2010-11 Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech at Boston College

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(home games)
  • Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2011
  • Time: 1pm
  • TV: No TV

Virginia Tech’s final game of a big road stretch comes tomorrow afternoon in
Chestnut Hill when the Hokies take on a slumping Boston College team. The Eagles
were at the top of the ACC standings earlier in the year, but a recent stretch
of losses has pushed them to the middle of the pack. They’ll look to get back to
their winning ways against the Hokies.

BC is 14-8 on the season, with a 4-4 mark in ACC play. They have good wins
over Texas A&M, Cal, Maryland and Rhode Island. They are an experienced,
capable basketball team that can give Virginia Tech a lot of problems.

The Eagles are also capable of playing poorly. Despite their 4-4 ACC record
and quality OOC wins, BC is 0-2 in the Ivy League, with home losses to Harvard
and Yale. They have lost four of their last five games, including the last three
in blowout style. Losses to Florida State (67-51), Duke (84-68) and UNC (106-74)
were not competitive.

That’s a difficult stretch for the Eagles, as the Blue Devils, Seminoles and
Tar Heels are the top three teams in the ACC standings. Tomorrow BC will take on
the fourth-place team in the standings, the Virginia Tech Hokies.

College Starting Lineup
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G Reggie Jackson 6-3 208 Jr. 18.0 4.3
G Biko Paris 6-1 194 Sr. 10.9 2.1
F Corey Raji 6-6 218 Sr. 12.7 6.5
F Joe Trapani 6-8 232 Sr. 14.6 7.4
C Josh Southern 6-10 263 Sr. 7.4 4.2

The thing that stands out about Boston College is their experience. With four
seniors and a junior in the starting lineup, this group has been together for a
long time. With experienced backups like Dallas Elmore (6-5, 210, Jr.) and
Cortney Dunn (6-8, 238, Jr.), this is probably the oldest team in the ACC.

The Eagles also feature arguably the top guard in the ACC, Reggie Jackson.
Jackson is a combo guard who is a versatile scorer. He shoots 42.7% from
three-point range, and he has dished out 107 assists as well. Thanks in part to
Jackson, the Eagles run one of the most efficient offenses in the ACC. They lead
the conference with a 1.3 assist-to-turnover ratio.

If the season ended today, Jackson would probably be a first team All-ACC
player. He is a very good all-around player who is projected to be a second
round pick in the NBA Draft, if he stays all four years.

He’s joined in the backcourt by experienced veteran Biko Paris, and either of
these players is capable of running the point. Paris shoots 40.5% from
three-point range, he has 72 assists, and he is probably the most experienced
player on the team.

BC has a big frontcourt, with Corey Raji, Joe Trapani and Josh Southern. Raji
is having his best season as a senior, and he’s the brother of former nose guard
B.J. Raji. He shoots 40% from three-point range, and he has a big body for a
small forward. Trapani is the most skilled big man on the team, shooting 35.1%
from three-point range.

Josh Southern is a big bodied center, and he’s not particularly skilled.
However, he is easily having the best season of his career from a scoring

Overall, the BC starting lineup is very dangerous. They are big, they pass
the ball well, and four of their starters are very effective from three-point
range. Danny Rubin (6-6, 170, Fr.) is a freshman wing who is averaging 5.5
points per game, and shooting 44.7% from three-point range. He could potentially
get the start against the Hokies.

Dallas Elmore averages just under 17 minutes per game. Elmore isn’t a scorer,
but he is a defensive specialist who did a great job on Malcolm Delaney last
season. Cortney Dunn and Gabe Moton (6-2, 170, Fr.) also provide the Eagles with
depth off the bench.

Comparison, ACC Games Only
Category BC VT
Stat Rank Stat Rank
FG% 43.8% 4 45.8% 1
FG% Def. 48.1% 12 41.2% 4
3Pt.% 37.8% 2 36.4% 3
3Pt.% Def. 37.4% 9 29.3% 1
FT% 68.3% 8 76.3% 2
Reb. Margin -2.1 10 -0.4 7
TO Margin -1.75 10 +0.88 5
Assist-TO 1.3 1 0.9 7
Scoring Off. 71.8 3 70 4
Scoring Def. 76.5 11 63.9 3

7 3.7


Three-point shooting is obviously very important to Boston College. They have
four starters and one reserve who are very capable of knocking down the outside
shot. They are second in the ACC in three-point shooting, while the Hokies are
first in three-point percentage defense. Something has to give in this game.

A win at Boston College would be big for the Hokies not only in the ACC
standings, but in the RPI as well. Last season Tech went to the Conte Forum
needing a win, and they exited with an 80-60 loss. Virginia Tech is 1-8 all time
in the Conte Forum, with the one win being an overtime victory in 2008. In the
eight losses, Tech has lost by an average margin of 13.9 points. Three of the
losses have been by 18+ points, so it’s a tough venue for the Hokies.

Despite their last three games, BC is capable of playing very well, and they
are due to do so. They have also played their way out of the NCAA Tournament
over the last week, and they’ll be looking to run off some wins to get back in

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