Monday, January 31, 2011

Boston College vs. North Carolina. Do or Die for BC?

Hello out there BC Sports fans. I have arrived, as the prophets foresaw, to breathe new life into this blog. I come to you at a crossroads for BC basketball. Up to this point, the Eagles have definitely defied any expectations that any reasonable fans had coming into the season. Come on, if I were to come up to you before the season and offer you the chance to be 14-7 with a win over a team from every power conference, including a win over top 15 Texas A&M, every one of you would have signed on the dotted line (and incidentally given me control of your eternal souls). Don't forget this past offseason, Coach Al Skinner was fired and Rakim Sanders, Evan Ravenel, and every one of our incoming recruits fled the scene. This was not a pretty scenario for Coach Donahue to walk into. And yet here we are, 14-7 with a new excitement surrounding the team, and the North Carolina Tar Heels on the horizon.

And yet, with this new success comes new expectations that must be met. Before the season, most fans would have been happy with a .500 season and a program that is looking like it's moving in the right direction. But now, with some signature wins under our belt, the Tournament is no longer quite so pie in the sky. But BC's two losses at home to Ivy League schools will really hurt these chances. That's why tonight's game against UNC is so huge. BC needs another big, in-conference win to really boost their resume. There are some more chances down the road for BC to gain some big wins, but tonight's game at Conte Forum will be a huge chance for BC to set the tone for the rest of the season and get the taste of the two game losing streak out of their mouth.

Keys to The Games

Can Josh Southern Keep Up With Tyler Zeller- Zeller is UNC's 7 foot forward who is averaging 13.8 PPG and 7.1 RPG. Zeller is a dynamite post player on both offense and defense, and Southern will have to stay strong against Big Z (I'm calling him that), but make sure to stay out of foul trouble. One more thing, even if Zeller is contained, the 6-8 John Henson just went off against NC State the other night, going for 16 and 16, so BC will definitely have its hands full down low.

Will the Threes Start to Fall Again?- This entire year BC has lived and died by the Three Ball. The last two games (against two great defensive teams mind you) BC has only shot about 35% from beyond the arc. While those are nice numbers for most teams, it's not going to cut it for a team whose main weapon in the long ball (Impressed by the amount of 3 point euphemisms I just used?). BC needs to knock down their open shots and get some extra points on the board because there is no way BC is going to win with their 222nd ranked scoring defense.

Get to the Line- The Eagles need to get to the foul line early and often and hit their shots from the charity stripe. One theme that will be a constant for me on this blog are the Three Key Stats to Winning Basketball Games (or TKSWBG for short. I'll think of something more clever someday.) The three key stats are Free Throws Made, Offensive Rebounds, and Three Pointers made. Normally if a team wins two of these three categories, they win the game. This is because all of these stats give the team more Points Per Possession, which is the key stat in basketball. We know BC will get outrebounded in this game due to the lack of size and the fact that they are awful at rebounding, but if they can knock down their Threes and Free Throws, BC can easily pull out a victory over the Tar Heels.

Boston College- 78 North Carolina- 71. BC is back riding high in the ACC standings