Boston College basketball preview!

# R.P.I. 87 Virginia Tech #152 R.P.I.  Boston College: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball is coming off of a helluva an XL-sized triumph over North Carolina at home on Wednesday night. And try as you might you still cannot spell VicTory sans the Vee and the Tee!

The Hokiebird now must flap its wings 7o4 miles nor-by-nor-east and sojourn for the All Audubon Championship in hoops. Where we will face the altogether middleocore looking 9 up and 10 down Boston College Eagles. Who are three dash five (.375) in A.c.c. play thus far this year. Who are also in serial need of a post-season résumé dotting win right about now. And we do have a medical update here… Nonetheless, you wanna know who is gonna win this one and by how much; right? So, read on… to find, out!

Boston College Head CoachJames Patrick Christian: Age=54, 312–259 (.546) overall, and yet 70–105 (.400) at Boston College.
$1,140,225.oo, (lowest in the A.c.c.)

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 seasons 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.

NOT a dull guy in-game!

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.

On April 25, 2018, Christian signed a two-year contract extension to remain at Boston College through the 2021-22 season.

Daddy Christian and his wife, Patty, were married in the summer of 2005,
and have three children, MacKenzie, Zach, and Jay.

Bee.Cee. at a glance:

  • 27th best in steals!
  • (this space intentionally left… blank)
  • 291st in FT-shooting!
  • 324th in 3-point shooting!
  • 334th in FG-shooting!!
  • 336th worst in Rebounding Margin!!!
  • 24 total National Rankings 201st or worse with 6 of ’em 300th or worse!)
  • 2-4 injuries listed | ‘pends who you asked… (Coach God up to quad-help).

Eagle Returning Starters=3

Boston College Strengths:

  • Nik -no relation- Popovic, is a final year, 6′11″, 255 lb. P/F imported by way of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina as bucu Scrabble points are yours if you rock it from there. Even more bonus points for Nik’s new River Runs Through It comb-over look as that’s a pretty-boy Brad Pitt -esque (roaring) 1920’s hairstyle indeed. As hoops goes… Nik is dropping you 11.5 ppg with 5.5 rpg on 44% in and around the basket. That’s not half-bad; although the news is he is down across the board and when a big drop’s near ~14% on shooting; something is up. (more in a second…) As this is an actual rarified back-to-the-basket, strong-finishing, dunker of a Euro’ Four. Not a stretch-P/F or another Dirk. Nik does send back .6 shots in colligate terms although he lacks rang beyond ~15′ as his improved tho’ still below aveage 27.6% from downtown says. Although there is a history of foul-trouble at times in-play or DQ’ed, here. Ditto a history of dings-n-dent; and a history of meddling in FIBA and Serbian National Team Euro tourney terms. (UPDATE: Nik has a bad-back (may St.Siegfried bless). Nik has now missed 9-games and his status is unknown to ‘day-to-day’ depending upon whom you resource). (2nd UPDATE: Nik did surprise and suit-up and ball for a whopping 30 minutes and manufacture an oxidized looking or rustic 12 points on Wednesday night— good on Nik!)
  • One #11, 6′3″, 195 lb. Derryck Thornton is a grad’-student transfer in his 5th year by way of Duke and more recently by way of U.s.c. West or the So.Cal Trojans. Derryck (now) leads the way in scoring at 12.8 ppg and that’s okay enuff. Although he has the look in feel of a B-side guy being asked to do too many things to me. His 39% overall and mere 23% deep speaks to this, as does the fact that he never averaged mo’ than 7.7 ppg prior to this. Even if he did start at the One as a nugget-year ball down at Duke— which does impress. d.Thor’ does find his way to 3.1 rpg and he does lead the way in assistance with 3.6 apg while placing second in spg (1.6). This from the no.11 ranked kid in America according to Scout a handful of years ago who has at least lacked appointment if he has not outright disappointed thus far. As he has a rep’ of a guy who takes care of the ball and can score a bit. However, his career-high of 3.5 tpg (turnovers per game) just does not mesh with all of this and supports the notion of being asked to do too much too often all the more.

    Irony is ironic, indeed.” –Coach Robin Williams
  • Washington D.C. escapee (Woodrow Wilson H.S.) Jay Heath is a 6′3″, 175 lb. off-G trapped in more of a One or a Pt.G’s body. He was the 32nd overall ranked S/G in the country per ESPN and he did enjoy a pretty good all-around set of Box Score metrics in Sr.Prom level terms. As Jay was basically all-everything you can name in all-Dee.Cee. listings and that’s typically a pretty strong talent needle to move historically. Where Jay crafted a pretty crafty looking: ‘versatile scoring and aggressive/hard-nosed’ defender rep’ on the playgrounds of the District. The only rap I could find was that he needs to sharpen his passing a bit. Tho’ the second-best 12.1 ppg on a team-best 38% from 3-point land when married to: 3.2 rpg, 1.9, apg, and 1.5 spg is not half-bad work if you can get it when you are only 18-games into your NC2A career. The 55% FT-shooting tells you who to foul late, tho’ this kid strikes me as being better than that. Making Heath an interesting ask-back come 2023; if not before. (UPDATE: this has been a kid on the come, upping his floor game mo’ than a little of late!)
  • 6′4″, 2o3 lb. r-Sr., Jairus Hamilton started his freshman year of college ball at Jacksonville State University and then transferred to Georgia Southern for his sophomore year before joining his brother Jarius with the Eagles last year. I suppose this is a better look for the typical flag of three schools in three years; although it is still three schools in three years no matter how purely chicken you slice it. BeeCee’s j.Ham gets you: 9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.1 swipe and he has nearly doubled his 3-point shooting from last year now up to 34.1% from downtown. Now mix in the team lead at 86.1% on 15′ set shots with 10-unguarded-seconds to shoot and you have a rather improved baller on your hands. Although when you read his box score output metrics, and see that Hamilton yo-yo’s like the Smothers Brothers routine between mid-range single-digits and all the way up to mid-range double-digits. And when you see this you see that you have a very inconsistent player on your hands as well. That said Jairus is a Koufax (i.e. a lefty) and that unorthodox approach helps him check peeps on D. He has hit the weight room and added over 15 lbs. of right mass since before college number one. So at least he ain’t afraid of reps/work. He has had some left forearm/elbow issues and that’s even worse for the southpaw here (may St.Amelia bless). (UPDATE: hommie is now listed as: “QUESTIONABLE” with a turned-ankle that has cost him his last two games; may St.Phillip bless)

Boston College Weaknesses:

  • Only two guys kicked rocks; although they (Bowman & Chatman) were the top-2 talents here. Gone with them are 35 ppg and 12 rpg as well. And Bowman was legit.
  • Wynston Tabbs is/was a 6′2″, 194 lb., sophomoric off or Lead-G who has been really dented since he got to the lowercase parquet floor. A good prospect here to be sure, and a pretty clutch one with a history both scholastically and collegiately of late-game-heroics. NTTAWWT.  However, that was one unfortunate left-knee surgery ago (may St.Nikhon bless). As this Wynston went Churchill in his mere 15 nugget year games and knocked down 15 ppg, on 44% overall with 4 rpg, 3 dimes, and a swipe. Which makes you wonder where a healthy Wynston would be and where Boston College would be with him being healthy in addition to that? As Rivals had him as high as 150th best in all the land and yet this Eagle has not yet landed… at least not in full form so far. Godspeed. As the tag read: “excellent scoring potential” and the only nag was a need to ‘lengthen shooting-range.’
  •  6′5″, 19o lb., rookie year Julian Rishwain is a long good-looking Shooting-G prospect all the way from the City of Angels or Lakerland out on the left-coast. He is said to have an excellent shooting range and a high hoops I.Q. And the next time any roundball team does not need/enjoy that will be the, first. Julia did/does need to add strength. As this kid was a pretty dang productive shooting-scorer out at well-fabled Sherman Oaks High School just last year. (UPDATE: Leg-injury, status=UNKNOWN, St.Nikhon bless). Likewise also unknown is the status of Jullian’s: 5.5 ppg, on 33% long and his couple of boards on top of that.
  • The vibes say BeeCee lacks a so-called: ‘go to’ baller sans Ky Boman by-the-bye.
  • There are cyber whispers that this hoops club: “has the flu”; Coach God Bless on dat.

Flying Eagle Bench: (depth=6, now more like 3 to 4 injury-wise)

Jr. season Steffon Mitchell, at 6′8″, 220 lbs. is the real Minnesota native workhorse here as one or two other guys play token or match-up minutes whereas Steffon nearly goes for starting stat sheet time in relief. As Steffon (great name) was basically a Florida High School human double-double machine who could and still can, defend. Right now Stef’ is at: 7.2 ppg, on a team-leading 8.2 rpg with 2.8 apg, 2.4 spg, and 1.3 swats; and that is doing a lotta little to medium things big on right. And if Mitch’s offensive game ever evolves (43% from the floor and 53% FT’s), he’s prolly an overseas pro’ just for his defensive acumen. As he’s a stretched version of our very own Hill sans the reticent offensive output as-is. (UPDATE: this is one of the ones said to be bitten by the flu’ bug; Godspeed!)

6′7″, 230 lb. CJ Felder is a Baltic Ave. man’s kinda lean(er) looking Ben Wallace and his rack-attacking game tends to reflect this as well. Ben, I mean CeeJay, nets you 6.4 hard-fought, hard-won ppg and 4.3 rpg in frontcourt subbing. Felder missed a lotta high school time (injuries/God Bless) and this may have capped his P/F ranking at 45th best in the USofA overall. The book here says that Felder is a surprisingly good face-up Offender who athletically runs the floor well in spite of his at least partial defensive reputation. As the shooting will likely rise (38.7% from the floor) as worker-bees typically drone on and on and on at practice just like dat long-term.

Successfully ascending Chestnut Hill on Saturday is all about, what(s)?

View Results

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Eagles who could nest @Tech=3 maybe 4.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… Boston College has only enjoyed 1-win since about a week prior to Gregorian Christmas (12.25).

The caveat is… they have mutually not enjoyed a metric ton of health or of positive breaks. Because if not for bad-luck this 2019-2020 Eagle squad would have no luck at all.

The harsh part is… they have only been competitive in one of their last six L’s since Christmas even if they did upset no.18 and defending National Champion hooVa in the meantime.

The odd part is… even when they had their roster at or near full-available strength? They still (somehow) managed to swing wildly up-n-down earlier this campaign. What with impressive 3 and 5-game win streaks that included taking the scalps of: Wake, Notre Dame, and CAL. Then they turned right around and got done-out by the likes of: Belmont, DePaul and neighborly Richmond.

i.e. go fig’ on which BeeCee hoops team is which— even when basically healthy.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame… is calling for a virtually umpossible 40-point Hokie total blow-out VicTory on Saturday. And even when I took this on a pro-rata basis (and generously applied a N.Dame weighting) it still called for a 9-point Tech Triumph on the road. Forty seems in excess of our best-case or a “reach” to me, tho; high single digits is hopefully not beyond our “grasp.” (Classic AM.Lit thanks to coach Ro.Browning, insert (_____) here, check!)

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… V.Tech is up almost 7% in shooting percentage margin (nearly equally O and D superiority split); V.Tech is up 12% in 3-point percentage margin (more so on O, tho’ solid on D); and highly unusually enough, V.Tech is up +4 in rebounding margin; (only because BeeCee is even more negative in rebounding margin than V.P.I. is for the duration).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Hokies are up a sharp-looking +10% in shooting percentage margin (7/1oths on D actually); the Fighting Gobblers are up a staggering +22% in 3-point percentage margin (a bit more on O&M D, tho’ BeeCee is downright chilly here on O); and Vah.Tech is up a |absoutle-value| +3 caroms in Windex work (same drill as above, both are negative, it is just that V.Tech is less negative on the glass in the last fortnight of play).

VeeTee is up +3% at the charity stripe for the year.
With V.Tee +2 on R&R in the last couple of weeks here.

Boston College is a .583 host; whereas Virginia Tech is .667 as a guest.

  • Only two D-1 men’s teams make more 3’s per game than VeeTee!
  • The Eagles were 3-1 at one point in league play, including a win over defending national champion virginia, yet four straight defeats have dropped them into 10th place. They led by as many as 14 before intermission at Pittsburgh on Wednesday before dropping a 74-72 decision on a late jumper by the Panthers.
  • l.Nolley II ranks third in the A.c.c. in scoring with 18 ppg and he had 22 against North Carolina, however; the freshman is shooting 34.1% over his last five games. (hitting the wall, much?)
  • j.Cone is averaging a surging 15.2 ppg over that same span while making 58.3% of his 3-point attempts, boosting his A.c.c.-leading percentage from long range to 55.6% for the season.
  • n.Alleyne is averaging 12.7 ppg over his last three games following a six-game stretch in which he was held to single digits. It looks like he is finding his way back to confidence in his stroke.
  • V.Tech has won five in a row in this series.

The Call

No.45 Net Ranking Virginia Tech @ no.165 Net Ranking Boston College:

So, and for the fourth time, all season long -by my tally- we/Vah.Tech is catching yet another All Coaching Conference club at a pretty good time.

2 PM Kick-Off!

In very particular if the dings and dents listed above do not give Saturday afternoon a go. As what was maybe, kinda, sorta… a fringe looking bottom-shelf Atlantic Division C.I.T. or C.B.I. caliber roundball club has gone and gotten their powder wet regarding what little too decent firepower coach J.P. Christian did have bunkered at his 2019-2020 disposal up on Chestnut Hill.


As honestly enough… that full-power version of Boston College could and possibly would have messed around with us at home.

And beyond we/V.P.I. get just too dang high on our triumphant U.n.c. fumes?

You really do have to like the more talented squad here.

And if you do not like that?
You really do have to side with the healthier squad here if nothing else.

Because unlike the rest of the typically skyscraping A.c.c.?

BeeCee is not quite a Steve McQueen, Robert Wagner, William Holden, and Fred Astaire Towering Inferno of an overmatched post-match-up down low.

Or at least they were not; well, not until they got Nik’ got back and if B.College can slow this one down and grind this one out? Stranger Things have happened out on the .3oo
visiting win percentage A.c.c. road historically.

Believe you me…


(59% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=73, Boston College=63




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