Over the last four years, Boston College men’s basketball has played in 72 regular season conference games, and won just 10—earning a reputation as one of the few “easy wins” in the ACC. Entering Wednesday night’s matchup against No. 25 Clemson, though, the Eagles are just 3.5-point underdogs.
It’s the product of an impressive 9-3 non-conference record, paired with an upset over then-No. 1 Duke and a narrow one-point loss to No. 9 Virginia. With an 8-0 record at Conte Forum on the line, BC will look to claim its second win of the season over a ranked opponent.
Who is BC playing?
When is BC playing?
Wednesday, Jan. 3, 7 p.m.
Where is BC playing?
Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
How to watch:
The game will be broadcasted by ACC Network Extra, and available online at WatchESPN.
By the Numbers
1) The trio of Jerome Robinson, Jordan Chatman, and Ky Bowman played all 40 minutes of Saturday’s game at UVA. The Eagles have leaned heavily on their starters, ranking 342nd out of 351 Division One teams in bench minutes.
2) Bowman is one of just two players in the entire country to average over 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game. The other? Wooden Award candidate Jevon Carter of West Virginia.
3) Part of the reason the Eagles can avoid going to the bench is the lack of foul trouble. BC’s opponents are averaging just over 14 free throw attempts per game, the 19th-lowest mark in the country.
1) The Tigers rank 10th in the country in defensive efficiency (92.2), and have held opponents under 70 points in all but two games this season.
2) Clemson also leans on its experienced group of starters, with all five upperclassmen averaging double-digit scoring figures. The group is headlined by guard Marcquise Reed, who averages 15.2 points per game to go along with five rebounds and a trio of assists.
3) The Tigers’ methodical offense may be slow, ranking 279th in tempo, but it’s consistently created high-quality, efficient shots. Clemson ranks 25th in effective field goal percentage, a statistic that adjusts field goal percentage to account for the fact that 3-pointers are worth more than any other shot on the floor.
Last March, the Eagles closed out a 2-16 ACC slate with a 82-68 loss at Clemson. The Tigers were up just one point after the first 10 minutes of play, but went on a 26-11 run and never looked back. They led by as much as 21 points in the second half and coasted to a 14-point win. BC’s Jordan Chatman finished with a team-high 17 points and a trio of 3-pointers off the bench, but Clemson’s Avry Holmes hit five of his own triples to lead the Tigers to a convincing victory.
BC Wins if…
It limits turnovers and shoots well from beyond the arc. That seems like an obvious point, but the Eagles lost the turnover battle to UVA and posted their worst 3-point shooting percentage since their loss to Nebraska in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge game. Clemson is a tough interior team with one of the nation’s highest block rate, so BC will need to make its fair share of perimeter shots to have a chance in this one.
BC Loses if…
Clemson wears down the Eagles with its size down low—the Tigers have the dangerous duo of 6-foot-9 center Elijah Thomas and 6-foot-8 forward Donte Grantham. Both are effective on the glass and could cause problems for Nik Popovic, Luka Kraljevic, and Johncarlos Reyes. As it’ll ultimately be a matchup of which starting five can outplay the other, the Tigers five double-digit scorers could be too much for BC to overcome.
Featured Image by Jake Evans / Heights Staff