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Unhappiness Rears Its Head

2nd Assistant Coach Chris Evans

As our losses have piled up recently, frustrations have grown also.  After the game against Clemson, reserve SG Jason Dunn mouthed off to teammates about his not being able to play enough.  In general, Jason has attitude problems and can get pretty negative at times. 

Coach Aura got together with him the following day to let him know his comments were unacceptable.  Surprisingly, Jason took it well and said he just hates losing and acknowledged he was wrong to have said what he said.  Coach Aura told him that we coaches appreciate his hard work in practice.  Since that’s resulted in improvements in his skills, Coach Aura told him he’d try to give him more minutes during our remaining games this season.

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Feb. 27, 2026: #21 ranked Louisville Cardinals (21-8, 10-8) vs Boston College Eagles (14-14, 7-10) at Silvio O. Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA

Kevin Abney, 1st Assistant Coach

A home game but against another tough opponent.  We lost by 20 when we played the Cardinals on their home court.  We’ve now lost 4 straight and 8 of their last 9 games.  Since running off 7 straight wins, Louisville has lost 2 of their last 3 games.  Cardinals’ freshman SF Josh Miller is scoring 16.5 ppg and hitting a high percentage of his shots.

We had a great start and led 13-0 after 5 minutes of play.  It took nearly 7 minutes before Louisville was able to score.  We held onto a decent lead until late in the half when we had a profusion of turnovers.  The Cardinals took advantage of that and captured a 32-30 lead with a minute-and-a-half to play.  We came back to take a slim 35-34 lead to the 2nd half.  Our biggest advantage was that we out-rebounded Louisville 20-13 but that was offset by our 13 turnovers compared to 8 by the Cardinals.

Louisville put on a shooting clinic in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half and opened a 16 point lead.  We chipped away at that lead, trimming it but unable to get closer than 6 points.  We ended up with an 84-75 loss.

SF/PF Marvin Reese and reserve guard Samuel King led our scoring with 16 and 14 points, respectively.  Two of our players had double-doubles: C Jason Caldwell scored 11 and had 10 rebounds and PF Marius Witt scored 10 and picked off 10 boards.  SG James Lilly added 10 points.  We held Louisville’s Josh Miller to 10 points, but the Cardinals’ depth did us in.  Their bench scored 45 points.

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Mar. 3, 2026: Miami (FL) Hurricanes (13-16, 6-13) vs Boston College Eagles (14-15, 7-12) at Silvio O. Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA

Coach Fred Aura

This last half of our ACC schedule has been pure hell.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disheartened.  Winning just one of ten games will do that to you.  We lost badly to the Hurricanes when we played them on their court earlier this season.  While this game against Miami will not affect where we finish in the ACC standings, a win will give us a .500 season record.  A win would be a minor redemption and will also put a positive spin for our team on what’s been a difficult season. 

While not playing particularly strongly, we held onto a small lead throughout almost the entire first half.  In the last few minutes we expanded our lead a little to give us a small cushion.  When the buzzer sounded we were on top 35-28.  Our offense had sputtered at times, but our defense had been consistently good but not great.

In the early stages of the 2nd half we scored well and increased our lead to as much as 15 points.  But midway through the half, we had trouble getting the ball in the hoop and Miami’s start SF Dewayne Jennings caught fire.  Our lead shriveled.  Our reserves who normally produced well failed in this game.  Our starters returned to the floor to staunch our wound and gamely rebuilt our lead.  We came away with a 70-62 victory.  Our team and fans were ecstatic.  I was totally exhausted.

SG James Lilly finished with 17 points.  PF Marius Witt and SF Marvin Reese both pulled down 7 rebounds with Witt scoring 15 points and Reese adding 11.  Miami’s Jennings led all scorers with 28 points.

The win gave us a 15-15 season record.  Our ACC record was just 8-12 and we finished alone in 10th place with 5 teams lower in the standings. This has been a sort of roller coaster of a season with a lot of ups and downs, but it's an improvement over what had been going on here at BC in recent years. To be honest, I never really expected us to do any better than we did. Next: the tough ACC tourney.

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Posted (edited)

www.collegebasketballreports website

ACC Tournament—Round 1:

#13 seed North Carolina Tar Heels (13-17, 5-15) vs #12 seed Miami Hurricanes (13-17, 6-14): Miami asserted their dominance in the first half by going ahead by 13 and then leading at the break 45-37.  But the Hurricanes struggled in the 2nd half with the Tar Heels knocking down 3’s to make a ball game of it.  Miami had to go on a late run to pull off an 87-81 victory.  SF Dewayne Jennings hit 15 of 21 FG’s and 8 of 10 threes as well as 10 of 17 FT’s to score 48 points for Miami.  PG Duke Stokes stroked in 30 points for the Tar Heels.

#14 seed Wake Forest Deacon Demons (11-18, 5-15) vs #11 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish (17-14, 7-13):  Notre Dame had no problem handling Wake Forest, taking over early and by the end of the first half leading 40-22.  They went on to lead by as much as 25 before settling for a 71-52 whipping of the Deacon Demons.  SF Rich Thompson was Notre Dame’s high scorer with 13 points but C Mike Benton had 10 points and 10 rebounds.  Wake Forest’s PG Brian Worrell led all scorers with 16 points.

#15 seed North Carolina State Wolfpack (11-18, 3-17) vs #10 seed Boston College Eagles (15-15, 8-12): NC State came out and opened a 6 point lead, but the game went back and forth in the middle part of the 1st half.  The Eagles clamped down defensively in the last 8 minutes of the half to sport a 39-29 halftime advantage.  Boston College gradually drew away in the 2nd half as they pounded the boards and came away with an easy 82-64 win.  BC was led by SG James Lilly’s 22 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.  SG Patrick Dabbert was the Wolfpacks’ leading scorer with 20 points.

Edited by PointGuard

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ACC Tournament—Round 2:

#12 seed Miami Hurricanes (14-17, 6-14) vs #17 ranked, #5 seed Louisville Cardinals (23-8, 12-8):  Louisville totally dominated the Hurricanes, leading from start to finish.  By the half, the Cardinals were on top 57-28.  The lead expanded to as much as 43 points in the 2nd half.  Louisville cruised to a lopsided 94-69 beatdown of Miami.  PG Neil Field scored 25 points and passed out 9 assists for Louisville.  SF Dewayne Jennings and SG Marcell Allaway both had 11 points for Miami.

#11 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish (18-14, 7-13) vs # 6 seed Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (19-12, 11-9):  The first half was a defensive battle with Georgia Tech coming out of it with a slim 29-27 lead.  The Fighting Irish used frequent trips to the foul line in the 2nd half to score 49 points in the final 20 minutes and upset Georgia Tech 76-66.  The Fighting Irish Notre Dame’s top scorer was PG Tom Tatum with 16 points.  Reserve C Ryan Gooden tallied 14 points for Georgia Tech.

#10 seed Boston College Eagles (16-15, 8-12) vs #7 seed Pittsburgh Panthers (21-10, 11-9):  It took 4 minutes before the first field goal was sunk by either team in this game.  The vastly underdog Eagles gamely clawed the Panthers in the first half.  The first portion of the half was close, but BC then steadily pulled away to open a 14 point lead before settling for a 43-32 halftime advantage.  Most in attendance expected BC to fold in the 2nd half, but they surprised all by increasing their lead to as much as 20 points.  Pittsburgh made a run with about 5 minutes to go to cut the lead to 9, but the Eagles rallied to pull away again and record a 72-57 thrashing of Pittsburgh in what was the biggest upset of the tournament thus far.  SG James Lilly had his 2nd straight double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.  For Pittsburgh, SG Rudy Kerlin scored 19 points and SF Kevin Woni had 16 points and 13 rebounds.  “This was our biggest win of the season,” said BC’s coach Fred Aura. “Before the game our guys said they were tired of being underdogs and decided it was time to turn the tables.  Our defense was dogged all night. Pittsburgh got off a lot of shots trying to catch up, but we made sure those shots were forced and difficult.  There were very few easy shots for the Panthers tonight.  That’s why they only hit 32% of their FG’s and 22% of their 3’s.”

#9 seed Virginia Tech Hokies (17-12, 11-9) vs #20 ranked, #8 seed Syracuse Orange (21-10, 11-9): Syracuse unleashed a potent offense, hitting 56% of their FGA’s and 48% of their 3PA’s.  They led 54-40 at the half and won by the final score of 102-72.  SG Adrian Hooks scored 43 points for the Orange.  Virginia Tech’s had no weapons to compete with that as C Shawn Deane’s 14 points topped the Hokies’ scoring.

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ACC Tournament—Round 3:

#20 ranked, #8 seed Syracuse Orange (22-10, 11-9) vs #4 ranked, #1 seed Duke Blue Devils (25-6, 16-4):  The Blue Devils jumped out on top and never gave up the lead.  By halftime they were ahead 53-36.  Their lead ballooned to 24 points in the 2nd half and they ripped Syracuse 88-68.  C Maurice McCoy and SG Stephan McIntosh shared scoring honors for Duke with 18 points apiece.  Syracuse’s top scorer was SF Wes Brown with 14 points.

#10 seed Boston College Eagles (17-15, 8-12) vs #7 ranked, #2 seed Virginia Cavaliers (25-5, 16-4):  Even though he was double-teamed C Dustin Bryant scored the first 14 points for Virginia, hitting shots without a miss and giving the Cavaliers a 14-8 lead.  Although Virginia led, Boston College kept within striking range until the final 5 minutes of the first half when the Cavaliers showed why they are ranked 7th in the polls and moved out to a 44-32 halftime lead.  Bryant finished the half with 18 points.  Reserve SG Samuel King scored 11 points in 7 minutes of play for the Eagles.  BC fought hard in the 2nd half, but the difference in talent level allowed Virginia to cruise to a 79-58 victory.  C Dustin Bryant scored 19 for Virginia with SG David Young scoring 9 and grabbing 16 rebounds.  SG Samuel King was the top scorer for Boston College with 16 points. BC’s coach Fred Aura said, “That was our 3rd loss to Virginia this season.  Quite obviously they’re an extremely strong team.  But I’m proud of how our guys battled the entire way.  We just have a long ways to go to get to the caliber of a team like the Cavaliers.”

#11 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish (19-14, 7-13) vs #3 seed Clemson Tigers (23-9, 14-6):  The defenses of both teams predominated in this game.  Notre Dame led at the half 31-26.  Clemson’s defense sizzled in the 2nd half and they crept ahead and then went on a run that put them up by 14 points.  The Tigers held on for a strong 64-54 victory.  C Tyrus Johnston scored 13 for Clemson.  Notre Dame’s SG Kenny Jennings led all scorers with 19 points.

#17 ranked, #5 seed Louisville Cardinals (24-8, 12-8) vs #9 ranked, #4 seed Florida State Seminoles (25-6, 14-6):   Louisville led early by as much as 7 points, but the Seminoles caught up and moved out to a 34-28 halftime lead.  The two teams then went on a scoring spree in the 2nd half with Florida State taking a 19 point lead before finishing with an 80-69 win.  Florida State’s SG Andy Blizzard scored 19 points and PF Jermaine Slider scored 16 while pulling down 16 boards.  SF Josh Miller scored 22 for Louisville.

No upsets.  The top 4 seeds advance.

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ACC Tournament—Round 4:

#9 ranked, #4 seed Florida State Seminoles (26-6, 14-6) vs #4 ranked, #1 seed Duke Blue Devils (26-6, 16-4):  Duke gradually pulled away from Florida State in the first half and went to the locker room on top 40-28.  The Blue Demons tightened their defense in the 2nd half and  drew away for a solid 73-52 beating of the Seminoles.  SG Stephan McIntosh pumped in 30 points for Duke while PF Jermaine Slider scored 13 and pulled down 11 boards for Florida State.

#3 seed Clemson Tigers (24-9, 14-6) vs #7 ranked, #2 seed Virginia Cavaliers (26-5, 16-4):  Virginia’s offense romped in the first half to bury Clemson 57-35 in the first half.  The Cavaliers backed on in the 2nd half and Clemson narrowed the gap but still lost 96-83.  SG David Young lit up the board with 35 points for Virginia.  C Tyrus Johnston tossed in 19 points for the Tigers.

ACC Tournament—Round 5:

#6 ranked, #2 seed Virginia Cavaliers (27-5, 16-4) vs #4 ranked, #1 seed Duke Blue Devils (27-6, 16-4):  This was a matchup of the two teams that tied for 1st place in the ACC during the regular season.  The game lived up to the hype.  While there were small runs but both teams, neither could gain a secure advantage.  At the half Duke led 41-39.  Defense by both teams predominated in the 2nd half and at the end of 40 minutes of play, the teams were tied 72-72 sending the game into overtime.  Duke’s defense was rock solid in OT which allowed the Blue Devils to move out to an 85-78 victory.  For Duke C Maurice McCoy had 22 points and 14 rebounds and PF Greg McDyess finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds.  That interior duo resulted in a 40-28 Duke advantage in points in the paint.  PG Damion Clagget scored 19 points for Virginia.

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Robert Wilson, 3rd Assistant Coach:

We finished with a 17-16 record.  We scored 73.0 ppg but gave up 74.0 ppg to our opponents. We pulled down 32.8 rpg which was 79th best in Division I and hit 78.8% of our FT’s which was 24th best throughout Division I.  Our NET ranking was 74th best.

Individual Stats:

Scoring (ppg): SG James Lilly-14.6 SF/PF Marvin Reese-9.7; C Jason Caldwell-9.3; PF Marius Witt-7.2; C Steve Ross-6.3; PG/SG Jon Ray-6.0; SG/PG Samuel King-5.8; PG Willis Lofton-5.7; SF Michael Millford-5.1; SF Earl Betts-2.3; SG Jason Dunn-1.7; C Damon Smith-0.4

Rebounding (rpg): PF Marius Witt-6.8; SG James Lilly-6.0; C Jason Caldwell-5.4; SF/PF Marvin Reese-3.6; C Steve Ross-3.5; SF Michael Millford-1.8; SF Earl Betts-1.7; SG Jon Ray-1.3; PG Willis Lofton-1.0; SG Jason Dunn-0.5; PG Chris Nelson-0.2

Assists (apg): PG Willis Lofton-4.7; SG James Lilly-2.4; PG/SG Jon Ray-1.7; SF/PF Marvin Reese-1.3; SF Michael Millford-1.1; SG/PF Jon Ray-1.0; PF Marius Witt-1.0; C Jason Caldwell-0.9; C Steve Ross-0.8; SF Earl Betts-0.7; SG Jason Dunn-0.5; PG Christ Nelson-0.2; C Damon Smith-0.1

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NCAA Tournament:

#1 seeds: Michigan, Kansas, Kentucky, Duke

ACC Teams:

Virginia, #2 in South

Louisville, #4 in South

Clemson, #5 in South

Virginia Tech, #11 in South

Duke, #1 in West

Florida State, #2 in West

Syracuse, #6 in West

Pittsburgh, #7 in West

Georgia Tech, #10 in West

CBI:

Notre Dame, #3 in West

CIT:

Boston College, #5 in West

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CIT Tournament Results:

Coach Fred Aura:

Round 1: #5 seed Boston College Eagles (17-16) vs #4 seed Nicholls State Colonels (19-12)—We came out hot, getting good shots and making them.  Our defense was solid as well.  By the end of the half, we led 49-31.  Things turned around in the 2nd half.  We just couldn’t get untracked and Nicholls State ate into our lead.  With 2-1/2 minutes remaining they had gotten within 2 points of us.  I called a time out to steady the team and set up a play.  We worked the ball back and forth around the perimeter and then PG Willis Lofton executed a pass inside to Jason Caldwell who fired it immediately back to Lofton for a 14 foot jumper that he sunk off the backboard.  We forced a turnover on the Colonels’ next possession and worked the clock down before scoring to give us a 6 point cushion.  Nicholls State was forced to foul on each of our possessions after that.  We came away with an 83-76 victory.  All 5 of our starters scored in double figures: Reese-18, Lilly-15 (plus he had 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks), Witt-15, Caldwell-11, and Lofton-10.  We hit 54% of our shots and held a 34-23 rebounding advantage.  The one thing I was unhappy about is that we made 17 turnovers.

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CIT Tournament Results:

Coach Fred Aura:

Round 2: #5 seed Boston College Eagles (18-16) vs #1 seed West Virginia Mountaineers (18-15)—We got whipped by the Mountaineers in the Emerald Coast Classic during pre-conference play.  In tonight’s game we scored the first 7 points.  West Virginia came back to go ahead 15-13 with 11 minutes to go in the half.  We fell behind by 7 but our guys fought back late in the half to recapture the lead and take a 36-31 advantage into the 2nd half.  The fouls seemed to all go against us in the 2nd half but we doggedly held onto a small lead.  SG James Lilly fouled out and C Jason Caldwell had 4 fouls with 2:42 remaining and us ahead 59-53.  We refused to cave in and the Mountaineers had to foul.  When the buzzer sounded we had a 68-59 upset win.  Our only player to score in double figures was PF Marius Witt with 15 points, but we held very small advantages in most team stats, and we had a 32-18 advantage in points in the paint and an 8-0 advantage in second-chance points.  We also kept West Virginia’s top scorer, SG John Redden who had been averaging 15.6 ppg to just 7 points. 

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CIT Tournament Results:

Coach Fred Aura:

Round 3: #5 seed Boston College Eagles (19-16) vs #2 seed Western Michigan Broncos (19-13)—The first half began as a shootout.  While we were able to take a small lead, I had to get on the team to play defense.  When we finally began challenging them, we start pulling away and took a 45-38 halftime lead.  Our offense really cooked in the 2nd half which kept the Broncos from getting too close.  We went on a run late in the half and beat Western Michigan 94-79 as we dropped in 54% of our shots and held a 35-27 rebounding advantage.  Our interior game again led the way as we held a 32-14 advantage on points in the paint and a 17-9 advantage on 2nd chance points.  Leading our scoring was C Jason Caldwell with 22 points.  SG James Lilly had 18 points and 12 rebounds.  PF Marius Witt added 13 points.

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CIT Tournament Results:

Coach Fred Aura:

Round 4 (semi-finals): #1 seed Loyola (MD) Greyhounds (22-13) vs #5 seed Boston College Eagles (20-16)—We worked the ball around well early to get some good shots and take a nice early lead.  But the refs saddled us with fouls.  Hot shooting and great defense that kept the Greyhounds’ shooting percentage low and their turnovers high put us up 31-13 with 9 minutes to go.  Our lead grew to 21 points but Loyola (MD) shaved our halftime lead to 46-30.  We outshot the Greyhounds 55% to 36% and they’d made 6 more turnovers than us in the half.  C Jason Caldwell poured in 16 points in the half for us.  The refs continued whistling us in the 2nd half.  With 14-1/2 minutes to go we had four players with 3 fouls apiece.  Fortunately we continued to drill the basket so we were able to maintain a big lead and we drubbed the Greyhounds 93-70.  We hit 56% of our FG’s compared to 42% by Loyola (MD), controlled the boards 34-26 and held a 15-9 turnover advantage.  C Jason Caldwell scored 18 points and PF Marius Witt tossed in 14 points plus had 9 rebounds.  But with our starters minutes limited by foul problems, our bench scored 59 points including 16 by SF Michael Millford, 13 by Steve Ross, 10 by Samuel King, and 8 by Jon Ray.

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CIT Tournament Results:

Coach Fred Aura:


Round 5 (championship): #5 seed Boston College Eagles (21-16) vs #2 seed Florida Gators (22-14)—As usual we entered this game as big underdogs. We hung with Florida and trailed just 13-12 before they went on a 19-0 run. The Gators quickness made things tough and caused us to turn the ball over far too much, but our guys fought hard. We closed the gap a little and at the half trailed 51-37. We chipped away at their lead throughout the 2nd half. With 2 minutes to go we trailed by 9 but had to foul at that point and they beat us 88-72. So we gave it a try but they were the better team and won the championship. Florida’s first half run was like being run over by a bus…too much so to recover. SG James Lilly was our top scorer with 19 points with SF Michael Millford scoring 15 and PG/SG Jon Ray adding 11. I’m really pleased about how my team did in this tournament. We played higher seeds the entire way including two #1’s and two #2’s. It gives me hope for next season, particularly with the 2 recruits that will be joining us…and if we can land the 3rd one we have been courting, we could surprise some people.

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Results for ACC Teams in Other Post-Season Tournaments as well as Championship Games:

CBI Results:

Round 1: #3 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish-78, #6 seed Albany Great Danes-59

Round 2: #3 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish-63, #2 seed Gardner Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs-52

Round 3: #3 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish-80, #8 seed Bellarmine Knights-57

Round 4 (championship): #3 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish-78, #2 seed Saint Louis Billikins-54

NIT Results:

Championship: UCONN-82, Marist-73

NCAA Results:

Round 1:

#2 seed Virginia Cavaliers-96, #15 seed Furman Paladins-80

#4 seed Louisville Cardinals-69, #13 seed Dayton Flyers-60

#12 seed UC Santa Barbara Gauchos-76, #5 seed Clemson Tigers-72

#6 seed Villanova Wildcats-77, #11 seed Virginia Tech Hokies-70

#1 seed Duke Blue Devils-73, #16 South Carolina Upstate Spartans-50

#2 seed Florida State Seminoles-86, #15 seed MD-Eastern Shore Hawks-62

#6 seed Syracuse Orange-87, #11 seed St. Mary’s Gaels-68

#7 seed Pittsburgh Panthers-69, #10 seed Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets-51

Round 2:

#2 seed Virginia Cavaliers-90, #10 seed Seton Hall Pirates-67

#4 seed Louisville Cardinals-83, #12 seed UC Santa Barbara Gauchos-66

#1 seed Duke Blue Devils-86, #8 seed Boise State Broncos-81

#2 seed Florida State Seminoles-81, #7 seed Pittsburgh Panthers-75

#3 seed Oregon Ducks-84, #6 seed Syracuse Orange-65

Round 3 (Sweet 16):

#1 seed Michigan Wolverines-92, #4 seed Louisville Cardinals-64

#2 seed Virginia Cavaliers-90, #6 seed Villanova Wildcats-81

#1 seed Duke Blue Devils-81, #4 seed Tennessee Volunteers-69

#3 seed Oregon Ducks-82, #2 seed Florida State Seminoles-64

Round 4 (Elite 8):

#1 Michigan Wolverines-94, #2 Virginia Cavaliers-89

#3 seed Oregon Ducks-74, #1 seed Duke Blue Devils-71

Championship:

Oregon-82, Michigan-80

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Jason Braxton, Athletic Director

None of our players received awards this season.  James Lilly was robbed…he should have been on the all-conference team.

Coach Aura accomplished 3 of his goals (winning at least 15 games (we won 21), having no players with academic ineligibility, improving team prestige (improved by 3 up to 54).  He didn’t accomplish two others (finishing in the top half in the conference standings and getting to the NCAA tournament…but we did have a very good run in the CIT tournament).  In fact, we’d probably have been a one-and-done if we’d gone to the NCAA Tournament, whereas the team’s play in the CIT tourney provided a lot of excitement and enthusiasm within our school and for our fans.  Overall it was a pretty successful season and a big step up on how we’d been doing in recent years.

Some really good schools have shown interest in talking with Fred Aura about taking their head coaching jobs, but Fred told me he has no interest in leaving.

In early April we landed our 3rd and final recruit, Josh McFadgon. He’s a 6’1” PG who played JC ball in Whiting, Indiana, so will come to us as a junior next season.  He averaged 15.7 ppg, 6.3 apg, 4.8 rpg, 2.0 bpg and 2.8 spg this season.  He’s got fantastic passing skills and is an excellent outside shooter.  He is a good ball handler, a good scorer, and is very athletic.  Most importantly he is a hard worker and hasn’t had injury problems.  He’s a 4-star player who was the 93rd ranked recruit. 

Josh will join two other 4 star recruits for us: SF Sam Dickens who was the 59th ranked recruit who averaged 19.2 ppg, 4.4 apg, 7.5 rpg, 2.0 bpg, and 3.3 spg in his senior high school season in Noble, Maine and C Courtland Reese who was ranked 84th nationally and averaged 16.4 ppg, 4.4 apg, 8.3 rpg, 3.8 bpg, and 2.6 spg in his high school senior season in Windham, Maine.

Two assistants left to try to get better jobs (1st assistant Kevin Abney wanted a head coaching job and 3rd assistant Robert Wilson was looking to move up in the assistant coaching world).  Kevin didn’t get a head coaching job but moved over to Boston University where he will again be 1st assistant.  Robert didn’t get picked up by another Division I team, so he took a first assistant coaching job with a Division II team.

We hired two excellent new assistant coaches.  David Woodruff will be our 1st Assistant Coach and handle player development/practices.  He was previously the head coach at Youngstown State.  Rob Rowland will be our 3rd Assistant Coach responsible for scouting.  He comes to us from UC Irvine where he was also 3rd assistant.

Fred requested a budget increase.  The board authorized a $2,250 increase.  I don’t think it was as much as Fred had hoped for, but our board hasn’t been in the habit of increasing budgets.  So its that much more he can spend on recruiting this coming season.

That takes care of the 2025-2026 season.  I’m already looking forward to next season.

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2026-2027 SEASON

Janeka Aura (wife of Coach Aura)

As soon as the kids got out of school, our entire family flew to Norway to go on a cruise through the Norway fjords.  It was a beautiful trip and a chance for us all to decompress.  Fred, in particular, was under a lot of pressure this last year as he tried to advance the program.  The ACC season was extremely demanding and when the team had a rather long losing streak, Fred took it hard.  The team’s performance in the CIT tournament helped put a positive spin on the season, though.

Our kids have sports camps this summer.  Omari (who will be a high school senior this coming year) and Malik (who will be a sophomore) both are going to great basketball camps.  Devany will be a 4th grader and is going to a soccer camp.

My job with BC’s School of Nursing is going great.  I really enjoy it.  Things slow down a bit in the summer so that’s a nice respite.  That means I can spend more time with my mother who is still battling cancer. 

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Chris Evans, 2nd Assistant (Recruiting) Coach

We have 3 seniors graduating after this coming season. We don’t have enough money to buy the Premier (Gold) scouting reports, so opt to purchase the basic National and Atlantic East reports. We will attend the Indy Elite Camp and the Big Apple Showcase. We will focus on landing a PG and an interior player and with the 3rd scholarship we’ll go after the best available guard.

I believe we had a good recruiting year last season. Hope I'm not being over-confident, but I think that due to my increased experience, an even closer working relationship with Coach Aura, our team's solid performance last season, and an even more lasered focus this year, we can do even better this season. When I mentioned this to Coach Aura, he laughed and said he liked my optimism but will just take it week-by-week and see how things turn out. He then said, "Land us a top-25 ranked recruit and dinner at Abe & Louie's Steakhouse is on me."

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Coach Fred Aura

It was a real confidence-builder when a couple excellent programs showed interest in my possibly becoming their head coach.  I was flattered, but felt I’d made a commitment to Boston College to get their program back on track and challenging within the ACC.  We’ve begun but we’re far from achieving that yet, so I just had to thank the colleges that showed interest but let them quickly know that I wasn’t ready for a change at this point.  Additionally, I know that Janeka wants to remain close to her mother to help during her cancer treatment…and Boston is where we need to be for that.

I’m excited by the 3 recruits we signed last season.  I expect all three to strongly compete for starting roles and make us a much stronger team.

But it’s become obvious that C Damon Smith still hasn’t developed to a point where he will play for us this coming season.  He was used by us last season only in a few mop up roles.  I finally made a decision to cut him and look for a transfer player.  Our team prestige will take a small hit due to our cutting a scholarship player, but so be it.

We missed out on the primary transfer player we were pursuing, but landed Winston Minahan, a 6-6 PF from Sonora, TX who played a limited role as a freshman for Texas Tech last season but with further development has good potential.  Working out with our team for this season while he’s ineligible to play in games should help him prepare to compete for a starting job the following season when he’ll be a sophomore eligibility-wise.

Our next challenge is to identify and sign three excellent recruits.  Our recruit class from last season was rated as the 45th best in the nation, but that applied to just the two high schoolers we signed.  The JC player we signed wasn’t factored into this.  If he had been, I think the combination of our 3 recruits would have improved our rating by 15-20 places.  It’s a big challenge, but my goal is for us to be in the Top 25 in Recruit Class Rankings next year.  We’re going up against a lot of programs with a heckuva lot bigger recruiting budget than we have and who can purchase the best reports, attend any and all camps, and spend, spend, spend on activities throughout the recruiting season.  Chris, my recruiting coach, accepted my challenge but not before also pointing out that there were a lot of other programs with much bigger names and higher prestige and reminding me that our high academic standards also make things more difficult.  But I know Chris’ confidence was buoyed by last season’s recruiting success so he’ll kick butt to go after great recruits.  Of course, Chris also has a top-notch steak dinner coming if he inks a top-25 ranked recruit.

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Boston College Chronicle

LILLY IS NORTON AWARD CANDIDATE

By Kinsey Ramsey

Boston College’s James Lilly has been nominated for the 2nd straight year as a candidate for the prestigious Norton Award.  As a sophomore last season, Lilly led the Eagles to 21 victories, averaging 14.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, and 2.4 apg. 

Coach Fred Aura said, “It’s an honor to be nominated, but James certainly has shown he’s one of the best collegiate players so the nomination is well-earned.  Not only is he a very good scorer, he’s an excellent defender who is able to go up against and limit the best opponents, and he gets more than his share of blocks and steals.  I’ve never seen a guard who is a better rebounder than James.  He has the ability to get great positioning.  Even at just 6’0”, James isn’t afraid to mix it up and often takes rebounds away from much taller opponents.  He plays like he’s 6 or 8 inches taller than he is.  He’s unselfish on the court and often finds teammates with more open shots rather than taking the shot himself.  He’s a hard worker who gets along well with his teammates.  To top all this off, James has a 4.0 GPA.”

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Chris Evans, 2nd Assistant (Recruiting) Coach

We did it!  It’s early October and we have verbal acceptances from recruits for all 3 available scholarships.  And not just any recruits, 3 very strong recruits!
In early September Leonard Meliet, a 6’5” PG from Gladewater, Texas surprised us by accepting our offer so quickly.  We beat out Oklahoma and Brigham Young for his services.  He’s a 5-star recruit and is ranked 21st of all recruits.  He was within the top 25 at the Indy Elite Camp.  The guy is a scoring machine with outstanding inside shooting skills and is a very good outside shooter (including from 3-point range) as well who averaged 22.2 ppg as a HS junior.  He handles the ball well and is a fantastic passer who dished out 8.2 apg last season.  He’s an excellent rebounder (4.7 rpg as a junior) and defender who is an adroit ball hawk (4.5 spg last season).  He’s extremely athletic and his HS coach has told us he has a tremendous work ethic.

Then a week later, we got word that another guard…Phil Thompson, a 6’3” PG from Trinity, Alabama…accepted our offer.  Florida and Clemson were our main competitors for him.  Thompson is the 28th highest ranked recruit, rated as 4-star but is very nearly a 5-star recruit.  Phil is a very good outside shooter who averaged 19.7 ppg last season.  Like Meliet, he’s an outstanding passer (7.8 apg as a junior) and an even stronger ball handler.  Similar to Meliet, his stealing skills are exciting (5.8 spg last season) and overall he’s an excellent defender.  Phil’s a very good rebounder (5.0 rpg as a junior).  He had a decent but not spectacular showing at the Indy Elite Camp, but his HS coach said he rarely missed practices and has a tremendous work ethic.

Both Meliet and Thompson were impressed by our being in the ACC.  Meliet’s parents are graduates of the University of Texas and Sam Houston University, so we’re happy to have gotten him to come north to the Boston area.  Thompson’s mother graduated from the University of Alabama and playing close to home was very important to him, but our facility’s and Coach Aura’s approach to discipline were definite factors in winning him over.  Coach Aura and I feel that both of these guys will really strengthen our team and could play either PG or SG for us.  Both are B students in high school.  So while we feel they will both meet our high SAT minimum, we’ll have to wait until late January to be sure.

We missed out on several high-rated big men to whom we offered scholarships as they chose more prestigious programs.  Finally in early October, we made an offer to a 6’7” SF from Charlottesville, Virginia and he accepted.  Keith Kolder is the 106th rated recruit, a solid 4-star recruit.  Holder has a 4.0 GPA in high school and academics, facilities, and location were areas that swayed him to come to BC.  Keith is a solid shooter from anywhere on the court who averaged 16.1 ppg as a junior.  He’s very strong defensively and is a good passer for a SF.  He’s not been a good rebounder in high school (3.0 rpg last year), so that’s something we need to work on with him.  But he has a great work ethic so that’s a plus.  He didn’t stand out at the Indy Elite Camp and had a decent, yet unspectacular, showing at the Big Apple Showcase.  With Sam Dickens, who is a freshman for us this year at SF, Keith is unlikely to be a starter at SF until he’s a senior unless Dickens slots into PF for us at some point, but we feel Kolder could be an excellent 6th man at both SF and SG.

We had a 6’10” C from Massachusetts who really wanted to play for us.  He isn’t a highly ranked recruit, but we feel he could be a real sleeper.  We almost pulled the trigger on making a scholarship offer to him, but then decided it was a crap-shoot while Kolder seems to be a guy we will be able to count upon.

We’re very excited about the recruits we landed.  If both Meliet and Thompson qualify academically, I think we definitely have a Top 25 recruit class nationally and probably a top-3 recruit class within the ACC.

Ohyeah, and if Meliet meets our SAT minimum, it's a steak dinner at Abe & Louie's for me paid by Coach Aura since Meliet is the 21st highest ranked recruit.

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Jason Braxton, Athletic Director

Our schedule for this season is complete.  We have 9 pre-conference games.  Since I was able to schedule 8 of those at home, I expected Coach Aura to be ecstatic.  But I was wrong.  He explained that he has now seen both sides.  As coach of a low prestige school, he typically had a very high percentage of his team’s pre-conference games as road games.  He said his AD explained that many teams were unwilling to play Towson at home.  Once his team got strong, teams were disinclined to play the Tigers at home, even much better teams since those didn’t want to rack up a loss when they were more likely to gain a win if Towson played on the opponent’s home court.  And he said that now he sees how teams in power conferences like the ACC can dictate that a high percentage of their pre-conference games are played at home, thus increasing the likelihood of wins.  He said that while he appreciated my efforts to schedule a bunch of home games and he understood that it meant increased revenue for the college, he didn’t feel it adequately prepared the team for conference games.  So he got me to change each home game to a upgrade it to a much higher competition level.  I’m pretty sure I created some enemies with AD’s for the teams that were cancelled off our preliminary schedule since it meant they had to try to find a new opponent on their schedule.  Here’s the re-worked pre-conference schedule (prestige level is in parentheses) (BC’s prestige level is 52):

BAYLOR (55)

OKLAHOMA (69)

VANDERBILT (63)

CREIGHTON (67)

SAN DIEGO STATE (65)

BRIGHAM YOUNG (67)

STANFORD (65)

@ Cornell (our annual non-conference rival game) (26)

MISSISSIPPI STATE (61)

Coach Aura also said that we need to discuss a future change to our rival game opponent and suggested I contact Providence about becoming ours beginning next season.  He thinks the Friars are a more equal competitor and that a nearby Catholic college is a more logical rival.

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David Woodruff, 1st Assistant Coach

Last year as head coach for Youngstown State we were 17-15 and went to the CIT Tourney.  But at 63, I realized that I really preferred handling player development rather than the many varied roles of a head coach.  So when the job came open here with Coach Aura, I jumped ship.  Getting a chance to work with the talent level on the Eagles has been a blast.  The past month of practice went smoothly.  Now we’re ready to start the season. 

Turns out all 3 guys BC recruited last season will be starting.  All 3 were impressive but of course are still learning our sets and getting accustomed to playing together.  Hopefully their talent will override that deficit early this season until they gain sufficient experience.

Starters:

C-Courtland Reese, 6’9” freshman: looked good in practice, good inside scorer, strong rebounder, solid defense.

SF-Sam Dickens, 6’8” freshman: scores well from inside and mid-range, great rebounder, very strong defensively.

PG-Josh McFadgon, 6’1” junior (JC transfer): good passer and ball handler, can score well from mid and long range, good rebounder for a guard, able defender.

The two repeat starters are:

SG-James Lilly, 6’0” junior: very good scorer from outside but also drives well, exceptional rebounder for his size, great defender who gets a lot of steals and blocks, good passer.

PF-Marvin Reese, 6’6’ junior: played both PF and SF last season, shoots well from all over the floor, good rebounder, solid defensively.

Bench:

Guards: Willis Lofton will be coming off the bench rather than starting this season.  Jon Ray, Samuel King, and Jason Dunn also provide good depth.

SF: Michael Millford and Earl Betts again will be good subs.

Interior: Jason Caldwell will be a reserve instead of a starter, Steve Ross again will be a trusted sub.  Dickens, Millford, and Betts can also fill in at PF.

The media has picked us to finish in 9th place in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but I think we have the talent to finish well up in the top half of the standings.

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Nov. 16, 2026: Baylor Bears (0-0) vs Boston College Eagles (0-0) at Silvio O. Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA

Coach Fred Aura

We picked off 2 passes and forced another turnover on Baylor’s first 3 possessions and took a 6-0 lead with each of our 3 new starters (Courtland Reese, Josh McFadgon, and Sam Dickens) scoring.  Nice start to the season.  We went on to take an 18-5 lead with 12:26 to play.  I knew we were quicker this season, but we turned several of our 6 steals by that point into breakaway lay-ins and dunks.  Our crowd was going crazy.  After expanding our lead to 22, late in the half our defense got soft and we got sloppy making several turnovers.  When the half ended we were on top 40-26.  PF Marvin Reese paced us with 13 points in the half.

Our play in the 2nd half was rather shoddy but we held onto a large lead and were never threatened.  We came away with a satisfying 75-62 win.  We outshot Baylor 47% to 39% and controlled the boards 34-27. 

SF Sam Dickens scored 18 points.  C Courtland Reese hit for 15 points plus pulled down 8 boards.  PF Marvin Reese put in 13 points and PG Josh McFadgon finished with 10 points.  SG James Lilly fouled out after scoring 7 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. 

Our 3 new starters (McFadgon, C. Reese, and Dickens) performed like they’d been playing college ball all their lives…a combined 43 points hitting 14 of 23 FGA’s, 18 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks and McFadgon, our PG, had NO turnovers in the 29 minutes he played!). 

Unlike last season, our bench didn’t perform particularly well.  They were on the court about 1/3 of the time, but scored just 12 points and had only 7 rebounds.  But they’re a solid bunch, so I expect they’ll do better in the future. 

Unusual occurrence that happened in this game:  Marvin Reese was fouled on two separate occasions while attempting 3-pointers.  He sunk all 6 free throws that ensued.  He attempted one more 3-pointer…got that one off cleanly and it swished through the basket.

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