Twitter

Grading the ACC Basketball Season for 2013-2014

ACC: Season Grade: B-

The year started promising for the newly expanding Atlantic Coast Conference. In the 2013-2014 season the league welcomed former Big East members Syracuse and Pittsburgh in hopes of putting the ACC back on the map of elite power conferences with legitimate title contenders. The preseason poll featured Duke, Syracuse and North Carolina all in the top twelve in the nation, with Virginia as a surprise team at number 24. The season looked promising, but early losses by North Carolina, Virginia and a struggling Duke squad trying to find it’s defensive put Syracuse on the front line as they started the season 25-0. No one can say they expected Virginia to end up winning the regular season and conference tournament championships. This Virginia squad was totally centered around defense, and with their wide range of scorers and depth on the bench, the Cavaliers looked very strong as they claimed a number one seed entering March Madness. The 2014 ACC season was full of upsets, surprises, and winning streaks.

The Orange of Syracuse started off the season hot, winning the Maui invitational with tough wins against major conference opponents Cal, Minnesota, and in the championship, at the time ranked number 18 in the nation, the Baylor Bears. They continued their undefeated run behind the veteran presence of preseason all-ACC team member C.J. Fair. But Fair soon learned he wasn’t going to be needed every night. Junior Jermani Grant, sophomore Trevor Cooney, and most importantly the freshman point guard Tyler Ennis all played key roles in just about every one of their first 25 games as the Orange began the season 25-0 before hosting lowly Boston College. Coming off a recent #1 ranking in the AP and USA Today Polls the Eagles traveled to the Carrier Dome to what was expected to be a blowout in the team’s road to a perfect test. Things went downhill from there as the team fell in 5 of their last eight games of the season. The main problem for the Orange was putting teams away. Of their last 10 games, eight went down to the last minute. Ever since the loss to Boston College they weren’t the same, and to the team’s defense, they faced injury problems as well with Jerami Grant missing several games as well as starting sophomore forward Dejuan Coleman needing knee surgery early into the season.

On March 1st the Orangemen stepped foot on the University of Virginia campus for what was sure to be a game for the ages as the regular season ACC title nearly completely rested upon the winner of this game. The Cavaliers dominated the game from start to finish, turning the usually great Syracuse guards over and not letting their guard down the entire night.  The Cavaliers captures their first ACC title in 33 years on their home court behind the performances of Malcolm Brogdon on the scoreboard, Akil Mitchell in the paint, and Joe Harris who played a game high 33 minutes and controlled the flow of the game both defensively and offensively. After being down one entering the break, UVA came out firing on all cylinders. “It seemed like every time they brought the ball up there was another three going down at the end of the possession,” said Boeheim after the game. Behind 3 point bombs from Justin Anderson and London Perrantes in the second half, the Orange had no response as they shot just 36% from the field on the night. The Virginia Cavaliers, riding high on their first one seed in 30 years, had few problems outing Coastal Carolina and then a tough Memphis squad in the first two rounds of the tournament before they were matched up with the Michigan State Spartans who were also getting hot at the right time of the year. The Spartans downed the Cavaliers in one of the best games of March as the Spartans came back and eventually forward Adrien Payne and guard Gary Harris were too much for Joe Harris to handle. Coach Bennet didn’t view the season as a loss though, they had done something that hadn’t happened at UVA since the 1980’s and revolutionized as well as resurrected a former basketball dynasty that hopes to continue for years to come.

When the year came to a close, there stood one player who, among all the great scorers and future lottery picks in the ACC this season, rose above the rest. Duke’s freshman star Jabari Parker seemed to be a man amongst boys on the court in several games as he slashed to the hoop and took over in the paint. He was much talked about prior to entering the season Parker beat out T.J. Warren of NC State, Joe Harris of Virginia, K.J. McDaniels of Clemson, and Marcus Paige of North Carolina for the ACC player of the year award. Parker is a projected top 5 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, yet he is currently still considering staying in school to redeem himself after the Blue Devils were upset in round of 64 by the lowly 14 seeded Mercer Bears. This Duke team was feared entering the NCAA tournament as they had come off a strong performance in the conference tournament, eventually falling to the red hot Virginia Cavaliers in the championship. The Dukies high powered offense was lead by the guards on defense that forced the second most turnovers a game the ACC, and top 20 in the nation in that category.. At the end of the day, when Coach K’s team comes back to Cameron Indoor without at least a Sweet 16 bid, the season is deemed a failure, and that’s just how we have come to view these powerhouse programs.

Was the season a success for the ACC? A failure? It’s hard to tell. Though the conference received five bids in the NCAA Tournament with Duke, UNC, Syracuse, Virginia, and NC State hearing their names called on selection Sunday. If you view a successful season as seeing the teams do well in the season’s most important postseason, then the ACC had a tough year. The Syracuse Orange fell to upset specialists Dayton in just the second round as all of New York was in a state of disbelief, but they seemed to become used to the upsets at the end of the year. The Tar Heels upset 6 seed Providence College in the first round, but was defeated in their next game versus a strong Iowa State team, their instate rivals didn’t fair well either as NC State fell to a streaking Tennessee squad, led by new Coach Cuonzo Martin, and as mentioned earlier the Blue Devils were upset by Atlantic Sun Conference tournament champion Mercer the biggest upset of the opening weekend of the tournament. Virginia was the one outlier as they advanced to the Sweet 16, though they fell to a team in Michigan State that most people believed was given a seed much worse than they deserved. With the new conference set in stone, this conference will need to do some solid rebuilding in the offseason, but there’s no reason that they teams like Virginia Tech, with the new hiring of Buzz Williams can’t turn it around and pull out a run like UVA had this season. There’s always surprises in the ACC, but Virginia at the top of the leaderboard was shocking to nearly everyone who had been watching these teams since the start of the year.

By Brendan Crowley

DFN Sports

BC Part Ways with Steve Donahue

When Steve Donahue was hired by Boston College four years ago, the hope was that he could lead them to sucessful times in the ACC. However after a 54-76 career record including an 8-24, 4-14 conference record this past season, BC athletic director Brad Bates felt a change was needed. So on this past Tuesday Bates call a press conference to announced that Donahue was being dismiss as the head man at Boston College.
Bates said that several factors when in to this decision, clearly empty seats and mounting losses became too much to overlook. The Eagles were struggling and Bates could not wait any longer for things to turn around. There is no timetable to hire the next coach, Bates admitted that he is looking for a coach that is a good fit long term for the program, and that the current assistance coaches futures at BC would be left up to the new head man. Donahue was giving the chance to talk to the team after the process was over, Bates also address the team.
There is also the future of guard Oliver Hanlan, who is looking into the possible of leaving school and make himself avability for this summer NBA draft. Hanlan has not hired an agent, and is going through the process to see where he fits into what is expected to be a deep draft. Based on what he hears from the NBA he will then make his decision about staying in school and playing his junior year or coming out for the NBA.
There are also rumors that junior Ryan Anderson and sophmore Joe Rahon may be thinking about leaving BC and transfer back to the west coast. All of this could factor in when it comes to hiring the next head coach at Boston College.

Boston College signing day and NFL combine news

It has been a busy month for the Boston College football program, past and future. National signing day saw the Eagles sign seventeen new players to the program. It features two transfer from the Florida Gators who figure to step in right away and help, whilie another Flutie joins the roster starting in the fall.
The newest Flutie is named Trey, played four years at Natick High School where he was the starting quarterback for the team. He is not extecpted to compete for the QB postion at the Heights, instead it is hope that Trey can become a WR for the Eagles a position that needs some upgrading come next season.
The transfers are both from the offensive side of the ball. QB Tyler Murphy who played six games for the Gators last fall before an injury to his throwing shoulder ended his season, is being counted on to compete for what is now a wide open slot at the quarterback spot. With Chase Rettig now moving on, the Eagles are looking for his replacement and Murphy among others will get the chance to show their stuff when spring ball begins.
Offensive lineman Ian Sliberman also arrives from Florida, he too is being look apon as someone who can being experience to an O-Line that had an run first mentally last season. Both Murphy and Silberman have been at BC since second semester started and will get all the reps they need to learn the offense of Boston College.
The NFL combine wrap up earlier this week, the Eagles had several players from the 2013 team in Indy to show their skills to NFL front office personnel. RB Andre Williams, OT Matt Patchan, LB Kevin Pierre- Louis, DE Kasin Edbali, DE Kaleb Ramsey all took there turns trying to improve their draft stock before the NFL draft takes place in May. Time will tell if there performances on the field as well as off the field interviews did that for them.
JOHN Doucette ACC-com staff writer

Boston College 2014 Football Schedule

With national signing day just a couple of weeks away, Boston College announced their 2014 football schedule this past week. It’s a schedule that has BC playing eight teams that played in bowl games in 2013, with seven of them winning there games. The schedule also features four teames that finish the 2013 season in the final Associated Press poll.
The 2014 season will begin on the road at Gillette Stadium as BC will play UMASS and their new head coach Mark Wipple. The month of September will be spent at home as the Eagles will play host to Pittsburgh on national t.v. on Sept.5, USC on Sept.13, FCS member Maine on the 20th of the month and Colorado State on the 27th of September. Four of the first five games BC plays will be non-conference affairs, and all take place in the state of Massachusetts.
In October the schedule filps, after an off week to begin the month. The Eagles will play road games on the 11th at North Carolina State and on the 25th at Wake Forest, with a home game sandwich in between vs. Clemson.
November schedule has the Eagles beginning the month on the road at Virginia Tech, coming back to Alumin Stadium to face new ACC member Louisville, a team that BC has not face in football since 1998. After a second bye week, the Eagles will finished the season on the road aganist the defening national champions Florida State Seminoles on Nov.22, then finished the 2014 season at home vs. the Syracuse Orangmen on Nov.29.
John Doucette Acc.com staff writer

Transfers coming to Boston College

With the 2013 college football season in the books, and with National signing day just weeks away. Boston College could be getting some help from one of head coach Steve Addazio old stomping grounds.
Quarterback Tyler Murphy who started six games in Gainsville, Florida for the Florida Gators has enrolled at Boston College according to reports, and would be eligible to play for the Eagles in 2014. Murphy was 2-4 in those games for the Gators, he threw for 1,216 yards with six touchdowns and five interections. His season was cut short due to a sprained throwing shoulder suffer in a game vs. LSU back in October. He was orginally recruited to Florida by Addazio when he was an assistance with the Gators.
Murphy will be a fifth-year graduate student at Boston College, and will be competing for the starting quarterback job with three other that are already on the roster. With Chase Rettig now gone, Boston College now must look for a new QB for next season.
Also tranfering from the Gators is offensive lineman Ian Silberman, also an fifth-year student who was originally heading to Lousiville. With former head coach Charlie Strong leaving the Cardinal to take the Texas head coaching job Silberman decommited from Lousiville and decided to head to Chesnut Hill. Silberman will be a welcome site for a BC’s offense line that will be losing two member from the 2013 unit.

Why Al Golden Should Stay at Miami

Within the past few days Miami head coach Al Golden has been offered the head coaching position at Penn State. He is the lead candidate for two reasons; one being he played at Penn State and the other being he is a fantastic coach. Although Penn State would be a great opportunity, here are three major reasons why it is ideal for Al to stay at Miami.

  1. The storm is over- Al Golden took the reigns as Miami coach having no idea just what was in store. The NCAA opened an investigation that probed the football program after allegations made by Nevin Shapiro. After nearly three years of uncertainty and self-imposed bowl bans, the NCAA released its findings and handed down punishment to Miami, which involved only the loss of a few scholarships over the next three years. No bowl bans were included, which gave a sigh of relief to the program.
  2. Program on the rise- The ‘Canes are fresh off their best season in a decade, finishing with a record of 9-4 following a disappointing bowl loss to Louisville. Now that there is no cloud hanging over the program, the recruiting trails are hotter than ever. Recruits are no longer afraid to commit because they have no idea of if they will even be able to play in a bowl game. The swag that The U invented in the ‘80s is finally starting to come back, carried by the likes of Duke Johnson and Stacy Coley.
  3. Returning players- The ‘Canes go into the offseason knowing that most of the starters and players who saw significant time are coming back. The most significant losses will be senior QB Stephen Morris and, if he decides to leave, junior LB Denzel Perriman. Both guys were outstanding players, but their departures will not leave significant gaps on the team. Many young players saw a good amount of playing time, so they have no fear of the big stage which is college football. In addition Miami will be hauling in a stellar Top 5 recruiting class.

Based on these three major reasons, it is a better idea for Golden to stay at Miami than to leave and take the Penn State job where he would have to go through the repercussions of NCAA sanctions.

 

By Max Mier
ACC-fans.com Staff Writer

Boston College ends season with a 42-19 Loss to Arizona in the Independence Bowl

When the Boston College Eagles arrived at Chesnut Hill to begin preparing for the 2013 season, there were two goals in mind. One finish the season with an above .500 record, and the other go to a bowl game. The Advocare V-100 Independence Bowl is where BC met up with Pac-12 member the Arizona Wildcats. In a game dominated by speed from the Cats, Arizona took home the 42-19 victory.

The Wildcats jump out early in this game, first quarter 4 play 92 yard march that took only :42 seconds to complete show just how much speed BC would have to content with on this afternoon. RB Ka’Deem Carey (27 rushes, for 169 yards and 2 TD) finish the drive with a 2 yard TD run to give Arizona a quick 7-0 lead. Boston College would respond with a late quarter FG from Nate Freeze of 32 yards to close the cap to 7-3 Wildcats after one quarter.
Early second quarter Freeze would connect again, this time from 41 yards out to bring BC to within one at 7-6 from their it was all Arizona. A 76 yard pick-six interecption of a Chase Rettig (16 of 26, 191 yards, 2 INT) pass by William Parks gave the Cats a 14-6 advantage with 4:16 left in the half. Arizona finish the half with a 10 play, 80 yard drive that was cap off by QB B.J.Denker (17 of 24, 275 yards, 2 touchdowns) finding WR Trey Griffey son of baseball hall of famer Ken Griffey for a 26 yard TD pass. The Wildcats headed to the lockeroom in complete control up 21-6.

In the second half Arizona would add on to their lead, in the thrid quarter Cary ran for his second TD of the game this one from 5 yards out 28-6 Cats. Later in the quarter, Denker show he could run as well as pass scrambling for a 14 yard TD run to give Arizona a 35-6 lead. In the fourth quarter Denker found Griffey again for his second touchdown of the day and of the season, this one a three yard TD pass to make it 42-6 Arizona. Boston College would get two late scores to make the final count a little more respectablity, Andre Williams would finish his senior season with a 4 yard touchdown run his 18th of the season to put him over the 2,100 yard rushing mark for the year. And BC’s future got into the act as freshman RB Tyler Rouse scored from 6 yards out in the final minute to make the final score 42-19 Arizona.
The six touchdowns scored by the Wildcats tied a bowl record, and Ka’Deem Carey 100+ yard rushing day was his 16 straight as a Wildcat.

For Boston College their first season under head coach Steve Addazio ends at 7-6.

John Doucette
ACC-fans.com staff writer

News on Boston College Football

It has been a busy time for BC football, off season awards for players as well getting ready for their first bowl game under head coach Steve Addaizo which takes place on December 31 vs. Arizona in the Independence Bowl.

Andre Williams has been the main focus of the awards season, winning the Doak Walker award as the nation’s top running back. Then a few days later, Williams’ was in New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation. He place fourth in the Heisman balloting making him the fifth BC’s football player in school history to finish in the top ten in balloting for the award. Williams also earn several first team All-American honors, from the American Football Coaches and Football Writers Associations. Selected by the Associated Press, Walter Camp, Sporting news, and was a unanimous first team selection in the ACC, Williams’ was the only players to receive mention on all ballots in voting for the ACC squad. He has also received an invitation to play in the senior bowl next month.

His season speak for itself, he led the nation in rushing yards (2,102), rushing attempts (329), yards pre game (175.2), 200 yards games (5) and 250 yard games (4). His season total in twelve games respresents the ninth best rushing season in college football history. Williams became the first ACC running back to surpass the 2,000 yard mark in a single campaign.

Linebacker Kevin Pierre- Louis earned first team selection in the ACC as well. He recorded 104 tackles, including 64 solo, 105 tackles for losses, 6.0 sacks, and 1 INT. which was returned for a TD in a win over Virginia Tech on November 2. Pierre- Louis leads the ACC and ranks fifth among all active players in the nation in career tackles with 211. He ranks eight among all active players in career tackles pre game at 8.17.

Placekicker Nate Freeze will leave Boston College as the all time leader in points (317). He too was a member of the ACC first team, Freeze was a prefect 18 for 18 in field goals tries in 2013. One of only three FBS placekickers during the regular season to accomplished this feat. Freeze will graduate as BC all time leader in field goals (68), and in his last two seasons at the Heights he was 35 for 37 in field goals tries (94.6%). Freeze made the second team of the FWAA.

In 2015 Boston College will resume their rivalry with Notre Dame, the game will be played at Fenway Park in Boston, Ma. The date for this game is November 21, 2015, with the Fighting Irish being the home team. It will be the first football game played at Fenway since 1968. It will be the first of two games between the schools with the Fighting Irish now a member of the ACC. In 2017 the two teams will meet again in Boston but this time the game will be play on campus at Alumni Stadium as ND will give up their home game to have the opportunity to play at Fenway Park.

 

John Doucette
ACC-fans.com staff writer

A Late Game Field Goal Gives BC a 29-26 Win Over Maryland

The second half of Boston College’s season has become the Andre Williams show, his ability to take this team on his shoulders and deliver the way he has is the reason that BC can start planning for a bowl game. He received some unexpected help from another consistent source, in placekicker Nate Freeze whose three field goals including the game winner gave the Eagles their first ACC win on the road 29-26 over Maryland.

Williams’ was a beast in this game 32 carries for 263 yards and two TD’s. Credit should be giving to an Eagles offensive line that open holes and for him to run through all game long. It did not matter that Maryland defensive game plan was to stack the box against him, Williams was still able to find the holes and gain positive yards. The bad news is that Williams has been taken a beating from all the carries due to a lack of a passing attack. Keeping Williams fresh for the homestretch of the season is a must if BC is going to have a successful bowl game.

Boston College took the opening kickoff and marched down the field on the ground, five rushes from Williams and one from Milies Willis set up Freeze for a twenty-two yard field which he made and Boston College was off to an early 3-0 lead. Maryland would tie the game on a forty-three yard FG, and then would take the lead when a bad shotgun snap was recovered by Maryland Marcus Whitfield. One play later running back Albert Reed took it in from a yard out, and Maryland took a 10-3 lead after one quarter.

Special teams play would factor in to Boston College tying the game in quarter number two, a punt blocked by Manny Asprilla set up a seven yard touchdown run by Williams and the game is tied at 10-10. Maryland defense produced a Chase Rettig interception but the offense could do nothing with the turnover. And so the first half ended with the game knotted at 10 to 10.

Third Quarter Maryland got the opening kickoff and turned it into points, an eight play drive was finished off when quarterback C.J. Brown (19 of 31, 178 yards and 1TD) found wide out Amba Etta Tawo for a thirty-three touchdown strike and Maryland was back in front 17-10. BC would answer that touchdown with a nineteen yard field goal from Freeze his second of the day and the quarter came to an end with Maryland holding a 17-13 advantage.

Fourth quarter saw more mistakes on special teams, as Boston College’s return man Bryce Jones mishandled a punt. It was recovered by Maryland’s Albert Logan, seven plays later quarterback C.J. Brown ran it in from three yards out and Maryland increased their lead to 24-13. On the very first play after the ensuing kickoff, Williams took a handoff and went off the right side, seventy-two yards later he was in the end zone for his 16th touchdown of the season. He also went over two thousand yards for the year, BC was back to within four at 24-20. BC’s defense came up with a turnover of their own when linebacker Steven Daniels pounced on a loose football. Five plays later Rettig (6 of 14, 120 yards, 1TD, and 1INT.) found his favorite target WR Alex Amidon (2 catches, 83 yards and 1 TD) for a seventy-four touchdown reception BC was now up 26-24. The extra point was blocked and returned by Maryland Anthony Nixon for two points and the game was once again tied at 26-26.

BC’s defense came up with a big defensive stop on the next possession forcing a Maryland punt, on a third and four from the BC’s twenty-six yard line Williams rip off a thirty- seven yard run to put the Eagles in field goal range. With the clock winding down to just seconds reaming, Nate Freeze was summoned onto the field to try a fifty-two yard attempted to win the came for the Eagles. Just as he was to attempt the kick, Maryland head coach Randy Estall called timeout to ice Freeze. When play resumed, Freeze calmly step up and nail it straight down the middle as time expired.  BC gets their seven win of the season, and their first conference win on the road 29-26 over Maryland.

 

John Doucette
ACC-fans.com staff writer

Boston College Basketball to Play in Puerto Rico Tip Off

The 2014 edition of the Puerto Rico Tip Off basketball tournament will feature two New England teams among the eight that are set to invade San Juan next November.

Boston College and the University of Connecticut will be meeting for the second straight year in an early season tourney. This season both teams took part in the 2K Sports Classic, meeting in the semifinals of the event at Madison Square Garden in New York with UCONN earning the “W” in a hard fought game. Since there days in the Big East the opportunity to play each other on the hardwood have been few and far between, let’s hope with these back to back appearances in November round ball events that the two teams will get back to playing each other on a regular basis.

The rest of the field for the tournament that will take place on the 20th to the 23th is as follows, Dayton, George Mason, Texas A&M, West Virginia, College of Charleston, and New Mexico. The tournament is comprise of twelve games taking places of three days, with each team guarantee three games over that span of time.

The event is a bracketed style format with the two undefeated teams meeting in the championship game that is set for Sunday, November 23.

For Boston College this will be the fourth year in a row the head coach Steve Donahue crew has played in a November basketball classic.

 

John Doucette
ACC-fans.com staff writer