Friar Basketball

The ACC’s Best Backcourt?

Robinson and Bowman

PREVIEWING BOSTON COLLEGE: Boston College head coach Jim Christian has told anyone who will listen this fall that he has the best backcourt in the ACC.

Christian’s star, junior Jerome Robinson, didn’t shy away from that label at the ACC’s Media Day in October:

Where BC’s terrific tandem ranks in the ACC pecking order is of little consequence to Providence. All the Friars know is they’ll have to be on their game Saturday night to take out a Boston College team that many are sleeping on due to their struggles in recent seasons.

Robinson and sophomore Ky Bowman make the Eagles tick. Both guards are North Carolina natives who flew under the radar during their college recruitments. That isn’t the case any longer.

Robinson was voted 2nd Team All ACC this preseason and is one of 20 finalists for the Jerry West Award as the nation’s top shooting guard. He’s 6’6, good off of the bounce, and can stroke it from deep (8-11 from 3 the past two games).

After a quiet start to the season, Robinson scored 51 points in BC’s last two games (wins over LaSalle and Colgate). He had the second most 20+ point games in high major basketball a season ago, including 22 in a win over Syracuse, 21 at Duke, 26 vs. NC State, 27 at Miami, 21 at Florida State, and 25 against Virginia Tech.

He also had a 21 point, eight rebound, five assist effort in a win over Providence in December.

Few knew of Ky Bowman last December. In high school he may have been a more sought-after football player (as a scholarship offer from Alabama would attest).

Bowman appears to have made the right career choice. The powerful sophomore guard plays with the aggression of a gridiron star. If you haven’t seen him yet, think of a young Baron Davis.

As a freshman, Bowman wrapped a pair of 30 point performances (33 vs. Fairfield, 30 at Syracuse) around a 16 point, eight rebound game in the win over PC.

His shining moment came a month later, as he hung 33 points on North Carolina. By season’s end, Bowman was playing well enough to notch a 29 point, nine assist game against Notre Dame and 24/11 at Florida State the next time out.

While the numbers are impressive, they didn’t result in wins a season ago. In fact, BC’s final victory last season came on Jan. 11.

So, what’s different this season? Aside from the experience and confidence Bowman and Robinson gained playing together for a full year, the Eagles shored up their frontcourt with the addition of Southern Illinois transfer Deonte Hawkins

Hawkins was a 14 point per game player in the competitive Missouri Valley last year, shooting 44% from deep. The 6’8, 220 pound grad transfer is averaging a double double early this season (12.7 points, 10 rebounds). The Eagles are also getting contributions from freshman big man Steffan Mitchell (7 points, 7 rebounds per game, 52% from 3) and Nik Popovic (over 8 ppg).

One-time BYU transfer Jordan Chatman is another 3-point threat who is averaging over 11 points per game.

Is BC turning the corner? They ran away from LaSalle on Sunday (82-61) and gave a top 25 quality Texas Tech team a run last week before falling late (Tech defeated #20 Northwestern 85-49 the next day).

While Providence and BC have gone in opposite directions in recent seasons, the Eagles have given PC problems. Cooley is 3-3 against them since taking over at Providence.



Boston Herald: Jerome Robinson ready to bust out this season for Boston College Are Bowman, Robinson enough to get Boston College back to the NCAA Tournament?

North State Journal: BC’s backcourt has an NC flavor



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