After battling the Virginia Tech Hokies down to the final few possessions, the Boston College Men’s Basketball team was able to squeak by with a win on Saturday to earn their first home victory of 2022. James Karnik was an absolute force to be reckoned with as he finished with a career high 26 points.
Looking ahead, the Eagles look to use this momentum in a quick trip down to Winston-Salem to take on a Wake Forest team that certainly is flying under the radar as one of the hottest teams in College Basketball.
The Demon Deacons, boasting a 16-4 overall record and 6-3 in conference play, are riding on a three game winning streak after trampling interstate rival UNC by 22. After finishing an abysmal 6-16 last season during the COVID year of basketball, this Wake Forest program as certainly ‘woken’ up and is becoming a scary opponent in the ACC.
Personally, I think this team is a Top 25 team, but I would assume that the reason they are not getting any AP love is their 3 conference losses. Even still, those losses came against some top-tier opposition in Miami (who leads the conference), Duke and Louisville. Their only out of conference loss came at the hands of LSU who has been tearing up the NCAA and is currently sitting at 13th in the nation.
Without a doubt, one of the main cogs in the Wake Forest machine that has lead to a lot of their success this season has been senior Alondes Williams. Williams has been playing like Russell Westbrook out there this season leading the team in PPG, APG, and RPG. Outside of the team, he leads the ACC in PPG (20.4) and APG (5.1). Of course, while William’s numbers have made him out to be a one-man-band, he certainly has received help from elsewhere on the court. More specifically, I am looking at Wake’s big man, Jake LaRavia.
The Junior Forward is coming off one of the best games of his career against UNC where he dropped 31 points. He could pose an issue against Karnik on the glass, and it might be in Grant’s best interest to roll Post out there to matchup against him to get some height advantage. Either way, LaRavia still is a glass monster averaging 6.2 RPG and is the most efficient shooter on the team draining 61% of the shots he takes from the field. This percentage also puts him at 4th in the conference in this statistic.
In trying to imagine the game-script this one, a couple of things standout. Firstly, this Wake Forest team rolls out a starting lineup consisting of a lot of upperclassman. That brings with them a lot of experience and chemistry. Not saying BC cannot match them in the experience department with some of our grad transfers, but the chemistry piece is still lacking. Secondly, BC has had difficulty in muzzling star shooters. I foresee Alondes having another big game and hitting around his PPG average if not exceeding it. Lastly, Brevin Galloway is still deemed questionable at this point of writing. His absence will leave a lot to be desired of this offense if he is unable to suit up for this matchup.
Vegas is leaning heavy Wake Forest as the enter the game as 10.5 point favorites. I think the line is exactly where it should be and I would say lay the points on this one. This is a really tough matchup for the Eagles on the road and there is just too much experienced talent on the Wake side of the ball that I do not see the Eagles squeaking by with win on this one.
Prediction: Boston College 62 vs. Wake Forest 77
Tip-off for this game is set for 6:00 PM EST and will be broadcasted on the ACC Network