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Oddsmakers: BC Basketball Resumes ACC Play and Frozen Fenway

To preview this weekend's BC-Clemson basketball game and the Frozen Fenway game tomorrow, we play a game of Oddsmakers.

Chances BC wins one of its next 4 ACC road games (Clemson, Duke, Miami, Virginia Tech)?

Brian: With the way the Eagles are playing, this looks like a tall order. Clemson presents all sorts of matchup problems for the Eagles down low while Duke seems to be playing in a different conference at the moment. Of these four games, I look at the Miami and Virginia Tech games as the games the Eagles can most likely win. BC beat Miami to open ACC play and there’s no reason to suspect that they can’t beat UM again. The Eagles built up a 16 point second half lead against the Hurricanes last month before Miami came roaring back. In addition, BC held a massive 46-21 edge in rebounds. At first glance, you might look at Miami’s 8-0 home record and think that may give the Hurricanes the edge. But aside from their ACC-Big Ten Challenge game against Minnesota, the U hasn’t been challenged at home, playing teams with RPIs north of 250. Hurricane fans aren’t really known for showing up and supporting the Canes at the BankUnited Center, so I can’t imagine there will be much of a home court advantage for Miami. Chances are good that BC will beat either Virginia Tech or Miami. I’ll give better odds to beating Miami again given the lack of home court advantage and the result from the first meeting between the two teams. I’ll go as high as 50%.

Jeff: Let's look at each game individually. We're going to lose at Duke. Then our next most difficult game to win will be Saturday at Clemson but in that game there is at least a decent chance we pull off a victory after the Tigers just got destroyed by Duke on Sunday. Then traveling to Virginia Tech and Miami are both very winnable. Meaning we have at least a 50% chance of winning each of those games. I especially like our chances to beat Miami since we beat them without Rakim Sanders a month ago. I am going to go with 95% and I think your 50% estimate would be better if the question were asking if we'd win 2 of the next four. There's a lot we don't know about our basketball team but we do know that this team plays up and down to the level of its competition so we should see the best this team has to offer at times during the next few weeks.


Chances Josh Southern scores double digit points again this season?

Jeff: A lot of this question depends on how many minutes Southern gets throughout the rest of the season. Against teams with a tall post player that we need him to defend, he is going to get a lot of minutes. But I hope to see him coming in off the bench more often than not as that has been our most successful lineup so far this season. Regardless, I would imagine there will be a game that Southern gets a few easy baskets and a few free throws to score 10-14 points in a game before the season is over. I'll go 75%.

Brian: Southern's minutes this year are down from last season as he is only averaging 19.3 minutes per game this year. He hasn't scored in double digits so far this season and it's not like the competition will get any easier in ACC play. Southern came out flat and played poorly even against a team like NJIT. I don't think he'll get many minutes down the stretch, but as you said, Southern has at least 16 more chances to get to 10+ points in a game. Since that's the case, while it wouldn't surprise me if he doesn't score more than 9 points in a game this season, it only takes one game so I'll go as high as 90%.


Chances Al Skinner returns as BC head coach in 2010-2011?

Brian: Even in the very worst case scenarios (i.e. a 16 game losing streak in the ACC to finish the regular season 1-15), I don’t see DeFilippo making a move this offseason. Of course, a 1-15 ACC scenario, while certainly plausible, isn’t probable. The Eagles may be bad down the stretch, but this team is capable of winning at least 4, 5 or 6 conference games. Skinner has simply built up too good of a track record for the Athletic Department to pull the plug this offseason. Much like Georgia Tech’s Paul Hewitt was able to weather a 2-14 ACC season last year with the promise of this year’s recruiting class that included highly touted Derrick Favors, Skinner can bank on his incoming recruiting class to save his job. Ultimately, it will come down to what Gene thinks making a move will do for the basketball program in the near-term. The AD may be perfectly happy swallowing a 1-15 or 2-14 ACC season this year in the hope that the team can be turned around in Sanders, Trapani and Raji’s senior year. If the perception is that making a coaching change now will result in more 2-14 seasons over the next few years, then the alternative of keeping Skinner on will certainly be looked at as more favorable. Chances are high that Skinner stays. I’ll go as high as 90% without even knowing what the final 15 ACC games have in store for this team.

Jeff: 100%. I think there was some doubt after the Maine game as to Skinner's future but after the emotion of that loss has subsided and we look at our basketball team rationally, there is no chance Skinner is not our coach next year. Yes, if the team loses its next 16 games he might not be but the Eagles are not going to do that. This team is already 1-0 in conference and I know it was an vastly inferior opponent but the team showed up and killed NJIT on Tuesday night. They will not go winless the rest of the season and fortunately or unfortunately, it would take a 1-15 or 0-16 type finish to the season for Skinner to be on the chopping block.


Chances BC wins the Frozen Fenway game against Boston University?

Jeff: For the sake of you and the other many thousand BC fans that will be in attendance, I hope the answer is 100%. Realistically, I think the answer might be 60%. BU's 6-9-4 record is not very impressive at all so far this season but as you know, they say to throw records out the window in these rivalry games. I am sure the crowd will at least be close to 50-50 BC-BU so there shouldn't be any huge advantage there for the Terriers, but I am sure they will keep the game close and have a chance to pull out a victory on Friday night.

Brian: Momentum is on Boston U's side having won their first game of 2010 last weekend. However, I don't think that BC will come out flat like they did in the Wells Fargo Denver Cup. BU lost too much this year and they are far from their National Championship form this year. While it's true you have to throw out stats and records for BC-BU, BC is the more talented team this season. I'll go with 75%.


Last one, Chances BC wins the Hockey East regular season title?

Brian: The Eagles have 15 Hockey East games remaining and currently are in sole possession of second place, two points behind New Hampshire. The only team Boston College has finished their regular season series with is Vermont, where the went 1-2-0 against the Catamounts. BC still has games against resurgent Lowell (3), Boston University (2), UMass (2), New Hampshire (2), Northeastern (2), Providence (2), Merrimack (1), and Maine (1). BC should be able to win at least 9 of those 13 games going into the regular season series finale against New Hampshire. The Hockey East title will likely be decided in the final weekend and since New Hampshire gets the extra home game this season, you have to give the early edge to UNH in this one. Barring a second half collapse from New Hampshire, I’ll give the Eagles a 45% chance of winning the Hockey East regular season title.

Jeff: Since you know more about hockey than I do but are generally more pessimistic about BC sports, I'll go 46%.