Syracuse hosts Boston College at the Carrier Dome

Syracuse 13-6 (2-4) takes on Boston College 13-7 (3-4) on Wednesday night at the Dome after a long break. The Orange’s last game was their win over Pittsburgh on January 16.

Opponent: Boston College Eagles

Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY

Date: Wednesday, January 24

Time: 7:00pm ET

Watch: ESPNU or WatchESPN app

Line: Syracuse -7.5

Boston College is much improved this season

The Eagles were 9-23 (2-16) last season and to make matters worse they suffered a 15 game losing streak to finish the year. Syracuse’s win over Boston College on January 14, 2017 started the losing streak for the Eagles.

Expectations were low going into this season which isn’t surprising for a team that finished last in the ACC in last year. Boston College has surprised people this season due to the strong play of junior guard Jerome Robinson (pictured below), sophomore guard Ky Bowman and junior guard Jordan Chatman. All three players endured the tribulations of last year’s campaign and came back a better team.

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Boston College tested themselves early and picked up early season losses to Texas Tech, Providence and Nebraska. All three teams are ranked in the top 70 of the RPI and Texas Tech is ranked #14 in the country.

The Eagles picked up a massive 89-84 win at home against #4 Duke in an early ACC game on December 9. Boston College couldn’t miss as they shot 51% from the field and 58% on three pointers. This win will be big for the Eagles if they’re on the bubble come Selection Sunday.

Boston College is off to a 3-4 start in ACC play. They picked up a tough one point loss at #2 Virginia and lost by 4 at home to #18 Clemson. The Eagles took care of business at home against Wake Forest and Florida State but lost by 30 at North Carolina and most recently lost by 8 at Louisville in a game that they almost came back in. Boston College was down 17 with 3:57 to play and cut the lead to 71-69 with 33 seconds remaining but they couldn’t pull off the win.

Similar to Syracuse, the Eagles only have 1 road win this season and it was against a bad Hartford team. Let’s hope Boston College’s road woes continue against the Orange.

Top Players

Boston College is led by Robinson and Bowman (pictured below). Robinson is the third leading scorer in the ACC averaging 18.2 points. He’s an efficient shooter hitting 47.5% from the field and 45.1% from three point range. He put up 29 points on Virginia and in hit 5 three pointers in the team’s win over Duke. Bowman is the team’s point guard and is great at attacking the rim. He’s a well-rounded player averaging 16.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists. Bowman nearly recorded a triple double against Duke when his stat line was 30 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. He’s shooting percentages are down from last year and he’s been struggling recently only shooting 28.2% from the field his last two games.

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Chatman is another three point shooting threat to compliment Robinson. He’s second in the ACC hitting 43.6% of his shots from behind the arc and has put on some impressive performances this season. Chatman hit 7 three pointers and dropped 30 points on Richmond earlier in the season. He’s a strong third scoring option for the Eagles.

Chatman, Robinson and Bowman all play over 34 minutes per game. Syracuse (Tyus Battle, Frank Howard, Oshae Brissett) and Georgia Tech (Josh Okogie, Jose Alvarado and Ben Lammers) are the only other ACC teams that rely as heavily on three players.

Boston College’s front line is a bit thin as a result of senior big man Deontae Hawkins hurting his knee during the Eagles’ November 29 game at Nebraska. He has missed every game since and is out the remainder of the season. His team leading 9.1 rebounds per game and 12.4 points per game have been missed.

Strengths

Boston College is third in the ACC in three point field goals made per game with 8.6. They’re only shooting it at a 37% clip, seventh in the ACC, but they can really heat up from beyond the arc and make teams pay.

Even with Hawkins out, the Eagles are an impressive rebounding team. They rank 56th in the country and haul in over 38 rebounds per game. The rebounding battle will be fun to watch in this game.

Weaknesses

Boston College isn’t a very aggressive team as they are 287th in the country in free throw attempts. They will need to attack the zone and draw some fouls to be affective against the Orange.

The Eagles haven’t turned teams over much this season. They are dead last in steals in the ACC. Boston College will need to force Howard and Battle into turnovers in an attempt to speed up the game and score some easy transition buckets.

Head Coach

Jim Christian (pictured below with Bowman) is in his fourth season leading the Eagles. He has compiled a 42-74 record. His best season with the Eagles was his first when Boston College finished 13-19 in 2014-15. That being said, the team already has 13 wins this season and Christian is likely to take a big step forward and finish above .500 this year. Prior to Boston College, Christian was the head coach at Ohio University, TCU and Kent State.

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Syracuse vs. Boston College All-Time Series

Syracuse leads the all-time series 46-25 and leads the series 6-2 since the ACC in 2013.

The Orange first squared off with Boston College on January 30, 1959 in Syracuse at Archbold Gymnasium. The Eagles won 78-71.

The teams faced each other twice last year splitting the games. Boston College won in Chestnut Hill on New Year’s Day 96-81 and Syracuse defended home court and won big 76-53 on January 14 behind 21 points from Tyus Battle. Check out the game highlights below. The highlights start with a silky smooth jumper from Taurean Thompson 😦

 

Prediction

Boston College’s road troubles continue and Syracuse wins 78-77

**cover photo courtesy of Syracuse.com**

 

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