2007-08 Boston College Basketball Preview
Boston College Eagles
Overall Rank: #104
Conference Rank: #10 ACC
2006-07: 21-12, 10-6, 3rd (t)
2006-07 postseason: NCAA
Boston College has lost a ton of talent off their NCAA team of a year ago and there are more questions than answers on Chesnut Hill. Tyrese Rice will be on the floor about 40 minutes a game after averaging 17.6 points and 5.4 assists per game last season. Rice is a superstar, but this is not the SWAC we are talking about…teams in the ACC need more than one star. Yet, there is a healthy amount of talent that has yet to be given an opportunity, but they will not have much time to turn from bench warmers to scoring threats.
Jared Dudley held the team together last year, averaging a team high 19.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals during his senior campaign. Without Dudley’s leadership, BC could be in trouble. The Eagles got used to playing without Sean Williams, who only played in 15 games last year. Still, Williams was a huge presence under the basket and BC will not be able to find that again very easily. Sean Marshall was a consistent scorer throughout his four year career, culminating with a 14.8 point per game average as a senior. While Marshall spent his career out of the spotlight thanks to Dudley and Craig Smith, the Eagles will be yearning for a player like Marshall on the perimeter. With Marquez Haynes, who averaged 3.8 points per game last season, transferring the backcourt depth has a whole lot of issues. Seldom used Tyler Neville and Akida McLain, who played in just two games last year before exiting the program, will not be suiting up for the Eagles in 2007-2008.
Boston College will need the newcomers to make a big impact right away, especially on the perimeter. Rakim Sanders will likely find a starting job on the wing. The 6-6 Pawtucket, Rhode Island native is a great scorer and good shooter. He will need to develop a more consistent long range shot to be an effective shooting guard, and he is better suited to play at small forward; yet, this year he will likely spend most of his time at the two guard. Biko Paris will be forced into action early and often. If the 6-1 guard can develop into a decent option off the bench as a freshman, it will be a big help to the Eagles. Corey Raji, a 6-5 small forward, will add some depth. He is a tough rebounder, but needs to continue to develop an outside shot before he will be an effective scorer. Courtney Dunn and Josh Southern will add some depth to the frontcourt. Southern, a 6-10 Saginaw, Michigan native, will make an impact right away. His post scoring needs to continue to develop, but Southern will help on the glass as a freshman.
Who to Watch:
The frontcourt has some talent, but it still does not quite put fear into the opposition. John Oates started all 31 games and averaged 2.7 points and 2.9 rebounds. Tyrelle Blair will not put up big numbers either, but did a decent job as a defensive presence under the basket. Shamari Spears and Tyler Roche will likely battle it out for the small forward spot early in the year. Both earned a handful of starts last year, but one or the other needs to develop a little more consistency to secure the starting job. At least there are options up front, but whether or not this group can step up and replace the production of the departed players remains to be seen.
This is still Boston College. There seems to always be unappreciated talented sitting on the BC roster. But who is the next Smith and Dudley for 2007-2008? There might not be one and that is a concern. Rice will single handedly win a few games, but there is a whole lot of production that needs to be replaced. Reaching the NCAAs is a stretch, but if everything comes together quickly, BC might find themselves on the bubble heading into March.
Projected Post-season Tournament: none
Projected Starting Five:
Tyrese Rice, Junior, Guard, 17.6 points per game
Rakim Sanders, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Tyler Roche, Sophomore, Forward, 1.7 points per game
John Oates, Senior, Center, 4.7 points per game
Tyrelle Blair, Senior, Center, 2.7 points per game