2008-09 Boston College Basketball Preview: #90
Boston College Eagles
Overall Rank: #90
Conference Rank: #9 ACC
2007-08: 14-17, 4-12, 11th
2007-08 postseason: none
Boston College has their team leader in Tyrese Rice. As a junior last year the point guard averaged 21.0 points, 5.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. With Rice’s leadership, the Eagles and Coach Al Skinner can surpass their expectations, but Rice needs some help. Even when Rice dropped 42 points on North Carolina or 28 on Duke and Virginia, the team still lost. Are there enough weapons on this team to compliment Rice? There were not last year.
And of the few scoring threats outside of Rice, one of them is leaving. Shamari Spears has opted to transfer after averaging 9.6 points and a team high 6.1 rebounds a year ago. The 6-6 forward’s ability to score around the basket will not be easily replaced with this group. Making matters worse for the frontcourt is the graduations of Tyrelle Blair and John Oates. Neither were prolific scorers, but Blair was a superb shot blocker and Oates would do the dirty work in the paint. Littlle used guards Brennan Bennett and Daye Kaba have wrapped up their playing careers at Boston College.
The frontcourt needs help and Joe Trapani will provide it. As a freshman at Vermont two years ago, the 6-8 forward averaged 11.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest. Those numbers were even better before Trapani went down with an injury and missed seven games right in the heart of the conference schedule. Trapani is not going to be a great rebounder in the ACC, but he will stretch out the defense with his outside shooting ability. Incoming freshman forwards Dallas Elmore and Evan Ravenel will need to provide some depth at the forward spots. Elmore, a 6-5 small forward, is at his best on a fast paced team. BC does not really have the personnel to pull that off this year, but Elmore will be an exciting player to watch over the next few years. More important right now is Ravenel. The 6-8, 260 pound big man is really the team’s only option to back up the five spot. As long as he can play a little defense and grab some rebounds, the Eagles should be happy. If he can do more, they will not complain. Rounding out the class is shooting guard Reggie Jackson. Jackson, an AAU teammate of Elmore, is a great scorer and slasher and could be the next in line of under-recruited players who turn into stars on Chestnut Hill.
Who to Watch:
The other scorer besides Rice is Rakim Sanders. The 6-5 wing is the most consistent long range shooter on the team and will use his size to help out on the glass. His size is also an asset for getting to the basket and finishing above the rim. Biko Paris had a good enough freshman campaign to step into a starting role this year, but that would push Sanders to the two guard spot and leave the team in trouble on the glass, especially with Trapani coming into the power forward spot. Therefore, Paris will likely be the first guard off the bench and lose the starting job to Corey Raji. Raji, a 6-6 sophomore, is not much of a shooter, but he will get to the basket with ease and should be a consistent double-digit scorer after tallying 8.3 points per game as a freshman.
The group on the perimeter could use some more depth, but at least there are plenty of experienced options. The same cannot be said about the frontcourt. Center Josh Southern has plenty of potential and has shown that he can be a quality scorer around the basket, but his minutes were limited last year. Now he will have to step into a starting role and learn how to stay out of foul trouble. Tyler Roche, a 6-7 forward, is the only other returning player who can man the frontcourt. Southern, Ravenel and Trapani will have to handle a majority of the minutes in the frontcourt. If they struggle, the talent on the perimeter will not be enough to get the Eagles into the postseason.
Projected Post-season Tournament: none
Projected Starting Five:
Tyrese Rice, Senior, Guard, 21.0 points per game
Rakim Sanders, Sophomore, Guard, 11.3 points per game
Corey Raji, Sophomore, Forward, 8.3 points per game
Joe Trapani, Sophomore, Forward, DNP last season
Josh Southern, Sophomore, Center, 5.6 points per game