After Sryacuse throttled Boston College 101-63 in the first matchup between the squads, SU hosts the Eagles on Saturday. In the first matchup, SU hit 16-31 shots from behind the arc and coasted to its first Atlantic Coast Conference win of the season on Dec. 12.
But while the three’s led the way then, there may be a better way to play BC. The Eagles are one of the worst interior defense teams in the nation, allowing opponents to score on 56.3% of shots inside the arc. That ranks 333rd in all of college basketball.
In the early season matchup, Syracuse’s hot shooting from outside seemed like it would foreshadow the rest of the season. Instead, Syracuse has proved inconsistent in its shooting, commonly falling flat.
While SU should have no trouble brushing aside an outmatched BC team, the best way to secure a victory is to play through Quincy Guerrier. The talented sophomore is the second leading scorer on the team, behind Alan Griffin. Guerrier and senior forward Marek Dolezaj are the two most efficient shooters in the rotation, as both are shooting over 50 percent from the field.
While Dolezaj is prone to low-scoring games, Guerrier has scored in double figures in eight of the last nine matchups. SU’s loss to Clemson — when Guerrier scored eight points — is his only game out of the nine where he didn’t reach double figures.
BC head coach Jim Christian’s squad heavily relies on its guards, on offense and defense. By continuously attacking the paint throughout the course of the game, Syracuse could essentially eliminate any path to an Eagles upset win.
On the other hand, Saturday could mark a chance for shooters to regain traction heading into the final games of the regular season. Still, with Syracuse sitting on the outside of the bubble, Jim Boeheim can’t afford to take any unnecessary chances.