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Dec. 6, 2030: George Mason Patriots (2-4) vs #24 Boston College Eagles (4-3) at Silvio O. Conte Forum in Chestnut hill, MA

Fred Aura

We dropped to #24 in the Media Poll and totally out of the Coaches Poll.  We deserve the big fall.

This past summer I got our AD Jason Braxton to schedule this game since my ex-assistant coach, David Woodruff, is now the head coach for George Mason.  Even if the Patriots lose to us, it’s a feather in David’s hat to go up against us.  And with the way we’ve played of late, the Patriots might just win. 

I’m so upset with how the starters have played that I told the team we were going to shake things up.  We’ll have an ENTIRELY NEW starting 5 for this game.  We’re going with Tim Cotton at C, Mike Williams at PF, Maynard Gardner at SF, Adrian Moss at SG, and Rashon Thorn at PG.  I’m not sure when I’ll put our usual starters in, but plan to do it as a group, and when I do it, let them know that they need to PRODUCE…or the new starters will be back on the court.

Thorn hit a 3 after we controlled the tip in.  I’m hoping that ignites our new starters.  First media time out, we’re up 7-0 and my old starters are rather surprised that they continue to sit.  With 13 minutes left in the half the new starters are up 11-4 but their legs are giving out, so I bring in our usual starting 5 (less Corey Graham who is nursing a sprained ankle so Glen Robinson will go in at SG).  Let’s see how they do.  Not all the impressed.  7-1/2 minutes later we’re up 21-13.  3 of the 5 to the bench.  30-21 at the half.  We only hit 34% of our shots, but held the Patriots shooting to 26%.  We got out-rebounded 22-17.  So in the 2nd half we need to get our shooting eyes adjusted and attack the boards.

I start the new starting 5 in the 2nd half also.  33-27 at the first media time out.  Let’s see if our usual starters can pull this one out.  Alright!  We’re up by 19 six minutes later.  With 8 minutes to go we’re up 57-36.  We scored 24 points in 8 minutes by the original starters.  We cruise with a hodgepodge lineup the rest of the way and win 74-50.  So a pretty good 2nd half.

All 12 of our players scored.  SG Glen Robinson was the only one in double figures…he hit for 20.  Robinson’s now scored 36 points in our last two games and hit 13 of 21 from the field and 8 of 11 from 3-point distance.  Bobby Grannum had 8 points, 7 rebound, 7 assists and 2 blocks tonight.

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Dec. 13, 2030: Boston College Eagles (5-3) vs #19 Providence Friars (7-2) at Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island

3rd Assistant Coach Jeremy Anderson (scouting)            

Providence has a lock-down defense, having allowed just 60.2 ppg which is 29th best in the nation.  Defensively they use m-2-m primarily but also mix in a 1-3-1 zone.  They play a slow-down offense and shoot poorly so are only scoring 63.8 ppg (which is 276th best in Division I).  Their primary offensive set is a motion offense.  The Friars are a good rebounding team, particularly Coach Aura’s oldest son Omari (7.7 rpg).  SG James Young is their top scorer (11.2 ppg) and is one of their few good shooters, hitting 53% of his FG’s and 50% of his 3’s.  The only other Friars who have been productive offensively are PF Omari Aura (9.7 ppg) and SF Michael Butler (8.9 ppg).  I like our chances but the Friars have been our nemesis since they became our non-conference rival and they have yet to lose at home this season.

Coach Aura has returned to the normal starting five, minus Corey Graham, who is still bothered by a sprained ankle.  While he may get into the game for a while, Glen Robinson will start at SG.  Glen’s had very strong games the past two games.

Providence hit their first 4 FG’s but we were scoring well also.  But the refs tagged us with a bunch of fouls.  Midway through the half we began having a really tough time hitting our shots plus became careless resulting in too many turnovers.  With 6-1/2 minutes remaining we were behind 28-17.  By the end of the half we trailed 42-27.  Providence outshot us 50% to 33% and got to the foul like 11 more times than did we.  But 12 turnovers really were our undoing.

Providence maintained a double-digit lead in the 2nd half until there was just 6 minutes to go.  While we got the deficit to a single digit, we could never get closer than 6 points and ended up on the losing end of a 71-63 score.  We hit just 39% of our FG’s and only 18% of our 3’s. 

C Ben Schau scored 16 and SG Glen Robinson added 12.  

We’ve lost other games, but this one seemed to affect Coach Aura much more than the others.  He didn’t say anything, but you could tell it by his facial expression…a mix of frustration and disappointment.

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Janeka Aura

Fred’s been having a hard time handling how his team is playing this season.  He’s complained about the negatives being written about him and the team by blog writers and others and how the support of the alumni has been eroded. 

The loss to Providence really got to him.  He’s holding himself responsible by advocating the change of non-conference rivals to Providence.  He’s concerned that every season his team has been less motivated than the Friars for the rival game.  But he holds himself responsible.

So now I have TWO despondent members of my family.  Malik continues to fret about the loss of playing time at Georgetown.  In the last 4 games his time on court has gone from over 30 minutes per game to 15, then 8, then 7, and most recently just 4 minutes.

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Dec. 20, 2030: #21 Wisconsin Badgers (7-2) vs Boston College Eagles (5-4) at Silvio O. Conte Forum in Chestnut hill, MA

Gerald McEntire, president of “Eagles Soar”

I’m trying my best to maintain positivity toward the team and Coach Aura.  And that requires that as president of the Eagles Soar fan club I have to try to reduce the negative comments coming from a growing number of our club’s members, help generate enthusiasm, and provide the members with hope as well.  Many of our members quickly became accustomed to the Eagles doing better each season.  But this season the team is barely above .500.  Wisconsin is BC’s final tuneup for ACC play, so it’s important the Eagles put together a good game.  After missing two games, its been reported that SG Corey Graham is fully recovered from his ankle injury and will start tonight

I recently remarried so my new wife Monica is attending her first game at Boston College.  When I divorced my previous wife Renee after 32 years of marriage, she took her half of the season basketball tickets for BC and maintained her membership in Eagles Soar.  Sometimes I think its just to spite me.  But Renee has been attending home games this season and of course sitting in the club’s seating section.  It can make things a little dicey since there are those in the club that have sided with her and look askance at the May December relationship that exists between Monica and me.  But so what!  They’re just jealous that I, at the age of 59, now have a 28 year old wife.

BC started off well…not particularly strong offensively but their defense was stellar.  Hopefully they can keep it up to mollify the malcontents in our club.  We were ahead 26-12 midway through the half, but the damned refs are whistling too many fouls on us.  Two starters are now on the bench with 2 fouls apiece.  A lot of our members are grousing that Coach Aura isn’t being tough enough on the refs.  Three starters now off the court with foul troubles and Wisconsin is within 5 points with 6-1/2 minutes left in the half.  The half ends with the Eagles on top 41-35.  By then 4 of our starters and a reserve had been relegated to the bench due to fouls.

During halftime, Monica and I make our way to the club’s private room at Conte Forum.  Janet Renwick is in there talking to Renee.  I’m sure they’re making snide comments about Monica.    When she sees Monica and I enter, she smiles and says, “Oh Jerry, let me buy the two of you drinks. I assume you’d like your usual Old Fashioned.  And what for your wife?  A Shirley Temple?”  She and Renee snicker.  I can’t help myself and respond, “No, since you were in here first, Janet, I’m sure there’s no longer any bourbon remaining to make an Old Fashioned.”  I quickly usher Monica away from the two of them and join up with my buddies in the club.  Lots of grumbling about the refs and Coach Aura being too laid back.  But my mind is continuing to seethe about how Renee is acting.  She’s being totally unreasonable.  She got a reasonable divorce settlement (too much so in my mind), so she should be happy.  Monica can’t help it that she’s a lot better looking and elsewise.

The Eagles again have a solid start.  I’m watching the game, but my attention wavers as I notice out of the corner of my eye that Renee looks to be bad-mouthing me to any and everyone.  BC goes on a run to go up by a 64-44 score with 9 minutes to go.  The home crowds become energized in the 2nd half and Wisconsin has had to burn timeout trying to curb BC’s momentum.  The Eagles triumph by a final score of 79-67.  Turnovers (19 by Wisconsin and just 9 by the Eagles) were a key factor in BC’s dominance.

Two reserves…PG/SG Glen Robinson with 18 points and SF Maynard Gardner with 14 points, led the scoring for the Eagles with starters SG Corey Graham and PG Bobby Grannum scoring 13 and 11 points, respectively.

A pretty good game by the Eagles, but we have club members who feels we should win by 20 or more points every time at home.

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RyReys Blog, Ryan Reynolds

Boston College is ready to begin their quest for the Atlantic Coast Conference crown this coming week.  The Eagles 6-4 pre-record isn’t as good as they wanted or their fan-base expected and isn’t as good as 9 of the ACC teams (see ACC team records below).  But BC played a very tough schedule.  4 of their 10 games were against Top 25 opponents and they went up against no pushover teams.

When asked about his team Coach Fred Aura said, “To be honest it’s a mix of positives and negatives.  We’re not quite as far along as I had hoped, but I think we ill just get better and better as the season progresses.  We’ve got the talent and just need to refine things, particularly working to get more clear shots so we improve our shooting efficiency.  There are no real holes in our starting lineup and our backups are pretty solid.  We just need to pick up our intensity and drive.”

Aura has experimented this season, starting a lot of different players and spreading playing time widely throughout his roster.  Because of that only the two top scorers are SG/PG Glen Robinson at 10.8 ppg and PG Bobby Grannum who’s averaged 10.0 ppg.  C Ben Schau is the team’s top rebounder at 6.4 rpg and Grannum leads in assists with 4.5 apg.

Here’s how the ACC teams have done thus far:

#10 North Carolina St.: 11-0, NET Ranking: 14

Miami (FL): 8-1, NET Ranking: 131

Virginia: 8-2, NET Ranking: 30

Clemson: 8-2, NET Ranking: 42

#9 Duke: 8-3, NET Ranking: 23

Pittsburgh: 7-2, NET Ranking: 213

Notre Dame: 7-2, NET Ranking: 60

Wake Forest: 6-3, NET Ranking: 71

Virginia Tech: 6-3, NET Ranking: 134

Boston College: 6-4, NET Ranking: 21

North Carolina: 6-4, NET Ranking: 85

Florida State: 6-4, NET Ranking: 95

Louisville: 5-4, NET Ranking: 145

Georgia Tech: 5-4, NET Ranking: 73

Syracuse: 3-6, NET Ranking: 260

“I think the pollsters have been tough on ACC teams this season, but that’s OK.  What I think stands out is that the conference this season is likely to be evenly balanced.  We need to play tough each and every game if we want to win.  At this point I just don’t see a favorite.  It’s going to be a dog-fight for the conference championship,” admitted Aura.

ACC Commissioner Buck Morgan echoed Aura’s thoughts when he said, “I think we’re going to see over half of our teams hotly contending for first place this season.  I like the competitive balance that we have.  It’s going to make for a lot of fan interest for the supporters of all of our teams.  And the Conference Tournament is going to be amazing.”

You probably are wondering about NC State and their perfect record.  Winning 11 straight is impressive, but the quality of their schedule isn’t impressive.  The Wolfpack does have 5 players averaging in double figures, though.  The ACC’s other ranked team, Duke, has played a far less difficult schedule than the Eagles and the Blue Devils sustained two home losses to relatively weak teams.  For the first time in recent history, Duke has no freshmen who are burning up the top of the stats sheets.

So fans, if you don’t have tickets yet for BC’s home games, you better get them now or you’re going to miss some exciting basketball.

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Fred Aura

BC’s fan club, “Eagles Soar”, had one of their fancy social events tonight.  It’s the type of event I hate going to but can’t avoid as head coach.  These type of social events are maybe even more intolerable than a lot of the press conferences and media interviews.  Tonight the club wanted me to say a few words about our upcoming ACC season.  Again, not something I enjoy, but have to do.  Got through it and thought I would be able to get out quickly.  But Renee McEntire sidled up to me.  She’d had far too much to drink and went on and on...something about a cousin’s son who plays basketball somewhere or other. The woman’s the ex-wife of the president of the club, so there was no way to quickly end the conversation.  I’ve noticed in the past when she’s talking with someone, she has the habit of doing a lot of touching.  That made it even more uncomfortable.  As the ex-wife of the president of the club, I had to endure her innocuous comments far too long.  Finally I extricated myself and got out of there and went to the solitude of my office to do some preparation for our upcoming game.

Our first ACC game is against Miami.  The Hurricanes are 8 and 1 this season, but all 8 wins have been at home against relatively weak opposition.  Their only loss was their opening game in a pre-season tournament and not to a particularly strong team. They’re playing us on our home court so we’re prohibitive favorites.  But Miami is averaging 77 ppg and only has given up 63 ppg, so we definitely have to take them seriously.  Looking over their stats, they’ve shot well and have a lot of assists, primarily due to their excellent PG Chris Skiffer.  Three of their starters are averaging in double figures, led by star freshman SG Reggie Spatola who’s averaging 13.7 ppg.  I’m going to continue to try to give Tim Cotton and Mike Williams more time.  They’ve done a good job inside when they’ve come into games off the bench thus far.  Ben Schau has been in a bit of a funk lately.  I’ll continue to start him, but let Tim and Mike take some of his minutes.

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Dec. 26, 2030: Miami (FL) Hurricanes (8-1, 0-0) vs Boston College Eagles (6-4, 0-0) at Silvio O. Conte Forum in Chestnut hill, MA

Mary St. James, Boston College Athletic Department Publicist

I’m hoping we not only win tonight but win BIG.  A great win in our ACC opener will make it possible to get out some good publicity.

A slow start, but midway through the half we hit two consecutive 3’s to pull ahead 16-9.  From there on it was pretty much all Eagles.  By the end of the half, we led 41-19.

To be honest the 2nd half wasn’t very thrilling.  The two teams just sort of traded baskets.  But the result was good: an 81-62 thumping of the Hurricanes. 

PF Danny Toliver had a good game with 12 points and 13 rebounds.  Others scoring in double figures were: SF James Pratt with 12, PG Bobby Grannum with 10, and C Tim Cotton with 10.

While it wasn’t really a very exciting game, the 19 point win will give me something to crow about, particularly since it was against the ACC team with the best pre-conference record.

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Coach Fred Aura

After finishing basketball practice, I headed to my office.  I was surprised to find Renee McEntire sitting in my office.  I wasn’t sure why she was there or how she got in.  But I tried to be gracious even though she made me feel uncomfortable.  She’s no longer married to Gerald, the President of our fan club “Eagles Soar”, but she feels she should get special treatment.

Turns out she wanted to continue talking to me about the cousin of one of her family members.  He plays high school basketball and she encouraged (strong encouraged) me to scout him since according to her he’s a real star.  The kid’s not on our radar.  But she went on and on, so mostly just to conclude her monologue, I finally said we’d check him out.  She thanked me and did her normal touch on my arm together with a contrived smile as she departed my office.  I sat down at my desk shaking my head.  The woman is weird.

My 3rd Assistant Coach Jeremy Anderson was coming toward my office as she stepped out and was nearly knocked over by her as she marched out, not paying him any attention.  He gave her a quick backwards glance but launched into talking to me about his scouting schedule before I could say anything.  I was beginning to feel like a conversation sponge…again hearing but having little to say in reply.  As he spoke I wrote down the kid’s name and where he goes to school so I can eventually pass it along to Landon Friel, my 2nd Asst Coach and recruiter, since I’m sure Renee will again mention this to me.

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Dec. 28, 2030: Boston College Eagles (7-4, 1-0) at Louisville Cardinals (5-5, 0-1) at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky

SF James Pratt

Coach Anderson’s scouting report said that 4 of Louisville’s starters average between 9 and 12 ppg.  I’ve been tasked with guarding the guy Coach Anderson feels is Louisville’s best player, Allen Brown.  While he’s not their leading scorer since he had a very slow start in their first 4 games, he’s scored in double figures in their last 6 games.  The guy mostly likes to shoot from midrange, but isn’t afraid to take the ball inside or step out for the 3.  He’s also a very strong rebounder (5.8 rpg) and is sound defensively.  I really want to beat the Cardinals since I’ve never liked Joey Johnson, their head coach.  He’s a braggart.  His best days were when he was coaching Texas, but to use a Texan phrase, “he’s been all hat and no cattle” during his 2 subsequent years at Syracuse and 2 years at Louisville.  He’s getting old and resting on his past laurels.  A friend of mine played for him at Syracuse and said Johnson doesn’t respect his players.

Coach Monty (Darrell Montgomery, our 1st Asst Coach) is handling the team for this game since Coach Fed had some type of family emergency.

We silenced the Cardinals’ crowd immediately by scoring the first 8 points.  We had a shut-down defense the entire first half and led 37-16 when we went to the locker room.  I felt good about how I did, since I not only scored 11 points but held Allen Brown to just 2 points with him just hitting a single basket in his 6 attempts.

In the first half Coach Monty played we starters more than Coach Fed does, but with our big lead, he split time in the 2nd half between starters and subs. Our defense continued to be solid as we squashed the Cardinals and their lousy head coach.  I got a kick out of watching and listening to him holler at his players.  Our lead grew to 37 points at one point, and we ended up thrashing Louisville 73-40.  We held Louisville’s shooting to just 26% on FG’s and a meager 18% on 3’s.

I was high point man with 16 points plus had 4 assist and 6 rebounds. Coach Monty awarded me the Player of the Game honors.  C Ben Schau also had a big game, scoring 10 points and hauling down 17 rebounds while handing out 5 assists.  SG Corey Graham scored 15 and PG Bobby Grannum added 11.  Allen Brown hit just 2 of 9 shots and scored just 7 points for Louisville.  We totally dominated the boards to the tune of 48-26.  The only stat they bested us on was free throws since we only got to the line 3 times the entire game.

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Coach Fred Aura

I hated to miss our game against Louisville, but Malik’s gone into a deeper funk.  After starting 5 straight games early in the season, he’s been sitting on the bench the past 7 games, getting 8 minutes of less of playing time the past six games.  Both Janeka and I are very concerned, not about his playing or not playing, but about his depression.  We almost always play the same days that Georgetown does so getting to a game when we aren’t playing is tough.

Georgetown had a game at St. John’s, so I went to New York City so I could talk with him before the game.  I bought a ticket to the game since I didn’t want Ike Long, the Hoya’s head coach, knowing I was there and thinking I was trying to influence how he handles the team and my son.  The Hoyas won 57-44.  Malik played just 6 minutes and scored 2 points, hitting a nice jumper but missing his two 3-point attempts.  Thus far this season he’s hitting just 25% of his 3’s which is probably one reason he’s not playing much.  They also have him playing out of position…not at SG but at SF.  So he’s not that familiar with all the baseline play and getting a different look at the basket. 

I got together with him after the game so I could talk more with him.  Malik learned not only from me, but more importantly from his brother and the game came easily for Malik.  He starred his whole time thorough high school so not being the “main man” is a big adjustment for him.

Georgetown’s starting SG is a highly rated junior.  Their PG is a senior. We talked about how he (Malik) is still learning the sets for the Hoyas while those two have a ton of experience and a lot more familiarity with Coach Long’s strategies.  The SG is an excellent player.  To be honest (although I didn’t tell Malik this), my opinion is that Malik is a better player than their PG and could do well at that position.  But the senior has so much more experience handling the team that I can understand Coach Long relying on him.  Malik was a 5-star recruit, but at SF he’s been supplanted by Ken Crider, another freshman who also was a 5-star recruit and was in the top 10 in the recruit rankings last year (Malik was the 20th ranked recruit last season).  Crider’s darned good and has been shooting better than Malik and does a good job attacking the glass.  Crider will probably be a one-and-done and Georgetown’s PG will be graduating after this season, so that should open a starting role for Malik next season.

I tried to get across to Malik that he just needs to keep working hard in practice, nail the sets, work on improving his outside shots (particularly since the 3 point line is just a little further out in college ball compared to high school), boost his teammates while on the bench, and be ready to do what Coach Long needs when he’s put onto the court.  I told him his time will come and to treat this period as a good time to improve his overall game.  I also encouraged him to be open with his coach and find out more about what Ike wants him to work on.  I also asked him to continue talking frequently with his mother and me and to also talk more with Omari, who’s a senior on the Providence team and who also had to work his way up on the team through his years there.

Then it was time for Malik to get some sleep since the Hoyas were taking an early express train from NYC to DC in the morning and also time for me to get back home so I could back with my team tomorrow and congratulate them on their big win in Louisville.

In the morning I talked with Janeka about Malik.  She was happy that I got together with him.  But then she got a strange call when I was gone.  She said “some woman” had called asking for me and didn’t indicate what the call was about.  I asked her who it was.  She said the woman wouldn’t identify herself.  I told her I had no idea who it was, but that if she calls again I’d let Janeka know who it was and what it was about…and that if Janeka takes the call to try to get the woman’s name and phone number.

I met up with Darrell (Montgomery) and gave him a big pat on the back for how he handled the team and his win at acting head coach.  I was then able to let the team know how proud of them on how they played against Louisville.  But now we have to prepare for our upcoming game against Virginia Tech.

Followup note: Georgetown played Seton Hall two nights later.  Malik didn’t start but played 17 minutes and scored 5 points, hitting 2 of his 3 FGA’s, and pulled down 3 rebounds and had a steal.  Some of that was due to Crider being in foul trouble so that he played just 22 minutes at SF…and scored just 4 points.

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Jan. 4, 2031: Virginia Tech Hokies (7-4, 1-1) at Boston College Eagles (8-4, 2-0) at Silvio O. Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, MA

Dom Scafani, Forum Security

The Eagles gave up too many easy shots in the first 12 minutes of the half and trailed the Hokies by a few points.  But then BC caught fire on the outside and streaked to a 50-36 halftime advantage.  The perimeter players carried the load as Glen Robinson, Bobby Grannum and Corey Graham hit 14 of 23 from the field (including 6 of 10 from beyond the arc) and combined to score 39 of the Eagles’ 50 points.

That put the large crowd in a good mood to reduce the likelihood of security problems.

The long bombs continued to fall for BC in the 2nd half and they took a 25 point lead with 14 minutes left in the game.  With 10 minutes to go the Eagles were on top by 31.  Coach Aura substituted freely, but the lead continued to grow.  The final score was 92-58.

I was involved in providing security in the interview room.  I heard Coach Aura say, “Our guys were zeroed in on the basket all night.  It’s nice coaching when your team hits 52% of their FG’s and 16 of 30 of their 3’s.  Bobby Grannum with 24 points and Glen Robinson with 26 points combined to hit 18 of 25 from the field and 11 of 17 from beyond the arc.  Bobby had 9 assists and 6 rebounds also so quite the night for him.  Put that together with some awesome defense (holding the Hokies shooting to under 30%) and work on the boards (we were +12) and it’s no wonder we won big tonight.”  One of the press guys had a bit too much to drink, so I then had to usher him out of the room and call him a cab.

BC and Notre Dame are now the only teams in the ACC that are unbeaten.

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Jan. 6, 2031: Boston College Eagles (9-4, 3-0) at Virginia Cavaliers (9-3, 1-1) at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia

Father Martin Christianson

I’m not only one of the Franciscan priests at BC, but I also teach American History at the college.  So I fought to be the team’s cleric for this road trip where I can spend some time at Monticello to do some research. Our players and coaches mostly just put up with a priest accompanying them.  They’ll participate in a pregame or postgame prayer, but seldom does there seem to be a request to talk to us privately about a spiritual issue or a matter of conscience.  But Boston College is insistent that one of us goes with the team on each road trip.  I do know though that there are 3 players who are having personal issues on the team: Tim Cotton and Adrian Moss are not too happy with the coaching staff (from what I have learned its because they want to start and/or have more playing time) and Bobby Grannum doesn’t get along with his teammates too well.  I’ve tried to get them to open up with me but with no success thus far.  I can encourage but not push.  These kids come to college having been the stars of their high school teams and then to not start and not get to play as much as they think they should is really tough.  I’m not sure what Bobby’s problem(s) with the team are.  Maybe he’s just waiting for the opportunity to turn professional, which I’m told he has a good chance to do.  While Coach Aura and his family attend mass, he’s more committed to his sport than to his religion so he doesn’t help in building a strong relationship between the players and the priests.  What’s more, he seems to have some personal issues he may be dealing with but is unwilling to discuss.  Again, all I can do is to let him know I’m there if he wants to talk.  Janeka, his wife, is more the center of spirituality within their family.

I got to the arena in time to go to the locker room just before the game and now am at my seat to watch the game.  The Eagles hit two 3’s to go up 6-0.  The refs were whistle-happy.  C Ben Schau was relegated the bench with 2 personals in less that 5 minutes of play.  James Pratt followed a minute later.  Virginia scored their first 7 points on free throws and didn’t hit a FG until there was 13:30 remaining.  But from the midpoint to the end of the half, the Cavaliers seemingly couldn’t miss while BC had a tough time finding the basket.  The half ended with Virginia on top 48-35. 

In the 2nd half the Eagles went on a 12-0 run to take a 59-57 lead with 12:16 remaining.  The lead seesawed for the next 9 minutes but the Cavaliers took a late lead forcing the Eagles to foul intentionally which only expanded Virginia’s lead.  BC lost 89-81. 

PG Bobby Grannum and SG Corey Graham both scored 16 with reserve PF Mike Williams adding 11 points.

Coach Aura told the team that they simply ran into a hot-shooting buzzsaw tonight and to just put this game behind them.  The loss dropped the Eagles into a tie with Duke for 2nd place, a game behind Notre Dame.  But Coach Aura seemed unconcerned about that.

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Coach Fred Aura

When catching up on my email after our return from Virginia I opened an email and read through it.  I was totally confused by what it said…at first.  Then I noticed it was signed “Renee”.  She was appreciative I guess because we’d scouted her cousin’s son (which we had although we were looking much more closely at a player on the opposing team…her relative was ok, but not for Division I basketball…maybe he could play for a Division 3 team, but no need to get into that with her).   But there was nothing specifically about him or basketball or scouting in the way she wrote the email. Since I knew what she was grateful for, I understood that’s what it was about.  I re-read her email, though.  While it expressed she was pleased for what I had done for her, it  was written in a way that could have been interpreted as sexual undertones and connotations.  As I said earlier, she’s weird.  I let our a few explicit epithets to myself and immediately deleted the email since I sure didn’t want anyone else seeing it and misconstruing what she was saying.  I made a mental note to myself to stay as far away from her as possible and to try not to be at Eagles Soar events that she might attend.  I’ll just send one of my assistants in my place to most of their events.  Since we need to get back on a winning track, I focused hard on our upcoming game and tried to totally forget all about Renee McEntire and her strange ways. 

Then James Pratt and Mike Williams arrived in my office.  They’d gotten into a heated argument earlier in the day and had to be separated by other players.  I decided to talk to them together and let them know we needed them pulling together.  They both took it well and said they’d work harder.  With Williams being so new to the team, I’m going to have to try to improve his relationship with his teammates.

Next to arrive was Rashon Thorn.  As he’d done last season, he’d again been mouthing off again about not playing enough and my favoring Bobby Grannum over him.  I tried the soft approach but he came back at me about even that.  I warned him more sternly and he was combative.  That ended up earning him a two-week suspension.  So it won’t be a matter of him playing too little…it will be not playing at all.  He’ll miss our next 4 games including our game against Duke.

This was turning out to be a pretty lousy day for me in the office.

Later than night I watched Notre Dame win on the road by a single point to drop us 1-1/2 games back.  My bad day was continuing.

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Jan. 11, 2031: Clemson Tigers (11-4, 3-2) at Boston College (9-5, 3-1) at Silvio O. Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, MA

PF Darius Hein

We’re short one player tonight (and for the following 3 games as well), since Rashon Thorn got himself suspended.  Rashon is a good friend of mine.  We got to BC the same year.  Like him I want to be out on the court and trying to get a win for the Eagles.  But it’s stupid to act the way he does at times and make a scene.  Not only is it foolish but it makes everyone on the team uncomfortable and knocks him down in a lot of the guys’ eyes.  But when he gets that way, there’s really nothing I can say to him that will help.  He just gets out of control.  Coach Fed is hard to rile up, so Rashon musta said something that was waaaayyy out of line.  This week Rashon’s just disappeared…not going to classes, not in his room.  I’m hoping none of our players get injured, particularly one of our guards, because if they do we’ll be really short-handed.

Clemson’s played us tough.  Coach Fed let us know he wasn’t happy that the Tigers had taken their measure of us by winning 4 of the 7 times they’ve played us since he got to Boston College. He told us we need to stop their inside game of C Samuel Lewis and PF Marvin Clayton.

We went up 10-1 but then let them score the next 6 points to get back into the game.  Then midway through the half the Tigers out-hustled us to take a 5 point lead.  We had to claw our way back.  Our starters carried us to a 37-33 halftime advantage as C Ben Schau led the way with 11 points and 7 rebounds.

After 5 minutes of the 2nd half we were up by 12 and I FINALLY got into the game.  30 seconds later I got a bucket on a tip in.  I got to play for 8 minutes and did pretty well (3 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks) and left the game with us ahead 64-48.  We went on to take down the Tigers by a final score of 76-60.

C Ben Schau had 15 points and 9 boards, PG Bobby Grannum also scored 15, and SF James Pratt had 13 points and 6 rebounds.  But Coach Aura was happiest with our defense as we held Clemson’s shooting to just 38% and 17% on their 3-point shooting plus forced them to turn the ball over 21 times.  He also gave all us interior players a big pat on the back for holding Leis and Clayton to a combined total of just 12 points which was 40% of what they normally score.

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Jan. 13, 2031: #10 Duke Blue Devils (12-4, 4-1) vs Boston College Eagles (10-5, 4-1) at Silvio O. Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, MA

Coach Fred Aura

When Duke comes to town every seat at Conte Forum is filled and with the two teams tied for 2nd place in the ACC, tonight’s no different.  It’s a raucous crowd.  Duke’s been more inconsistent than usual this season.  Overall they’ve played, including winning the Cancun Challenge tourney.  But they’ve sustained some unexpected losses both on the road and at home.  As usual though, they have a great defense, allowing only 60 ppg.  Recently we’ve had some good perimeter shooting so we’ll try to beat their defense that way.  As far as our defense goes, we need to try to control their senior C Michael Rashaw who has developed into their leading scorer this season averaging 15 ppg, their PF Enrique Fortin who is scoring about 10 ppg, and PG Casey Dare who has scored 11-1/2 ppg.

Duke jumped out on top.  We trailed by 4-6 points throughout most of the first 10 minutes as they throttled our offense.  At the 2nd media time out I put in Glen Robinson at PG since the Blue Devils were really pressuring Bobby Grannum.  Glen quickly hit some key baskets to tie the game and then move us ahead.  Our defense tightened and by the end of the half we led 29-24. 

Defense continued to be the key to holding our lead in the 2nd half.  Our offense stuttered in the middle of the half so that Duke was able to get within 2 points of us.  But the Blue Devils were never able to put on a sustained run because our guys were keeping them from getting clear shots.  In the last 8 minutes of the game we steadily pulled away to rather surprisingly bury Duke by a score of 64-48.  Yes, we held Duke to just 48 points!  The Blue Devils only made 30% of their shots.  So even though we were limited to 39% shooting, it was enough.  We held Rashaw to just 6 points.

Our leading scorer was SG Corey Graham who finished with 15 points.  PG/SG Glen Robinson scored 11.

Our fans swarmed the floor at the end of the game.  It got pretty messy.  Some how I ended up losing one of my better fedoras.  But I was intent on getting our guys off the court before someone got hurt so couldn’t worry about my hat.

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Jan. 18, 2031: #23 Boston College Eagles (11-5, 5-1) vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-7, 2-4) at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

1st Assistant Coach Darrell Montgomery

We’ve finally clawed our way back into the polls.  Coach Aura said he puts little faith in these, particularly when Duke is ranked #10 but Notre Dame is ranked just #20 when the Fighting Irish are 7-0 in the ACC and 1-1/2 games ahead of Duke and when North Carolina State is still ranked #16 but has only won 2 of 5 ACC games.  But I believe we deserve to be in the Top 25 and am glad to see us there.  I also think it gives recognition to our players for their hard effort.

We’ve got to take care not to take Wake Forest too lightly.  They’re a stronger team than in past seasons and are a good shooting team that generally has been successful on their home court.

There were 11 lead changes in the first 10 minutes of the game with neither team ahead by more than 3 points.  But we have greater depth so we were able to keep fresher legs on the court.  That helped us pull away from Wake Forest and achieve a 49-33 halftime lead. 

With such a large lead, our team let it’s guard down on defense in the 2nd half and Wake Forest used that to begin hitting a high percentage of their shots.  The Demon Deacons crept up on us but never really mounted a serious challenge.  We came away with a 92-80 victory, having hit 61% of our shots.

PF Danny Toliver hit for 19 points, C Ben Schau put in 17 points, and SG Corey Graham added 14 points.

Coupled with Virginia’s upset road win over Notre Dame, we moved to within ½ game of the first place Fighting Irish.

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Jan. 20, 2031: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-7, 4-3) vs #23 Boston College Eagles (12-5, 6-1) at Silvio O. Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, MA

Baldwin the Eagle

I love this mascot gig.  Actually I share it with another guy but it’s my night to be Baldwin tonight.  Not only is it just a lot of fun, but the cheerleaders and other coeds here are really into it.  Baldwin’s helped me get some dates that elsewise would never have happened.  And also my non-Baldwin persona is totally different from how I am as Baldwin.  Here’s a video (with the wrong date on it) of me a week ago before the Duke game:

Besides my normal game activities, tonight I have two special stunts planned.  First: at halftime I’m going to attempt (and maybe actually do) a dunk.  And then in the 2nd half during a timeout, I’m going to smash a pie in the face of a ref (well, actually a fake ref, a friend of mine who will be dressed as a ref).

Even though the defense was shaky, BC had a hot start offensively and held a lead.  But midway through the first half our shooting went south and Georgia Tech slipped ahead.  We trailed 38-36 at the end of the half. 

We had a lot of buildup for my dunking stunt.  Finally I took the ball at midcourt, ran straight for the basket, hit the mini-trampoline perfectly and went up for the for the dunk, but it all went wrong from there.  The ball sort of slipped from my wing hand and while I thought I could still get it down, it slammed up against the rim and came straight back at me and nearly took off my beak.  I crashed down to the floor like I’d been shot.  Embarrassing but the crowd loved it.

Our team played better in the 2nd half, but the refs tagged us for a bunch of fouls (including 4 quick ones on C Ben Schau).  So we were leading by just two at 62-60.  Perfect timing for me to run the pie stunt during a media time out.  Unlike my dunk stunt, this one went perfectly.  I complained to the “ref”, then chased him around the court before grabbing the pie and planting it squarely in his face at midcourt.  The crowd went crazy. 

And our team seemed to come alive after that and quickly pulled away to lead 69-60 with 5:21 to go.  And I’m taking TOTAL credit for BC not allowing the Yellow Jackets to score a SINGLE point after my stunt!  We won 77-60, scoring 15-0 after my pie in the face stunt.

Top producers for the Eagles tonight were: PF Danny Toliver—16 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 blocks; C Ben Schau—14 points and 8 boards; C Tim Cotton—11 points; SF James Pratt—10 points and 3 blocks; SG Corey Graham—9 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists.  Strange stat for Georgia Tech: their PG Rahim Arnold went 7 for 16 from the field…all 16 shots were from 3 point distance, so he scored 21 points.

Notre Dame got beat by Miami, so the Eagles are now in sole possession of 1st place in the ACC.

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Jan. 27, 2031: #21 Boston College Eagles (14-5, 8-1) vs Clemson Tigers (13-6, 5-4) at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, SC

Ty Allison, Head Coach of the Clemson Tigers

We’re playing at home where we have yet to be beaten this season.  And we’re underdogs!  I’ve riled up our team about that and we intend to show everyone who’s putting us down just how wrong they are.  Coach Fred Aura has done a solid job during his tenure as head coach at Boston College, but we’ve won 4 of the 8 games we’ve played against the Eagles since he arrived.  And we intend to make that 5 of 9 tonight!  My guys are psyched to kick those who are disrespecting us in the ass.

We scored the first 5 points in the game.  We then went up by 13 with 5 minutes left in the first half.  We went on to take a 56-35 lead at halftime.  We outshot the Eagles 59% to 40% and outrebounded them 22-16.  SF Hayden Hailey scored 13 points and grabbed 7 rebounds for us.  I told my team to keep the pressure on throughout the final 20 minutes.

Boston College came back strong at the beginning of the 2nd half and cut our lead to 7 in the first 6 minutes.  But we re-established a 25 point lead with 8 minutes left to play.  My team then never let BC get closer than 19 points and we came away with a 97-74 whipping of the Eagles.

BC’s SG Corey Graham led all scorers with 24 points and SF James Pratt and C Ben Schau had 12 and 11 points, respectively.  But my Tigers had 5 players in double figures and 11 players scoring.

That’ll show those who disparage us.  We’re now tied for 4th place in the ACC, just 2 games behind Boston College.

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Jan. 30, 2031: North Carolina Tar Heels (12-9, 6-5) vs #19 Boston College Eagles (14-6, 8-2) at Silvio O. Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College Chronicle


By Kinsey Ramsey

Following a disappointing loss to Wake Forest on the road late last week, the Eagles returned to Conte Forum to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels.  Coach Aura said, “North Carolina is always a dangerous opponent.  This season they’re led by a trio of good scorers.  All three hit a high percentage of their shots.  SG Rashad Newton is averaging 14.6 ppg and has knocked down 47% of his 3’s.  PF Lucious Abrui averages 12.6 ppg and has hauled down 5.5 rpg.  SF Brad White has scored 11.2 ppg, hits shots from all over the court, and has pulled down 4.0 rpg.  We’ll need to bring our A-game to take down the Tar Heels.  Unfortunately we’ve had a spate of injuries.  Glen Robinson has a sprained wrist, Danny Toliver sprained his toe, and James Pratt has a nagging sore back.  All three should be able to play but it puts pressure on everyone else to do their very best.”

North Carolina grabbed an early lead as the refs tagged 4 of BC’s starters with fouls.  The Eagles finally scored 3 minutes into the game.  Both teams had a tough time scoring, but BC’s “D” kept the Tar Heels scoreless for nearly 8 minutes during which the Eagles were able to pull ahead by 9 points with 11 minutes remaining in the first half.  But turnovers and poor shooting prevented BC from holding onto a big lead.  When the buzzer sounded ending the half, the score was BC-27, NC-26.  Both teams had only been able to hit a third of the shots they’d taken.

The Eagles scored the first 13 points in the 2nd half.  North Carolina’s shooting woes continued and with just under 10 minutes to go, BC led 55-35.  The Eagles defense held strong and BC came away with an impressive 65-45 victory.

Just two Eagles’ players scored in double figures.  SG Corey Graham scored 16 and C Tim Cotton added 11 points.

“Our offense was anemic in the first half.  We picked it up a bit in the final 20 minutes, but it was our defense that led to our win tonight,” said Coach Aura.  “North Carolina is a good team and any time you can hold their shooting to just 27%, you’ve done an outstanding job.  Our guys just never gave the Tar Heels any easy shots.”

The win kept the Eagles in a tie with Notre Dame and a game-and-a-half ahead of Duke in the ACC standings.  BC travels later this week to to take on the Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana.

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