So, what do you make of the Boston College Eagles in 2013-14? For the overwhelming majority of the season, the Eagles were a disappointment, and their final record of 8-24 overall and 4-14 in the ACC shows that. But if you are grading the Eagles, what do you do when you consider their overall body of work vs. what Boston College did on one of its final exams, as it were? Yes, it was Boston College, the team that has faded into irrelevance in the ACC for the most part, that went into Syracuse and knocked off a 25-0 Orange team that was thinking national championship.
Sure, the Orange slid a lot after that, but it was a small glimpse of what might have been for the Eagles this season had they been at full strength and had they been able to give top scorer Olivier Hanlan a little bit of help. Here’s the evaluation on both sides of the ball for Boston College, as well as overall.
OFFENSE: Any team with Hanlan on it has the chance to have a decent offense. He only missed scoring in double figures twice this season, and Hanlan has a high of 38 in a win over Florida Atlantic. Hanlan even scored 25 in a loss to Duke and managed 14 against a very tough Virginia defense. But Hanlan, who recently decided to return to BC for his junior season, didn’t get enough help. Despite Hanlan averaging 18.5 PPG, the Eagles were 240th in the nation in scoring and shot 44.6 percent from the field, about middle of the road related to the rest of the country. BC’s offense got better later in the year, but the Eagles only needed 62 (in overtime) to win at Syracuse. Hanlan returning is big, but others have to pick up the pace. GRADE: C.
DEFENSE: Other than the one game against Syracuse, Boston College did very little right defensively this season. Boston College averaged fewer than 23 defensive rebounds a game and the Eagles were 268th in the country in scoring defense. This is unacceptable given how many of the nation’s top defenses reside in the ACC (Clemson, Virginia, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, etc.). New coach Jim Christian‘s team at Ohio University last season was far better defensively than was BC, so while the grade for 2013-14 might be low, the future looks bright. And the win over Syracuse should have taught Hanlan and others returning that the Eagles can be competitive if their defense is on point. GRADE: C-.
OVERALL: Boston College was a disappointment, and the departure of Steve Donahue in favor of Christian is an indication of that. The Eagles weren’t expected to contend, but 4-14 was a dip below what many would have considered even for a bad BC season. Nowhere to go but up, it would seem. GRADE: D+.
Twitter-style, the 2013-14 Eagles in 140 (or less): “Olivier Hanlan puts on a clinic, scores 25, but struggling Boston College falls again. #ButHeyBCBeatSyracuse”