basketball Edit

Grant Provides Injury Updates on Langford, Bickerstaff

Photo: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Photo: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State wasn't the only banged up team Monday night in Conte Forum. Although the Seminoles were missing three of their top-four scorers, Boston College men's basketball was without a pair of starters: DeMarr Langford Jr. (toe) and TJ Bickerstaff (calf).

"We knew we were gonna be down a couple men like them," first-year Eagles head coach Earl Grant said postgame. "And it was gonna come down to who had the most energy and the most willpower."

He continued: "Our guys just had a lot of effort. They got a lot of deflections and steals. They made the right plays, fighting each other for shots. But guys, give us credit. We made the shots."

BC shot 48.3% from the field in the 71-55 victory, including 11-of-26 from beyond the arc. The Eagles' 11 3-pointers were a season high. So were BC's 14 steals.

As for the health of Langford and Bickerstaff, Grant said they're both "day-to-day."

But Langford, who Grant said stubbed his toe in the first half at Syracuse, was much closer to playing against the Seminoles than Bickerstaff. In fact, Grant explained that Langford was a game-time decision but wasn't 100% in shootaround.

"Probably could have played today," Grant said Monday night. "But I just felt like, you know, we got five game left going into Brooklyn. You want him to get right. If we didn't have this game today, and we were playing on Wednesday, he probably would have played, but this was a makeup game."

BC was originally scheduled to play FSU on Dec. 29, however, the game was postponed during the Eagles' 19-day COVID-19 pause. As a result, BC hosted FSU Monday night, which was its fourth game in 10 days.

Langford was playing the best basketball of his young Eagles career. He had averaged 16.2 points per game over the five games before his early exit in the Carrier Dome. In that span, he was shooting 55.9% from the field. Even in his limited minutes against the Orange, the sophomore guard notched 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

Langford has logged 10 or more points in six straight games after going a month and a half without recording a double-digit scoring effort earlier this season.

Bickerstaff, on the other hand, seems to be doubtful for Wednesday's game at North Carolina State.

"I think he's a couple of days away from getting back to practice," Grant said of the Drexel transfer. "Hopefully, by the end of the week, he'll get moving around. But sometimes when you have seasons, it just happens like that.”

Bickerstaff has missed the last three contests with a calf injury that he suffered in the first half of the Duke game.

The junior forward is BC's leading rebounder with 7.8 boards per game. He has posted 15 or more rebounds in four outings this season.

Without Bickerstaff in the lineup, the Eagles first turned to a four-guard lineup. But when Langford went down as well, and BC got center Quinten Post back from COVID-19 protocol, Grant turned to a big lineup that included Post and fellow center James Karnik.

That starting five proved favorable against FSU. Post and Karnik drew attention away from each other and combined for 26 points and 16 rebounds in the victory.

BC has four regular season games left. The Eagles still have N.C. State (Wednesday), Clemson (Saturday), Miami (March 2) and Georgia Tech (March 5) on tap.