Date: Saturday, January 25
Virginia Tech (14-5, 5-3) travels north to take on a Boston College team (9-10, 3-5) that has struggled after pulling off what was considered to be one of the bigger upsets of the season.
The Eagles defeated UVA 60-53 at home on January 7. Since that win, they have lost four games in a row, with three of them coming via blowout…
71-52 home loss to Georgia Tech
76-50 away loss to Syracuse
80-62 away loss to Wake Forest
74-72 away loss to Pitt
After three straight road games, Boston College will be happy to get back home to the Conte Forum. The Eagles began the season with a win over Wake Forest, and they also defeated Notre Dame. They started 3-1 in ACC play before their recent slide. However, all the numbers indicate that this isn’t a particularly good basketball team, especially on the offensive end.
Here are the offensive numbers for the Eagles thus far, from Ken Pomeroy…
Adjusted Off. Efficiency: No. 253
Effective FG%: No. 311
Turnover %: No. 219
Off. Rebounding %: No. 275
3-Pt.%: No. 323
2-Pt.%: No. 250
FT%: No. 285
Those numbers tell you that Boston College struggles to shoot from the outside, from the inside, and from the free throw line. They also turn the ball over too much, and don’t score many second chance points because they are poor on the offensive glass.
The Eagles are better on the defensive end, at No. 97 in adjusted defensive efficiency, but some of the other numbers aren’t good. They are No. 183 in defensive effective field goal percentage, and they are No. 293 when it comes to preventing offensive rebounds. However, their one saving grace is turnovers, as BC ranks No. 29 nationally in opponents’ turnover percentage and No. 17 in steals. The Hokies are No. 2 in the country in turnover percentage, so this will be a battle to watch.
Here’s the starting lineup that head coach Jim Christian used in BC’s most recent game against Pitt…
G Derryck Thornton (6-3, 195, r-Sr.): 12.8 ppg, 61 assists. Leads the team in scoring and assists. Graduate transfer from USC.
G Jay Heath (6-3, 175, Fr.): 12.1 ppg. Heath has been a bright spot as a freshman, and he’s a capable outside shooter at 37.2%.
F CJ Felder (6-7, 230, Fr.): 6.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg. Felder has started 10 of BC’s 19 games. He’s only 5-of-27 (18.5%) from three-point range.
F Steffon Mitchell (6-8, 220, Jr.): 7.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg. Mitchell as been BC’s best rebounder on the year, and he plays just over 30 minutes per game. He leads the team with 21 blocks.
F Jairus Hamilton (6-8, 234, So.): 9.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg. Hamilton has been BC’s best inside scorer.
Overall, Jim Christian has started nine different players this season. The Eagles have been hurt by the injury to 6-11 center Nik Popovic, who made his return against Pitt after missing six weeks. BC is a much better team with Popovic on the court. He had 12 points in 30 minutes against Pitt, so it would make sense for him to return to the starting lineup on Saturday against the Hokies.