Boston College Eagles: Season Preview

Gone are the days of point guard Olivier Hanlan running the show, gliding through opposing defenses for a bucket in the lane.

Gone are the days of small forward Aaron Brown spotting up in the corner for a three-pointer or throwing down a thunderous dunk on a fast break.

The 2015-16 Boston College Eagles are not your older brother's Eagles, in fact, those who graduated from Boston College this past spring might not even recognize the sqaud if they tune into a game this upcoming winter.

Losing their top four scorers from a 2014-15 campaign which saw the Eagles finish in 13th place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 4-14 record, many surrounding the team expect the 2015-16 season to be a rebuilding year of sorts, contrary to the beliefs of Eagles head coach Jim Christian.

The group certainly has received its fair share of critique from the national media. In an article predicting the ACC standings for this season, Bleacher Report columnist Kerry Miller was especially tough on this year's incumbents of the Silvio O. Conte Forum, stating, "I've been very cautious about throwing around phrases such as 'Might go winless in conference play'...but how in the world is this roster going to win a game in the ACC?"

Despite the thrashing the team has received since losing Hanlan (19.5 points per game in 2014-15), Brown (14.8 ppg), forward Patrick Heckmann (8.4 ppg), and shooting guard Dmitri Patten (7.3 ppg), Boston College is not a talent wasteland, having enjoyed one of their best recruiting periods in a number of years.

The Eagles acquired a plethora of baby-faced recruits that could fill in voids in the starting lineup almost immediately, headlined by the signing of 6'7", 190-pound forward A.J. Turner.

A graduate of New Hampton Prep, Turner was ranked the 106th best prospect in the Class of 2015 by Rivals, becoming Boston College's first Rivals Top 150 signee since Rakim Sanders in 2007.

Expect Christian to not hesistate to implement the smooth shooting stroke of Turner into the starting lineup, as the Michigan native, who rescinded offers from Arizona State, Northwestern, and Stanford to join the Eagles, can provide scoring for a team in dire need of it.

Boston College also landed 6'4", 180-pound shooting guard Matt Milon as well, another piece who could potentially land a starting spot with the team immediately out of the gate. Milon proved his shooting ability as a star for Oviedo (Fla.) High School, and his addition is welcomed by Christian, who will look to spread the floor with a bevy of shooting threats in 2015-16.

Another one of those threats from outside is senior transfer Eli Carter, who chose to spend his final season of college eligibility in Chestnut Hill after playing with the Florida Gators in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Standing 6'2" and 200 pounds, Carter is a built guard who can slash to the hoop, find the open man on the perimeter, or convert from the midrange or off of the dribble.

In 24.5 minutes per game with the Gators last season, Carter averaged 8.8 points and two assists, shooting 36% from the field. Despite his inflated turnover average in 2014-15 (1.8 per game) expect the Paterson, N.J. native to assume a Hanlan-type role in the offense, with Christian likely to grant him with the opportunity to run the show.

Although they may have lost a multitude of contributors from their 2014-15 squad, the Eagles are not completely devoid of returning talent. 7'1" senior center Dennis Clifford (6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season), a native of Bridgewater, Ma., will be expected to carry the load in the post, while junior forward Garland Owens (3.4 points and two rebounds per game last season) is likely to take on greater responsibility within the offense.

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