Key Departures: Jay Heath (–>Arizona St); CJ Felder (–>Florida); Rich Kelly (àUMass); Wynston Tabbs (àECU); Steffon Mitchell (Grad); Kamari Williams (àMiami Oh)
New In Town: Brevin Galloway (<–Charleston); Quinten Post (<–Miss St); TJ Bickerstaff (<–Drexel); Gianni Thompson (#166); Kanye Jones (NR)
State of the Program:
It’s a new era at Boston College as new HC Earl Grant comes in by way of the College of Charleston, where he took them to 1 NCAA tournament in his time there and looks to turn around a BC program that has not made a tourney since 2009 and hasn’t finished above .500 in Conference play since 2011. It has been a rough, rough stretch for Eagles fans as they now are on the 3rd HC since Al Skinner took this program dancing. Chaos has ensued as well, as often is the case following a Coaching change and Grant has seen 6 players transfer out of the program, all of which played big roles for last season’s team. The good news is they only won 4 games so how good could those pieces have been right? He gets a couple promising pieces back in brothers Makai Ashton-Langford (SR) and Demarr Langford Jr (SO) as well as role players in the front court James Karnik (SR) and Frederick Scott (SR). The rest of the rotation will likely be made up of transfers and Freshmen, as Grant will have a major challenge ahead of him to get this BC program competitive in the ACC again.
The most notable of the transfers is former Grant player and CAA All-Defense selection Brevin Galloway (SR). He is more of a scorer than a distributor but can really score at all 3 levels and is a great defender as well. He likely will slide into the backcourt alongside the Langford’s and fill out the starting 5. They will need all 3 of those guys to create scoring opportunities and Galloway has proven he can do that at the mid-major level, and Grant obviously believes he can translate to the ACC as well. 7-footer Quinten Post (SO) comes via Mississippi St after playing a small but consistent role as a backup a season ago. He will battle with returning big man Karnik for the starting role, but given his lack of experience I would expect him to start as a reserve. He is a European style big man that wants to stretch the floor and use his handles in the face up game, and if he can develop under Grant could be an important building block for this program’s future. The last transfer is 6’9” F from Drexel TJ Bickerstaff (SO) who should be a productive player and join the group of Post, Karnik and Scott to create a solid 4 man rotation at the 4 and 5 spots. He is not much of a shooter but has good athleticism and runs well in transition. If he does develop an outside jumper that could make him a real player, but at this point he will just be a nice rotational piece. 6’8” F Gianni Thompson (#166) is the better of the 2 Freshman coming in but he may find himself buried behind the aforementioned frontcourt pieces this season, but will have an opportunity as a Sophomore and beyond to be a major piece. He profiles as a stretch 4, and needs to add strength and continue to develop his jumper but his athleticism gives him potential. The last newcomer is 6’4” G Kanye Jones (NR), who is a good athlete but mostly a project that will likely redshirt, but has a chance to develop with this new coaching staff and become a contributor down the road.
This is a tough situation for Grant to inherit but it’s his opportunity to prove he can coach at the highest level and he’ll come in with the benefit of very low expectations. He was able to retain some of the talent, and has landed a couple transfers that will give him at least a decent rotation to work with. The Langford brothers are real talents, and can provide some offensive punch, but ultimately year one will be all about culture and how hard Grant can get these guys to play, despite the beatings they will take. Keep an eye on their competitiveness late in the season and how many guys transfer out following the season, that will be the true barometer of how successful year 1 is under Grant. Expectations should be hoping to not go winless in the ACC, and Eagles fans will be hoping they can just avoid the cellar.