12 Big Questions For 2012
Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
1. How will the offense look under Martin?
With a new offensive coordinator in Doug Martin, the 2012 Boston College football team is likely to have a new-look offense come September. For much of the season in 2011, the Eagles struggled to score touchdowns, but Martin brings with him a history of implementing an explosive air attack with his past teams. If Martin can get Chase Rettig to buy into his playbook, the results could be impressive. Aside from the passing game, BC has four talented options at the running back spot, and Martin will look to find a way to utilize them all by playing to their strengths. Whether it is Montel Harris and Tahj Kimble using their speed, or Andre Williams and Deuce Finch using their power, Martin will have plenty of viable options to complement the air attack.
2. Will men's hockey make it to Tampa in April?
While this year's men's ice hockey team has a number of new faces, it has eliminated many of the doubts entering the season. Fans were curious as to who would do the scoring, and that role has been answered in this first half: everyone. The team currently has eight players with 15 or more points, and this element of the team makes the No. 4 Eagles a contender. BC also seems driven by its early tournament exit last season. The biggest question moving forward will be how head coach Jerry York handles the goaltending situation with Parker Milner, Brian Billet, and emerging senior Chris Venti.
3. Will women's hockey return to the Frozen Four?
Though this year's team has a different look than last year's squad that made it all the way to Erie, Pa. for the Frozen Four, the one constant is the talent that remains. The Eagles currently stand tied for first at the top of the Hockey East standings, and they are poised to make another run at a national championship. Offensively, two freshmen are leading the way for BC. Alex Carpenter has racked up 13 goals and 12 assists, while classmate Emily Field has recorded 18 points of her own. Meanwhile, Corinne Boyles has stepped in between the pipes without a problem, as she holds a 1.88 goals against average. With that combination, and the fact that the Eagles have faced a tough schedule, they are primed for another run at the Frozen Four.
4. ACC title for soccer?
While both the men and women's soccer teams finished the year with solid seasons, the next step will be bringing home some hardware. Neither team was able to bring home any championships, however, next season's teams will look to progress. With the loss of senior goalkeeper Jillian Mastroianni and five other seniors, the women's team will now rely on a cast of different players led by top scorer Kristie Mewis. On the men's side, head coach Ed Kelly is a little better off, as the team will be retaining the majority of its leaders. While both teams have the core necessary to make an impact, they will need to focus more on their league performance in order to win the ACC Championship.
5. How many ACC wins for men's basketball?
The men's basketball team has six home games left and, after defeating Clemson and Virginia Tech this week, all are possible wins except the game against Duke. Chalk up at least four wins right there since they could slip up against another team besides the vaunted Blue Devils.
This young team may have more trouble on the road, especially with turnovers, but wins at Georgia Tech and Wake Forest won't be too challenging. Expect Lonnie Jackson and Jordan Daniels to join center Dennis Clifford in the ranks of ACC Freshman of the Week on the way to a total of eight conference wins and a .500 record in the ACC. Wait, that can't be right. Wasn't this team supposed to go 0-16 in conference play? I guess no one told head coach Steve Donahue and his squad. With an 8-8 record, they could avoid Duke and UNC to open the conference tournament and add another win in March. With a strong start to non-conference play next fall, this group could be on its way to bringing the Eagles back to the big dance. The next two months will be a huge step towards laying the groundwork for that journey.
6. Can women's basketball turn it around in 2012?
The women's basketball team hasn't won an ACC game yet, but they're only losing one senior this year and the young players have shown promise. Sophomore Katie Zenevitch has held her own in the post, and her classmate Tiffany Ruffin is developing a nice outside game. The duo is a good sign for the future of the program and future success. The team is stacked with talented freshmen and sophomores ready to break out.
7. Where will Kuechly go in the NFL Draft?
The Luke Kuechly era at Boston College is officially over. Now, his sights are set on this spring's NFL Draft. While prospects must now go through the gauntlet of the combine, individual team workouts, and interviews, Kuechly's college career almost guarantees him as an early-to-mid first round pick.
ESPN's draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. has him as the top linebacker prospect and No. 10 overall prospect. A number of teams could use his instinct and leadership from the position, and many analysts believe that he could land with either the Arizona Cardinals or Philadelphia Eagles.