Boston College Missing Rakim Sanders, While Road Tests Approach

Paul SeaverCorrespondent INovember 27, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 4:  Rakim Sanders #15 of the Boston College Eagles reacts after a play during their game against the North Carolina Tar Heels on January 4, 2009 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  The Boston College Eagles defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 85-78. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Arguably the best player on the Eagles’ roster has been completely non-existent for Boston College to start the season.

Junior Rakim Sanders was one of three Eagles who were suspended for unspecified violations of team rules. After serving his suspension in wins over Dartmouth and St. Francis (NY), Sanders returned to resume his starting role.

Four minutes into the start of his season, Sanders went down with an apparent leg injury in the opening game of the Paradise Jam down in the U.S. Virgin Islands. After playing only four minutes into his junior year, Rakim suffered a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss anywhere from two to four weeks of play.

A trip to the sunny island turned out to be one to forget for the Eagles. After losing Sanders in the opening minutes against St. Joseph’s, BC succumbed 84-80 for their first loss of the season.

With a possible matchup against Purdue looming, the Eagles loss to St. Joe’s brought up a second round game with South Dakota State instead. The Eagles handily took care of business, winning 75-58 to improve to 3-1.

On the last day of the Paradise Jam, the Eagles took on Northern Iowa in another consolation game. After holding a lead at halftime, the Eagles struggled again in the second half, looking like a team who was missing the services of Rakim Sanders.

Corey Raji had 18 points, but Northern Iowa used a big second half to knock off BC 81-69.

Sitting at 3-2 through the front five games of the season, the Eagles appear desperate to get Rakim Sanders back, however, may have to make due without him for a few more weeks. With that being said, the Eagles look ahead to some tough road games.

Tomorrow night, November 28th, Boston College will head down to Providence, Rhode Island for their annual matchup with the Friars. Although Providence is predicted to finish somewhere in the bottom half of the Big East, it is still a tough road test for the Eagles, especially while Sanders will still be in street clothes.

While looking to avoid starting only .500 through the first six games, the Eagles are also prepared to head to Ann Arbor next week for a game with top 25 Michigan as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Boston College has entered the season returning everybody but Tyrese Rice. However, their lineup has certainly been affected by suspensions and the Sanders injury compounds the issue even further. As Rakim will not be in action again for the upcoming road tests, the Eagles will look to figure out a way to stay on track as the month of December approaches quickly.

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