Eagles Take on UMassBoston College (6-3) vs. Massachusetts (4-3)
December 14, 1997 - 1 p.m.
FleetCenter - Boston, Mass. (SportsChannel New England)
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.
THIRD TIME'S A CHARM: Today's meeting between the Eagles and the University of Massachusetts is the third Commonwealth Classic at the FleetCenter. The Minutemen have won the the first two meetings -- 65-57 on Dec. 9, 1995 and 90-78 on Jan. 18, 1997.
Against the Minutemen: In the first two games of the "series", Eagles' forward Antonio Granger has averaged 12.5 points per game on 50.0 percent (9-of-18) shooting from the field. He has made two three-pointers in each game ... Duane Woodward, now a senior guard and team captain, has averaged 4.5 points and 5.0 assists per game. Last year, he had five points, seven assists and did not commit a turnover in 30 minutes ... Mickey Curley has averaged 2.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game ... The team's other two returnees -- Kostas Maglos and Damien Foster -- each played one minute in last year's classic.
BOSTON COLLEGE'S PROBABLE STARTERS 1997-98 PPG, RPG LAST GAME F 21 Antonio Granger 16.3 6.4 15 pts., 5 reb. F 23 Kostas Maglos 9.8 6.9 8 pts., 8 reb. C 14 Mickey Curley 14.8 7.5 15 pts., 7 reb. G 13 Kenny Harley 6.0 4.4 5 pts., 3 reb. G 20 Duane Woodward 13.4 6.0 apg 13 pts., 5 asts.
EAGLES IN THE COMMONWEALTH: Among the many notable Boston College graduates making contributions to the Bay State are Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci and University of Massachusetts President William M. Bulger. Cellucci received his bachelor's degree from the Heights in 1970 and his juris doctorate in 1973. Bulger earned his bachelor's degree in 1958 and his juris doctorate in 1961.
BC-FAIRFIELD RECAP: Seniors Mickey Curley and Antonio Granger each scored 15 points to lead Boston College to a 77-65 non-league win over Fairfield at Conte Forum. Fellow senior Duane Woodward netted 13 points and freshman guard Javier Rodriguez added a career-high 12 points for the Eagles ... BC led 36-31 at halftime and extended its lead to 14 points (54-50) with 12:28 remaining in the contest. The visiting Stags rallied and twice closed to within six points. After Fairfield's Sunday Eniojukan's jumper made the score 64-58 with 4:35 on the clock, the Eagles sealed the win by hitting 8-of-10 free-throw attempts in the closing minutes.
MORE FAIRFIELD GAME NOTES: BC hit 31-of-39 free-throw attempts (79.5 percent), its best outing of the season ... The Eagles also shot well from three-point range, sinking 6-of-12 attempts ... BC gained the victory despite being outrebounded (37-35) and committing more turnovers (17-13) ... Junior forward Kostas Maglos had his string of consecutive double-doubles snapped. After registering point-rebound double-doubles against both Fordham and Syracuse, Maglos finished with eight points (3-for-3 FG, 2-for-2 FT) and eight rebounds against the Stags. The Athens, Greece product is now shooting 60.3 percent from the field through nine games
WARMING UP: After struggling from the foul line early in the season, the Eagles have improved their free-throw shooting in recent games. In its last game, BC shot a season-best 79.5 percent from the foul line, making 31-of-39 attempts. The team's 31 successful free throws is the most in one game since the Eagles made 38 (of 56) against Hartford on Dec. 23, 1995.
FTM-FTA PCT First Three Games 24-49 .490 Next Four Games 55-84 .655 Last Two Games 42-53 .792
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.
Shooting Leader: Junior forward Kostas Maglos is shooting a team-high 60.3 percent from the field this season ... Maglos shot 62.3 percent from the floor (43-for-69) last winter. For his career, he is shooting 58.8 percent (94-for-160).
TOUGH NIGHT VS. SYRACUSE: The Eagles had a tough night against Syracuse on Dec. 6. BC made a season-low 19 field goals, scored a season-low 52 points and shot a season-low 32.8 percent from the field. In addition, BC made a season-low three three-pointers on 15.0 percent shooting from long range.
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 had a string of 95 consecutive games played snapped when he missed his first collegiate contest against Fordham on Dec. 4, leads the team in rebounding (7.5 rpg) and ranks second on the team in scoring (14.8 ppg). He has scored in double figures in each of the eight contests in which he's played, shooting 52.3 percent from the floor ... He has grabbed seven or more rebounds in six of his eight contests ... 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 (16.3 ppg) and ranks third in rebounding (6.4 rpg) ... He has led the team in scoring in five of the nine 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 eight of the nine games this season ... Granger currently ranks sixth on BC's career three-point list.CAREER THREE-POINT FIELD GOAL LEADERS
1. Dana Barros '89 291 2. Malcolm Huckaby '94 199 3. Howard Eisley '94 197 4. Gerrod Abram '94 187 5. Marc Molinsky '95 143 6. Antonio Granger '98 136
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 54 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 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 ... He made five steals against Syracuse.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP: The Eagles' three senior captains are also the team's three top scorers ... On the season, this trio has combined for 59.6 percent of the team's points.
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 five games because of a right hip flexor injury.
KOSTAS MAGLOS: After recording back-to-back point-rebound double-doubles against Fordham and Syracuse (Danya Abrams twice recorded back-to-back double-doubles last year), the junior from Athens, Greece tallied eight points and eight rebounds in the Eagles' most recent game -- against Fairfield ... Maglos finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds against Fordham, leading the frontcourt attack in the absence of Mickey Curley ... Against Syracuse, the junior scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds ... Maglos has now grabbed six or more rebounds in seven games this season. He has scored in double figures four times, including a 14-point effort against Arizona in the Maui Invitational.
More Maglos: Logging more minutes this season, Maglos has taken 68 shots from the field through nine games. Last year, he attempted 69 field goals in 21 contests.
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 seven games, while Beerbohm made his starting debut against Fordham ... Each of the three is averaging at least 19.5 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 a career-high 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 seven games ... He registered career highs of 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the Eagles' win over Chaminade (Nov. 26) ... He contributed six points (6-6 FT), seven rebounds (equaling his career high), two assists and three steals in 29 minutes against Syracuse ... 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 12 points against Fairfield, shooting 2-for-3 from three-point range and sinking 6-of-7 free-throw attempts ... He scored 11 points against Chaminade in the final game of the Maui Invitational ... He scored 10 points and handed out five assists in 26 minutes in his collegiate debut -- against Central Connecticut.
HE'S RUNNING NOW: 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 eight of the team's nine games. 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.
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", 208-112. 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.
STARTING LINEUP W-L:
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. BC has attempted 20 or more three-pointers in four of the nine games this season ... 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) ... 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.).
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.
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.
EAGLES VS. 1997 NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS: Boston College has a 2-1 mark against teams that earned berths in the 1997 NCAA Tournament. BC has lost to Arizona, and defeated Providence and Fairfield.
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.
vs. UMass: In his nine years as head coach at Rhode Island, Skinner had a 2-18 mark against the Minutemen.
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 enjoys the unique distinction of having served as the broadcaster for each of Boston's four Division I basketball schools -- BC, BU, Harvard and Northeastern. He 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.
UP NEXT: Boston College will host Holy Cross in Conte Forum on Saturday, December 20. Game time is 1 p.m.
THE SERIES VS. MASSACHUSETTS
Boston College has a 15-14 record in its series against Massachusetts. The series began with a 20-15 Massachusetts (Mass. State) victory in a December 8, 1905 contest.
The 1996-97 Meeting: Massachusetts 90, Boston College 78 (1/18/97) -- Scoonie Penn scored a team-high 18 points and Danya Abrams added 16 points and nine rebounds as the Eagles bowed to Massachusetts in the Commonwealth Classic at the FleetCenter in Boston. BC trailed, 40-31, at halftime and could never get closer than four points in the final 20 minutes. BC outrebounded UMass, 40-36, but shot just 41.5 percent from the field (versus UMass' 50.9 percent shooting).
The 1995-96 Meeting: Massachusetts 65, Boston College 57 (12/9/95) -- Danya Abrams tallied 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Scoonie Penn notched his first collegiate double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) to lead the Eagles in a closer-than-it-looks 65-57 loss to Massachusetts. The "Commonwealth Classic" was played in the FleetCenter. BC led by as many as 13 points in the first half (31-18 and 33-20), before UMass trimmed the lead to five points (33-28) at the intermission. The Minutemen scored the first nine points of the second half, before BC got on the board with 16:50 to play. UMass extended its lead to as many as six points (three times; the last at 51-45 with 6:59 to play), before BC rallied to even the score at 55-55 on a three-point play by Abrams. After the teams traded baskets, UMass took the lead for good on an Edgar Padilla three-pointer with 1:23 to play... BC shot 46.7 percent from the field to UMass's 40.0 percent, and the Eagles made three more three-pointers than their foes. The teams were even in the rebounding department (33-33).