The Eagles will continue to spend their time in “Bubblesville” down in Mohegan Sun as they look to take on a hot St. John’s team who are off to 2-0 start to their season. On the flipside, BC has certainly been a flash in the pan in the early goings of their season and the newcomers to the squad have proven highly effective in different areas on the court. With a seemingly revitalized energy to the team, the Eagles will look to move to 2-1 on the season in trying to take down the Red Storm.
This is certainly not the first time these two teams have squared off as they were avid Big East foes prior to the Eagles’ move the ACC in 2005. The Eagles and Red Storm have taken to the court against each other 70 times since 1940 with St. John’s holding a considerable winning margin of 45-27. The last time these two faced off was back in 2008 with BC coming out the victors behind the strong scoring performance of Tyrese Rice. This match will mark a 12 year hiatus and a renewal to their rivalry that will surely sprout some nostalgia in the Eagles’ fan base.
The Red Storm are riding a small winning wave to start the season, but the wins were against some rather less than formidable opponents, at least in retrospect to who the Eagles have played. St. John’s was able to win a nail-bitter in their season opener against St. Peter’s, winning by a single free-throw, and followed that up with a more comfortable win against La Salle.
In looking at this St. John’s team, all eyes are pointing to Vincent Cole as their main offensive player that the Eagles will need to clamp up. After spending two years at JUCO, Cole has impressed in his first two showings as a member of the Red Storm putting together a 20 PPG | 3.5 RPG | 2.0 APG stat line. He is clearly the heart of this team’s offense. On the interior, the Johnnies are led by Junior Forward Isaih Moore who almost averaged a double-double through his first two games (10 PPG | 8.0 RPG). It is a strong possibility that if Cole is putting up bricks all game, the ball may find itself in the hands of Freshman guard Posh Alexander. Either way, expect this offense to run purely through Cole.
Meanwhile, the Eagles are riding on a brewing storm of their own after a more than respectable showing thus far at Mohegan Sun. After losing a heavily contested matchup against #3 Villanova, BC proved that their strong performance was no anomaly as they were able to come out victorious against URI, a team that has found itself in the Big Dance twice in the past three years. What was more surprising is that the Eagles were able to hold their own against URI without their star offensive scoring guard, Jay Heath, who is projected to start tonight against the Red Storm. Tabbs was able to bounce back after a rusty performance against the Wildcats and net himself a double-double on the match which was certainly a pleasant sign for Eagle’s fans. BC has proven that they have a plethora of rotations at the guard position between Heath, Tabbs, Kelly, and the Langford brothers that could prove overwhelming for the Red Storm. It is expected that Steffon Mitchell will have to continue to be the focal point of the clean-up crew on the glass. However, CJ Felder looked like he is molding into a high-caliber ACC forward in his 24 minutes against URI, where he put together 9 PTs and 4 RBs while providing a strong physical presence in the paint.
While I am off to a rocky gambling start this season, I think I can make for a sound argument in putting your money on BC this time around. As of this writing, Vegas is giving BC a -1 advantage and a Money Line of -121. While that spread is a little less convincing, I would say take the Money Line on this game for the Eagles. The depth at the guard position for the Eagles will prove highly effective against St. John’s this evening. Furthermore, if BC can squeeze Cole out of the contest this could end in a double-digit victory for the Eagles.
Final: Boston College 81 St. John’s 75