The Boston College Eagles men's basketball team had what can only be termed as a terrible season.
They finished with an 8-24 record overall and despite their overtime upset of then #1 and undefeated Syracuse, they generally got their heads handed to them during the ACC conference season.
After four years, despite initial reports he would return, coach Steve Donahue was fired.
The BC athletic director Brad Bates ended the speculation about who would replace Donahue earlier this week when he hired Ohio University's Jim Christian to be the new Eagles coach.
Christian spent the last two seasons at Ohio were he went 49-22, but as I wrote in a previous entry about the hire, Ohio is a far cry from the ACC.
Even with the hiring of a new coach who comes in with the expected promises of a new day, things haven't exactly gotten off on the right foot for him in regards to team personnel.
Forward Ryan Anderson was set to be a senior for the Eagles next year, but that is something that will no longer come to pass. Anderson announced via Twitter a couple of days ago that he would be transferring out of Boston College.
Transfers are a fact of life in college basketball, but given that Anderson was the only consistent post player for the Eagles last season (14.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg), the Eagles are even deeper behind the 8 ball than they were from their results of this just concluded hoops season.
The post players were either injured and saw their seasons end early (Dennis Clifford), didn't show up until it was too late to make a difference (Patrick Heckmann) or simply never made much in the way of a quantifiable contribution (pretty much anyone else that makes their home down low). And that doesn't even take into account the belief held by some "experts" that the Eagles talent base is not ACC-ready to begin with.
(As an aside, I sent out a tweet to Anderson that while stating I wasn't happy about his decision, thanked him for 3 years at BC and wished him good luck in the future. He favorited the tweet.)
Rumor has it that he is headed to the West Coast, with UCLA being one of the names mentioned for a future destination.
And while he has denied it, rumors say that guard Joe Rahon is also going to transfer to a West Coast school. Rahon was a decent player for the Eagles this year if not exactly a dominant player. But he did provide plenty of minutes and offense for BC and his loss would be bad.
If that isn't enough to make you bemoan the status of BC men's hoops, top player Olivier Hanlan has stated he is about a week or so away from announcing if he'll return for his junior year with the Eagles or declare for the NBA draft.
Yes, their best player may be headed for the NBA. Personally I don't think he's ready to play as a professional but since it is unlikely he'll be seeking my advice, I can only hope that Hanlan decides to come back. He is/was by far the best player BC had on the roster last season and while he can't do it all alone, the team can't do much without him.
The Eagles have already lost 1 player to graduation. Anderson's departure and the possibility of Rahon and Hanlan moving on as well as the fact that BC has ZERO incoming freshman might make even the putridness of an 8-24 record look like a godsend.
It isn't like I am realistically expecting Boston College to compete for the NCAA title, but am I the only one who sees that trying and preposterously failing at competing in the ACC has sent the men's basketball program into a deep tailspin? I know that the seemingly endless revenue stream of football money means the school will never leave the conference, but if they have any hope of becoming a medium sized basketball "power" again, someone has to realize they'd be better off in the reconstituted Big East. At least their they'd have a chance to be competitive and not steamrolled like hot tar every night.
The Steve Miller Band sang about flying like an Eagle. Soaring may just become a thing of the past if the new coach can't arrest the attrition to the ranks and then turn around and bring in some sort of top flight class of players, it is going to be a LONG LONG season for the next few forseeable years.
The school and fanbase deserve far better than that.