This year, the Boston College men's basketball team is projected to improve. How much they improve remains the question. The season certainly wasn't helped with the departure of Jordan Daniels just before their opener vs. FIU on Sunday. Let's take a look at BC's opponent, FIU.
Coach: Richard Pitino (1st season)
Key Losses: Dejuan Wright (Graduated), Jeremy Allen (Graduated), Phil Murphy (Graduated), Dominique Ferguson (NBA Draft)
Style of Play: This is absolutely the worst type of style for the BC freshmen guards to open their college careers with. Richard Pitino stated that he wants an up-and-down game with a lot of pressing and a lot of 3 pointers.
BC is in good shape if: They break the press. FIU is going to completely rely on their ability to force turnovers off of their press, so Hanlan and Rahon (who have been known for their ball-handling) better be ready to face pressure. If they can break the press effectively, FIU's defense will have trouble all game.
BC is in trouble if: FIU forces a lot of turnovers. Look, it's obvious that there will be a learning curve for these freshmen guards. While both were praised by Donahue as being much more ready than the sophomores were before their freshman year, they obioulsy still have to learn what it's like to play college basketball. If FIU gets a lot of turnovers and easy baskets off their press, they will stay in the game.
Outlook: At this point we have no idea what we will see from both teams. FIU only returns one starter, and has 9 new faces on their roster. BC should be improved, but whether Hanlan and Rahon will be on the same page with the sophomores remains to be seen. If BC breaks the press effectively, then there's no reason they should lose this game. I think there's a very good chance BC wins this game, but I wouldn't be shocked if the Panthers pull off the upset.