Boston College won their first game of the year on Thanksgiving defeating URI 69-64 in the Empire Classic consolation game. What were some of the takeaways from the game? We explore.
1. Jay Heath's foot injury still remains a mystery. What we do know is that it happened against Villanova, the severity is still up in the air. From Jim Christian's comments after the game, it sounded like Heath wanted to play yesterday but the team doctor shut him down. They are going to evaluate further before they determine if he can play against St. John's.
2. Free throw issues reared its ugly head again. The Eagles only shot 58.8% from the charity stripe. Particularly egregious was Steffon Mitchell (1-5), and CJ Felder (4-8). It seems common sense, but BC has to get better here. This is going to cost them games in the future if they continue to leave easy points off the board.
3. Luckily for BC, URI struggled at the foul line as well.
4. Thought Demarr Langford really took a big leap forward in his second game. Only finished with seven points, but played with more confidence and seemed to gel more with the team. Though that dunk attempt in the second half was a little ill advised to say the least.
5. CJ Felder has taken a big jump forward this season. Clearly he is going to be the starting center moving forward. Remember he was 17 when he started last season, but you can see his ability and confidence growing every game.
6. Makai Ashton Langford found the worst game possible to get in quick foul trouble. With Heath out, he had three fouls ten minutes into the game.
7. That being said, Rich Kelly did a solid job filling in those extra minutes. Hit a HUGE three pointer in the second half to tie the game. Kelly is going to be what he is, he isn't overly quick and won't create his own shot, but is a spot shooter, which will be valuable down the line.
8. Hat tip to Luka Kraljevic, who has dealt with a lot of criticism in the past year. He gave BC some big minutes on Thursday, and hit a clutch three to stop a URI run. After the game Christian praised his center, and talked about how valuable he was in the game.
9. This is not to say the refs were biased or unfair at all, but my lord did they need to swallow their whistle and let the kids play. It was just out of control to start the game, foul after foul, with no flow to the game at all.
10. Jay Bilas's rant about flops was right on. URI's Jalen Carey took a massive one against Demarr Langford that was comically bad, and the refs fell for it. Bilas mentioned that if the refs want flops out of the game they should stop calling them. He was dead on.
11. Wynston Tabbs is definitely on his way to getting back to his old self, but there is definitely still some rust there. While he shot well, and hit some big shots for the Eagles on Thursday, he still had five turnovers.
12. Steffon Mitchell brings such a level of consistency on the defensive side of the ball. The perimeter defense was definitely weak at points, but overall I thought the team played solid defense and held a URI team that put up 88 points against Arizona State to 64 points.