Last night, Boston College won its fourth consecutive game to start the season, taking down Harvard by a score of 73-64.
For a third straight game, the Eagles found themselves in a close game, and for a third straight game, they were able to make the winning plays they needed to. Led by Quinten Post, Jaeden Zackery, and Claudell Harris Jr., the Eagles were able to overcome a 10-point second-half deficit, and secured BC’s first 4-0 start since the 2007-2008 season. Post stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, 19 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Zackery gave the Eagles 18 points, 6 rebounds, and assists, in addition to his suffocating perimeter defense. Harris Jr. had his best game in an Eagles’ uniform with 19 points and 3 assists, hitting multiple clutch shots in the second half to push BC past Harvard.
Read the full recap here.
Here's four takeaways as BC picked up the win over Harvard.
Emerging Big 3:
With Harris Jr improving with each game, Post, Zackery, and him seem to be forming something of a big three on offense. The trio was responsible for scoring 57 of BC’s 73 points, and whenever one of the three couldn’t get a shot, someone else took over. Zackery controlled the first half, scoring 12 of his 18 in the frame. Meanwhile, Harris Jr took control in the second half, scoring 13 of his points down the stretch. With Post remaining consistent throughout the entire game, the Eagles always had multiple reliable offensive options on the floor. Fans that watched the Eagles play the past few seasons know that they have had a tendency to stagnate on offense at times. With this trio, and a more experienced supporting cast, BC should have far fewer of these stoppages on offense.
Lack of Bench Production:
While Post, Zackery, and Harris Jr. were all excellent last night, Earl Grant might have expected a bit more production from his bench. The Eagles did not score a single bench point until Elijah Strong converted on 1-of-2 free throws with 10:52 to play in the 2nd half. BC finished with just 7 total bench points, with Mason Madsen hitting a pair of layups, Chas Kelley III scoring on a drive to the basket, and Strong’s aforementioned free throw. While both Madsen and Donald Hand Jr. have proven to be sparks off the bench in previous games, Grant’s team could certainly use some more consistency off the bench. On a team that plays the physical brand of basketball that BC does, foul trouble is inevitable, so having reliable options off the bench is absolutely crucial.
Until the Eagles prove otherwise, front court depth will continue to be a key takeaway for me. While it was another monster game for Post, it was also another game where he had to play nearly the entire game. Just six minutes into the game, Post left the game for sophomore center Armani Mighty, who only stayed on the court for 48 seconds after fouling in consecutive possessions. And in the second half, Post was on the floor for nearly 19 consecutive minutes, before leaving the game with the victory all but secured. And it certainly did not help that Devin McGlockton was off the floor for most of the second half with foul trouble. However, this forced Grant to put freshman forward Strong in the game. Strong had not played a single minute since the season opener, but provided the Eagles with an energetic 5 minutes, hounding the offensive boards. If Strong can continue to provide productive minutes off the bench, perhaps he can be an answer in the front court for Grant.
As mentioned in the recap, for the first time since 2007, Boston College has started the season 4-0. In each of the last three games, the Eagles fell behind in the second half. And in each of the last three games, the Eagles were able to find ways to win. Many have said this, but in past seasons, Boston College simply does not win these games. And the fact that the Eagles have been able to consistently win these close games is a sign of a maturing group. Should these winning habits translate into ACC play, Boston College could be poised to make a lot of noise in the Conference.
Following this victory, the undefeated Eagles fly to Kansas City, Missouri to participate in the Hall of Fame Classic. Boston College will first take on Colorado State in the semifinals on Wednesday the 23rd. Should the Eagles win on Wednesday, they would likely face 8th-ranked Creighton in the finals. Should they lose, they would likely face Loyola-Chicago, who they would likely be favored against. The tournament will be a great experience for the Eagles, as Colorado State is ranked 54th in the KenPom rankings, and a top-10 opponent is always an excellent test. The Eagles return to Conte Forum on Saturday December 2nd, where they will take on NC State Wolfpack.