#36 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #204 R.P.I. Boston College:
Virginia Tech basketball climbs Chestnut Hill up @Boston College on Saturday afternoon in the made for TV Atlantic Coast Conference tilt at 4 PM, this weekend on Raycom Sports Network (check your local listings).
The Flying Eagles fly back home perched at a very modest looking 9 up and 19 down overall and a clipped looking 2-13 inside the A.c.c. In point of fact, Boston College has won not one game since we last saw them going none for their last eleven most recent contests. As most of the hooping cognoscenti would agree, Boston College is the zeta team or fifteenth best in an Atlantic Coast race of 15 as these grounded Eagles have won exactly one D-1 men’s hoops contest since New Year’s Day; and they have only been real competitive in a single game since we saw them last. That reads like a team that is starting to let go the 2o17 rope or possibly has already figured out how to L. Nevertheless, who will win this one? Read on to find… out.
Boston College Head Coach: James Patrick Christian: Age=51, 270–2o5 (.568) overall, and yet 28–59 (.321) at Boston College.
Baller Christian was born in Bethpage, New York. He was an all-state Guard at St. Dominic High School in nearby Oyster Bay. Following his prep career, Christian was recruited by current Louisville coach Rick Pitino (then) at Boston University where he played two seasons before transferring to the University of Rhode Island. Christian played his final two campaigns under Tom Penders at the University of Rhode Island, where he helped the Rams reach the Sweet Sixteen of the 1988 NC2A Tournament. After earning his bachelor’s degree in consumer affairs from the University of Rhode Island in 1988, Christian spent one season playing professionally in the Australian Basketball Association for the Sydney City Comets.
After that Baller Christian became Coach Christian with numerous apprenticeship assistant coaching stops along the way, including: Western Kentucky, St. Francis (Pa.), W.K.U. (again), Miami (Oh.), Pitt, and Kent State; where he finally won his first job as a big whistle. Coach Christian had an impressive run of six seasons at 20 wins or more, five M.A.C. titles and six post-seasons. T.c.u. then came a calling and Coach Christian lead them to their first winning record in seven years and the N.I.T. After one year there he was off to a two year hitch at Ohio U where he rang up 49 wins, one M.A.C. championship and two post-season bids in two years. Then coach Christian climbed up Chestnut Hill and entered the big leagues of A.c.c. power conference play for the Eagles. Coach Christian has won seven total conference crowns and has two mid-major Coach of the Year Awards to show for it. He is somewhat itinerant, or a modern day Larry Brown with 10 coaching notches already carved in his resume` belt. Coach Christian teams come with a rep’ for lower scoring, tempo curtailing offense and defense alike. He is very friendly to the JuCo and/or transfer circuit finding/soliciting talent as and wherever he can.
Eagles at a glance:
- 35th in 3-point percentage allowed (31.1%).
- 68th in 3-point percentage O (37.5%).
- 86th in defensive rebounding (26.76 d-rpg).
- 328th in turnovers per game (15.7 tpg).
- everything else C— to C+.
- no injuries reported | thank God.
BeeCee Returning Starters=3
Boston College Strengths
- Jerome Robinson is the 6’5”, 19o lb. alpha-Eagle here by far hands down. 19.2 ppg on 4.o boards and 3.1 assists with 43% shooting overall and 33% from deep is pretty fair to middling if you ask me. And that’s pretty dang good second year work from a guy who was not anything beyond a two or three star prospect in scholastic terms. Robinson carries the rep’ of a slasher off the dribble from the Wing that you can sag off of –as his range is shorter than his drives. However, don’t tell him that, as he has a team leading 147 FTA’s (7o.1%) and the likewise dialing long-distance lead with 138 treys attempting thus far (33%). So this is clearly a kid who never met a shot he did not like; or would not, take. And to his credit– Robinson has virtually doubled his scoring from last year (+171%), however he has missed ~5% more of his threes. Accordingly, Robinson is basically a hooping Adonis, having to carry the Boston College basketball world upon his back. Robinson’s father played basketball at So.Florida and played professionally overseas for nine years; so this (Swiss) Family Robinson Genome Project does have some Gregor Johann Mendel double-double game. And Robinson is enough of an athlete that he could have played college baseball; still yet, he had been in a modest slump with three of his last five games posting 31% shooting or less. Robinson is the best pure defender in the Eagles nest (1.7 spg) and if his offense continues to deepen and expand, that might just make him at least an overseas like father like son Pro’ in another year or two. And make no mistake here; Boston College goes only as far as Robinson can carry them. We stop #1 and our odds to win go way way up. (UPDATE: ↓ or down across the board since we last saw him)
- 6’1”, 182 lb. nugget (rookie) year Pt.Guard Ky Bowman is the only other Eagle even in double digits at the moment. That’s how parsimonious the Bee Cee O is this season folks. Ky was a scoring One in high school ball down in (Nor.) Carolina (25 ppg); and he actually double committed; to Boston College for hoops and to U.n.c. to play Wr. So this kid is a pretty strong cross-sport athlete, who currently nets you a second best 14.4 ppg, with 5 rpg, 2.9 apg on 51% from the floor and he tallies the team lead at 45% from distance. Thus is pretty decent productivity for a kid who is just 28 games into his hoops career when he could just as easily be 13 games into his gridiron matrix. Lindy’s pre-season magazine does not even list Mister Bowman, which tells you what oblong spheroid sport they thought he’d be playing and it also tells you just how much he is doing for coach Christian and B.C. in roundball terms. (UPDATE: ↑ all over in the last three weeks)
- 6’9” red-Graduate P/F and 248 bruising lbs. worth of Mo Jeffers and 6’6” 255 lb. bulky looking red-Graduate vertically undersized Four (P/F) Connar Tava each conspire to lend Boston College what rebounding Boston College does have. As both bigs are basically tied for the rebounding lead at 5.6 and 5.7 rpg respectively and court basically a decade worth of collegiate experience between ’em. Jeffers is a former Hokie Washington D.C. escapee target who made his way up to Delaware after leaving the District and currently drops 5.5 ppg and a block for Boston College | while transferring so late as to likewise not be listed in Lindy’s pre-season magazine. Whereas Tava was a Western Michigan big M.A.C. flavored baller prior to Boston College. Tava scores you 6.3 ppg and is almost something of a chapter 11 (bankrupt) man’s wanna be Point-Forward at nearly 3 assists per game. Tava has a soft-touch around the rim and he was a pretty prolific high school scorer than never quite caught fire in D-1 terms due to broken feets. Godspeed on that. (UPDATE: both frontcourters are somewhat ↓ since we last played B.C.)
- …and not much, else.
Boston College Weaknesses:
- Similar to Clemson, Boston College is a 1-man-gang (Jerome Robinson); as this Eagle squad has yet to fill out and become a true Atlantic Coast roster from stem to stern, talent wise.
- Coach Christian teams’ are not exactly known to be offensive juggernauts.
- 35 ppg and 15 rpg are gone; (including BIG man 7’1” Dennis Clifford).
- Younger, underclassman heavy team that is lightweight on experience –much less on depth.
- 6′ 17o lb. dynamic newcomer Ty Graves was Bee Cee’s biggest recruit in a couple of years; or more. Though Ty played for the Eagles right up until Christmas, then he took a permanent Christmas vacation via transferring to St. Louis in-season! Gone are his athleticism, his shooting and his said to be a recruiting sleeper ceiling. And that’s never a good sign, in particular IN-season.
- Boston College was tabbed 15th outta 15 by every single one of my pre-season magazines –you do the maths.
Eagle Bench: (depth=2)
With Graves now dug, A.J. Turner and Nik Popovic are about all the bench the Eagles pine squad has left. A.Jay is a 6’7”, 188 lb. second year Swing who is a very useful third in scoring (8.6 ppg), and he grabs you 3.5 caroms per contest with the team lead at 3.2 assists per game on 43% overall and a nifty second best 37% from beyond the arc. That’s not bad relief substitute play if you can get it men, as A.J. courts a handsome all-around game. (UPDATE: A.J. is ↓ more than a little bit of late)
Nik is a t-freshman 6’11”, 228 lb. imported baller all the way from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The book on Nik says that he is something of a stretch-P/F who works best off the dribble away from the basket. Right now Nik is netting 6 ppg with nearly 4 boards on 47% shooting. Nik does sport a bronze world championship medal per Serbia’s third place finish at the F.I.B.A. 2o14 Championship; and Nik might just be skillful enough to ask back up in 2o2o terms and see where his then Americanized game might just be. (UPDATE: Nik too is off of late ↓)
Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:
Number of Eagles who could start @Tech=1, maybe 1.5.
The takeaway here is… that this is our most winnable game from here on out and therefore a must win for that very same reason. Because Boston College is the most inferior opponent we have left both in the regular season and in any given post-season tourney for double sure alike.
As Boston College has been L’ing, generally worse late; having really only been in one game per se since we saw and beat them last month.
What does all of that mean and/or aver, posit, or suggest however?
- Boston College is +1 in rest and running @Home. EDGE=B.C.
- The Eagles are .47o at home whereas VT is .333 away. EDGE=B.C.
- Oddly enough, our handy dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame was predicting a 2.25 point Flying Eagle win the last time and yet a 6.67 VT win this time. Shows you how far these two have swung. EDGE=VT.
- On the year VT is nearly +10 ppg better, and 5% better on FG margin overall with +5% from the FT-line; although 3-point margin is a virtual push and yet B.C. +5 rpg on the boards. EDGE=VT, medium.
- The Home/Away splits tell us that B.C. is +10 ppg better, +6% better on FG percentage margin from the floor; +1o% better from range on 3’s and just over +9 rebounds to the good. EDGE=B.C. all the way.
- In most recent 5-game trends: VT is a stunning +17 ppg better, 1o% better in total shooting, with a +6% advantage on three-pointers. Rebounding was actually +3 rpg in the Eagles favor. EDGE=VT.
So as you can see the Eagles have been worse of late, in particular in Forum Guide terms when comparing how Boston College and Virginia Tech basketball fared head-to-head vs. common foes. As there is more than a little something something about Boston College has the look and feel of a team that is ready to pack it in, at least to me.
And yet, how many more cardiac moments can coach Buzz and company sustain before someone had to preform some O&M upsetting scoreboard C.P.R.?
As the Bibbs’ knee inflection and impact upon landing did us no favors here. Not even as a surprising seven (VT-7) point visiting favorite out on the A.c.c. road where our historic odds to win are no more than three in ten. As I’ma kinda wondering if the Hokiebird lays one more hooping egg courtesy of such a knee-knocked team before 2o17 is all said and done?
I’m just hoping it is not here; as Boston College is a team that you might as well kick good-n-hard from the opening tip and see if they do indeed spit the “wait till next year” bit.
As the Eagles are allowing 85 ppg on 50% shooting in their last five and that’s just not defensive enough to pick the upset; not even at home.
(65% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=77, Boston College=66