Boston College men’s basketball enters the 2022-23 season with depth the program hasn’t enjoyed in years. That’s reflected in the team’s KenPom preseason ranking (74th nationally and 10th in the ACC).
But the media have picked the Eagles to finish 13th in the conference, only ahead of Pitt and Georgia Tech.
North Carolina, which lost last year’s National Championship to Kansas and is No. 1 in the AP’s preseason Top 25, was selected as the preseason favorite to win the ACC. Compared to UNC’s 90 first-place votes, Duke collected only two yet still ranks second in the ACC preseason poll. Virginia (six first-place votes), Miami (two first-place votes) and Florida State are third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
UNC senior forward/center Armando Bacot was voted ACC Preseason Player of the Year, and Duke freshman center Dereck Lively II was named ACC Rookie of the Year.
BC didn’t have an honoree on either the Preseason All-ACC First or Second Team. It’s worth noting, however, that Eagles freshman guard/forward Prince Aligbe received one vote for ACC Rookie of the Year.
BC was 13th in the first year of the Earl Grant era, posting a record of 13-20, including a 6-14 mark in ACC competition.
The Eagles weathered a pair of five-game losing streaks yet played their best basketball in March, when they strung together a mini run in the ACC Tournament. BC beat Pitt and then spoiled Wake Forest’s NCAA Tourney hopes before flirting with a semifinal appearance in a buzzer-beating quarterfinal loss to an Elite Eight-bound Miami team.
Unlike last year, when BC ranked 296th nationally in minutes continuity (30.7%) amid a coaching transition, the Eagles are returning their leading scorer (Makai Ashton-Langford), second-leading scorer (DeMarr Langford Jr.), leading rebounder (TJ Bickerstaff), a rising star point guard (Jaeden Zackery) and a center that was an All-ACC All-Tournament selection (Quinten Post).
Additionally, Grant and his staff reeled in two transfers: Cincinnati three-and-D guard Mason Madsen as well as Division II standout CJ Penha Jr. from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Most notably, though, the Eagles inked four freshmen in a 2022 recruiting class that ranked 30th nationally, according to Rivals.com. It’s a group headlined by four stars Aligbe and DJ Hand.
Grant’s first class was BC’s first in the Rivals.com recruiting database era (2002-present) to include at least two four stars.