The Boston College Eagles played a pretty solid game for 20 minutes, but eventually the talent of the Duke Blue Devil's just took over. After leading by just 4 points at halftime, Duke opened the 2nd half with a 5-0 run and never looked back. Jabari Parker dominated BC's undersized front court to the tune of 28 points and 16 rebounds as Duke steamrolled the Eagles, 89 to 68.
Olivier Hanlan was clearly hyped up for this game. He came out with tons of energy on both ends of the floor, but he was particularly aggressive on the offensive end. Whenever he got the ball and had a chance to push it in transition, he pushed it. As a result, he drew a handful of fouls and got to the free throw line. This is the Olivier Hanlan that people have wanted to see all season. He's a big, strong guard with a fairly quick first step. Those abilities are maximized when he pushes the pace and attacks the basket in the half court. He led all scorers at halftime with 14 points on 4 of 8 shooting. Although BC basically fell apart in the 2nd half, Hanlan continued to play well. He finished with 25 points on 8 of 16 shooting.
BC gave Duke three wide-open three-pointers to start the game, but seemed to figure something out after those early mistakes. The Blue Devils are a team that's pretty loaded with offensive players, but I thought that the Eagles did an OK job on defense for much of the first half. They really made Duke work for the points that didn't come from Jabari Parker. If Duke hadn't grabbed 7 offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes, BC probably would have had a lead going into halftime.
I should probably talk about Jabari Parker at some point, huh? Yeah, he's pretty good. He's about the same height as Ryan Anderson, but quicker and bigger and stronger. There's nobody on this BC roster that can check Parker, although a number of guys got their chance. Hanlan did a really nice job denying him the ball for about 30 seconds on one possession -- but that's obviously not a sustainable option. Once Parker gets a head of steam, it's basically over. You have to either foul him or get out of the way. Most of the time, he was the biggest player on the court and was just too much to handle once he got the ball near the basket. I was surprised by how few of Parker's points came on the perimeter. For the most part, he was just getting the ball and going straight to the basket or scoring off offensive rebounds. It seemed to work for him.
Some of the credit for Parker's extremely efficient game has to go to his guards. When he got into a good offensive position (which was basically whenever he wanted to), his teammates did a nice job of finding him and getting him the ball. Frequently, all he had to do was make one move towards the basket and lay it in or get fouled. Fortunately for everybody else in the ACC, they won't have to worry about Parker after this season as he'll almost certainly be one of the top picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.
There's not a ton else to say about this one. Duke is just a far more talented team than BC and they did a great job taking away BC's strengths on offense -- that is to say, they closed out on shooters and didn't give them open looks from behind the arc. The Eagles shot just 9 of 24 from three. When BC can't shoot threes and shoot them at a high rate, they don't have much of a chance to keep up with a team like Duke. It was disappointing to see that BC couldn't get Lonnie Jackson going in this one, but I'm sure that was right near the top of Duke's defensive game plan.
BC falls to 6-17 overall and 2-8 in the ACC. Their next game is at Georgia Tech on Wednesday night.
Here's a GIF of a duck eating a pizza to cheer you up.