The Rhode Island Rams traveled to Chestnut Hill on Sunday afternoon to take on the Boston College Eagles in a men’s basketball game to cap off the Thanksgiving break. After a home and away game and defensive, Boston College won 53-49.
The game started close, with both teams creating open looks on the half-court attack and little happening in transition. But typical BC offensive issues began to surface quickly when URI went 6-0 after a few minutes and the Eagles struggled to move the ball. Jaeden Zackery and Makai Ashton-Langford have the ability to take control of games in the paint, and they did just that to bring him closer for the rest of the first half. Jaeden Zackery had 10 points at halftime as the teams were tied at 28.
BC came out of the gates hot in the second half to score 5 in a row, but quickly cooled down and gave URI time to warm up their own offense and continue the slugfest. Many players were falling hard to the ground in a physical and ugly game, including a tough moment that saw DeMarr Langford Jr. bang his head mouth-first into the ground. A physical style is how Earl Grant teams can thrive, however, and the game began to swing in BC’s favor about 5 minutes into the second half thanks to plenty of practice at the hoop and offensive rebounds.
But when BC can’t score in transition, they often resort to bad contested shots that just don’t come in often, which quickly happened midway through the second half. The Eagles went over 7 minutes without scoring a single field goal and URI took advantage by turning a 6-point deficit into a 4-point lead. A tough Eagles defense means little when the offense is totally inept.
Late in the game, both teams struggled to get the ball in the basket, but BC were able to regain their lead with less than 2 minutes to go as Devin McGlockton hit a big layup. URI managed to get multiple second chances at the other end, eventually fouling and scoring just one free throw to cut BC’s lead to 1 point, 50-49. Jaeden Zackery hit just one free throw after being fouled by URI, making it 51-49 with 19 seconds left. The Rams fired early in possession and missed, sending Devin McGlockton to the free throw line to hit his two shots. BC went up 4 and made the game unreachable for Rhode Island.
Take away food
What stands out the most is the offensive style that Boston College plays. The pass-and-ball motion looks like some of the worst in college basketball. Their offense relies almost entirely on individual scorer efforts, which is high variance and not a consistent way to win games. When you get a bad day of shooting from guys like Mason Madsen or Makai Ashton-Langford like we saw today, there’s not a whole lot of structure in the offensive system for anyone to pick up the slack. The Eagles end up relying even more on their other players to make things happen individually. Today was DeMarr Langford Jr. trying to make up for it, and he ended up getting smothered in the paint. If BC wants to start competing at a higher level and approach .500 in ACC play, the offense has to get a lot more complex and they need a lot more spacing.
In the end, Boston College shot 30.4% from the field. This kind of game just won’t be competitive in conference.
Boston College Men’s Basketball travels to Nebraska on Wednesday for its next game. Catch it at 9:15 p.m. on ESPN U and keep an eye on BC Interruption for coverage.