Dec. 30, 1997
Villanova (5-4, 2-0 BE) at Boston College (8-4, 1-1)
BOSTON COLLEGE'S PROBABLE STARTERS 1997-98 PPG, RPG LAST GAME F 21 Antonio Granger 15.8, 6.1 22 pts., 5 reb. F 04 Jonathan Beerbohm 5.2, 2.8 2 pts., 1 reb. C 23 Kostas Maglos 11.1, 7.1 10 pts., 5 reb. G 13 Kenny Harley 6.2, 5.2 9 pts., 5 reb. G 20 Duane Woodward 13.6, 5.6 apg 21 pts., 5 reb.
WILDCATS, PART II: Tonight's meeting against Villanova marks the Eagles' second consecutive game against Wildcats. In its last outing, BC defeated the Northwestern Wildcats, 64-63.
INJURY REPORT: Senior center Mickey Curley will miss tonight's game after suffering a sprained right ankle in the second half of the Eagles' win over Holy Cross on Saturday, December 20. Curley is expected to be out of action until early January ... Curley has played in 99 of 101 games since coming to Boston College in 1994. He had played in 95 consecutive games before missing the Fordham game earlier this year because of back spasms. He also missed the Northwestern game on Dec. 23, 1997.
BC-NORTHWESTERN RECAP: Senior guard Duane Woodward's put-back jumper as time expired lifted host Boston College to a 64-63 non-league win over Northwestern at Conte Forum. Woodward's game-winning hoop came after the senior grabbed the offensive rebound off a missed three-point attempt by freshman Javier Rodriguez. Woodward shot the ball in midair to beat the final horn. After one Woodward free throw gave BC a 62-61 lead with 28 seconds remaining, Northwestern senior Evan Eschmeyer put the Wildcats ahead, converting an offensive rebound with 10.2 seconds left on the clock. BC called two timeouts before scoring the decisive points. Woodward finished the game with 21 points, while senior Antonio Granger led the Eagles with 22 points, matching his career high. BC led 33-27 at halftime and extended its lead to as many as 12 points (43-31 with 16:03 remaining) in the second half, before Northwestern slowly narrowed the margin. The Wildcats tied the game at 59-59 on an Eschmeyer jumper with 1:56 to play.
MORE NORTHWESTERN GAME NOTES: BC committed a season-low eight turnovers ... Northwestern outrebounded the Eagles, 36-24 ... BC equaled its single-game high with nine three-point field goals. Antonio Granger led the Eagles with a season-high five treys.
ONE-POINT WIN: The Eagles' 64-63 victory over Northwestern marked the team's third consecutive win in games decided by one point (dating back to a 73-72 win over Rutgers on March 1, 1996 ... BC's seniors have a 3-3 record in one-point contests.
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.
FINISHING ON A POSITIVE NOTE: Boston College has a 5-1 record in its last six (calendar) year-end contests ... The Eagles had won five consecutive year-end contests before dropping an 89-85 double-overtime decision at Louisville last December (29th) ... Only once in the 1990s has BC concluded its calendar year with a BIG EAST contest. The Eagles defeated Syracuse, 94-93 in overtime (in the Carrier Dome), on Dec. 30, 1992.
WHO'S HOT: Junior forward Kostas Maglos has scored in double figures in five of the last six games, while recording three point-rebound double-doubles ... He recorded back-to-back point-rebound double-doubles against Fordham and Syracuse, and added his third double-double against Holy Cross (Dec. 20). Maglos finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds against Fordham, leading the frontcourt attack in the absence of Mickey Curley. Against Syracuse, he scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Against Holy Cross, he finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
League Leader: Maglos is shooting 61.9 percent from the field this season, tops among all BIG EAST players ... Maglos shot 62.3 percent from the floor (43-for-69) last winter. For his career, he is shooting 59.8 percent (113-for-189).
LONG RANGE:Boston College equaled its season high with nine three-point field goals against Northwestern. The Eagles also hit nine treys in the season opener against Central Connecticut (Nov. 16) ... BC has made six or more three-pointers in six games this season, including two of the last three contests.
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.
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.
THE CAPTAINS: The 1997-98 Eagles are 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 will miss his second consecutive game tonight because of a right ankle sprain, is tied for the team lead in rebounding (7.3 rpg) and ranks second on the team in scoring (14.0 ppg). He has scored in double figures in each of the 10 contests in which he's played ... He has grabbed seven or more rebounds in seven of his 10 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 (15.8 ppg) and ranks third in rebounding (6.1 rpg) ... He has led the team in scoring in six games, including four games with 20 or more points ... He equaled his career high with 22 points (8-for-12 FG, 5-for-6 treys) against Northwestern ... 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 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 10 of the 12 games this season ... Granger is currently with Marc Molinsky '95 for the fifth spot 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 5. Antonio Granger '98 143
Among the League Leaders: Granger ranks among league leaders in three-point field goals made (third - 2.33/game), three-point field goal percentage (eighth - .394), field goal percentage (11th - .459) and scoring (15.8 ppg).
DUANE WOODWARD: The senior guard has started each of the Eagles' last 57 games (dating back to Feb. 1, 1996) ... He scored the game-winning basket as time expired in BC's 64-63 win over Northwestern. He finished that game with 21 points and five rebounds ... 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 seven 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.
Among League Leaders: Woodward ranks among BIG EAST leaders (Top 10) in three categories -- steals (fifth) and assists (sixth).
Against the Wildcats: Woodward has averaged 10.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game in six career contests against Villanova. He scored 16 points in his first game against the 'Cats and registered a career-high 13 rebounds in a BIG EAST Tournament meeting on March 10, 1995.
RETURNING LETTERMEN: Along with the three senior captains, Boston College returns two additional lettermen -- Kostas Maglos and sophomore guard Damien Foster ... Foster, who missed five games earlier this season because of a right hip flexor injury, has played in five games.
THE NEWCOMERS: 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 10 games, while Beerbohm has made two starts, including one against Northwestern (in place of the injured Mickey Curley).
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, will make his third collegiate start tonight, replacing the injured Mickey Curley ... Against Northwestern, the freshman contributed two points, one rebound and two assists in a career-high 30 minutes of action ... He played a key role in the Eagles' win at Providence, coming off the bench to record nine points and four rebounds in 29 minutes ... He recorded 11 points and six rebounds in 22 productive minutes against Florida Atlantic on Nov. 19 ... 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 10 games ... Overshadowed by Granger's career-high scoring effort and Woodward's game-winning hoop, Harley nevertheless played a key role in BC's one-point win over Northwestern. He finished with nine points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists in 36 minutes ... He registered a career-high 13 points in the Eagles' win over Chaminade (Nov. 26) ... He grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds in the team's win over Holy Cross ... He contributed six points (6-6 FT), seven rebounds, two assists and three steals 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, has scored in double figures in four games this season ... He 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 has scored 10 points in each of two games -- in his collegiate debut against Central Connecticut and against Holy Cross ... He also grabbed a career-high five rebounds against Holy Cross.
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 10 of the team's 12 games. He had an impressive line of three points (on his first collegiate trey), four assists, two rebounds and two steals against Fordham ... 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.
BENCH PRODUCTION: While the freshmen have made significant contributions already this season, the Eagles' lack of depth is a source of concern for the coaching staff. Already this season, BC's reserves have been outscored by the "other bench", 247-128. 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 ... BC's reserves did not score against Northwestern.
STARTING LINEUP W-L: Granger, Maglos, Beerbohm, Harley, Woodward 2-0 Granger, Maglos, Curley, Harley, Woodward 4-4 Granger, Maglos, Curley, Foster, Woodward 2-0
QUICK FACTS: BC has attempted 20 or more three-pointers in five games this season ... Boston College has twice made nine three-point field goals this season, two shy of its 1996-97 single-game high (BC hit 11 treys twice last winter) ... BC attempted a season-low 41 field goals against Fairfield ... 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 2-2 mark against teams that earned berths in the 1997 NCAA Tournament. BC has lost to Arizona and Massachusetts, 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.
10th year: Both Skinner and Villanova head coach Steve Lappas are in their 10th seasons as collegiate head coaches. Skinner enters tonight's game with a 146-130 career coaching record.
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 play at West Virginia on Saturday, January 3 (7 p.m.), before meeting Villanova for a second time on Tuesday, January 6 in The Pavilion (7:30 p.m. on ESPN2).
THE SERIES VS. VILLANOVA
Tonight's game is the 62nd meeting between the Eagles and Wildcats. Villanova holds a 45-16 lead in the series.
Streaky: BC snapped a seven-game Villanova (series) winning streak with its win in the 1997 BIG EAST Championship Tournament title contest ... Before VU's seven-game streak, Boston College had won five consecutive games against the Wildcats. And, before that, Villanova had won six straight over the Eagles.
In Conte Forum: Boston College has a 4-5 mark against Villanova in the Silvio O. Conte Forum. The Wildcats have won the last three meetings in Chestnut Hill.
The 1996-97 Meetings
Boston College 70, Villanova 58 (3/8/97 - BIG EAST Tournament Championship Game - Madison Square Garden): Four players -- Danya Abrams, Mickey Curley, Scoonie Penn and Duane Woodward -- scored in double figures as Boston College played a near-flawless game in defeating Villanova and capturing its first-ever BIG EAST Tournament title ... The Eagles shot 58.6 percent from the floor in the first half and led, 40-28, at the break. Penn netted 12 first-half points ... BC led by as many as 23 points in the second half, before settling for a 12-point triumph ... BC outrebounded Villanova, 33-30 ... BC committed just 12 turnovers, while forcing VU into 19 miscues.
Villanova 84, @Boston College 66 (1/25/97): Led by Danya Abrams' 12 points, four BC players scored in double figures in a home loss to Villanova. Antonio Granger and Duane Woodward each tallied 11 points, while Andy Bedard netted 10 ... BC shot just 22.2 percent from the floor (6-for-27) in the first half, and trailed 34-18 at the intermission ... The Eagles could never get closer than 13 points (68-55 with 4:36 to play) in the second half ... BC was outrebounded, 44-36.