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Men’s Basketball Final Thoughts and Predictions: Boston College Hosts Syracuse

Can the Eagles continue to right the ship? Or does the win streak end here?

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Your own Boston College Eagles (11-7, 2-4 ACC) have an ACC win streak as they come into a clash with the up-and-down Syracuse (14-6, 5-2). The Orange have impressive wins over Duke and Ohio State, but they’ve also lost to Oregon, UConn, and Old Dominion. They appeared to have turned it around in conference play, especially on the offensive side. A big part of that is senior point guard Frank Howard, who had to have preseason ankle surgery which kept him out for two months. He missed the first four games of the season and it took him a while to get back up to speed, but he’s been more consistent as of late.

Keys to the Game

You know Syracuse is going to play that 2-3 zone, so this game will come down to perimeter shooting. Jordan Chatman has been great since conference play began, shooting over 60% from deep in the past few games, so let us pray that such from continues. Additional shooting is going to have to come from Ky Bowman and at least one other player (the loss of Wynston Tabbs is really going to hurt here). A trey or two from Jairus Hamilton wouldn’t hurt either.

Syracuse’s Strengths

Tyus Battle continues to carry the scoring load for this team. While he’s done that in a variety of ways, he’s still best attacking the rim and hitting from mid-range. Oshae Brissett’s numbers are down from a season ago, but he’s still a tough matchup at forward, while Elijah Hughes has emerged as the best deep threat for the Orange. Freshmen Buddy Boeheim and Jalen Carey have taken turns as third guard in rotation depending on team need while some variation of Paschal Chukwu/Bourama Sidibe/Marek Dolezaj man the middle of the zone every game.

Cardinal Player To Watch

Battle is a going to be a monster on the court. A 6’6” guard poses serious matchup problems against the undersized BC backcourt and he’s going to have no problem getting to the rim. His long-range shot isn’t great, so the Eagles are going to have to help on the inside wherever possible and hedge that he doesn’t get hot.

I mean just look at this man:



Toppin: 68-64 BC

Katie: 75-73 BC keeps rolling

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