Reggie Jackson, Joe Trapani and Corey Raji were all expected to be the major contributors for Boston College's mens basketball team entering the season, so any contributions from Biko Paris and Josh Southern was considered extra.
But through 10 games, Paris and Southern have evolved into true leaders on the court.
Paris scored a career-high 22 points to pace Boston College in its 79-75 win over Maryland on Sunday and Southern added six points and six rebounds. Paris made 8-of-12 shots and 6-of-10 threes during his career performance.
"The opportunities just presented themselves," Paris said. "I never prearrange how many shots I'm going to take before a game I just take whatever they give me. I mean, [Maryland] ran a really nice press, but they were slow getting back on defense so we had a lot of wide open shots."
Paris' improved performance from beyond the arc is in part due to new head coach Steve Donahue and the Eagles' intensified focus on the long ball in practice.
"In practice we take a lot more three-pointers than we usually would have taken in the past," Paris said. "Coach stresses a lot about getting extra shots in after practice and working with each other on our shots. We've just been establishing ourselves as who we are as a team, we shoot threes and play hard on defense. Shooting threes is just a part of who were are now."
Through 10 games, Paris is averaging 10.8 points, 2.9 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 45.9% shooting. Prior to Sunday's performance, Paris' previous scoring high came against Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge when he scored 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting (3-for-7 from three-point range).
Paris has reached double-digits in scoring five times this season and has scored at least seven points nine times in 10 games. For the season, Paris has made 39-of-85 field goals and 19-of-29 three pointers.
While Southern only managed six points in the Eagles' win over Maryland, he has been playing like a man possessed every since being placed in the starting lineup in the game against Providence.
Southern missed Boston College's first game against St. Francis (NY) and played an average of 22.5 minutes since. He totaled two points and zero rebounds in eight minutes in his first game of the season against Yale and finished with one point and two rebounds in the Eagles' next game against Holy Cross.
Southern continued to improve, scoring six points and grabbed one rebound against Texas A&M in the first round of the Old Spice Classic and amassed five points and three rebounds in the classic's second round against Wisconsin.
He has only improved since then, finishing with seven points against California and totaling eight points and six rebounds against Indiana.
Against Massachusetts, Southern came on strong with a career-high 16 points and seven rebounds in a season-high 28 minutes. Southern finished with 16 points and had nine rebounds in Boston College's next game against Providence before his six-point performance against Maryland.
Paris and Southern still aren't the first and second options on offense, but both provide Donahue with commendable options once the Eagles face complete teams down the road, such as Duke, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
With their continued contributions, the Eagles stand a solid chance of finishing in the top half of the ACC and reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time in the Donahue era.