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Boston College Hoops Look Ahead And The Big Finish

Brian: Jeff has escaped the snow of South Carolina for some place warm, so we bring in BCRaj for this week's Big Finish.

In the last two games, the Eagles have gotten two big ACC wins over Georgia Tech (86-75) and N.C. State (75-66). Now the Eagles hit the road, with three of their next four ACC games occurring away from Conte Forum. BC starts their road trip tomorrow against Miami, returns home Wednesday to face Virginia before back-to-back road games at Florida State and Duke. It's a rather tough stretch and will be a very good test for Coach Donahue and the Eagles.

How do you see the next four games going down?

BCRaj: If I had to pick one thing Donahue has done for the current Eagles team, it's keeping the team focused and loose at the same time. I think we will be a very good road team and I hope to come out 3-1, but am expecting 2-2 with losses to Florida State and Duke, because of our inability consistently defend and break the press. Games are almost always within reach when you are hot from three, so you can never count this team out.

Brian: BC's 3-0 ACC record is a bit misleading, considering the Eagles don't play a lick of defense. Would you agree? Even in a down year in the ACC, I think the Eagles will struggle to get above .500 in ACC play. What's your outlook on the rest of the regular season? How far can this BC team go this year?

BCRaj: Starting off conference play 3-0 is impressive no matter who the opponents are, but you are onto something. The Eagles have been shooting the ball from 3 extremely well, while limiting turnovers, making up for their lack of defensive prowess. We must keep in mind they have yet to really grind out a win, and as we get deeper into the season and the opponents improve and fatigue becomes a problem, teams usually need to rely on defense to eke out some wins.

Getting to .500 in conference play would require us to go 5-8 the rest of the way, which by no means is unattainable with the lack of a clear #2 in the ACC, but becomes increasingly difficult when defense is not a contributing factor. We'll know a lot more as we go into February, and hopefully get to see how this team responds to a losing streak to know what the ceiling is for this team. With a four game slate to end the season that includes Miami, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Virginia, we could be in the position to finish 9-7, which would be great for a first year coach, but I'd expect a couple more WTF losses a la Yale and Harvard and look to finish 7-9.


Big Finish

Brian: ESPN's Eamonn Brennan has the Eagles ranked 5th in his latest ACC hoops power rankings. That cool with you?

BCRaj: Totally cool, especially since the difference between no. 2 and no. 6 looks to be minimal in the ACC.


BCRaj: Coach Crawley and the 14-3 BC women's team continue their hot start with a win over #13 Maryland Thursday night. Surprised the lady Eagles aren't ranked?

Brian: Not really, especially with 3 losses. Aren't half of the teams in the women's hoops rankings still undefeated or have just 1 loss?


Brian: Former BC staffer Bill Coen is having a rough go of it at Northeastern this year. Any question in your mind Donahue was the better hire?

BCRaj: I've always been a Coen fan, but can't really question the Donahue hire at this point with his results.


BCRaj: Dave Shinskie has his sights set on getting the starting QB job back. Do you think Uncle Dave has a chance?

Brian: Umm, no.


Brian: The football team is a 150/1 long shot to win next year's BCS National Championship. You liking those odds?

BCRaj: And by like you mean? Let's just say I'll keep my money in my pocket this year.


BCRaj: N.C. State coach Sidney Lowe referred to Reggie Jackson as a first round NBA draft pick. Are you confident Reggie will return for his senior year?

Brian: Not if the Eagles keep winning and Jackson's stock keeps going up ...


Brian: Mark Herzlich won this year's Rudy Award. Great honor, or slightly diminished because it's named after a Notre Dame walk-on? (and how long 'til they start calling this the "Herzlich Award"?) 

BCRaj: Anytime you win an award its a good thing for BC. Hmmm, I like the way that sounds. Herzlich Award.


BCRaj: Nine out of the 54 players selected in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft were from ACC programs while eight were from Akron. What happened to the ACC's big name appeal?

Brian: MLS teams apparently love players from National Championship teams.


Brian: Last one. Boston College vs. Miami on Saturday. kenpom predicts a 77-74 loss for the Eagles. Who ya got? What's the final score?

BCRaj: BC in a rout 80-67, with Trapani contributing 20+ pts. Sorry Kenpom.