When the college basketball season returns in November and assuming traveling out of the country will not be a problem, the Boston College men’s basketball team will take part in a four-team event in the Bahamas. The event is called the Junkanoo Jam and it will take place on Friday, November 19 and run through the 22nd. The other three teams that will join BC in this tournament are the BYU Cougars, George Mason Patriots, and Tulsa Golden Hurricanes.
Boston College was 13-19 overall last season playing out of the Atlantic Coast Conference where they were 7-9. The Eagles struggled with injuries and inconsistent play all season long. They will be bolstered by the return of point guard Winston Tabb, who missed all of last season with a knee injury that was suffered on September 15 and required surgery. Steffon Mitchell, who led the ACC in steals a year ago, will be back for his senior season. There was some concern about head coach Jim Christian and his staff for next year, but those fears have been put to rest since the school has announced that the entire coaching staff will be back for 2020-21.
George Mason, out of the Atlantic Ten Conference, was 18-15 overall and 11-7 in league play. Their big league win came on January 23 on the road at Dayton by a 67-63 final. Javon Greene started 28 games and led the team in scoring averaging 14 points a game. He was one of three players that finished the year in double figures. AJ Wilson gave the Patriots an inside threat on both ends of the court. He averaged 12 points, seven rebounds, and had 92 total blocked shots on the year.
BYU, under head coach Mark Pope, had a great year finishing at 24-8 overall and 13-3 in the West Coast Conference. The Cougars had a couple of big wins with one being in non-conference and the other one in league play. Houston was the early season win on the road back in November. The one-point victory of 72-71 got the Cougars off to a great start. Their league win was even better coming at home vs Top-5 ranked Gonzaga, 91-78 on Feb. 22. Yoeli Childs averaged almost a double-double for the year with 22 points and nine rebounds. The team dropped 80 points a night on their opponents and had a scoring margin of +11.3.
The Tulsa Golden Hurricanes were 21-10 and 13-5 in the AAC. They were 1-2 vs Power-5 conference foes with a win over Vanderbilt, and losses against Arkansas and Kansas State. In league play, they split a pair of games vs Houston winning at home on Jan.11 and losing at Houston who was raked at the time on Feb.19. Martins Igbanu was the team’s leading scorer with 13.6 a game mostly off the bench as the team’s sixth man. Tulsa was not a high scoring team averaging 68 points a game. However, they did average seven steals a night and almost three block shots per game.
If all goes well, this should be a solid tournament for all four teams and a great way to get the 2020-2021 season underway.