Saturday, October 20, 2007

Jeff Goodman interview

We often bemoan lack of coverage and insight on BC hoops from the national basketball writers. That's not the case with's Jeff Goodman. It helps that Jeff cut his teeth covering BC basketball for the Herald. With the season fast approaching I asked him a few questions about this uncertain year for BC basketball.

The perception among BC fans is that BC sports are happily ignored in the Boston sports media circle. What was the reality when you were at the Herald?

JG: This is a pro sports town. Plain and simple. That's the reality, whether you and I like it or not. Boston College will never get the headlines that any of the pro sports in Boston receives - no matter what it does. For this area to have the No. 3 football team in the country is remarkable, yet most of the fans have no idea and could care less. That's what makes it so impressive that Al Skinner's program has been so successful lately in the Big East and now the ACC.

Tyrese Rice has been a very productive player for BC. Now he will be asked to do even more. Do you think he can be one of the elite guards in the country?

JG: I think Tyrese will "have" to be one of the elite point guards in the country. He had a lot of his plate a year ago when Sean Williams was kicked off the team and Sean Marshall was inconsistent. Now Rice will have to become a true leader - both on and off the court. It wouldn't surprise me if Tyrese leads the ACC in scoring this season, but what will be more important is whether he's able to make his young teammates better. He'll need to work on trying to score the ball, but also get his teammates open looks - which won't be easy. Anyway, to answer your question - yes, I think he can become one of the top point guards in the country - but there are so many terrific floor leaders around this year that have more around them than Tyrese.

This is a transition year for BC. Not much is expected. However, the last time Al faced a similar “rebuilding year” his team surprised and made the tournament. How do you see this season playing out? What should we expect of the freshmen?

JG: I think it's going to be a long season for BC, but you never know with Al Skinner. The guy just amazes me how he's able to do his best work when there aren't expectations. It's because he brings in a different type of kid and develops them. The kids that come to BC are usually overlooked and have something to prove. The Eagles will have Tyrese to build around and I feel as though Rakim Sanders should make an instant impact, but I'm not a huge fan of the John Oates-Tyrelle Blair duo up front. If I was Skinner, I'd throw freshman Josh Southern to the wolves and let him get some serious minutes so he's ready next season - when Joe Trapani becomes eligible, Rice is a senior and Sanders has a year under his belt. My prediction is that BC wins a half-dozen league games in this rebuidling year.