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Florida State 67, Boston College 51: Stifling Defense, Flu Sink Eagles In Tallahassee

Brian: The Eagles kicked off their brutal seven-game stretch with a listless 67-51 loss to Florida State. The loss drops BC to 4-2 in conference, a game behind 5-1 Duke and Florida State. This team isn't built to win with the loss of just one player, and when Biko Paris was scratched due to stomach flu, you had the feeling that it might be a long night for the Eagles. That, combined with the fact that BC's star -- Reggie Jackson -- went 0-for-4 from the field in the first half, and it seemed like a miracle that the Eagles were down just 2 at the half.

Just how valuable has Biko Paris become to this team? Your thoughts?

Jeff: I think you kind of touched on it, but it's tough to judge how valuable Paris is relative to any other starters on this team because we simply will not beat good teams with any of our starters scratched with our lack of depth. Biko Paris has been much better than we anticipated going into the season and the loss of a point guard is trouble for any team. But to say definitively that he is more valuable than Trapani, Jackson, or Southern is unreasonable.

Given how close the game was at the half I would think that with Paris against FSU we would have fared well. I am more optimistic about this 7 game stretch than you and most other people are. Looking at the schedule prior to this weekend, I think it was safe to say that at FSU and at Duke are the toughest games on the schedule as those two teams are the only that I feel confident will finish in the top 4 and get a bye in the ACC tournament. The other two spots are up for grabs with many teams in the mix including BC.

Brian: Danny Rubin continues to struggle in ACC play, missing all 3 of his field goal attempts, including 0-2 from three. After starting the season off as the hot hand from range, Rubin has scored just 3 points in 65 minutes of work over the last four ACC games, shooting 1-8 from 3-point range. Recently, he has seemed to hesitate when he gets the ball beyond the arc, going for the head fake first and attempting to drive before passing it back off to another player around the perimeter. Whatever confidence Rubin had in non-conference play seems to be lost. Can Rubin rebound from his poor start in ACC play, or will we continue to see his minutes reduced as we hit the ACC February stretch run.

Jeff: He is a shooter but he's also a walk-on. Once he gets one or two to go down he will be better again but he will unfortunately only be good until there's another cold streak for him. Doesn't Rubin remind you of Johnathan Coleman, the redshirt freshman who started out the season great against Weber State and Kent State, but then was pretty quiet the rest of the season? After the first two games, many people thought he was going to fill the void left at the WR position.

Brian: Not sure I see the Rubin - Coleman parallel but I hope Rubin can return to form a bit and contribute for the Eagles down the stretch.

Next up for the Eagles is a Thursday night date at Cameron Indoor against the 18-1 Duke Blue Devils. Even with a 100% healthy squad, does BC have any shot of winning this game? Handicap Thursday night's BC-Duke matchup for us.

Jeff: BC has played well this season and their best win is against the Aggies of Texas A&M who are #10 in the country prior to the new polls coming out today. BC certainly might beat Duke on Thursday because they have shown that they can hang with some good teams this year and Duke is not quite as strong since Irving has been hurt. BC also shows the ability to potentially beat anyone on any given night under Donahue with their new style of play. If BC shoots the ball well, they can hang with Duke and pull off the upset. That doesn't mean I expect BC to win by any means. If I were betting on the game I would only take BC if they were double digit underdogs.