A new era is upon 2014-15 Boston College basketball, which officially gets underway later this week.
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Last season, in the final year of the Steve Donahue era, the expectation for the Eagles could be summarized simply: after two years of a complete roster rebuild, Boston College had to take a step forward in year three. That improvement never came, and the Eagles had one of their worst seasons in program history instead.
Save for a fluke victory over then-#1 Syracuse in February, it may have ended up the worst Boston College basketball season in modern times.
That year and the failure of the rebuild cost Donahue his job. Jim Christian has come in to try to do the job that the previous regime could not in rebuilding the roster and getting Boston College back to the tournament for the first time since 2009.
2014-15 Boston College basketball is not going to be making the NCAA Tournament any time soon; at least, that is what logic would dictate. In the first year under this new coaching staff, what are reasonable expectations?
• Whatever your expectations are, downplay them. I was critical of the Christian hire when it was made, and admittedly, it is going to take a while to convince me that he is the fit this program needs. With that said, whatever your feelings on that are, Jim Christian has to get a pass this season.
We are in the middle of another complete roster rebuild, and the program has just had its worst three-year stretch ever (that is not an exaggeration; count up the losses yourself). Taking an “I want it all right now” attitude, or one that would harbor legitimate disappointment if the Eagles do not take a huge jump forward is not fair to the coach or the team.
• Signs of life. This is the only other expectation we can reasonably have of the 2014-15 Boston College basketball team. So many times last year, the Eagles looked like they were going through the motions or making fundamental errors to the point of being comical.
While it is not fair to Jim Christian to hold him to a high standard this season in terms of the bottom line, it is appropriate to expect that he can coach the stupid mistakes out of this team, at least to some extent. Boston College has been the opposite of a crisp fundamental team over the last few seasons, and ultimately, that falls on coaching. Smoothing out some of the unforced errors would be a good start.
Again, downplay whatever your expectations may be, but it would be nice to see something by way of in-game preparedness.