Well, tomorrow is as big a game as you get in December for our surging Eagles. BC visits storied Allen Fieldhouse for a tussle with the University of Kansas (CBS, 2 PM EST) in a game the winner might proudly point to in March when NCAA bids and seeds are getting doled out. If BC manages to escape with a W, they will be well-positioned for their 4th straight NCAA appearance and 6th of 7. That would be HUGE for the program, not to mention unprecedented. In the annals of BC hoops, the Eagles have never had a run of 4 straight. And with the best BC recruiting class ever coming in next year, the table is set for BC to firmly establish this as its golden era.
The ugly Vermont loss is close to being ancient history. With wins over Michigan State, Maryland and possibly Kansas, that toe-stubbing might seem like last season come March. And to the extent the UVM debacle is mentioned around tourney time, the fact that BC was playing without Sean Williams and Akida McLean will be discussed in the same breath. No doubt.
Is Kansas beatable? Definitely. They have a lot of talent for sure, but they are very young (no seniors on the entire roster) and very inconsistent (losses to Oral Roberts at home and DePaul). Their two best players are Mr. Inside (Freshman Phenom Darrell Arthur, 13.7 ppg) and Mr. Outside (Sophomore Brandon Rush, 13.2 ppg). Here's what they've done so far:
Nov 11 Kansas 91, Northern Arizona 57
Nov 15 Oral Roberts 78, Kansas 71
Nov 19 Kansas 87, Towson 61
Nov 21 Kansas 89, Tennessee St. 54
Nov 24 Kansas 64, Ball St. 46 Neutral
Nov 25 Kansas 82, Florida 80 (OT)
Nov 28 Kansas 83, Dartmouth 32
Dec 2 DePaul 64, Kansas 57
Dec 4 Kansas 72, Southern California 62
Dec 9 Kansas 68, Toledo 58
Dec 19 Kansas 94, Winston Salem St.
The Kansas papers are moaning about the Jayhawks being trick or treat, but when they come to play, you gotta look out. KU beat a great Florida team, a decent USC squad, and slew of mid-majors by wide margins. So how does BC measure up tomorrow? They'll have to bring it, and they need a big defensive game out of Sean Williams. His shot-blocking ability could be the neutralizer BC needs against the athletic frontline of Kansas. Coach Bill Self is saying all the right things. This from the Kansas City Star:
"The Eagles, 7-2, have two potential NBA players in Jared Dudley and Sean Williams. 'They’re good — and I mean the Florida category of good,' Self said. 'You always wish you were more prepared, but hopefully we’ll have some good practices these next few days and be ready.'"