The time has come for Boston College men’s basketball to set the bar high again.
The last two seasons were dedicated to a ground-up rebuild, the likes of which we’ve not seen around here for some time. At the start of the 2011-12 season, two-thirds of the new roster were freshmen. Now, as we approach the 2013-14 Boston College basketball season, a majority of the team are upperclassmen and all five regular starters from a year ago are back.
Suddenly, the Eagles have one of the more experienced teams in the ACC, and they’ll need all the help they can get in this conference that has expanded to take in three very good programs in Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame. Next year, the league swaps Maryland for Louisville, making it even tougher than it already will be. Given how the Atlantic Coast Conference is bound to be the toughest league in the nation, is it reasonable to expect big things from this improving Eagles team? Is it wise to expect anything from them at all, or is Boston College finally going to get back to respectability under Steve Donahue?
These are not predictions. Repeat, these are not predictions.
2013-14 Boston College Basketball: Minimum Expectations
• Be on the NCAA Tournament bubble in March. Anything less than this would be a significant disappointment. The Eagles took a nice step forward late last season, and as it stands they need to add maybe three or four more wins to be in tournament territory. Yes, their schedule has gotten more difficult, but considering that they will be rewarded in victory with a high RPI and SOS, Boston College does not need to wipe the floor with the ACC to make the dance. 19-20 wins should do it, but even getting on the bubble and contending for the tournament in February and March would be another step for this team. They are capable of it.
That’s the only one. For each of the past two seasons, we had to carefully manage our expectations. That’s not quite the case now as we’ve gotten to the point where this team has to put up or shut up, as it were. In the first year of a rebuild, you’re just happy if they win any games. In the second, you want to see improvement, but you still can’t count on much of anything. It’s the third year and it’s time for the Eagles to find some respectability again.
Let’s face it: if this season doesn’t amount to much in terms of results or bubble excitement (at a minimum), then it likewise wouldn’t be reasonable to expect the Eagles to take a big jump next season. Next year, by the way, should and must be a solid year or the coach could lose his job. This team’s time is coming very soon, if at all, and it’s time to start seeing it now.
As it stands, Boston College is a borderline tournament team. They could be last four in or first four out based upon current expectations and a cursory evaluation of the roster, but it matters not because it’s November. What we do know is that in some tangible sense, the Eagles have to start putting it all together this year, or the last couple years may end up being for nothing.
Tomorrow, season predictions.
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