What A Difference A Year Makes

By David Scott - December 10, 2006

CHESNUT HILL, Mass. - It was all new to BC last season when it launched its inaugural ACC season with a game at Maryland before 17,950 fans at the Comcast Center one year ago. The pomp, the circumstance and that old ACC aura probably took the Eagles by a bit of surprise.

They lost that game 73-71 and it was the start of three straight league losses to begin the campaign. They eventually bounced back for an 11-5 ACC record, but those early games were a cause for concern in Chestnut Hill.

This season - year No. 2 of BC in the ACC - concern has turned to optimism and enthusiasm for a dangerous Eagle squad. With a 73-62 win over those same Terps, at lively Conte Forum before a sell-out of 8,606, the 6-2 Eagles have served notice that two early season, surprise losses at home - to Vermont and on the road at Providence - are well behind them.

The Eagles have now won five straight and are poised to re-enter the Top 25 in the coming week (they started the year at No. 15 in both major polls). When they do, at least one Eagle will be quite happy.

“I’m not going to lie to you,” said BC senior Jared Dudley. “I like seeing our scores on the ‘Bottom Line.’”

If Dudley continues to put forth the performances like he did on Sunday night (20 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and an uncharacteristic five turnovers), BC’s scores will indeed be bottom line news and front page headlines.

The Eagles out-muscled the 9-2 Terps throughout the mostly up-tempo affair and finished with seven more rebounds than Maryland (43-36). BC had 18 offensive boards in that total and continually crashed the glass with abandon.

“The got some key offensive rebounds,” said Maryland coach Gary Williams who made his first trip back to BC since leaving as its head coach in 1986 to go to Ohio State. “We need to learn some things about how aggressively you have to play against a veteran team that rebounds well. That’s all stuff you learn from playing in a game like this.”

The Terps also learned a thing or two about bringing the ball into the paint against BC’s emerging shot-blocker-extraordinaire, Sean Williams. Williams, who entered the game averaging six blocks per contest, had eight against the Terps to go along with countless shots altered. He added 10 points and a career-best 11 rebounds.

“I’ve heard people say he’s one of the best (shot-blockers) in the country,” said Gary Williams. “I don’t know, but I’m sure he’s up there with anybody. He’s got great timing.”

What Sean Williams also has, more and more, is an offensive game. His 10 points was just below his 11.4 ppg average and followed two straight 16 point performances. It represented his fifth straight double-figure scoring game after just three double-digit outings in his previous 55 career games.

“I’m just trying to take advantage of my opportunities when I touch the ball,” said Williams who was 3-of-4 from the field.

So far, one game into the ACC schedule and after eight overall, BC has followed suit and taken advantage of its recent opportunities. So much so, in fact, that the game from a year ago in College Park is a distant memory now.

Posted by David Scott at 09:54 PM on December 10, 2006

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