Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Q&A with Travis Everette

Travis Everatte is an associate with who was there to specifically help them blog about the ACC Baseball Championship. Therefore, I contacted him and asked him if he could answer a few questions for me and he was super kind and actually answered them for me!

TOTH: Can you explain to me and other BC fans what making the NCAA tournament after years of mediocrity and a move to such a tough conference means to the program?

TE: I think it is a huge step in the right direction for the players and coaching staff at Boston College. Coach Aoki and his staff have done an amazing job turning that program around and I have no doubt that they’ll continue to be competitive and give the rest of the league fits in years to come. Playing in the NCAA tournament will only add fuel to that fire.

TOTH: Why do you think Boston College and the ACC were looked at by the committee as lesser teams than the Big 12 and SEC schools?

TE: I don’t know that you could say that the ACC teams were looked at as lesser teams. I thought that everyone from the league who had a legitimate case for being included in the tournament was invited. I also think that the right teams got host spots and #1 seeds. I do think that UVA got a raw deal on their regional assignment being shipped all the way out to Irvine and having to face Stephen Strasburg in the first game. Duke’s RPI was a real killer but if you get down to it, I have little doubt that they are a better squad than either Baylor or Oklahoma State, so I guess you could make an argument that they were shorted, but it’s really not a strong argument because in my opinion none of those three should be in. All in all, I think the league got a pretty fair draw.

TOTH: Do you think the Eagles can use their success this year as a spring board for the program or is this just a fluke and they will go back to mediocrity after this year?

TE: I sort of answered this in question #1, but I’ll say it again: I think Boston College is going to be very competitive for a long while, particularly as long as the current coaching staff is in place. Coach Aoki was very impressive during the ACC tournament. That was the first time I”ve had the chance to interact face to face with him and I came away thinking that he was one of the more engaging coaches in the league. Also, make no mistake, Boston College is tremendously talented. They have some kids who can really compete with the best teams in the league. If they continue to mine that northeast talent pool, they will be just fine.

TOTH: What do you think has been the biggest key to Boston College's success this year? And do you think coach Mike Aoki should get more praise for what he has done in such a short time with this team?

TE: I don’t think there is any magic recipe to their success. They’re winning with talented kids playing hard and smart who are coached by a solid coaching staff. That will get it done every time.

TOTH: On to the NCAA tournament and the Austin Regional specifically. Since I and many BC fans haven't got to watch a ton of college baseball, what are some quick strengths and weaknesses for all of the teams in the Austin Regional?

TE: That regional should be one of the more interesting ones to watch. Obviously Texas is the #1 national seed for a reason. They are a tremendously talented team both on the mound as well as at the plate. I think the interesting thing about that regional is Texas State at #2. Honestly, that’s a pretty good draw for Boston College. The Bobcats simply aren’t a #2 seed in my opinion. I think that Boston College will be playing in the winner’s bracket game against Texas. That’s a game I would like to see.

TOTH: Some predictions. Who wins BC or Texas State in game 1? Then how many wins do you think BC can get? Finally, does BC have any chance at all at making it out of this regional?

TE: Boston College most definitely has a chance to advance. In this format, that winner’s bracket game is huge. If they can manage to get past Texas there, I think they have an excellent shot at advancement.

TOTH: Who wins the whole thing?

TE: It’s impossible to predict this tournament with any accuracy whatsoever, so I’ll just go with UNC. They’re the most experienced tournament team in the whole thing and I think it would be fitting for them to finally get it done with the least talented of their recent squads.

TOTH: Lastly, not neccessarily BC related but after the message the committee sent Rhode Island this week, what incentive is there for small northern schools to keep their baseball programs around?

TE: This committee was criminal in their treatment of Rhode Island. If I were a participating member, I would be absolutely embarrassed at the inclusion of Baylor and Oklahoma State while not having Rhode Island in the tournament. Of course they aren’t going to ever have a complete resume when compared to a warm weather school, but they did absolutely everything you could ask of them to improve their schedule and they won the majority of those southern games. I think it is an absolute travesty that they aren’t in. It does send the wrong message to northern schools. I do hope that the schools up there won’t allow the most biased chairman in the history of the committee (and that is saying something) to dissuade them from participating in our national pastime.

I would like to thank Travis so much for taking the time out of his day to answer my questions and give me something to write about on the blog! Go Eagles.


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