The Boston College men’s basketball team seems to have a knack for upsets. They recently took down #1 ranked Duke and handed them their first loss of the season on Saturday, winning 89-84. If one can remember, they did the EXACT same thing to Syracuse in 2014, but this time away from home. At 7-3, this is the best start the Eagles have had in a while — and one fans hope to see continue through the rest of the season.

New Season, Fresh Start

Boston College had a rough time winning games and finished with a 9-23 record last season. I asked coach Jim Christian what his message was to his guys at the beginning of this season in regards to last year’s performance. His response:

“…Clean slate… you add new players and each season is a different challenge… once the final buzzer is off… have to put that season in the rear view mirror and just move forward.”

According to last year’s team statistics, BC was either close to or better than the league average in many categories. Unfortunately, it didn’t translate into many wins. Some adjustments that were made coming into this season:

“We’ve become a better offensive rebounding team…defensive team. We knew those were the areas that really hurt us… Personnel was a big part of it too— adding some guys that can really help you.”

Well coach, your adjustments seem to be paying off.

Boston College Soars Past Duke

The Eagles entered their match up against Duke with seven days of rest. Make no mistake — it was a battle, with Duke getting 15 points off turnovers in the first half. But the Eagles went on a 13-5 run to end the half, going up 48-41. BC came out in the second half and knocked off #1 by:

  • Keeping Duke to 46% FG shooting and 26% shooting from three. Their season averages: 50.9% FG shooting and 35% from three
  • Shutting down Bagley, who only had 15 points. That’s less than his season average of 21 points
  • Shutting down the perimeter. Allen, who is shooting 43% from three this season, was only 1-9 in that area

Meanwhile, BC had their best shooting game to date: 50.8% from the floor and 57.7% from three. The team also made a season high 15 3-pointers. Here are some highlights:

  • Robinson made all five of his 3 point attempts. He had 24 points
  • Chatman hit five 3’s, putting up 22 points and 6 rebounds
  • Bowman shot 50%, putting up 30 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists

And just because Deontae Hawkins is out with an injury, that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute. Being a grad student with four years of NCAA play already under his belt, he is able to bring a sort of “calmness” says Christian. His maturity and how he was able to communicate with the guys during the game really helped to keep them grounded. In addition, the leadership of Bowman and Robinson continues to drive this team down the path to greatness.

Knowing What You Want

What can we attribute this early season success to? Coach Cristian spoke about setting goals and sticking to them. This past summer, they got the guys to open up about the goals they had for themselves coming into this year.”I think it’s important that they know… then we just follow through on them.” Setting goals is the first step to achieving the success you want for yourself. Smart man, even better coach.

Good luck to the Eagles on the rest of their season!

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