The Boston College Eagles (14-13, 5-10 ACC) face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (12-17, 4-12) in the ante-penultimate (I just learned that word) conference game of the 2019 season. The Eagles can be glad this one is in Atlanta, as the rest of the student body is is apparently in Punta Cana for the week (and to get away from the Boston weather). They’re playing for seeding in the ACC tournament now, and with Miami just one game back in 10th BC needs a win. This one looks like a toss up.
Georgia Tech’s Strengths
This is a defensive first team, averaging just . Jose Alvarado, their leading scorer, averages just 12.5ppg. Nobody else is in double figures (But teams facing them put up just 66 points and average 39.8% from the field (that’s 41st and 17th in the country respectively).
The defensive prowess is across the board. They average 5.3 blocks (that’s nearly 10% of the shots they face), which is even more impressive when you consider they lack a true big man a la Nik Popovic. James Banks III gets 2.5 of those at just 6-8. Good arm length at nearly every position and active defense also contributes to over 7 steals per game as well. Everyone gets in on the action.
Keys to the Game
I wrote this about NC State too: low turnovers are the key to this game. The Eagles will have to pay extra attention to their passing lanes this game and not get frustrated if a ball or two goes the other way, or lose confidence if a Yellow Jacket swats their shot into the stands.
Other than that. BC should make it a shootout. This is not an offense first team. Michael Devoe and Brandon Alston are the only dangerous 3-point threats, and they take a combined 5 treys per game. They’ll take it slow and try to control the pace. BC can’t let them do that.
Player To Watch
It’s hard to guess based off of just the stat sheet, but considering how BC has struggled against good if undersized forwards this year: James Banks III. He averages close to a double-double and is a menace in the paint. He reminds me of John Mooney, who’s permanently scarred into the memory of every BC fan.
Matt: 82-70 Eags
Toppin: 71-66 BC
Katie: 74-68 BC
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