Grading Earl Grant And His First Year As Boston College Head Coach
After an overtime loss to Georgia Tech earlier this month, the Boston College Eagles have finished their first season under new head coach, Earl Grant.
It is currently illegal to place a sports bet in Massachusetts, which means Eagles fans in the state must go elsewhere. This is unfortunate for BC’s fanbase, as this past season was better than expected.
BC Eagles’ performance year over year
Boston College was anticipated to finish the conference at the bottom with no ACC wins, just like they had under Jim Christian.
As the first season under Coach Grant’s reign ended, though, the Eagles had a conference play record of 6-14 and an overall record of 13-20. Last year, Boston College had a 2-11 conference record and an overall record of 4-16.
A notable improvement was also seen in allowed points per game this season for Boston College. Where last season the team allowed 79.5 points per game, this season saw only 68.7 per game.
While their loss to Georgia Tech was a disappointing end, the season had some significant victories alongside regrettable losses.
Notable BC victories this season show growth in the right direction
Boston College saw wins against teams that were expected, like their wins against Pittsburg, NC State, and FSU. They also saw some victories that no one expected.
The eagles won against two NCAA tournament teams, as well as ACC champion, Virginia Tech.
Their victory against Clemson in January was one for the books. In the first half of the game, they trailed behind the Tigers, 34-11, and had a .05% chance at winning, according to ESPN.
BC steadily eliminated that deficit of 23 points in the second half, though, for an overall 70-68 victory.
Some losses incurred for the Eagles
Aside from their final loss to Georgia Tech, Boston College saw some other significant losses during the 2021-2022 season.
They faced the Rhode Island Rams two times this season. This was the first time in 10 years that the Eagles played the same non-conference opponent twice in the same season.
The first game against Rhode Island was on the Rams’ home court. Boston College ended up falling 57–49 to Rhode Island.
BC’s second game facing the Rams was at Sunshine Slam in Daytona Beach. It was still a loss, but a closer one at 71–65.
“We lost by six points. That’s a two-possession game,” Coach Grant said of the second loss.
“Ten turnovers in the first half. That’s the story of the game.”
Other shortfalls of the season include losses to Pittsburgh, Albany, and Saint Louis.
“It’s such a tough league, where you have to understand that storms are near,” Grant says.
“You have to find a way to get through them and get to the other side of them.”
Grant isn’t feeling too defeated by this season’s losses, and is looking forward to wins next season. “Hopefully we’ll have some more positive moments.”
Key players show promise and growth
A large contributor to the team’s overall improvement this season under Grant’s leadership is the growth of individual players. Three particular players showed immense growth
Demarr Langford Jr. showed immense improvement and delivered big results this season. His points per game (PPG) averaged 11.1, which is almost double that of last season’s 6.7 PPG.
A big streak of six ACC games saw Langford Jr. earning points in the double digits. He also carried BC to a near-win in the overtime game against Notre Dame, earning a total of 23 points himself.
Jaeden Zackery started out in conference play a little shaky, but cleaned it up by the end of the season. He started all 30 BC games this season and became an integral part of the rotation.
As expected, Makai Ashton-Langford ended up being the Eagle’s top scorer with a PPG average of 12.1. He also averaged 3.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game.
While Ashton-Langford will likely not continue with Boston College next season, Coach grant is optimistic.
“We’re not where we want to be, but I think we’re forming,” Grant says.
“I hope that as we keep forming, we’ll be able to have some success and see the fruits of our labor.”
Steady improvement is the goal
Grant’s goal for the Eagles is for the team to focus on the behavior of winning instead of the physical wins. He wants his team to be one that’s connected with one another, speaks positively to one another, and has positive body language.
He’s confident that wins will happen naturally when the team places good behavior and positive habits as a priority. Laying this foundation during this past season could be a big stepping stone to success for Boston College next season.