009.
Raji could prove to be somewhat of a wild card for the Eagles this year. Skinner even admitted as much. Boston College has yet to draft plays around the 6-6 forward — meaning most teams just aren’t sure how to defend him. He’s got a lot of skills and a passion to match it. The question is just how much his size will prevent him from competing against some of the more powerful forwards in the ACC.
Biko Paris, PG, jr:
Strengths: He’s been groomed to take over the playmaking position by Skinner, and now he gets his chance. With Rice out, Paris steps in at the point position to run the offense. He’s statistically better at handling the ball than Rice. Paris also adds better defense than Rice did from his position.
Weaknesses: The scoring. Despite Paris being arguably a better ball handler than Rice, the points BC will miss from the playmaking position won’t be made up easily. Paris has a tendency to distribute rather than shoot, something that can be a blessing but also a curse depending on how he uses it.
With all the talk about how to replace Rice and his points, the spotlight falls on Paris’ shoulders. Skinner was quoted as saying that some BC players may even prefer playing with Paris because of his tendency to spread the ball around rather than take control in the scoring department like Rice did. Still, no matter how you slice it, Paris just isn’t going to put up the 17 points a game Rice did in any way, shape or form. BC’s one hope is that he finds the open guys who will.
Five Dates to Circle
December 2, at Michigan – BC’s first definite test against a ranked opponent comes on against the University of Michigan on the Wolverines’ home court. BC plays in the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands Nov. 20-23 with top-10 teams Purdue and Tennessee, but there’s no guarantee the Eagles will meet either squad.
January 13, at Duke/February 6, vs. Duke – Duke. Boston College. Need more be said? The team everybody loves to hate will provide a test in Durham in January and then travel to Chestnut Hill on Feb. 6. The two teams collided on February 15 of last season, and the Eagles took down then-No. 5 Duke, 80-74.
January 26, vs. Clemson – If BC’s earlier matchup against Duke doesn’t go quite the Eagles’ way and it’s looking like the second won’t either, this is a game Boston College will have to win. If they want any hope at an NCAA berth, losing to Duke, UNC and Clemson won’t help at all. The Eagles face Clemson on their home court, which helps, but make no mistake about it – if BC doesn’t have any luck against Duke and the way they’re playing doesn’t lead anyone to believe they will against North Carolina, this Clemson matchup could have huge implications.
February 20th, vs. North Carolina – Any game against the Tar Heels is worth circling, for obvious reasons. It won’t be BC’s first test against a mighty ACC foe, but it will certainly be a trying one. In recent years, however, Boston College has had a knack for pulling up nifty upsets – might the Eagles have one in store on Feb. 20?
|11.12.09 at 8:41 pm ET|
Rich Gunnell is the quiet center at the heart of the 2009 Boston College Eagles. Elected as a captain by the team, he is a leader by example. Gunnell works hard, is studious in the film room and is a perfect leader for a young offense that at times has struggled to find its way.
He also is prolific with a football in his hands.
Gunnell is the active ACC career leader in receptions, reception yardage and touchdowns. His four years (five with a redshirt) on the field for the Eagles have given him a shot at becoming the career leader in yards and receptions at BC. Gunnell trails Pete Mitchell (1991-94) by 29 receptions and 236 yards for the all-time mark at The Heights, an accomplishment that surprises the soft-spoken receiver.
“I had no idea until Peter Mitchell was up here yesterday and Coach [Frank Spaziani] pulled me over and said, ‘This is the guy you are chasing for the records,’” Gunnell said. “I had no idea, I don’t pay too much attention to my stats and stuff.”
Gunnell will need to remain productive in the last three games if he is to catch Mitchell, especially in the receptions category. Though with freshman quarterback Dave Shinskie starting to round into an efficient passer, Gunnell has put up some of the best single-game marks of his career over the last two games. Against Notre Dame he put up a career-high 179 yards on 10 receptions and then followed up with 134 yards on eight catches against Central Michigan.
“Right now I feel like it has a lot to do with Dave,” Gunnell said. “He is starting to pick up more coverages, starting to realize what is open and what is not. I think he is being a lot smarter with the ball than he was earlier in the year.”
The production of the last two games nearly doubled the output Gunnell put up in the previous seven contests.
“Coach [Ryan] Day has been on me a lot these last few weeks that I need to elevate my game and take it to a new level because, you know, it is starting to hit me that things are counting down for me,” Gunnell said. “These are my last few games here as a Boston College football player here. I am just trying to take on a new level and try to improve every day.”
Gunnell’s teammates have great respect for the senior wide receiver. They are happy that the man they voted as one of their captains is starting to gain some recognition, even if Gunnell himself is not one to toot his own horn.
“I am happy he is getting what he deserves instead of people overlooking what he has been doing for such a long time,” free safety Wes Davis said. “There is no doubt that he is one of our leaders. He is our captain, we voted him a captain for a reason. Seeing him successful as somebody who has been around for such a long time, it is great seeing somebody get what they deserve, especially when it is in such a positive manner.”
The heir to Gunnell’s place as the top receiver, sophomore Colin Larmond Jr., has been walking in the senior’s footsteps ever since he took his official visit with Gunnell before committing to BC. Larmond knows his time is short with Gunnell and has taken on the role of sponge, trying to absorb everything about how Gunnell comports himself before his time in Chestnut Hill is over.
“He is not a guy to talk but he just leads with his actions,” Larmond said. “It was last year, the coaches were just, ‘Watch how this guy practices.’ Even before I committed here, when I took my official visit, it was with him. Just the way he takes his notes over opponents, the way he analyzes opponents, the way he watches the defense on film. Just all the little things that he does, I try to soak up as much as I can. He is a great receiver, and if he does all those things, I can do them to elevate my game.”
At the same time, neither Gunnell nor Larmond can quite fathom that the end is rapidly approaching. The focus for the entire Eagles squad this year has been one day, one week, one game turning into one season that they hope will have an ACC championship at the end. Yet come next spring, Larmond will find himself lining up without that familiar face that has been there since the beginning.
“I have to prepare for it. Coach Day spoke to me about it, he said, ‘You have to get ready.’ It hasn’t really hit me yet and probably won’t until the spring, when I look around and, like, ‘Where’s Rich?’” Larmond said.
Gunnell’s time in Chestnut Hill has not been the most peaceful era in the history of the BC football program. He was recruited by Tom O’Brien (now at NC State), then found his niche on the team when Jeff Jagodzinski took over the program. With Spaziani now at the helm, Gunnell has seen three head coaches in his five years with the team.
“It actually gave me a greater opportunity when coach O’Brien left because it gave me the opportunity to show some new coaches what I could do,” Gunnell said. “At the time I think I was fourth on the depth chart going into my redshirt sophomore year and the new coaches came in and I got a lot of playing time. I thought that was a good transition for me.”
While there have been three head coaches, there have been a plethora of quarterbacks. From Matt Ryan to Dominique Davis to Justin Tuggle and now Shinskie, Gunnell has seen just about every type of signal-caller that exists. He claims it has not been too frustrating even though the position has had three different primary starters since Ryan left for the Atlanta Falcons two years ago.
“It was not frustrating, I knew what I was getting into. I would have to make adjustments, the team was going to have to make adjustments and I just do my best to make plays,” Gunnell said.
Having a quarterback like Ryan around will make a lot of wide receivers look good. This fact is not lost on Gunnell.
“You really appreciate what he did a lot more now that he is gone,” Gunnell said. “You talk about other quarterbacks who have been here, but Matt was just on a different level, which is why he was drafted No. 3 overall. Being around Matt, he is a great guy, a great person and an even greater player. So, I learned a lot from him.”
It is a testament to Gunnell’s approach — head down when you are working, head up when someone is talking — that he is atop the ACC leaderboards despite the turmoil and transition that has been a part of his time at BC. In taking the high road, Gunnell said he appreciates the turnover, as it may be a help to him if there is a future in the NFL.
“I think it helped,” Gunnell said. “It is like that at the next level, coaches come and go but the players — well, the players will probably come and go also, but being here, the coaches have left, but the players have always stuck together and that is a big thing and we create chemistry with our teammates. We’ve had no choice. Like, I’ve been through three head coaches since I’ve been here.”
There is more than a fair chance that Gunnell will be playing on Sundays next year. He projects as a good possession receiver out of the slot with the capability of hitting the big play on occasion. He is smart and has good hands with the athletic ability to move the chains.
“Well, Rich is a playmaker,” Shinskie said. “It always seems that when the game is on the line we are calling a pass to him, he’s in the meat of the route. He is just a great route-runner and he is really smart.”
Yet if you ask Gunnell, he is not dwelling on his future at the next level quite yet.
“It has always been a dream of mine, it would be great to make it, it would be a great honor but, like I said, I am focusing on BC and trying to make it to the ACC Championship game and win it this year,” Gunnell said.
Even if a future in the NFL is not in the cards, Gunnell is confident that his time at BC has prepared him for a successful career.
“The biggest thing is education and whatnot,” Gunnell said. “I know a lot of other schools, they don’t take pride in their education, it is not something that they really focus on. I know by being here that education is a huge thing. BC just doesn’t recruit players, like any old players. You have to be great students, great person and also a great player.”
He graduated with a degree in communications in May and hopes to parlay that into some type of career in broadcasting, perhaps radio. In that vein, Gunnell interned at WEEI, helping Jon Meterparel and Steve “Chach” Ciaccio in the production department.
“It was a great experience, just hearing the guys talk over the radio, because that is something I definitely want to get into,” Gunnell said. “It was always weird to see how hectic it was or to see them freak out if someone had a story before them. Those are always funny, but I try not to laugh about them because it was kind of serious.”
“I was hoping to get into some type of sports broadcasting,” Gunnell added. “I want to stay around sports, it is something I have always wanted to do. I always wanted to be an ESPN analyst — talking about football or basketball or whatever. I have also thought about maybe coaching. I have been around football my entire life, so it is something I could do.”
First things first. Gunnell, as he continually points out, is aiming for that elusive ACC championship game. The Eagles will have to run the table, starting this week in Charlottesville, Va., and hope for a Clemson loss. For Gunnell, records are nice and the future is bright, but only one thing really matters.
“[The record] is a good thing, it is a great achievement in my career,” Gunnell said. “It would be a great honor to actually achieve those records, but the biggest honor for me would be to win an ACC Championship game. That is one thing I am shooting for.”
|11.11.09 at 2:52 pm ET|
Boston College announced that tickets for men’s and women’s basketball and hockey are now on sale.
Here’s the press release from BC:
The Boston College Athletics Department today announced that winter sports ticket packages and individual game tickets to men’s and women’s basketball and ice hockey are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets online at bceagles.com, by phone at 617-552-GoBC (4622) or by visiting Boston College’s ticket office located at Conte Forum.
The men’s basketball team returns all but one player from last season’s 22-win NCAA Tournament team led by head coach Al Skinner, who has guided the Eagles to the tourney seven times in the past nine years. Fans have a variety of individual, multi-game and season ticket options to choose from as they cheer on the Eagles at the Heights.
The $99 Five-Game Flex Pack provides Eagles fans admission to: one of two Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) marquee matchups against either national powerhouse Duke or defending National Champion North Carolina; two ACC games and two non-conference contests. The atmosphere at the Heights is sure to be intense as Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils and Roy Williams and The Tar Heels look to avenge the Eagles’ headline-making victories over their two ACC rivals last season. BC’s upset over Duke was the team’s first win over the Blue Devils in 24 years.
In addition, a limited number of individual men’s basketball tickets, including matchups against ACC foes Maryland, Miami, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Florida State, as well as the SEC’s South Carolina, are now on sale. UMass and URI headline the Eagles’ local non-conference schedule which tips off when Dartmouth visits Conte Forum for the home opener on Friday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. Tickets start as low as $10 in the Shaw’s family section. (Tickets to Duke and North Carolina are available only by purchasing Flex Packs or season tickets.) Season tickets in preferred seating locations are also available for as little as $250.
Eagles’ women’s basketball head coach Sylvia Crawley and her squad will host some of the nation’s elite programs at Conte Forum this winter as they come off an impressive run to the Final Four of the Women’s NIT Tournament. The Eagles return all five starters from last year’s 23-win team. This year’s schedule includes matchups with 14 ACC teams including rivals Maryland, Duke and Georgia Tech as well as a visit from Big Ten power Michigan on December 10. Three and seven-game ACC ticket packs are available starting at just $12. Groups of 20 or more can witness the action at the Heights for as little as $2. Season tickets in premium locations, starting at $56, are also available. The Eagles open the home schedule against Vermont on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 2 p.m.
The nationally ranked men’s ice hockey team, which has won two national championships and appeared in eight Frozen Fours in the last 12 years, is off to another strong start to the 2009-10 season. Three-game ticket packages, featuring a matchup with arch-rival Boston University, are just $65. Individual and group tickets start at just $10 in the Shaw’s family section for all games except BU. The 16th-ranked Eagles host No. 15 Vermont at Conte Forum on Saturday, November 14 at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 4 p.m.
To order tickets or for further information on Boston College Athletics, log onto bceagles.com, call 617-552-GoBC (4622) or visit the Conte Forum Box Office.
|11.10.09 at 11:25 am ET|
Much has been made this year of the performance of true freshman Luke Kuechly and the impact he has had on the Boston College defense. Yet, as good as Kuechly has been, he is not yet a leader for the Eagles. He will be the first to admit that. He always espouses that the upperclassmen at BC have been instrumental in his success and guidance.
One of those players is Marcellus Bowman.
The senior strong safety is the backbone of the Eagles defense. He is second on the team in tackles with 43 (Kuechly has an impressive 94) and is the leader of a secondary that is the crux of the the bend-but-don’t-break philosophy that defensive coordinator Bill McGovern employs. He also leads the team in “human rocket” tackles, as any strong safety should. Chances are, if there is a bone-crunching stop, No. 8 will be bouncing away from it.
“It is not really a thought, it is not really a plan, it is just the way I play,” Bowman said. “I don’t think that I need to make a big hit. The only thing I am thinking about is making a tackle and sometimes the result of that is making a big hit.”
The best example of Bowman’s ability to sniff out plays and make the big hit came against Notre Dame late when the Irish had fourth-and-goal with the ball on the 1-yard line. Notre Dame tried to go to the Wildcat and slip running back Robert Hughes through the middle of the line of scrimmage. Bowman swooped in, lowered his shoulder and stopped Hughes in his tracks.
“They motioned the guy down and I changed my keys from 2 instead of 1 and just went where the ball did,” Bowman said.
|11.08.09 at 10:02 pm ET|
Junior forward Corey Raji had 19 points and 14 rebounds to lead Boston College to a 99-58 rout of Division 2 St. Michael’s in an exhibition game Sunday afternoon at Conte Forum.
Sophomore guard Reggie Jackson, who hit 5-of-6 3-pointers, led all scorers with 23 points and was one of six Eagles in double figures.
Tyler Schilling scored a team-high 12 points for St. Michael’s, which held a 20-19 lead nine minutes into the game. Then Tyler Roche, BC’s lone senior, hit a 3-pointer to start a 22-2 run, and BC was never threatened thereafter. The Eagles, who hit 11-of-19 3-pointers, led 57-30 at the break.
“We started off the game a little slow, but things kind of picked up in the second and third quarter,” BC coach Al Skinner said. “I thought we did a decent job defensively and that allowed us to stretch the lead out a little bit.”
BC, coming off a 22-12 season in 2008-09 but no longer with standout guard Tyrese Rice in the lineup, opens the season Friday night at home against Dartmouth.
|11.05.09 at 7:42 pm ET|
There are three games left for Boston College in the regular season and there are questions that remain to be answered. This week the Eagles get a much deserved bye after trucking through summer camp and the first nine weeks of the season without a break.
There is still practice and conditioning work to be done, but the players can get a mental breather, catch up on some schoolwork and evaluate the next opponent, Virginia, whom the Eagles play in Charlottesville, Va., on Nov. 14.
“It’s definitely a week where, maybe not necessarily relax, because you still have to go out to practice and put the work in, it is a little bit more relaxing knowing that you have both Friday and Saturday off,” true freshman linebacker Luke Kuechly said.
Kuechly and junior free safety Wes Davis both broke out big smiles when asked what they would be doing on Saturday.
“Watching football,” they both said.
“Time to get your mind right and relax a little bit. … We get a good quarter of Big Ten football before we play a 3:30 game and the game comes on at 7:30 on ESPN, but that is about it,” Davis said. “I get up when my body wakes up. It is a nice feeling, actually.”
|11.03.09 at 10:41 am ET|
Boston College senior linebacker Mark Herzlich will be be the recipient of an honorary Lott Trophy. Named after Ronnie Lott, the Lott Trophy is awarded to the defensive IMPACT player of the year (IMPACT is an acronym for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity). This is only the second time an honorary Lott Trophy has been awarded, with the first going to the family of Pat Tillman, the former college and NFL player who was killed while serving with the U.S. Army Rangers in Afghanistan, in 2004. Herzlich has missed the entire 2009 season after being diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in the spring.
Here is the press release:
Mark Herlich To Receive Honorary Lott Trophy
Boston College Linebacker Mark Herzlich, who has missed the entire 2009 football season while undergoing treatment for cancer, will receive an honorary Lott Trophy, it was announced today by the Board of Directors of The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, sponsors of the award.
It is only the second time an honorary Lott Trophy has been awarded, the first going to the family of Pat Tillman in 2004. Tillman, the former college and NFL standout, volunteered for the military and was killed in Afghanistan.
“Mark Herzlich represents all that is good in today’s student-athlete and epitomizes what we look for in Lott Trophy candidates,” said John Hamilton, Chairman of the Board of the IMPACT Foundation. “His perseverance, attitude and good works are an inspiration to all of us who love college football.”