The Boston College Eagles could really use a big win. After three consecutive losses at the Charleston Classic and a narrow one-point victory against the Auburn Tigers, BC needs a confidence booster. It's nice to have pulled out a close game, but nothing would feel better than a nice blowout victory at home today.
Who? Boston College Eagles (2-3) vs. Bryant Bulldogs (2-2)
When? 2:00 PM Eastern
Where? Conte Forum -- Chestnut Hill, MA
Where on my eyeballs? Just go to the game or ESPN3.com
This game was scheduled as a game that BC should win easily. It's a local-ish team and Bryant already lost to Providence. Every sign points to BC coming away with a relaxing win at home. However, there are no guarantees with these Eagles. Steve Donahue's team is so young and so inconsistent that literally nothing would surprise me today.
The biggest key to this game (and every game, really) is Ryan Anderson. After two dominating performances to start the season, Anderson slowed down significantly in his third game before missing the Eagles' fourth game of the season with an ankle injury. He came back from that injury against Auburn but was a complete non-factor, scoring just 3 points and playing only 19 minutes due to constant foul trouble. Any complete performance by the Eagles will necessarily involve Ryan Anderson. If their best player can get it going today, everything else should fall into place.
Olivier Hanlan is quietly emerging as the Eagles' second most important player. He forces the issue by attacking the basket and drawing fouls. And yet he has the ability to knock down threes to keep the defense honest. If Anderson can score in the paint and Hanlan can penetrate at will, BC should have a good day. As we make our way through the out of conference schedule, that's what we should be looking for -- trends. Look for what lineups seem to work and what lineups seem to stall. You'll start to notice things that stand out as obvious keys for BC.
We're yet to see Dennis Clifford record a double-double or really impact a game significantly on the offensive end. Considering the fact that he's 7-feet tall, you'd think he would have an advantage against most college post players. It doesn't appear as though Bryant as any players that play real minutes over 6-foot-8. This should be a point of emphasis for BC. Take advantage of that mismatch.
Per usual, BC will have its hands full on the defensive end. Dyami Starks scored 25 points in Bryant's last game against Brown and is averaging 15.5 points per game on the season. A quick, senior guard will cause problems for this defense -- again. The key is to stop penetration and to not over-help once the ballhandler gets into the paint. Collapsing too much leaves shooters wide open.
Speaking of shooters, what's the deal with Lonnie Jackson? It'd be nice if he could hit a shot today. Lonnie shot 40% from three a year ago but is at just 23.5% this year. You figure that the shots have to start falling sooner or later.
BC Interruption's Prediction:
I should be more confident than I am. But I still think BC gets their stuff together and puts together a complete game. Eagles win 71-58.