BOSTON (AP) — Boston College center Quinten Post was the Atlantic Coast Conference's most improved player last year.
The Eagles are hoping that with his next big step, he carries the team with him.
Post was the biggest contributor for Earl Grant last season, when the Eagles flirted with .500 after winning 13 games the year before (and four in the pandemic-shortened season before he arrived). BC went 9-11 in the ACC, beating three ranked teams last year — including a 63-48 victory over No. 6 Virginia, their first win over a Top 10 team since 2017.
That was good enough to earn Grant an extension through 2028-29.
After missing the first 13 games with a foot injury, Post averaged 15.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while shooting 43% on 3-pointers. The 7-foot senior is the first player since Creighton’s Doug McDermott in 2012-13 to top 50% from the floor, 40% from 3-point range and 80% from the free throw line while averaging at least 15 points.
Jaeden Zackary, Devin McGlockton, Prince Aligbe, Mason Madsen and Chas Kelley are also back.
Zackary, who averaged just under 11 points, is the other top five scorer who returns; BC was 7-0 when he scored at least 15 points. Madsen led the Eagles with 40 3-pointers last year after transferring from Cincinnati and committed 12 turnovers in 418 minutes over his last 22 games. McGlockton led BC in at least one category in 16 of the 33 games he played.
Aligbe started 24 of 27 games, hitting a game-winning buzzer-beater against Cornell in the opener. McGlockton started 10 of the last 11 games last season, including the victory over Virginia and five of their nine regular-season ACC wins. Donald Hand returns after tearing his ACL in his second game last year.
The biggest losses for BC were brothers Makai Ashton-Langford and DeMarr Langford.
Ashton-Langford signed with Osijek in Croatia, and his brother, DeMarr Langford, transferred to Central Florida. Between the two of them, BC is losing more than 20 points and six rebounds per game.
The Eagles took a three-game tour in Italy and Spain in August, winning exhibition games against Italy All-Stars, Orange Basket Bassano and Catalonia Elite.
In Rome, the team visited the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and Vatican City and met with Hall of Famer Manu Ginobili. At a gladiator school, the team learned about ancient calisthenics and fought in the ring.
Other stops in Italy included Siena and Florence before heading on to Barcelona, where the team hosted a youth clinic and visited a statue of St. Ignatius at the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery. St. Ignatius is the founder of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, who founded Boston College.
The program christened a new 40,000-square-foot facility this fall, which was made possible by a $15 million gift – the largest in BC athletics history -- from 1986 graduate Michaela Hoag.
The Hoag Basketball Pavilion has a tall glass wall overlooking the lower campus. It has a 10,000-square-foot practice gym, a new workout center and team video rooms, along with new locker rooms and lounge areas, a sports medicine center and a nutrition center.
“We need recruits to see our facilities on par with what they are seeing throughout our conference and around the country,” athletic director Blake James said. “We need them to know that when they come to the Heights, not only would they get a world-class, formative educational experience, but that they will be able to grow and develop as a world-class athlete.”
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball