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Preview: Boston College Men’s Basketball vs Vanderbilt

NCAA Basketball: Hall of Fame Classic - Loyola Chicago at Boston College William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College Basketball enters the ACC/SEC Challenge on a two-game slide after tough losses to Colorado State and Loyola-Chicago. While these losses (especially the CSU one —the Rams killed top ten Creighton) are perhaps not as bad as those awful OOC losses to the likes of Maine and UNH last year, BC is still struggling to beat the teams it should to begin the year. The Loyola-Chicago loss was exactly that kind of loss; the Eagles led by double digits with minutes to play and still managed to blow the game while going scoreless for a long stretch to gift the Ramblers the dub.

All this to say, BC needs to get back on track and beat Vanderbilt. The Commodores are 3-3, with losses to NC State, Arizona State (by 15), and Presbyterian. Not great, although the team has had to deal with a number of injuries early in the season. Vandy is averaging 71.7 PPG led by senior guard Ezra Manjon’s 18.8 points on 47.6% shooting from the floor and 40% beyond the arc. Manjon has missed both of Vandy’s last two contests with an ankle injury, so his availability will be something to monitor, as he is likely the Commodores’ best bucket-getter. If he can't go, Tyrin Lawrence (18.0 PPG in 2 games) will look to fill the scoring void, as will big man Ven-Allen Rubin (13.5 points, 7.0 boards) and Evan Taylor (12.7 points, 26.1% from 3). There is depth here, but with so many injuries head coach Jerry Stackhouse has not had his preferred rotation available to settle in.

Quinten Post should look to dominate. Vandy’s rotation is pretty small, with no guy seeing heavy minutes over 6’8”. Given Post's ability to stretch the floor, attack closeouts, and his footwork in the paint, I think he matches up well given his size advantage. He will need to actually play like it, though — Loyola-Chicago likewise was a smaller team and Post was held in check down the stretch. With so many effective scoring guards, I expect Zackery, Harris and co. will need to be dialed in defensively. I want to see a well-rounded bounce-back game after an uninspired performance last time out, and Vanderbilt presents a favorable matchup to do so.