Boston College 2013-14 Year in Review, Part II: Men’s Basketball

2 of 5

2013-14 Boston College Men’s Basketball: The Season, 2013 Portion

The Boston College Eagles, who were the target of hopes for a winning season at least and an NCAA Tournament bid at best, opened their season on Friday, November 8 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence. The Eagles were thrown into the fire immediately, and that would be a theme: the non-conference schedule was up there in terms of difficulty, ultimately ranked 44th-hardest out of over 300 Division I basketball teams.

Surely, we thought, the Eagles could find a way to beat the best if they wanted to be the best. Two years of languishing in the ACC basement would not be in vain.

In that first game, Boston College lost a close 82-78 game to Providence, in which Bryce Cotton again demolished the Eagles. This time, he scored 28, outdueling Hanlan’s 23 and leading his Friars (soon to be an NCAA Tournament team and a Big East champion) to victory.

The defeat was a disappointment, but soon overlooked as the Eagles would return to the court two days later to face the Massachusetts Minutemen at
the TD Garden. The problem was that the Eagles, who led by four at halftime, were run out of the building in the second half, giving up 54 points to the Amherstonians and losing by an 86-73 score. Cady Lalanne of UMass had 27, and the Eagles were 0-2. Had both games ended after twenty, they would be 2-0.

Discouragement grew amongst the faithful, but all would be forgiven if Boston College could beat the Toledo Rockets in their home opener. It looked as though they would do just that, but the Eagles blew an 8-point lead with about three and a half minutes to go, allowing Toledo to go on a 19-8 run over the final minutes to stun Boston College to an 0-3 start.

It was at this point that the fears of a disappointing season began manifesting themselves prominently. Many had not given up, but the writing was on the wall. From there, Boston College would win three of their next four: Florida Atlantic, Washington, and Sacred Heart, losing only to eventual national champion Connecticut between November 17 and 26.

But the wheels would only stay in one state for this 2013-14 Eagles team, and that was “flying off.” Boston College lost their first three games of December somewhat embarrassingly, dropping an 88-67 loss at Purdue in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, a 78-62 defeat in Los Angeles to USC, and an 88-80 fade-out to Maryland at Conte Forum; Dez Wells had a career day for the Terps with 33 points.

Boston College would climb to 4-7 with a win over Division II Philadelphia University on December 15, but being in a two-point game with the Rams with ten minutes to go convinced nobody that it was a statement win over an inferior opponent.

The Eagles then lost their last two games of 2013 with a 77-67 facepalm-inducer at Auburn and a 69-50 laugher against VCU at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Boston College entered the new year at 4-9, already all but finished in terms of an NCAA Tournament bid. Focus began to shift from “how good can this season be?” to “how many losses will get the coach fired?”

Next page: the 2013-14 season, January-March 2014