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Jim Christian hires recruiting wiz Scott Spinelli to help rebuild Boston College hoops 04.14.14 at 5:42 pm ET
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Scott Spinelli (University of Maryland)

Scott Spinelli (University of Maryland)

CHESTNUT HILL – The first major move of the Jim Christian era is complete.

The new head coach of the men’s basketball program at Boston College announced Monday that he has hired recruiting specialist Scott Spinelli away from the University of Maryland. The news first broke minutes after Christian’s introductory news conference last Tuesday at Boston College. Christian said one of the keys of getting Boston College back on the map in the Atlantic Coast Conference would be “recruiting the right kids” and “recruiting the players who really want to be at Boston College.” Spinelli will lead that effort.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman was the first to report the hiring of the man who spent the last three seasons on Mark Turgeon’s staff at Maryland. He has coached with Turgeon for the last eight years at Wichita State, Texas A&M and in College Park.

“We are excited to have Scott join our basketball staff here at Boston College,” Christian said in a school news release. “He is an outstanding young coach, a proven recruiter and he has developed strong relationships in the New England area. Scott has had success everywhere he’s coached and he has a few important qualities I was looking for: the ability to recruit and coach at a high level, and to develop the student-athletes in our program.”

It’s a coming home of sorts for Spinelli, who is a native of Leominster, Mass. and a graduate of Boston University. Spinelli was the key recruiter that helped lead Texas A&M and Maryland to four NCAA Tournaments and one NIT appearance. In his four seasons at Texas A&M, the Aggies had the best four-year win total in program history.

Spinelli has helped the Terrapins bring in consecutive top-25 recruiting classes. Five of his players are currently playing in the NBA in Gal Mekel (Dallas), Donald Sloan (Indiana), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee), DeAndre Jordan (LA Clippers) and Alex Len (Phoenix.)

Spinelli first joined Turgeon’s staff as an associate head coach at Wichita State in 2006-07. He has served as an associate head coach since the 2005-06 season at Nebraska. He was an assistant coach for two years with the Cornhuskers prior to his promotion. Spinelli was also the associate head coach at Maryland (2011-14) and Texas A&M (2007-11).

Spinelli has also spent time with Loyola-Chicago (2001-03), Philadelphia 76ers (2000-01), Cincinnati Stuff of the IBL (1999-2000), American (1997-99) and Wyoming (1996-97). His first coaching jobs were as head coach at Milford (NY) Academy (1990-93) and the Winchendon School (1993-96).

Read More: Boston College, Jim Christian, Mark Turgeon, Maryland
BC loses another close ACC game at Maryland 01.23.13 at 6:09 am ET
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Alex Len had 16 points and 13 rebounds in leading Maryland to a 64-59 victory over Boston College on Tuesday night in College Park, Md.

Ryan Anderson scored a game-high 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and three steals for BC (9-9, 1-4 ACC). Olivier Hanlan added 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The game was tight until Maryland (15-4, 3-3) used a 12-1 run midway through the second half to take an eight-point lead. BC responded with five straight points on an Anderson layup and Patrick Heckmann 3-pointer. However, that was as close as the Eagles would get. A Heckmann trey with 4.7 seconds remaining made it a 3-point game, but Nick Faust (11 points, seven rebounds) hit two free throws with 4.0 seconds left to clinch it for the Terrapins.

The Eagles, whose four ACC losses are by a combined 14 points, next play at Virginia on Saturday.

Read More: Alex Len, Boston College, Maryland, Ryan Anderson
Coming up just short… again: Maryland 24, BC 21 10.23.10 at 5:31 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — For the second straight week, it was a matter of inches. And for the second straight week, Boston College came up just short.

On Saturday, as BC was trying to avoid its first five-game losing streak since 1998, a fourth-down rushing attempt by Montel Harris fell just short of the first down, sealing a 24-21 Maryland victory. Harris who put up a great game with 27 rushes for 116 yards and two touchdowns, also committed a game-changing fumble at his own 38 in the first half. It resulted in a go-ahead touchdown.

True-freshman quarterback Chase Rettig threw a pair of interceptions. The first set up Maryland’s third touchdown and the second killed a momentum-generating drive late in the first half. Despite a fourth quarter rally from the Eagles (2-5, 0-4 ACC), the BC offense fell just short of the comeback, failing to move the ball with two chances after cutting the deficit to three.

Three BC starters were injured in the game, included safety Wes Davis who was rolled off the field on a stretcher with a neck injury. He was taken to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for precautionary tests after reporting movement in all extremities.

Maryland (5-2, 2-1 ACC) won in New England for the first time since beating BC at Foxboro Stadium, 31-13, on Sept. 14, 1985. A crowd of 36,078 turned out at Alumni Stadium, as the Eagles dropped their third straight game at Chestnut Hill.

Read More: ACC, Boston College, Chase Rettig, Maryland
Halftime Report: BC trails 21-7 at 3:05 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL– Turnovers are killing Boston College.

And so is inconsistent quarterback play. Montel Harris, who put up a great first half with 84 yards on 16 carries, also committed a game-changing fumble at his own 38. It resulted in the go-ahead touchdown. Chase Rettig threw a pair of interceptions. The first set up Maryland’s third touchdown and the second killed a momentum-generating drive late in the half.

BC (2-4, 0-3 ACC) won the coin toss against Maryland (4-2, 1-1 ACC) and elected to kick off to a Maryland offense that managed to score seven points against Clemson last Saturday.

The Maryland offense responded to the challenge thanks to some BC miscues and a huge first half by quarterback Danny O’Brien, taking a 21-7 lead into halftime at Alumni Stadium. BC lineman Alex Albright suffered a right ankle injury and his return to the game is questionable. Albright has 4.5 sacks on the year for the Eagles, leading the team.

Maryland struck first in Alumni with a 48-yard drive that finished with a 2-yard touchdown pass from O’Brien to wide Torrey Smith. The Terrapins converted two fourth downs on the drive against a BC defense that has refused to give up long plays.

Boston College responded with their longest touchdown drive of the season, capped off by Rettig’s 3-yard pass to Bobby Swigert. The drive covered 75-yards over 8 minutes, nine seconds and tied the game at 7-7. The drive meant much more for BC than just seven points; it was the type of drive that BC had failed to finish off all season.

The Eagles entered Saturday’s matchup against ACC Atlantic opponent Maryland with a chip on their shoulder after last week’s close 24-19 loss to Florida State—the fourth straight loss for the Eagles. The Eagles played some of their best football this year against Florida State, giving the ranked Seminoles a fight for an entire four quarters.

The reemergence of Harris began with a 72-yard run on the first play from scrimmage for the Eagles against the Seminoles. Also, sophomore defensive back Jim Noel made his second start for BC after recording two interceptions—one which he returned 43-yards for a touchdown against Florida State.

One highlight for the BC faithful was Harris’ 84-yard first half which pushed the junior over 3,000 rushing yards for his career. Harris is fourth on the all-time rushing list and now trails all-time leading rusher Derrick Knight who had 3,725 yards in his heralded career.

However, BC would soon be hindered by miscues that have cost them countless games so far in the season. Montel Harris fumbled at the BC 38-yard line to set up an O’Brien touchdown to wide out Ronnie Tyler for a 9-yard completion, putting the Terrapins up 14-7. Only a few minutes later, Rettig threw an interception to Antwine Perez at the BC 33-yard line, leading to another O’Brien touchdown to Kerry Boykins for a 6-yard completion.

Down 21-7, the Eagles attempted to mount one final drive before the end of the half, but Rettig’s pass to Swigert was intercepted by Perez—his second pick of the game—with 21 seconds left in the half.

O’Brien finished the first half 14-for-23 attempts with 98 yards and three touchdowns. Rettig have an uninspiring half going 5-for-11 with 24 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. BC will need to enter the second half with a team dedicated to preventing turnovers, creating scoring opportunities, and limiting the effectiveness of Maryland’s passing game.

Read More: Boston College, Chase Rettig, Danny O'Brien, Maryland
The Three-Pointer: BC turtles vs. Terps 01.16.10 at 8:38 pm ET
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Maryland point guard Greivis Vasquez takes it right at Boston College during Saturday's game at Conte Forum.

Point guard Greivis Vasquez and Maryland took it right at Boston College during Saturday's game at Conte Forum. (AP)

For the second straight weekend, a team from Maryland came up the coast and walloped a New England team. In a game eerily similar to the Patriots’ playoff debacle vs. the Baltimore Ravens, the Maryland Terrapins hit the BC Eagles in the mouth early and ran away with a 73-57 win.

The Eagles came out flat, and midway through the game their body language made it appear that they would rather be anywhere else but on the court on this Saturday afternoon. Eagles coach Al Skinner spent a little extra time talking to his guys after the game, and said his squad needs to start playing harder to get back to the winning ways.

“It goes back to lack of effort,” said Skinner, who’s Eagles fell to 10-8 on the season. “It’s disturbing. The focus, whatever you want to call it, it has to improve.”

The Eagles clearly are struggling, losing three straight games by double-digit points, and Skinner couldn’t remember a time when a team he coached just didn’t show up to play.

“I’ve had some teams that have lacked talent but didn’t lack a certain toughness, and this team, they are playing that way,” he said.

Here are three things we learned from a forgettable day in Chestnut Hill.

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?

The Eagles sit at 1-3 in the ACC and find themselves looking up at the field. Luckily for BC, nobody in the league is making a move to separate from the pack.

Heading into Saturday night’s action, Virginia (2-0) was the only team undefeated in the league, and the Eagles still have 12 regular-season games left against ACC competition, starting with two tough road tests this week against Miami and Virginia Tech.

Skinner said there is plenty of time for a turnaround.

“The water is muddy in the league right now, meaning there is no clear-cut favorite,” he said. “Everybody’s got a tarnish. I think that’s why I’m feeling as strongly as I do. There’s still some light at the end of the tunnel. There’s still some hope, so we’ve just got to come out and have an improved focus.”

SHOULD JACKSON START?

Sophomore guard Reggie Jackson came off the bench for the second straight game and provided one of the only sparks in the lackluster defeat. Jackson scored 11 points and dished out five assists, and he got to the line four times because he was trying to push the ball to the basket.

In Wedneday night’s loss to Duke, Jackson came off the bench and tied a career-high with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, and one might wonder if more minutes will be coming his way.

CELEBRATING IN STYLE

Greivis Vasquez didn’t score 20 points or more for the eighth straight game, but he did enough to punish the Eagles on his 23rd birthday. Vasquez scored a game-high 17 points, dished out nine assists and seemed to be all over the court.

“He just reads the game as he goes along,” Terrapins coach Gary Williams said. “All the great point guards do that, but Greivis has that extra edge I think at that 6-5, 6-6 size that he gets a few more angles to make plays in there.”

Vasquez seemed to be enjoying himself out there, as he gestured to Maryland fans in the crowd a number of times late in the second half.

“That’s my personality,” he said. “That’s who I am. Just trying to make this game fun.”

Read More: al skinner, Boston College, Garry Williams, Greivis Vasquez
Skinner ‘very disturbed’ by his team’s effort at 7:30 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL  –  When your team lays a gigantic egg on its home floor, that’s humiliating. When your team does it without showing much fight, that’s something altogether more serious.

That was the message Al Skinner had for his team following a disheartening 73-57 stinker at the hands of the Maryland Terrapins Saturday at Conte Forum.

“Yeah, in very gentle terms,” Skinner said, tongue-in-cheek, when asked if he made his feelings known to his team.

What led to the general malaise? Was it the 18 turnovers? Was it a hangover from the nightmare second half against Duke just three days earlier? Was it just senior Greivis Vasquez’s lucky day on his 23rd birthday and an inspired Maryland team?

“I’m not exactly sure what it is,” said Skinner, who didn’t address the media for nearly a full hour afterward. “That’s what took me so long to get down here.”

“Usually, I can walk down here and feel satisfied and comfortable with out effort, and I’m not. For me it’s a terrible place to be because very rarely have I felt lack of effort. Everyone thinks I’m laid back but this is the one part of the game that’s very disturbing to me.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: ACC basketball, al skinner, Boston College, Maryland
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