2016-2017 Season Review
Well, it was progress I guess for Jim Christian and the Boston College basketball program. After winning just 7 games and going 0-18 in ACC play in the 2015-2016 campaign, the Eagles went 9-23 overall and 2-16 in the ACC last season. Their best wins in the non-conference portion of their schedule were Auburn and Providence, who made the NCAA Tournament. They started ACC play by knocking off Syracuse and then beat NC State three games later to improve to 2-2. The Eagles would not win a game the rest of the year, as they went on to lose their final 15 games. They were a lot more competitive than the season before in ACC play, as their point differential improved almost seven points. In Jim Christian’s three seasons at BC, they’ve won 13, 7 and 9 games. Here’s to hoping they get back in double figures this season.
AJ Turner, who started in 28 of Boston College’s 32 games, decided in the off-season to use his final two years of eligibility elsewhere, as he transferred to Northwestern. The 6’7 G/F averaged 8.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG and 3.0 APG. Turner hit 49 threes at a 37.1% clip. Connor Tava was lost to graduation. As a senior, the 6’6 Tava started 27 games, averaging 5.9 PPG and 5.4 RPG. Also lost to graduation was 6’9 Mo Jeffers. Jeffers started 31 of 32 games and averaged 5.6 PPG and a team high 5.6 RPG.
Although the Eagles lost three starters from last season, they do return their top three scorers. 6’7 junior guard Jerome Robinson returns after putting up a team high 18.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG and a team best 3.4 APG. Robinson also had a team high 1.7 steals per game and hit 54 threes.
Ky Bowman, a 6’1 sophomore guard, scored 14.3 PPG, grabbed 4.8 RPG and dished out 2.9 APG. Bowman hit a team best 62 threes at an outstanding 44.9% clip.
Jordan Chatman, a 6’5 junior guard, came off the bench last year to averaged 8.6 PPG and 58 threes at a 41.7% rate. In the frontcourt, Boston College brings back 6’11 sophomore Nik Popovic, who averaged 6.1 PPG and 3.5 RPG in just 13.8 MPG. An expanded role should see those numbers climb this season. 6’7 sophomore Mike Sagay and 6’10 sophomore Johncarlos Reyes only played in a combined 10.9 MPG, but will likely see larger roles this season with the losses of Jeffers and Gava in the frontcourt.
Vin Baker Jr. is a 6’9 forward and the son of former NBA star Vin Baker Sr. Baker grew from 6’2 to 6’9 in a year, so he brings guard skills with his large frame. Luka Kraljevic is a 6’10 big man that is a top 50 European recruit. Stefon Mitchell is another recruit with good size. He’s 6’8 but only 175 pounds, so he’ll need to grow into his body. Finally, Avery Wilson, a 6’4 guard, is a strong guard with a football background. Jim Christian also brings in Illinois State graduate transfer Deontae Hawkins. The forward averaged 14.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG and hit 70 threes at a 44.3% clip last season for the redbirds. He was Second Team All-MVC.
The seat has to be getting warm for Jim Christian, as the Eagles have gone just 29-67 under him. There needs to finally be signs of improvement this season. The Eagles backcourt should be solid with Robinson, Bowman and Chatman, but the frontcourt is definitely a concern, though adding Hawkins helps. One thing the Eagles have going for them is they have a bunch of guys that can really shoot the ball from the outside. They have the ability to beat some good teams if they get hot from deep. It will still be another long season for BC, but hopefully it won’t be as long as the past two years.