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After the Christmas gift that the WolfPack gave all the good little boys and girls, can they follow it up with a pre-New Year's celebration at home against the BC Eagles? If so, the Pack would start 2-0 in ACC play for the first time under KK. Those two wins could be huge given how many games might potentially get canceled with COVID19. While not looking ahead to an outcome, I bring this up because it's a pretty important game for the Pack. If State's taking the next step as a program this season, a surprise win against UNC cannot be squandered with a home loss to BC.
BC is a bit of an enigma, and has played better ball than their 2-5 record might suggest. In their first game, they led at half and gave Villanova all that they could handle until they ran out of gas at about the 8 minute mark. In the ACC/Big10 Challenge, they lost in overtime to Minnesota. They've also gotten smoked by Florida (20 points) and Syracuse (38 points). Will the Pack see the team that thinks they can play with anyone, or the team that shot 8-31 from 3 against the Cuse?
Jim Christian is still coaching BC. While there was some rumbling that they might fire him after last year, BC retained Christian. Given what COVID19 is doing to athletics departments across the country, that was probably a wise financial move. Only 25 wins in the ACC in 6 seasons doesn't offer a lot of promise, but if you're Christian, you remember BC's win against the Pack in Chestnut Hill last year as a reason for optimism. I'd argue you're also playing with house money anyway.
When looking over BC as a team, there's not much to say that they do well. Their effective FG defense is 302nd nationally, and that's because opponents make 58% of their 2 point shots (which is 313th nationally). Virtually everything else defensively is mediocre to bad, which you'd expect when you realize that St. Johns, Syracuse, Florida and Minnesota averaged scoring 94 PPG on the Eagles.
On offense, BC's decent inside but doesn't rebound or shoot FTs well, so it's not like they're a team that can wear you out pounding the ball inside. BC prefers to shoot the 3 ball, and have taken 47% of their shots from beyond the arc this season. They're not that good at it as they've shot at or below 33% from three in 5 out of 7 games.
The Eagles are going to play 8, and no one player has averaged over 26 minutes a game on the season. I can hear Dan Bonner now saying over and over how Boston College has "incredible balance with five players that average 10+ ppg."
The game plan seems simple for the Pack -- pound the ball inside on offense and wear BC out. Normally against a team that likes to shoot the three, I would say to run them off the line, but a blow out loss to Syracuse (where BC shot 8-31 from 3) suggests a more passive strategy might be better. Given the Pack's spotty defensive rebounding, BC's best chance to stay in the game is to get second chance points. The Pack can lay back a bit and force BC to beat them from the three.
The computers like the Pack by 13 points.......