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Notre Dame Basketball: Boston College Preview

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The Irish look to make it three in a row against Boston College

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

After spending last week outside the top 25, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (19-7, 8-5 ACC) cracked this week’s rankings at 25. The Irish are coming off two impressive wins over Wake Forest and No.14 Florida State. Notre Dame will look to keep the momentum going on Tuesday night when they travel to Chestnut Hill, MA to take on the Boston College Eagles (9-14, 2-11 ACC).

The Eagles come in reeling, losers of their last nine straight and 11 of their 12. This should be a very winnable game for the Irish, but there are no guarantees in the ACC this season. BC was able to knock off Syracuse at home earlier this year.

Game Notes

  • Notre Dame leads the all-time series 17-10
  • Mike Brey holds a 9-1 record over Boston College
  • Notre Dame and Boston College have met six times as ACC opponents. Notre Dame has won all six meetings
  • Boston College knocked Syracuse off to start ACC play, they have gone 1-11 since
  • Boston College is rated 149th on KenPom.com, Notre Dame is 24th
  • Boston College is 183rd in adjusted offensive efficiency and 136 in defensive efficiency
  • Over his last two games junior forward Bonzie Colson is averaging 30 points, 14.5 rebounds and 3 blocks
  • His performances last weekend helped Colson earn ACC Player of the Week
  • Colson reached the 1,000 point mark on Saturday night. Every player that played in the 2015 ACC Championship game has reached 1,000 career points (Jerian Grant, Demetrius Jackson, Steve Vasturia, Zach Auguste, Pat Connaughton, V.J. Beachem)
  • Boston College, along with Georgia Tech, are the only repeats on Notre Dame’s schedule every year
  • According to VegasInsider.com Notre Dame is a 10 point favorite

When: Tuesday, February 14th, 2017, 7:00pm ET

Where: Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA

How to Watch: ESPNU or WatchESPN

Boston College Eagles (9-17, 2-11 ACC)

After going winless in the ACC last season BC has improved this season — slightly. Even though the two ACC wins don’t look pretty, they’ve played everyone reasonably close. Eight of BC’s 11 ACC losses have come by an average margin of 7.5 points. Notre Dame can’t come into this one sleep walking, or the Eagles can easily sneak up and bite them.

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Third year coach Jim Christian’s club is one of the youngest in the conference. BC only features three upperclassmen, all seniors, only two see any real action.

All-ACC candidate Jerome Robinson leads this group. The sophomore is fourth in the league in scoring at 19.4 PPG. Notre Dame senior guard Steve Vasturia will almost surely be matched up with him.

Freshman point guard Ky Bowman is also another player to watch. He’s the Eagles second leading scorer and one of their best outside shooters.

Three Weaknesses

Free Throw Defense: BC is one of the worst teams in the country at letting opponents cash in from the line. Opponents are shooting 74.7% (343rd NCAA) from the charity stripe and making 17 free throws each contest (310th NCAA). Notre Dame is one of the best free throw shooting teams in the nation, so they should be able to take advantage of BC’s weakness.

Ball Security: Its no real surprise that a young team such as BC has a problem of taking care of the ball. The Eagles are turning the ball over an average of 15 times per game, that ranks 318th in NCAA.

Scoring Offense/Defense: The Eagles rank 186th in the NCAA in PPG at 72.5. They also rank 250th in opponents PPG, as they give up 75.9 points per contest. Notre Dame’s offense has been rocking and rolling over the last two games, averaging 86 PPG. The Eagles could be in some trouble on Tuesday night.

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Three Strengths

Defensive Rebounding: Boston College is one of the best in the country at crashing the defensive boards. They rank 6th in defensive rebounding percentage as they haul in 79.2% of opponents misses. Offensive rebounds could be hard to come by for the Irish.

Three Point Shooting: BC is 74th in the nation in three-point percentage. As a team they shoot 37% from beyond the arc.

Sharing the Ball: The Eagles average 15 assists per game, which is good for 74th nationally. The only problem here is that they turn the ball over about as many times per contest.

Eagles to Watch

Jerome Robinson - 6’5”, Sophomore, Guard

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Robinson is one of the lone bright spots on this Boston College team. He’s having an All-ACC caliber season. He’s fourth in the ACC in scoring at 19.8 PPG. Robinson has accounted for almost a quarter of BC’s points this season. He’s also averaging 3.9 RPG, 3.0 APG and is shooting 44% from the floor. Robinson also leads the Eagles in steals as well, he’s averaging 1.7 per game — third in the ACC. One weakness of his game is that he does struggle from the charity stripe as he only shoots 66%. As mentioned before, look for Vasturia to garner the matchup with Robinson.

Ky Bowman - 6’1”, Freshman, Guard

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Bowman is enjoying a rather successful campaign. He’s BC’s second leading scorer at 13.5 PPG. He has shot it considerably well from the outside, especially in ACC play. He’s shooting 49% from the outside in conference play this year, which is second best in the league. Bowman can get sloppy with the ball at times. His assist to turnover ratio is nearly 1 to 1.

Jordan Chatman - 6’5”, Sophomore, Guard

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

He’s only averaging 8.3 PPG, but he can fill it up from the outside — similar to P.J. Savoy from Florida State. 66% of his shots have been three-pointers this season and he’s converting on 45% of them. Notre Dame will need to keep an eye on Chatman on Tuesday night.

Pick to Click

Matt Farrell - 6’1”, Junior, Guard

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday night I proclaimed that Farrell would be my pick to click for the rest of the season, so I’m not backing down from that. Farrell had another brilliant performance against Florida State as he had 15 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds and just 2 turnovers. I like his matchup with Ky Bowman of BC, so I think he’s in for another good game on Tuesday night.

Prediction

Notre Dame 84 - Boston College 70

Notre Dame has just too much firepower for Boston College and at the moment the Irish are rolling. Boston College might be able to keep it close early because it’s at home, and they’ve played some teams close there. But ultimately the Irish will be too much.

Bonzie Colson is coming off a monster performance over one of the biggest teams in the country in Florida State. Boston College doesn’t nearly possess the length FSU does, so I like Colson to have another big game.

Oh and lastly, keep wearing the gold jerseys!

All stats from: TeamRankings.com, HoopMath.com, KenPom.com, ESPN.com, UND.com, TheACC.com