For the Boston College Eagles, their No. 1 problem came back to bite them yet again Wednesday afternoon as they started the new year in much the same manner they ended 2013 — getting dominated in rebounding and losing.
Boston College fell to Harvard 73-58 on Wednesday. The Eagles are now just 4-10 on the season, and are already off to an 0-1 start in ACC play, having lost their league opener to Maryland. Against Harvard, forward Ryan Anderson had a decent game with nine rebounds, but the rest of the team combined for just 15 more. Anderson leads the team at just better than seven rebounds per game. The second highest average on the club is Olivier Hanlan, at just 4.3 RPG.
This has been an issue for Boston College all season long. The Eagles are an embarrassing 328th in the nation in rebounding, getting a paltry 31.5 boards per game. On Wednesday, Boston College managed just 24, a rather pathetic total for a Division I basketball team. Harvard had a plus-12 advantage in rebounding, and also shot better from the field than the Eagles. The Crimson hit 24-of-48 from the field (50 percent), while Boston College was held to just 40 percent (20-for-50).
BC’s lack of strength inside was also shown in the free-throw disparity in the Harvard loss. The Crimson (12-1), who have a valid argument for being in the top 25, shot 28 free throws to Boston College’s 18. In fact, Harvard hit five more free throws (23) than the Eagles even attempted.
Rebounding is a problem that Boston College has to fix if the bottom of the ACC isn’t going to be the Eagles’ destination this season. But 14 games in, and near the bottom of the country on the glass, it may be too late to fix anything this year with conference play really getting going starting on Saturday. BC starts with Clemson and Virginia Tech before back-to-back games against conference title contenders Syracuse and North Carolina.
With only one win of note this season (over 8-5 Washington), the Eagles must either fix their rebounding issues quick, or risk getting buried by their ACC foes and losing 20-plus games this season.