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Boston College 82, Sacred Heart University 75: Thoughts and Observations

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A look back at Sunday’s win over SHU

Under Armour Reunion Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

BC makes it a Win Streak

In what could have been a let-down game (as much as one can be for this Boston College Team) after the big Auburn win, the Eagles pulled out the 82-75 win over Sacred Heart. BC used the same gameplan it has all season long, centering their scoring around Jerome Robinson and hoping for the best out of its role players. The Eagles led right from the get-go, and although Sacred Heart kept it close for most of the game, even taking the lead at certain points, BC pulled it out in the end. Inconsistency was a problem for the Eagles in this one, going on a 10-0 run to start the second half but then giving up a 16-0 run to SHU midway through that second half. If BC could have played like they’re capable of the whole game, the score wouldn’t have been nearly as close.

Jerome Robinson for ACC Player of the Year?

After scoring 23 in BC’s win over Auburn, Robinson followed up that performance with a career high 32 points on 11-20 from the field and 9-11 from the free-throw line. Now averaging 20.5 points per game, with a 4 point dud against Hartford his only blemish on a great season so far, Robinson is starting to look like a potential ACC player of the year candidate. The difference between this year and last year is substantial for Robinson, as he’s now being asked to carry much of the load for a sometimes stagnant BC offense. Jim Christian said after the game, “He’s maturing. He knows he’s a really good player. He’s a really good offensive player.” Robinson is coming through so far for the Eagles, and if he can continue this type of play in the ACC he’ll gain national recognition and possibly be a candidate for ACC player of the year.

Free Throw Shooting a Potential Back-Breaking Weakness

From the charity line in the last three games: 15-20 (against Hartford), 11-19 (against Auburn), 25-41 (against SHU). That’s a combined 51-80, which is around 63% and much lower than it should be. I know it’s a little nit-picky to get after them on this, but on a team that already suffers from some serious scoring deficiencies at times (outside of Jerome), they need to fix this before it’s too late. In ACC play, every point is going to matter, so fixing this, and many other issues, for that matter, will be important moving forward.

Popovic is a Name to Watch

The freshman forward came in clutch in that Auburn game with the game-winning tip-in. Against Sacred Heart, Popovic played 16 solid minutes, the most of any bench player, and contributed 7 points and 5 boards. Despite only averaging about 6 and 4 in those categories so far, he’s providing a nice bench presence to fill in for Jeffers and Tava. If he can continue to be developed by Christian and the coaching staff, Popovic can turn into a really solid contributor for this young core that Boston College has.

Games against Fairfield and Providence will be Huge

The Eagles now sit at 6-5, which is kind of a disappointment, all things considered. Close losses to Nicholls State and Hartford are really what have done them in so far, as getting those two wins would put them at 8-3, which would be a big difference from where they are now. But since they did lose those games, they’ll now have to beat Fairfield and upset Providence to head into ACC play at a respectable 8-5. Fairfield just lost their third game in a row, getting beat up on by fellow ACC team NC State 99-78. However, they did play Sacred Heart earlier in the season, beating them 85-63, which might mean they can compete on BC’s level. If BC does beat Fairfield on Wednesday, as they should, they’ll then play Providence with a chance to have some serious momentum going into their first ACC game against Syracuse. Fairfield should be a BC win (although nothing’s guaranteed after that Hartford loss), but Providence, sitting at 9-2, will be much tougher.

We Really Don’t Know What to Expect from BC in ACC Play

Maybe the Providence game will provide more clarity, as they’re on the same level as many ACC teams, but based on Boston College’s season so far we can’t really predict how ACC play is going to go. BC seemingly played up to their competition against Auburn, but also has losses to a couple very bad teams as well as a pretty good team in Harvard. In order for BC to win their first ACC game since two seasons ago, they’ll need players not named Jerome Robinson to step up. Despite how fantastic Robinson has played so far, we can’t expect the same results once we get into ACC play. And even if he does continue to put up 20 points a game, BC will need two of AJ Turner, Ky Bowman, Mo Jeffers, Connar Tava, or one of the bench guys to step up big time. If Robinson, Turner, and Bowman can turn into a three-headed monster of 55-65 points a game, BC can, surprisingly enough, cause a stir in the ACC. If not, and if BC doesn’t start showing serious signs of improvement, we may be in for another long season.