Virginia Tech has a great opportunity to pick up an ACC victory when Boston College visits Cassell Coliseum on Saturday.
The Eagles are a struggling basketball team under head coach Steve Donahue. He has recruited a specific type of player who might be a good shooter and who might have a high basketball IQ, but who might not have the athleticism required to play good defense ever since the NCAA introduced their new hand checking rules in the offseason.
BC is just 4-11 on the season, and they are winless away from the Conte Forum. They rank #336 in the country in defensive efficiency out of 351 teams. Let’s take a look at the amount of points they have allowed in each Division I game this season…
Providence (L): 82
UMass (L): 86
Toledo (L): 95
FAU (W): 79
UConn (L): 72
Washington (W): 78
Sacred Heart (W in OT): 67
Purdue (L): 88
USC (L): 78
Maryland (L): 88
Auburn (L): 77
VCU (L): 69
Harvard (L): 73
Clemson (L): 62
Their best defensive effort came against Clemson, who happens to be the only ACC team (besides BC) who ranks lower in the RPI than Virginia Tech. The Eagles even continued their tradition of losing to Harvard for the sixth straight time. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. Al Skinner is long gone in Beantown, apparently.
That being said, they are still a dangerous team for the Hokies simply because they have a couple of excellent players in their starting lineup who would start for Virignia Tech without question. Namely Olivier Hanlan (6-4, 181, So.) and Ryan Anderson (6-8, 219, Jr.).
Hanlan leads the team with 19.9 points per game and three assists per game. He can knock down open jumpers, and he’s a taller guard who can get to the glass. Anderson is a very physical player in the post who averages 16 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest. He is the ACC’s active leader in double-doubles with 17, and I think he’s going to pose a problem for Virginia Tech’s frontcourt. C.J. Barksdale is going to have to be very physical on the inside against Anderson.
Watch the turnover margin in this game. Both teams aren’t good in this category. BC has 188 turnovers on the season, while they’ve forced just 143. Meanwhile, Tech is even worse at 194 turnovers while forcing 123. Here’s how they rank nationally in turnover margin…
It doesn’t get much worse than that.
Though they’ve struggled recently, the Hokies have a chance to start strong in the ACC. Here’s a look at their schedule for the remainder of January…
January 11: vs. BC
January 15: vs. Clemson
January 19: at Notre Dame
January 22: vs. Wake Forest
January 25: at UVA
January 29: at BC
Those road games at Notre Dame and UVA probably aren’t winnable without a lot of luck, but the rest of those games certainly are. However, it all starts with beating a very bad Boston College team at home.