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Donahue ready to put Eagles in motion

By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / November 12, 2010

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Boston College’s basketball team has given strong indications that it will come out firing this season. But coach Steve Donahue does not expect the Eagles to attempt nearly one 3-pointer every minute, as they did in an exhibition game against Philadelphia University last week.

“I don’t think we will rely on the 3-point shot, but more the threat of the 3-point shot,’’ Donahue said yesterday. “Our teams at Cornell shot a high percentage, but I don’t think we ranked in the top 100 in attempts in the country.

“It’s funny how that works. If teams know you can shoot it, they take it away. But that’s good, if not better, than if they let you shoot.

“Our players have to be good enough to make the read and, hence, spacing will be better for driving.’’

The Eagles, who meet St. Francis (N.Y.) in their regular-season opener tonight, bettered the Conte Forum record for 3-pointers with 15 against Philadelphia in an 85-58 victory, as the starters went 13 for 23 from long range.

Donahue has converted the Eagles to the up-tempo style of offense he used in guiding Cornell to a 29-5 record last season.

“The kids have worked on their shot the last six months, they’ve gotten a lot of reps,’’ Donahue said. “A lot of what we do is designed strategically to spacing out and utilizing the 3-point line. You’ll see some improvement. They are pretty good players in general and pretty good shooters when they get their feet set. The big thing is, if you’re more confident in what you do, you’re more relaxed, and you’ll get better results. They will miss a few of them, but that’s how we play — if the shot’s there, take it.’’

Guards Reggie Jackson and Biko Paris will set the tone, but the Eagles will attempt to be interchangeable, the system based on players’ versatility. Donahue noted that two years ago, Cornell had four players with 70-plus assists.

“All the guys are improving, particularly the guards — Biko and Reggie are embracing this,’’ Donahue said. “They are going a very good job of shooting from the perimeter and going to the basket.

“Most importantly, I want to see a great energy out there. If they play extremely hard and are unselfish, that’s all I can ask of the guys.’’

Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at f_dellapa@globe.com.

BC vs. St. Francis
What: Men’s college basketball
When: Tonight, 7
Where: Conte Forum