To get set for tonight’s road matchup with the Virginia Cavaliers, we reached out to Zach Carey of SB Nation’s Streaking the Lawn blog to get a preview of what Eagles’ fans should expect out of the ‘Hoos.
1. What is the one thing that BC fans should know about this year’s Virginia’s Men’s Basketball team?
This year’s team really just lacks the talent of years’ past. As of now they aren’t truly in the bubble conversation for the NCAA Tournament and will need to do some work to make it there. This team is mostly a mix of young guys who haven’t hit their potential and older guys who’ve been utilized as plug and play veterans that aren’t at the same level as previous transfers such as Sam Hauser or Trey Murphy.
It’s still a Tony Bennett team and this isn’t a bad squad. But the ceiling isn’t what its been for the last decade or so.
2. What player(s) should BC fans watch out for?
For starters, East Carolina transfer Jayden Gardner is a bully on the interior. He’s a bit undersized height-wise at 6’6” but he makes up for it with superior strength and touch inside. He’s also a confident shooter from the midrange and will knock down a few smooth jumpers a game.
Then I’d likely point to Reece Beekman. The sophomore point guard is probably the guy with the highest potential on this team. When he’s assertive offensively and hunts his own shot he can be unguardable. But he remains inconsistent. If he has a big game, UVA should win.
3. What part of the BC team do you think will give the Cavaliers the most trouble?
I’d probably say the Eagles’ capability on the boards. I’m not too concerned about BC hitting outside shots and beating Virginia that way. But with how Virginia has struggled on the defensive boards at times and frankly relied on the offensive glass to create offense, if Boston College can exploit that defensive weakness and then keep the ‘Hoos to one possession per trip down the floor, that could cause issues for UVA.
4. UVA has had a bit of an up and down journey through conference play, do you feel their conference record accurately represents the quality of this team?
Yeah 6-5 just about fits this squad. Do they have the opportunity to be better? Absolutely. But 6-5 is an accurate depiction of how good this team has been this season. There’s talent there. Guys like Reece Beekman and Jayden Gardner are very skilled and can have big nights
The issues have come regarding consistency. Game-to-game different guys are stepping up while others step back. That’s fine if you’ve got a number of elite talents. But, on this roster, everybody has to be clicking for this team to string together wins. That hasn’t happened yet, so 6-5 is
5. What are your expectations for the Cavs matchup with the Eagles Tuesday night?
I suspect it’ll be fairly close in the first half — UVA hasn’t knocked many opponents out early this season — before the ‘Hoos pull away in the second. I’ll go Virginia 65-52 as the final score.