It's Back to Business for BC Men's Basketball as Practice Kicks Off
Boston College men's basketball played one of the last games of the '19-'20 season before the COVID-19 pandemic halted the remainder of the ACC tournament and the entire NCAA tournament. Like every other collegiate sport on campus, BC sent their players home, but now they are back, and will try to turn heads this upcoming season. The Eagles began practice this week as they prepare for the start of college basketball.
It was a busy offseason for the Eagles. Head coach Jim Christian, who is entering his seventh season with the Eagles was retained by the school. He is going to look to bring his program to their first NCAA tournament since 2009. He currently has a 75-119 record with the Eagles, and a 25-85 record in conference. This is a big year for the head coach, as it is crucial that the program take a step forward.
The team will need to replace some of their production from last year as center Nik Popovic and guard Derryck Thornton have both graduated. They added a sensational four star forward Demarr Langford, the younger brother of guard Makai Ashton Langford---who also is eligible to play this year after sitting out last year due to transfer rules. Justin Vander Baan, a local center, also will be joining as a true freshman.
The biggest addition to the team will be the return of guard Wynston Tabbs, who missed the entirety of the 2019-20 season after a knee injury. In his first season with the team in '18-19 the 6-2 guard showed a lot of promise, averaging 13.9 points per game. Now he is back at practice. "I feel really good. It's just so good to get back out there with my teammates." Tabbs said. "Just showcase my results in practice."
Steffon Mitchell, one of the leaders of the team is also back for his final season in Chestnut Hill. As a junior last year, he was fourth in the conference in rebounds per game with 8.7. As one of the elders on the team he is working to set the tone with some of the younger players this year. "I could show guys that like you can just hustle and do the little things," Mitchell explained. "They're teaching me some other things that maybe I don't do well such as be more of a vocal leader."
To help give his team some depth, the program brought in a handful of graduate transfers. Rich Kelly, a guard from Quinnipiac, is instant offense, averaging 16.7 points per game last season, and shooting 45% from three point range. "Rich is an efficient playmaker, an underrated scorer, and one of the elite shooters in college basketball," Christian added. "He will be able to step in and contribute at both guard spots for us."
Frederick Scott, a forward from Rider averaged 12.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 30 games. He reached double-digits in the scoring column 20 times last season. "Frederick can affect the game inside and out, scoring at the rim and beyond the arc. He is also tough to keep off the glass, especially on the offensive end, and that will complement our roster greatly," Christian explained.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they have already lost one of their graduate transfers. Andre Adams, a big from Southern Utah suffered an injury during the summer and will miss the season. James Karnik, another forward from Lehigh, will need a waiver if he is to play this year.
Now the team is practicing as they prepare for the start of the season. Practices have kicked up from four hours a week, to eight. "It's just excited to see the guys competing and ready to play," said Christian.
The team is going to need to gel quickly, as the Eagles start the season on November 25-26 at the Empire Classic at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. Their opponents will be #1 Villanova along with #2 Baylor and #12 Arizona State.
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Video courtesy of BCEagles.com