Dec. 5, 1997
Syracuse (4-0, 1-0) at Boston College (5-2, 1-0)
December 6, 1997 - 8 p.m.
Silvio O. Conte Forum (8,606) - SportsChannel New England
BOSTON COLLEGE'S PROBABLE STARTERS
BEFORE TONIGHT'S GAME: There will be a brief ceremony prior to tonight's game, honoring last year's Eagles' basketball team that shared the BIG EAST regular-season title and won the BIG EAST Tournament crown.
OUR TEAM: The 1997-98 Eagles present a much different look from the Eagles of recent years. While five lettermen return from last year's team, eight of last year's players are no longer on the roster. Five (Danya Abrams, Pat Bosworth, Brad Christianson, Keenan Jourdon and Bevan Thomas) received their degrees and three (Andy Bedard, Nate Fox and Scoonie Penn) chose to transfer.
BC-FORDHAM RECAP: Senior forward Antonio Granger scored 20 points and junior forward Kostas Maglos recorded 17 points and 14 rebounds (both career highs) to lead the Eagles to a 69-66 home victory over Fordham. The visiting Rams shot 58.6 percent from the floor in the first half, and led 39-36 at the break. Each team led by as many as six points in the second half. After BC took a six-point lead, Fordham held the home team scoreless from the field over the final 5:41 of the game. The Rams closed to within one point with 2:33 to play, before BC forced two turnovers and made two free throws to preserve the win ... BC limited Fordham to 27.6 percent shooting from the field in the second half.
MORE FORDHAM NOTES: Kostas Maglos played a career-high 34 minutes ... Senior center and captain Mickey Curley missed the game because of back spasms. Prior to this game, Curley had played in all 95 games since coming to Boston College in 1994 ... Freshman forward Jonathan Beerbohm made his first collegiate start -- in place of Curley. He finished with six points and two rebounds in 28 minutes.
WALKING RIGHT ON: Sophomore guard Dwayne Pina (New Bedford, Mass.) is one of four walk-ons who earned a spot on the BC roster. Pina has seen action in six of the team's seven games, including "significant" minutes in each of the last three contests (all wins). He played a career-high 19 minutes against Fordham, racking up an impressive line of three points (on his first collegiate trey), four assists, two rebounds and two steals ... In the BIG EAST opener at Providence, Pina saw 17 minutes of action (eight in the first half), finishing with two points, two rebounds and two assists ... He played 11 minutes in the win over Chaminade in the Maui Invitational, including nine before halftime.
ON THE MARK: Boston College shot 60.8 percent from the field at Providence on Nov. 30, its best single-game field-goal percentage since shooting 61.2 percent against Long Island University on Dec. 29, 1994 ... The last time the Eagles hit a higher percentage in a BIG EAST contest was Jan. 4, 1994 shooting 63.0 percent against Villanova.
THE CAPTAINS: The 1997-98 Eagles will be led by their three senior captains -- center Mickey Curley, forward Antonio Granger and guard Duane Woodward. All three are experienced leaders, having played key roles in the Eagles' 1995-96 NCAA Tournament run and their 1996-97 BIG EAST titles (regular season and post-season tournament) and NCAA Tournament berth.
MICKEY CURLEY: The senior center, who missed his first collegiate contest against Fordham on Dec. 4, leads the team in rebounding (7.7 rpg) and ranks second on the team in scoring (15.0 ppg). He has scored in double figures in each of the six contests in which he's played, shooting 56.1 percent from the floor ... In the BIG EAST opener at Providence (Nov. 30), he shot 7-for-10 from the floor to finish with 16 points. He also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds ... He has recorded one point-rebound double-double (the fourth of his career) -- a 16-point, 13-rebound effort against Florida Atlantic (Nov. 19) ... He scored a career-high 25 points (9-for-15 FG, 7-for-9 FT) and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds against George Washington in the Maui Invitational (Nov. 25).
ANTONIO GRANGER: The Detroit, Michigan native, who led all BIG EAST players in three-point field goal percentage last winter, currently leads the Eagles in scoring (17.9 ppg) and ranks second in rebounding (7.3 rpg) ... He has led the team in scoring in four of the seven games, including three games with 20 or more points ... He earned All-Tournament honors in the Maui Invitational, averaging 17.0 points and 7.7 rebounds in the three games. He recorded 21 points (one shy of his career high) and a career-high five assists in the opening-round game against top-ranked Arizona. He registered his fourth collegiate double-double with 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds against Chaminade (Nov. 26) ... He has scored in double figures in all seven games this season ... Granger currently ranks sixth on BC's career three-point list.
CAREER THREE-POINT FIELD GOAL LEADERS
Long Distance: No one doubts Granger's long-range shooting ability, but the senior is quickly giving "long range" a new meaning. After sinking a 40-foot shot just before the halftime buzzer against Arizona in the Maui Invitational, the senior hit a 43-footer in the second half at Providence.
DUANE WOODWARD: The senior guard has started each of the Eagles' last 52 games (dating back to Feb. 1, 1996) ... In the Eagles' game at Providence, he scored a career-high 24 points (8-for-13 FG, 3-for-5 treys) ... He has tallied six or more assists in five of the last six contests, matching his career high with nine assists against George Washington in the Maui Invitational ... He netted 22 points in 24 minutes of action against Central Connecticut (Nov. 16). He also recorded a career-high six steals against CCSU.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP: The Eagles' three senior captains combined for 58 of the team's 78 points (74.4 percent) and 18 of its 30 rebounds (60.0 percent) in the win over Providence ... On the season, this trio has combined for 47.3 points per game, 63.8 percent of the team's scoring.
RETURNING LETTERMEN: Along with the three senior captains, Boston College returns two additional lettermen -- junior forward Kostas Maglos and sophomore guard Damien Foster ... Foster has missed the last three games because of a right hip flexor injury. He is questionable for tonight's game.
KOSTAS MAGLOS: The junior forward from Athens, Greece, had a career night against Fordham, finishing with 17 points and 14 rebounds and leading the frontcourt attack (senior captain Mickey Curley was absent because of injury ... Maglos has now grabbed six or more rebounds in five of the team's seven contests. He has scored in double figures three times this season, including a 14-point effort against Arizona in the Maui Invitational ... He is shooting a team-high 59.3 percent from the field.
WELCOME ADDITIONS: Head coach Al Skinner's first three recruits -- guards Kenny Harley and Javier Rodriguez, and forward Jonathan Beerbohm -- have already made significant contributions to the Eagles' attack. Each of the three signed with the Eagles after Skinner became the team's head coach ... Two of the three have already earned starting assignments. Harley has started each of the last five games, while Beerbohm made his starting debut against Fordham ... Each of the three is averaging more than 21.0 minutes per game.
JONATHAN BEERBOHM: The 6-foot-7-inch forward, who averaged 21.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game as a senior at Fairbury (Neb.) High School last winter, played a key role in the Eagles' win at Providence, coming off the bench to record nine points and four rebounds in 29 minutes (filling in for Maglos, who was in foul trouble) ... He recorded 11 points and six rebounds in 22 productive minutes against Florida Atlantic on Nov. 19 ... The athletic freshman had six points and four rebounds against top-ranked Arizona ... He Sings, Too: In addition to his basketball skills, Beerbohm is a talented singer, having learned the art from his father who is a vocal music instructor.
KENNY HARLEY: The 6-foot-4-inch guard has started each of the team's last five games ... He registered career highs of 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the Eagles' win over Chaminade (Nov. 26) ... He contributed nine points, four rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes against Fordham ... Harley hails from All Hallows (N.Y.) High School, a school that has produced many present and former collegiate stars, including Rhese Gibson (Georgetown), Olden Polynice (Virginia/Sacramento Kings), Shawnelle Scott (St. John's/Cleveland Cavaliers) and Daryll Walker (Seton Hall).
JAVIER RODRIGUEZ: The 6-foot-2-inch guard, who hails from Vitoria, Spain, scored a career-high 11 points against Chaminade, his second double-figure scoring effort ... He scored 10 points and handed out five assists in 26 minutes in his collegiate debut -- against Central Connecticut.
RANKINGS: In a pre-season vote of the BIG EAST Conference's 13 head coaches, Boston College was picked to finish sixth in the BIG EAST 6. Connecticut was selected to finish first in the six-team division, while Syracuse was the coaches' choice to win the BIG EAST 7 ... Last year, Boston College was picked second in the coaches' preseason poll, but went on to share the league's regular-season crown and capture the BIG EAST Championship Tournament title.
QUICK FACTS: Boston College attempted 67 shots in each of its wins over Chaminade and Central Connecticut, matching last year's highest single-game shot total. The Eagles' 23 three-point attempts against CCSU fell one shy of last year's game high ... Boston College made nine three-point field goals in its season opener, two shy of its 1996-97 single-game high (BC hit 11 treys twice last winter). The Eagles wasted no time in finding the range against Central Connecticut. In the first half alone, BC hit 7-of-16 three-point field goal attempts ... In addition to Pina, the team's other walk-ons are: sophomore Jim Boland (Waite Hill, Ohio), and freshmen Julian Bah (Bronx, N.Y.) and Nicolas Dunn (Braintree, Mass.).
BENCH PRODUCTION: While the freshmen have made significant contributions already this season, the Eagles' lack of depth has been a source of concern for the coaching staff. Already this season, BC's reserves have been outscored by the "other bench", 164-84. The Eagles' reserves outscored Central Connecticut's substitutes, 21-12, in the season opener, their only "bench" win ... George Washington's bench outscored BC's by a 36-2 margin.
NOTHING'S FREE: The Eagles have struggled from the foul line early this season, hitting just 59.4 percent of their attempts (79-for-133).
STARTING LINEUP W-L:
Granger, Maglos, Beerbohm, Harley, Woodward 1-0 Granger, Maglos, Curley, Harley, Woodward 2-2 Granger, Maglos, Curley, Foster, Woodward 2-0
EAGLES VS. RANKED TEAMS: Boston College has a 0-1 mark against nationally-ranked teams this season. The Eagles lost to top-ranked Arizona, 99-69, in the opening round of the Maui Invitational on November 24, 1997.
THE HEAD COACH: Al Skinner assumed the head coaching duties at Boston College on April 17, 1997. Skinner, a 1974 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, enjoyed nine successful years at the University of Rhode Island before coming to the Heights. In his tenure at URI, Skinner had a 138-126 record, leading the Rams to two NCAA Tournament (1992-93 and 1996-97) and two NIT (1991-92 and 1995-96) bids.
THE ASSISTANT COACHES: Skinner brought three of his Rhode Island assistants to the Heights with him and added one additional assistant coach. Bill Coen, Ed Cooley and former BC star guard Tim O'Shea ('84) joined the BC staff after working with Skinner in Kingston, R.I., while Pat Duquette came to BC from St. Michael's College.
EARLY SIGNEES: Two highly-touted recruits - forward Brian Ross (North Quincy, Mass./North Quincy HS) and swingman Clinton Sims (Paris, Ky./Maine Central Institute) - have signed national letters of intent to play basketball at Boston College, beginning with the 1998-99 season. Ross, who earned Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic honors in 1996-97, averaged 20.3 points and 12.0 rebounds per game as a junior. Sims played his high school ball at and graduated from Paris (Ky.) High School. He was selected to play in last winter's prestigious Kentucky-Indiana All-Star Game. At Maine Central Institute, he's slated to be a starter for the talent-laden team. Sims is the younger brother of former University of Louisville star Alvin Sims.
ON RADIO: Boston College basketball games will be broadcast by American Radio Sports with games being heard on WNFT-AM (1150). Calling the action for the Eagles will be Ted Sarandis, the host of the popular "Ted Nation" talk show on SportsRadio WEEI (850). Sarandis is in his third season as the team's play-by-play voice and his 19th calling college basketball action. Joining Sarandis will be Bill Newell. A 1976 graduate of the University of Vermont, Newell is in his first season as color analyst for the Eagles' basketball team. Newell spent the past three seasons, and the beginning of the 1997-98 season, as the color analyst on Boston College hockey radio broadcasts. He also handles Harvard football radio duties.
FAX ON DEMAND: The BIG EAST Conference offers a FAX-ON-DEMAND service that sends the latest in sports information from the BIG EAST and its member institutions to your fax machine instantly -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Media members are required to contact the BIG EAST or the Boston College Sports Information Office to obtain the access (telephone) number. Boston College basketball document codes are: Breaking News 1120; Short Notes 1121; Full Notes 1122; Stats Only 1123; Most Recent Box Score 1124.
ON THE WEB: Boston College sports information can also be accessed by visiting the Boston College athletic website. The address is: www.bceagles.com.
UP NEXT: Boston College will host Fairfield on Wednesday, December 10. Game time is 7 p.m.
THE SERIES VS. SYRACUSE
Even of Late: Syracuse and Boston College have split the last 10 meetings. Included among those 10 games are four Conte Forum encounters. Each team has won two of those games.
In Conte Forum: BC has a 3-5 record against the Orangemen in Conte Forum.