NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

November 1, 2012

Young Boston College hopes to improve in tough ACC

(Continued)

“Dennis has done an incredible job in the offseason. He is 25 pounds heavier and played a ton of basketball,” Donahue said. “Ryan’s getting better. He’s a guy that just understands the game so well and knows he can compete at this level.”

A 10-day trip to Spain in which BC played four games and saw the sights ended in early September and gave the players a chance to develop chemistry.

“This trip really brought all of us much closer,” Anderson wrote in a blog. “We were all good friends and liked each other before, but spending this time together has really made us a family.”

It also gave Donahue a better idea of his team’s capabilities than he had heading into last season.

“We got to work with our guys,” he said. “We’re bigger, stronger, more skilled and we’re deeper with the addition of other players. Every guy has made a substantial jump in his game.”

The Eagles will need that with seven games against teams ranked in the preseason Top 25. One of them comes in just the second game, against No. 19 Baylor at the Charleston Classic.

BC was 5-9 last season before starting its conference schedule. It won two of the first three games against ACC teams then went 2-12 the rest of the way, all against conference schools.

Of its four ACC wins — against Clemson, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Georgia Tech — two were by two points and two were by four. Its last four losses were by at least 21 points each.

The Eagles were just 1-13 on road or neutral courts and averaged only 59.3 points per game overall while being outrebounded by six boards per game.

“We had so many freshmen and sophomores, essentially our whole team,” Donahue said. “So it’s not like, ‘hey, we’re going to be a little better because this guy made the jump (this season).’ I think it’ll be pretty apparent when you see us play that we’ll be better with the basketball, defend the ball better, we’ll rebound the ball better and we’ll be consistent.”

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