Given how this year's football season has gone for BC, I'm pretty excited to kick off coverage of the basketball team. This coverage comes with a disclaimer, however, that I'll just put out there right at the start: this team is not going to be good this year. At times, in fact, they'll likely look downright awful—that's what you get when you lose your entire starting lineup (and most of your bench) to graduation or the draft.
On the other hand, watching a team "grow up" as a unit is one of the central joys of following a college basketball program. Who will emerge as a star (see: Reggie Jackson)? Who will wilt under the pressure (see: Josh Southern)? These things, and not the team's W-L loss record, will be what BC basketball fans should be looking for out of this season.
Because of this, I'm going to eschew a normal game-by-game preview and instead give brief previews of what we can expect from each member of the team this year. We'll start today with the (very few) returning players and then move on to the newbies.
Danny Rubin, Guard: As weird as it may seem, Rubin is actually the most experienced returner on the team this year. We've seen that he can hit open three-pointers—crucial in a Donahue offense—and that he can pass the ball fairly well. But we've also seen that Rubin potentially lacks confidence, as he passed up numerous open shots last year and often seemed to disappear on offense. He also struggled at times defending against bigger, more athletic guards. This year we'll see whether his tentativeness was a result of being a freshman in a lineup of mostly seniors or a sign of more fundamental shortcomings in his game. For this team to achieve even moderate success this year, Rubin will need to show leadership both on and off the court.
Gabe Moton, Guard: Moton had a really weird season last year. For one, he saw his minutes fluctuate wildly, ranging from a low of 8 to a high of 24. Perhaps because of this Moton generally struggled with his offensive consistency and never really showed much from either a scoring or passing perspective (although I thought he showed promise at times and seemed to be a solid ballhandler). He'll need to show major improvement on that end of the floor. Nonetheless it's clear Moton has talent, as he was one of the better defenders off the bench last year. If Moton can take the energy he showed on the defensive side of the ball and translate that into an improved offensive game, he could become one of the key cogs in this team—and more consistent playing time should help in that regard. If not, he might find himself once again relegated to the bench and facing inconsistent playing time.
And that's it. No, seriously, those are the only two guys currently on the team who saw playing time last year. Later in the week I'll take a look at the two transfers who will see their first action in the maroon and gold this year, and then next week I'll analyze the long list of freshmen who will make up the bulk of this year's squad.