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BC’s Brian Mihalik, Josh Keyes named to ACC weekly honor roll 10.14.14 at 9:59 am ET
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Josh Keyes

Josh Keyes

Brian Mihalik was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week after recording his first career interception in Saturday’s 30-14 victory at NC State. Josh Keyes was named co-ACC Linebacker of the Week after recording a career-high 10 tackles in the game.

Mihalik, a 6-foot-9, 295-pound senior from Avon Lake, Ohio, also had a key sack in Saturday’s game, giving him 3.5 sacks on the year.

Keyes, a 6-foot-2, 223-pound senior from Ghent, New York, had two tackles for loss, including his team-leading fourth sack of the season. Keyes is second on the team with 32 tackles. This is the second time this season Keyes has been honored by the league.

The Eagles (4-2, 1-1 ACC) host 24th-ranked Clemson on Saturday.

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BC QB Tyler Murphy, OL Andy Gallik, LB Josh Keyes earn ACC honors for roles in win over USC 09.15.14 at 3:03 pm ET
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Following Saturday night’s stunning 37-31 victory over ninth-ranked USC, Boston College dominated the ACC honors that were handed out Monday.

Tyler Murphy

Tyler Murphy

Quarterback Tyler Murphy was named Offensive Back of the Week, center Andy Gallik was tabbed Offensive Lineman of the Week and Josh Keyes was selected Linebacker of the Week.

Murphy rushed for 191 yards, the second-highest total by a quarterback in ACC history. He averaged 14.7 yards per carry against a USC defense that came in allowing just 4.0 yards per rush through two games. Murphy’s 66-yards touchdown run in the fourth quarter put the game away, giving BC a 37-24 lead with 3:30 remaining.

Gallik, like Murphy a graduate student, helped the Eagles rush for 452 yards and total 506 yards of offense — the second time this season the Eagles have passed the 500-yard mark.

Keyes had eight tackles, including seven solo and 5.5 for loss, and helped limit the Trojans to 20 rushing yards in the game. He had a key sack of USC quarterback Cody Kessler on a third-down play in the fourth quarter with BC protecting a 10-point lead.

 

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BC coach Steve Addazio on MFB: Saturday night win over USC ‘most electric atmosphere I’ve been in since I’ve been at Boston College’ 09.15.14 at 2:44 pm ET
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Boston College football coach Steve Addazio, riding high after Saturday night’s upset of ninth-ranked USC, joined Middays with MFB to recount the monumental win. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Steve Addazio (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Steve Addazio led the Eagles to an upset of ninth-ranked USC on Saturday night. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The game was dedicated to the memory of Welles Crowther, a former BC lacrosse player who died during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, after leading a number of people to safety at the World Trade Center. Crowther, known for wearing a red bandanna, returned to the South Tower to rescue more people when the building collapsed.

BC players wore red bandanna-patterned designs on their helmets and other parts of their uniform to pay tribute to Crowther.

“I’m a big believer in the emotional side, in the passion side of the game,” Addazio said. “Obviously if you don’t have your X’s and O’s and your fundamentals right, you’re not going to overcome it with just that. By why not both? Why not play with that passion and that high energy and that emotion. It’s what the game is all about to me, and that’s what I love about the college game.

“Having a chance to be a part of that red bandanna game to honor Welles Crowther and everything that he stood for. … All that we’ve been hearing all week long [about NFL players misbehaving], it’s kind of made my stomach turn. But now let’s talk about a great story, a story about a guy that was unselfish, that gave of himself, gave his life to save other people. That’s kind of what the BC ‘service for others’ is — obviously that’s an extreme, but that’s what it’s all about.”

Addazio said he gave the team “a little history lesson” about 9/11 and talked about how Crowther was “one of our own,” a BC athlete who went on to leave a lasting mark outside the world of sports.

“Kids need to hear more about [Crowther's heroics]. They don’t need to hear more about elevators and everything else,” Addazio said. “They need to hear more about, to me, the true greatness that lies in a lot of people. And this was an unbelievable story. Being a part of it, and being around his parents after the game, it was just moving.”

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ACC football media predict BC to finish 6th in Atlantic Division 07.21.14 at 1:26 pm ET
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Steve Addazio took a big first step in leading the Boston College football team back to respectability last season, but apparently those who cover the ACC are not convinced the Eagles have turned the corner.

In a poll of media members at the ACC Football Kickoff in Greensboro, N.C., BC was predicted to finish sixth of seven teams in the ACC Atlantic Division.

BC went 7-6 in Addazio’s first season at BC in 2013 — rebounding from a 2-10 finish the year before — but the Eagles lost Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams, who led the nation with 2,177 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, and will break in a new quarterback as well.

Defending national champion Florida State, which returns 15 starters, was the runaway winner to capture another league title, grabbing 109 of 112 first-place votes to win the Atlantic and 104 votes to win the ACC championship game. Only Clemson and Virginia Tech, with two each, received votes to finish as ACC champion.

In the Atlantic, following Florida State (780 points) is Clemson, which had three first-place votes and 660 points. Then there’s league-newcomer Louisville (564 points), Syracuse (368), N.C. State (326), BC (301) and Wake Forest (136).

Voting was split in the Coastal Division. Miami leads the way with 26 first-place votes and 614 points, followed by Duke (33 first-place votes; 597 points), Virginia Tech (23 and 571), North Carolina (27 and 570), Georgia Tech (1 and 322), Pittsburgh (2 and 319) and Virginia (142).

Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston is expected to repeat as ACC Player of the Year, as the Florida State quarterback garnered 99 points. He’s followed by Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley (6 points), Miami running back Duke Johnson (1), Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder (1) and Virginia Tech quarterback Brenden Motley (1).

New BC basketball coach Jim Christian accepts ‘Cold Water Challenge’ 06.26.14 at 8:28 am ET
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The #Chillin4Charity “Cold Water Challenge” is a fundraiser in which coaches get a bucket of ice water dumped on their head to raise awareness and money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

Coaches challenge their peers to get doused within 48 hours or donate $250 to the cause, named for the N.C. State women’s basketball coach who died of cancer in 2009.

New Boston College basketball coach Jim Christian accepted the challenge Wednesday, with help from some of his players.

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Yale basketball player Brandon Sherrod leaves team to join school a capella group 05.14.14 at 11:44 am ET
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The Yale basketball team finished this past season 19-14 overall and 9-5 in the Ivy League — good for second place behind Harvard — and the Bulldogs are expected to challenge for the top spot in the conference again next year.

However, the team will do so without one of its key players, forward Brandon Sherrod.

The 6-foot-6 junior from Bridgeport, Conn., decided he would accept an invitation to join Yale’s prestigious Whiffenpoofs all-male a capella singing group and take next year off.

“This is supposed to be THE year, and you want to play with your guys,” Sherrod told The Associated Press. “But the Whiffenpoofs is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The Whiffenpoofs, formed in 1909, gives rising seniors at Yale the opportunity to take off a year from studies and travel the world — every continent but Antartica is on the schedule for 2014-15.

Coach James Jones accepted Sherrod’s decision and said he would welcome the player back the following year. Sherrod started 14 games last season, averaging 6.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. He played 22 minutes in the Bulldogs’ 74-67 victory at Harvard on Feb. 8 — the Crimson’s only league loss of the season.

“That’s one of the things we talk about when we recruit kids is what is available at Yale and the different opportunities they’re going to have,” Jones said. “Brandon ‘s going to take advantage of one of them, and I understand.”

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UMass’ Derrick Gordon first openly gay Div. 1 men’s college basketball player 04.09.14 at 10:11 am ET
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UMass guard Derrick Gordon announced in interviews with the media that were published Wednesday that he is gay, making him the first men’s college basketball player to come out.

Gordon, a sophomore from Plainfield, N.J., said he told his family, coaches and teammates at the end of March and first days of April. He noted that he was inspired by the Nets‘ signing of Jason Collins, the NBA’s first openly gay player.

“I just didn’t want to hide anymore, in any way,” the 22-year-old told ESPN. “I didn’t want to have to lie or sneak. I’ve been waiting and watching for the last few months, wondering when a Division 1 player would come out, and finally I just said, ‘Why not me?’ ”

Gordon started all 33 games this past season — his first at UMass after transferring from Western Kentucky, and averaged 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds. However, he told Outsports.com that he considered walking away from the game because his teammates were treating him differently after rumors started to circulate about his homosexuality — which Gordon denied.

“That was probably the lowest point I was ever at,” he told Outsports. “I didn’t want to play basketball anymore. I just wanted to run and hide somewhere. I used to go back to my room and I’d just cry. There were nights when I would cry myself to sleep.

“Nobody should ever feel that way.”

After the Minutemen lost to Tennessee in the NCAA tournament on March 21, he decided to make his sexuality public.

“I just had a lot of time to myself, thinking, and I didn’t know what I was waiting for,” he said.

Gordon told coach Derek Kellogg in a phone conversation on March 30 and then talked to the team — with Kellogg by his side — on April 2. Gordon said the team was supportive, with one player telling him, “We got you; you’re one of us.”

“Before, I usually just kept to myself because I didn’t want to lie or be fake,” Gordon said. “But not anymore. I feel so good right now. It’s like this huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”

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Shabazz Napier leads UConn past Kentucky for NCAA title 04.08.14 at 6:27 am ET
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Point guard Shabazz Napier scored 22 points as UConn posted a 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the NCAA championship game Monday night in Arlington, Texas, to give the Huskies their second title in four seasons.

Napier, a Roxbury product, was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

Seventh-seeded UConn (32-8), which never trailed, took a 15-point lead in the first half. Kentucky (29-11) rallied to get within a point with 8:13 remaining, but the Huskies responded, pulling back ahead by a comfortable margin and not missing from the free throw line (10-for-10) to ice it.

It marked a quick return to power by UConn, which was banned from participating in last year’s tournament due to its poor academic rating.

“You’re looking at the hungry Huskies,” Napier said in a postgame interview on the court. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens when you banned us.”

For more on the game, click here.

 

Jim Christian ‘tremendously excited and humbled’ to take over as Boston College coach 04.04.14 at 9:02 am ET
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Boston College announced Thursday that Jim Christian would be the school’s new basketball coach, and the 49-year-old expressed an eagerness to begin rebuilding the program.

“I am obviously tremendously excited and humbled to be able to take over a program with the tradition and history of Boston College,” Christian said in a conference call. “If you look at the great coaches and success that they have had before me, it is a situation where you wake up every day and you just can’t wait to get to work.

“I can’t wait to get up there, meet our players and spend as much time getting to know them as I possibly can; and just go attack the things that we want. Again, I am just truly excited and grateful for the opportunity that Brad Bates and Father [William] Leahy have given me and I am going to make them proud.”

After spending the last two seasons at Ohio University and 12 years as a head coach, Christian makes his return to the city in which he began his college playing career. Christian played two seasons at Boston University (1983-85) before transferring to Rhode Island and helping the Rams reach the Sweet 16 of the 1988 NCAA tournament. He takes over a team that struggled to break through the past four seasons under Steve Donahue.

“I always look at programs historically and not just where they’re at right now,” Christian said. “I think if you look at Boston College historically and the things they have accomplished, it excites you. Any coach wants to have his chance to compete against the very best. Obviously the ACC is the very best. For me, growing up in New York, going to school in Boston and graduating from Rhode Island, it is just kind of in my roots. These things come down to fits and you have to find a job that you think is just a great fit for you. There is no doubt in my mind that Boston College is a tremendous fit.”

BC has received some criticism for a lack of a high-profile candidate during its coaching search, but Bates, who became BC’s athletic director in 2012 after 10 years at Miami (Ohio), is confident he has the right leader.

“I had the benefit of watching Jim when we both worked in the MAC, so he has always been on my list as someone that I had a high regard for,” Bates said. “During the process, he not only validated my impressions of him but he far surpassed them.

“In terms of characteristics, this sport is about recruiting and coaching. You have to get talented athletes that fit your institution and you have to develop them and coach them. Boston College has core values that you need in your coaches. We are about integrity. There has to be a development of our intellectual young men. You need a coach and a staff that can flat-out recruit and develop those kids with their coaching. Beyond that, we want to win. We wanted someone with championships and postseason appearances. Someone with New England roots was important. Someone with energy and passion and at the end of the day someone who is in this for the right reasons and who genuinely cares about his students. He was obviously right up there in the first round of interviews and after the second round he shot right up to the top.”

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Reports: BC tabs Ohio’s Jim Christian as basketball coach 04.03.14 at 2:01 pm ET
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Boston College has hired Jim Christian as basketball coach, according to multiple reports.

The 49-year-old Christian, who reportedly interviewed earlier in the week and returned to Chestnut Hill on Wednesday, has a 236-152 career record in 12 seasons at Ohio (2012-14), TCU (2008-12) and Kent State (2002-08).

A native of Bethpage, N.Y., Christian played at St. Dominic High School under Ralph Willard (who went on to coach at Western Kentucky, Pittsburgh and Holy Cross and now is a Louisville assistant). Christian started his college playing career at Boston University in 1983 — recruited by Rick Pitino, although Pitino exited as coach before Christian’s first season — and transferred to Rhode Island for his final two seasons, helping the Tom Penders-coached Rams to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 as a senior in 1988.

After a year playing with the Sydney City Comets of the Australian Basketball Association, Christian served as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky (1990-92, ’94-95), Saint Francis (’92-94), Miami (’95-96), Pittsburgh (’96-99) before joining Kent State in 2001.

After one year as an assistant with the Golden Flashes, Christian was promoted to head coach to replace Stan Heath, who left for Arkansas. Christian proceeded to win at least 20 games in six straight seasons, making NCAA tournament appearances and winning MAC Coach of the Year honors in 2006 and ’08. He also made three NIT appearances, although Kent State lost its opener each of the five times it reached the postseason.

He parlayed that success into the head coaching job at TCU, where he went just 56-73 in four seasons. In his fourth season with the Horned Frogs, Christian guided the team to its first winning record (18-15) in seven years and a berth in the College Basketball Invitational.

Christian resigned at TCU and returned to the MAC in 2012 as coach at Ohio. In his first season, the Bobcats won a share of the league’s regular-season title for the first time since 1994 and played in the NIT. This season, Ohio went 25-11 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament with wins over Cleveland State and Wright State before losing to VMI.

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