Next up for NC State is a critical game on the road against Boston College. The Eagles are currently 12-13 (6-8) but are a Q3 game for the NCAA's purposes due to the game being on the road. This game could move to Q4 if BC loses out (which is entirely possible). At this point in the year, NC State cannot have a bad loss.
BC is a model of inconsistency. They've gone loss, win, loss, win for almost a month, though I guess that beat the previous few weeks where they lost everything. Many of the losses have been ugly including by 19 to GT, 26 to Syracuse, 18 to Wake, 17 to Louisville and then by 17 on Wednesday to a depleted Miami squad.
During this period, BC does have a win against UNC in the Dean Dome (by 1) and at VT (by 4). They also played Duke fairly tough at home (losing by 8). They can be dangerous, so the Pack should not take this game lightly. At the same time, if State can build a working lead, BC may quit.
Looking at the stats for the Eagles, they're not good offensively. They're ranked over 300 nationally in points per game, FG shooting percentage, FT percentage and 3 point shooting percentage. They also don't rebound well, turn the ball over, and don't block many shots.
If there's a bright spot for BC anywhere in the analytics, it is that they do force turnovers. They're in the top 30 nationally in percentage of defensive possessions resulting in a steal, and 43rd nationally in percentage of defensive possessions resulting in some sort of turnover.
BC will play about 7 players. They are led by senior guard Derryck Thronton. That's the same Thronton who used to play at Duke, but now is at BC (with two seasons at USC in between). He's having the best year of his college basketball career, but that probably tells you more about the talent level at BC than anything else. In conference games, BC is letting him shoot on almost 1/4 of their possessions. He's only 26% from 3, but he is getting to the line where he is really BC's only good FT shooter (76%). His assist to turnover ratio in conference is only slightly better than 1:1.
The game plan seems pretty simple for the Pack. Keep BC in front of you without fouling because this is a team that will struggle to score. Put DD on Thronton and make him try to beat the entire NC State team 1 against 5. Get back on defense and make the Eagles score in the half court.
On offense, the Pack needs to work the ball around and see if it can continue to get good looks. Better offensive ball movement is what caused the 3 point shooting percentages to be higher the last two games. It's not just that we "made shots." The Wolfpack got better looks. Do that and avoid turnovers, and you've got to like NC State's chances.
Speaking of, KenPom likes the Pack by 4 on the road. They give State a 66% chance of winning.
- Who wins?19 votes
NC State Wolfpack73.68%
Boston College Eagles26.32%
- Will NC State shoot over 40% from 3?19 votes