There is no shortage of winter sports at Boston College. The men’s basketball team’s winless improvement has gotten a great deal of attention, as has the hockey team for reasons that are obvious, but it is reasonable and appropriate to throw the other teams a bone. Today, women’s basketball is the lucky team.
Last season under Sylvia Crawley was, in a word, terrible. We spoke at length about how bad the new-look men’s team was last year, but the ladies were actually even worse. The BC women went 7-23 last season, and got just plain obliterated in quite a few of them.
Now, under Erik Johnson, there are signs of improvement. This season, the Eagles are 8-9 with two conference wins so far and crushing losses are much more rare. In a way, the women’s team parallels the men because both had very tough years in 2011-12 and are getting better in 2012-13, though they sit around .500 and have a number of close losses.
Tonight, the ladies have a game at Virginia (the men will play the Cavaliers in Charlottesville on Saturday). The last time these two squads met, it was in the first round of the ACC Tournament: Virginia beat the Eagles by 30+ points. A curiosity here is that both of BC’s ACC wins so far this season are on the road, so perhaps another one is in their near future.
Katie Zenevitch has done it all for Boston College so far this season, leading her team in points per game, rebounds per game, free throw percentage (maybe the men’s team can borrow her), and field goal percentage. She’s a big part of the improvement for that team, but she does have some help: for example, Kristen Doherty averages only half a point less than Zenevitch, while Nicole Boudreau and Kerri Shields also average more than ten points per game.
It’s harder to say where the ceiling is for this team as Johnson attempts to rebuild the program, but like on the other side of the gender divide, they are better than they used to be. Contending in the ACC does not seem like it is on the menu this season, but when you’re coming off of a season where you lost 23 games, and movement in the right direction is good movement. By all accounts, Johnson does have BC on the right track.