Previewing The Boston College Eagles

Boston College @ StatSheet
2012 Stats (pdf)
2012 Roster
2012 Schedule (pdf)

Boston College Offense 10-11
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 54.5 8
Turnover Rate 17.4 34
Off Reb Rate 30.9 223
FTA/FGA 31.5 307
Boston College Offense 11-12
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 49.5 155
Turnover Rate 23.3 293
Off Reb Rate 23.0 343
FTA/FGA 38.3 129

I'm curious about the biggest year-to-year dropoffs in offensive efficiency, because this Boston College team has to be up there. Steve Donahue inherited a group of experienced well-coached offensive players in his first season, led by Reggie Jackson. Biko Paris came out of nowhere to shoot the lights out, Cory Raji was outstanding in the paint, and even Josh Southern hit 58% of his twos. Last year's Boston College offense ranked 17th in offensive efficiency.

With a legion of freshmen in place of those departed contributors, the degradations are what you see in the table, and the result is an offense that ranks 278th in OE. They've actually gotten a little better at the defensive end this season, and the fact that they are so drastically worse off overall says enough about the nose dive taken at the offensive end. This team has only eclipsed a point per possession three times all year. It's possible to survive with a middling shooting percentage, but not with those turnover and rebound rates.

This Donahue team still takes a ton of threes (43.5% of BC's FGAs are threes), and that's the primary reason for pause given what we've seen out of NC State's defense this season and also given the whole anything-can-happen-in-one-game thing. Goddamn that thing.

And they are getting better. They must be since they've won two conference games already. Is this the worst team in recent ACC history? Based purely on results, no. They're already past last year's Wake team in conference wins, and they'll win more than eight games overall. In terms of performance? Possibly. Their rating is weighed down a lot by the unpleasantness that occurred early in the year, and depending on the learning curve, may not be indicative of where this team is at the end of the year.

Starters

Jordan Daniels (5-8, 153) -- With a 24.1 assist percentage, Daniels is the team's leading point creator. So what State wants to do here is really tax him more than he's used to while he's handling the ball, which should suppress his ability to create points. Half his field goal attempts have come from beyond the arc, and his three-point percentage (33.3) is higher than his two-point percentage (31.3). Daniels, who bears a startling resemblance to Ryan Harrow or is Ryan Harrow since he theoretically has enough time to forge a new identity during his transfer year, should be forced to put the ball on the floor.

Lonnie Jackson (6-3, 170) -- If there is one player NC State does not want to forget about along the perimeter, it's Jackson, who is shaping up to be the sort of three-point specialist that makes Steve Donahue a very happy man. Seventy of Jackson's 93 shot attempts have come from beyond the arc, so he ain't likely to make much happen off the dribble. But he has been very good outside--he's shooting better than 44% from three. His turnover rate is really high, too, so dribbling is just a terrible idea in general if you're Lonnie Jackson.

Matt Humphrey (6-5, 192) -- Humphrey is the worst kind of bad basketball player--the kind who takes a shit-ton of shots. What makes him a shoe-in for this week's pick to click designation also makes him an incredible drain on Boston College in an average game. The Oregon transfer has never been any good inside the arc and was only an average shooter from outside in two seasons with the Ducks. This year he's shooting under 30% from outside, but that hasn't stopped him from taking almost 29% of the Eagles' shots while on the floor.

Ryan Anderson (6-8, 217) -- Anderson hasn't been bad from two, but his frequent trips to three-point land have been a disaster. He's been a good defensive rebounder and he takes good care of the ball, especially when compared to the other guys on this team.

Dennis Clifford (7-0, 241) -- Clifford is hitting 61% of his twos, but turnovers have been a serious issue. He isn't blocking very many shots for a man his size, either. But it's an encouraging start given his average-ish workload and how he was rated out of high school.

Bench

Patrick Heckmann (6-5, 196), Gabe Moton (6-1, 177), John Cahill (6-1, 170), KC Caudill (6-10, 279). Donahue deserves credit for giving nine players 10+ minutes per game; this season was over before it started, so he might as well build as much experience as he can.

Heckmann is going to be a good player for the Eagles for a while; he's shown a more diverse scoring ability than any of the other freshmen on this team, but his turnover rate is insanely high. If he can get that under control, he can be an efficient leader at the offensive end.

Boston College Defense 10-11
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 50.7 248
Turnover Rate 16.3 330
Off Reb Rate 33.0 212
FTA/FGA 25.9 4
Boston College Defense 11-12
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 48.2 155
Turnover Rate 19.1 254
Off Reb Rate 33.9 230
FTA/FGA 30.1 50

Not a huge improvement, but it is a start. Obviously it isn't the offense that's helped them win two of their first three conference games.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes State by 19.

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