This is not your typical Boston College team as of late. Once the laughing stock of the ACC, the Eagles have quickly turned the tide thanks to development of their young talent. This season, B.C. has a banner win against then top-ranked Duke to open up its ACC slate. The Eagles have already played tough games on the road this season against Virginia, UNC and Louisville. Here’s what you need to know about Boston College:
Watch Out For The Backcourt
The guards that patrol the Eagles offense are one of, if not, the best not just in the ACC, but in the nation. Led by the trio of Jerome Robinson, Ky Bowman and Jordan Chatman, the guards account for almost 65 percent of the team’s offense. Ever since Deontae Hawkins suffered a season-ending injury in late November, these three are averaging close to a combined 55 points per game. Jim Boeheim applauded this group on the ACC Teleconference this week about their ability to do pretty much everything on offense. This is the unit that SU needs to key in on. After letting Pitt’s Parker Stewart go off for 23 points on 7-for-13 shooting from three, the Orange cannot afford to let these guys get it going from the perimeter. Both Robinson and Chatman shoot above 43 percent from behind the arc and rank inside the top 50 in the nation in that department. While Bowman’s numbers are down this season from three, last year he shot 45 percent from deep, including a 7-for-8 performance against the Orange on New Year’s Day last season. SU is vulnerable from three, and if it lets either of these weapons heat up a la Stewart, the Orange will be in trouble.
Magic Number: 70
This season, the Eagles are 13-0 when scoring 71 or more points and 0-6 when scoring 70 or less. Luckily for SU, its scoring defense is tied for 20th in the nation at 63.6 points per game. However, the Orange allows just 61.1 points per game in regulation in ACC play. But Syracuse ranks outside the top 100 in three-point field goal percentage defense. Meanwhile, Boston College has heated up from three since conference play started. The Eagles shoot 38.1 percent, good for fourth in the ACC. Expect the number 70 to play a factor in this game once again for B.C.
While the standard number may suggest that Boston College is a good rebounding team at 52nd in the country in total rebounds. But the Eagles rank second to last in the ACC in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. In fact, in terms of available rebounds, the 6-foot-1 Bowman is the team’s best defensive rebounder by available rebounds. B.C. is 120th in the nation in rebound margin, which shows that the rebounds per game number does not tell the whole story. Syracuse can use this to its advantage with Paschal Chukwu and Oshae Brissett combining for 15 rebounds per game. With a team that can shoot the lights out from three, limiting second chance opportunities will be crucial against the Eagles.