Basketball, Men's Basketball, Sports

Eagles in Need of Reinforcements After Six Players Enter Transfer Portal

Boston College men’s basketball will have some new faces donning Eagles jerseys next season. In fact, the Eagles will have an entirely new starting lineup for the 2024–25 season. 

Starters Jaeden Zackery, Devin McGlockton, Claudell Harris Jr., and Mason Madsen have all entered the transfer portal since BC’s season ended in a loss against Nevada-Las Vegas over three weeks ago. The portal has also claimed Prince Aligbe—who began this past season as a starter—and backup center Armani Mighty. 

This roster turnover includes star center Quinten Post, who wrapped up his final year of eligibility this past season. That leaves the Eagles without six of their top seven scorers heading into next year.

The seven departures come on the heels of the Eagles just completing their first 20-win season since 2011, returning to the NIT for the first time in six years, and earning their first postseason win in 13 years. Off the court, BC recently unveiled its new $37 million practice facility and signed head coach Earl Grant to a two-year contract extension set to run through the 2028–29 season.

As of now, the only scholarship players returning are Donald Hand Jr., Chas Kelley III, Elijah Strong, Fred Payne, and Jayden Hastings. BC’s incoming recruiting class consists of two three-stars guards in Luka Toews and Nick Petronio.

To build on the success he has produced in his three seasons at BC, Grant will need to turn the portal to remake his roster. He has landed commitments from transfers Chad Venning and Josh Beadle, but work still remains with four scholarship spots still open.

Zackery and McGlockton both arrived in Chestnut Hill with Grant in 2021. Zackery, who transferred to BC from the JUCO program Chipola College, has been BC’s starting point guard for the past three seasons and the entire Grant era. This season, he averaged 11.3 points and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 40.5 percent from three this past season and has one year of eligibility remaining. 

McGlockton redshirted and did not play at all during the 2021–22 season, but Grant developed him into a starter by the time the 6-foot-7 forward’s junior season arrived. The Cumming, Ga. native averaged 10.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in 2023–24, becoming one of the Eagles’ most reliable players game-by-game. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Despite coming off the bench for a short stretch in the middle of the season, Harris provided much-needed late-game scoring and shot creation for the Eagles. The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 13.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists and was BC’s second-leading scorer behind Post.

Aligbe headlined Grant’s first recruiting class, as the 6-foot-7 sophomore came to the Heights as a four-star recruit from Minnehaha Academy in Minnesota. Aligbe’s career started off on a high note after he nailed a game-winning layup against Cornell in his collegiate debut, but didn’t quite meet expectations throughout the remainder of his two seasons.

The Minneapolis, Minn. native averaged just 4.7 points and 3.4 rebounds this past season while playing 18.6 minutes per game. Aligbe slipped into a bench role midway through the season, as the sophomore struggled to find his footing offensively.

Madsen has already committed to Utah, joining his brother Gabe Madsen with the Utes. The 6-foot-4 senior guard spent two seasons at BC after transferring in from Cincinnati. He finished this past year as a starter, and averaged 8.1 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 37.7 percent from deep.

Mighty, a sophomore, played sparingly as a freshman, but settled into a more consistent backup role behind Post this past season. He averaged 0.8 points and 1.2 rebounds in 5.6 minutes per game.

Venning and Beadle join an inexperienced group of returning Eagles. Kelley and Hand, both rising juniors, would currently man BC’s starting backcourt, with Payne coming off the bench. Strong would slide in next to Venning as BC’s frontcourt, leaving one spot open for Beadle or other potential transfers.

Venning, a rising graduate student with one year of eligibility remaining, arrives from St. Bonaventure, where he averaged 13.4 points and 4.6 rebounds last season. The 6-foot-10 center was named to the All-Atlantic 10 second team and also shot 52.9 percent from the field with 1.6 blocks per game.

Beadle played the past three seasons at Clemson and has two years of eligibility remaining. The 6-foot-3 guard appeared in 32 games in 2023–24 and averaged 3.0 points, 0.9 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 10.8 minutes per game.

April 19, 2024