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Notre Dame Opponent Preview: Boston College

How They Are Doing So Far:

Boston College had some expectations heading into this season after winning seven ACC games last year. That does not sound all that impressive, but compared to the zero they won the previous campaign, it was a huge step in the right direction. And early on the Eagles showed some promise by beating the likes of Minnesota and DePaul. There were losses to IUPUI and Providence mixed in there too, but Boston College was beating the teams they should beat for the most part and playing well against teams nobody would be surprised if they lost to. That started to change on New Year’s Eve when the Eagles lost in overtime to Hartford. After that they fell to Virginia Tech and Virginia in ACC action. Those are perfectly understandable defeats and their first real chance to rebound from that loss to Hartford comes on Saturday with the trip to South Bend.

 

Last Time Out:

Boston College hosted Virginia on Wednesday night and struggled against one of the best teams in the country. The Eagles were within seven points early in the second half, but points were tough to come by and the Cavaliers pulled away for a seemingly simple 83-56 victory. That moved Boston College to 9-5 overall and 0-2 in ACC play. If the Eagles were going to have any chance, they needed to knock down their three-pointers. Ky Bowman did his part, going 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, but the team as a whole connected on just 28.0 percent of their long balls. Against the stifling UVA defense, they were not much more efficient inside the arc. Forward Nik Popovic had astrong game though, leading Boston College with 16 points.

 

Who To Watch:

This is a Boston College team that can score some points, just not against Virginia. Ky Bowman leads the way averaging 20.0 points per game. He also leads the team with 7.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals. The 20.0 point per game average is impressive, but Bowman can go off on any given night. He dropped 38 points on Wyoming and scored 44 in the loss to Hartford. But Bowman has struggled against tougher competition, at least when compared to those massive outings against Wyoming and Hartford. He is only averaging 14.5 points through the two ACC contests. Bowman will certainly make an impact on the game whether he is scoring or not, but if he is not scoring, Boston College’s offense can become a little stagnant.

 

Who Else To Watch:

That is when Wynston Tabbs, Jordan Chatman and Nik Popovic need to help out. Against Virginia Tech it was Chatman, a 6-5 senior guard, who picked up the slack and lead the team in scoring. Against Virginia it was Popovic. To beat most teams in the ACC though, Coach Jim Christian will need a stronger effort from all of those players in order to pull off a victory.

 

Prediction:

This is a big game for both teams and perhaps both of their best opportunities to get a conference victory until they face off against on February 2nd. The Irish, despite the rash of injuries, have proven that they can beat some good teams this year. And with this contest in South Bend, the Irish certainly have the upper hand.

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