Boston College Eagles

Tom Izzo
Associated Press

No. 3 Michigan State routs Boston College 99-68

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FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) Denzel Valentine had a triple-double of 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and No. 3 Michigan State beat Boston College 99-68 Thursday in an opening-round game at the DirectTV Wooden Legacy, giving coach Tom Izzo his 500th career victory.

Valentine helped the Spartans expand their 13-point halftime lead to 27 midway through the second half. His second triple-double of the season was the first in the event’s nine-year history.

Valentine’s six 3-pointers were one off his career high, and his points total was a career best.

Tum Tum Nairn added 13 points and eight assists for the Spartans, who shot 63 percent and dominated the boards 38-20.

After the final buzzer, Izzo’s players gathered around him at midcourt, holding up “Izzo 500” signs and posing for photos.

Eli Carter, a graduate transfer from Florida, led the Eagles with 22 points – one off his career high at BC.

The Spartans (5-0) next play Boise State (3-2) on Friday. The Broncos beat UC Irvine 71-64 in the day’s first game at cozy Titan Gym on the campus of Cal State Fullerton.

Boston College (3-1) will play Irvine (4-1) on Friday.

After hitting consecutive 3-pointers, Valentine backpedaled up the court smiling at Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green sitting courtside. Valentine converted a one-handed jam off a turnover and dashed over to high-five Green, clearly delighted by his alma mater’s theatrics.

Valentine scored 14 points in Michigan State’s 25-11 run to open the second half. The Spartans made four straight 3-pointers in the spurt, with Valentine hitting three in a row and passing to Bryn Forbes for the other.

The Eagles tried rallying from the perimeter, getting three straight 3s while closing to 80-59. It didn’t help. Valentine sparked a 10-0 burst with a basket and an assist that pushed Michigan State’s lead to 88-59.

The Spartans led 46-33 at halftime, getting 13 straight points from Valentine in a 23-13 run to close the half. He had eight points as the Spartans rattled off 10 in a row to launch the spurt that produced their largest lead of 15.

Michigan State shot 62 percent in the game’s opening minutes and built a 19-10 lead before Valentine even made his first basket. The Eagles answered with a 10-4 run to close to 23-20 before Valentine’s offensive outburst gave the Spartans a cushion.


Boston College: The Eagles were trying for their first 4-0 start since 2007. … Assistant coach Stan Heath, in his first season with the Eagles, spent five years in the same job under Izzo before leaving after the 2001 season.

Michigan State: Green played for the Spartans from 2008-12. … Michigan State evened the all-time series 3-3. … Valentine joined Green as one of only four Spartans to record a triple-double. Green had three in his career.


Boston College plays UC Irvine on Friday.

Michigan State plays Boise State on Friday.

Boston College announces addition of Quinn Amsler to program

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The Team IMPACT foundation was created to match up children facing life-threatening illnesses with college sports programs, with both sides benefitting from the connection. While the child gets the experience of being part of a team, which can also boost morale as they fight illness, the team benefits as well from connecting with someone who can serve as an inspiration.

The latest to benefit is the Boston College men’s basketball program, which on Friday announced that it has “drafted” 9-year old Quinn Amsler to its team.

Amsler was diagnosed with sarcoma in April, and a bad reaction to chemotherapy treatments resulted in a hospital stay that spanned multiple months. Amsler is currently undergoing physical therapy and chemotherapy, and Boston College head coach Jim Christian wasted no time in making the youngster a part of the program.

“Sometimes you just meet a young person and you know they have the qualities you want,” Christian said in the release. “We want toughness. We want young people who understand that when adversity hits, you tackle it head on with a positive attitude.

“And then you want to be an inspiration for others. There was no doubt in my mind that when we met Quinn, that he is what we want in this program.”

The Eagles, who with the addition of Amsler are now up to nine newcomers on their 2015-16 roster, open the regular season November 14 against St. Francis-Brooklyn.

Video credit: Boston College Athletics

Three-star 2016 power forward Kevin Marfo trims list to ten

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Playing with the BABC grassroots program, 2016 power forward Kevin Marfo put together a month of July that led to more than a few high-major programs looking to get involved in his recruitment. Sunday ot was reported by that the 6-foot-8 Marfo has trimmed his school list down to ten.

The schools still in the running for Marfo’s commitment are Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, George Washington, Rhode Island and Providence.

Marfo attends Worcester Academy in Massachusetts, where he plays for head coach Jamie Sullivan. On the Nike EYBL circuit this spring/summer, Marfo averaged 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

Video credit: Hoop Dreams Magazine

Former Florida guard Eli Carter headed to Boston College

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Boston College’s young backcourt rotation received a boost in the experience department Monday afternoon, as former Florida guard Eli Carter announced that he’ll use his final year of eligibility at the ACC school. Carter, who played two seasons at Rutgers before moving on to Florida, will be eligible to play immediately for Jim Christian’s team.

Carter picked Boston College over Georgetown and UNLV, and in regards to both personnel and experience the Eagles had the greatest need for his services.

With the team’s top four scorers from last season, led by Olivier Hanlan, all moving on Boston College certainly has room for another contributor on the perimeter. Junior Garland Owens, who averaged 3.4 points per game last season, is Boston College’s most productive returnee on the perimeter with four freshmen joining the ranks this summer.

Carter averaged 8.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per games last season, and a key for him in 2015-16 will be efficiency. Carter shot just 36.2 percent from the field and 30.6 percent from beyond the arc in 2014-15, his first full season as a Gator after having to take a medical redshirt in 2013-14.

Carter’s sophomore season at Rutgers (2012-13) was cut short by a fractured leg, and issues with the recovery led to his having to be sidelined after just a handful of games in his first season at Florida.

Former Florida guard to make transfer decision Monday

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One of the few remaining available players who will be eligible to play immediately next season, former Florida guard Eli Carter will announce his college choice Monday. News of a decision date was first reported by, and three schools remain in the running for Carter: Boston College, Georgetown and UNLV.

Eli Carter’s had quite the experience when it comes to Division I college basketball. Originally a member of the Rutgers program, Carter played two season there before a broken leg in a game at DePaul ended his 2012-13 season prematurely. That season was capped by the firing of Mike Rice, with Carter being one of the players who transferred out in the aftermath of the controversy.

From there it was off to Florida, where he played in seven games before having to redshirt for health reasons (the same leg he broke as a sophomore was once again an issue) during their Final Four season. Carter (8.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.0 apg in 2014-15) decided at the end of the 2014-15 campaign to use his final season of eligibility elsewhere, and while there was some consideration of a return to Gainesville that will not happen.

As for Carter’s three choices, UNLV has the most perimeter depth at this time. They add two transfers in Jerome Seagears (who was a teammate of Carter’s at Rutgers and sat out last season) and Ike Nwamu, and another newcomer in freshman Jaylen Poyser. That triumvirate joins returnees Patrick McCaw, Jordan Cornish and Daquan Cook, with the latter having missed all of last season with a torn ACL.

Boston College has options on the perimeter going into next season, but the issue for Jim Christian is that those players are incredibly young. Rising junior Garland Owens is BC’s most experienced perimeter option, with he and sophomore Darryl Hicks being joined by four incoming freshmen.

Georgetown can also use another experienced body on the perimeter, with D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera being their lone scholarship upperclassman. The Hoyas also have two talented sophomores in Tre Campbell and L.J. Peak, and freshman Kaleb Johnson will compete for minutes as well.

Boston College adds size with late commitment

Jim Christian
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While Boston College had a number of issues during a 2014-15 season in which they went 4-14 in ACC play (13-19 overall), rebounding was one that really stuck out for Jim Christian’s team. In conference games Boston College ranked 12th in the conference in defensive rebounding percentage and 15th in offensive rebounding percentage, so any pieces capable of helping on the glass would be welcome in Chestnut Hill.

Thursday evening the Eagles landed a commitment in the Class of 2015 in the form of 6-foot-10 power forward/center John Carlos Reyes. News of Reyes’ commitment was first reported by, with the center himself taking to social media shortly thereafter to announce the news himself.

Reyes, who attended Sound Doctrine Christian Academy in Georgia, is Boston College’s sixth commitment in the class and he joins a front court that is in need of additional bodies.

Dennis Clifford, who will be a senior this coming season, will once again lead the way in the post with rising sophomore Idrissa Diallo competing for minutes as well. But outside of those two the Eagles don’t have much in the way of size, which makes the commitment of Reyes an important one for both 2015-16 and in the future.