In their last outing, the Eagles were unable to close out a close contest against ACC opponent Georgia Tech. This continues an ongoing losing streak for the Eagles as this loss as officially put them on a five game skid with their last two matchups being determined in the closing minutes. With their ‘weaker’ conference opposition behind them, Boston College now begins to look ahead to a tougher schedule against some ACC competition that has had some bright spots to start the year with their next game coming against the Clemson Tigers Saturday afternoon.
Clemson (10-6, 2-3 ACC) has had a pretty decent start to their season sitting right in the middle of the conference table but is coming off of a rough double digit road loss against Notre Dame who has been red hot as of recent. After starting off the year 4-0, the Tigers ran into some tough competition in the first half of their season losing games against St. Bonaventure, Miami and UVA.
Statistically on the season, the Tigers have been pretty average sitting at pretty much the middle of the table in the conference in every area. They are seventh in the conference in Points per game (73.1) and Rebounds per game (36), and fifth in field goal percentage (.538). However, they have proven to be accurate from beyond the arc drilling almost 39% of their shots from deep.
In terms of key players to keep an eye on, PJ Hall and David Collins appear to be the main catalysts behind the Tigers’ success this season. Hall is currently 14th in the conference in PPG with 14.6. Collins is a versatile guard that can get things done from all aspects of the court in both distributing the ball and grabbing boards for Clemson. Even at the guard spot, he still averages 7.1 boards per game. With a guard heavy offense, Clemson has been prone to turnovers as they commit 14 per game which could be the game changer for the Eagles if they can actually get something done on the fast-break which have not seen much of to date.
In trying to pinpoin the outcome of this game, I am going to lean Clemson on this one. The primary reason being that the Eagles simply are having an identity crisis. Continuity has been the biggest issue for the Eagles as it is never clear on which Eagle is going to step up and have a big game. Even then, there does not seem to be much team play. The weight of each game usually falls on the shoulders of one player and there is not much of a share of responsibility amongst the team. In other words, there is no balance. Also, I need to see TJ Bickerstaff step up. I had a lot of high hopes for him after his performance against Notre Dame but since then he has only average 4.2 PPG which is not what you can ask for from a starter.
The game is scheduled for a 6:30 EST tip-off on ACC Network Extra. Catch this game as a nice appetizer before the Pats game if you so choose!
Prediction: Boston College 68 vs. Clemson 82