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Previewing Boston College: Pack tries to avoid death by Olivier Hanlan

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

How to watch or listen to the game

Tip time: Noon ET, Saturday Feb. 28

TV: RSN (Wes Durham, Jason Capel)

Online streaming: ESPN3

Radio: Wolfpack Sports Network (affiliates)

Boston College vitals

Record: 9-18 (1-14)
Pomeroy ranking: No. 149
RPI: No. 175
Wins vs. Pomeroy top-100: 3
Best win: Providence (No. 39 in Pomeroy Ratings)
Worst loss: Southern Cal (No. 163 in Pomeroy Ratings)

Adjusted tempo: 63.8 poss/40 minutes (ranks 241st)
Adjusted offensive efficiency: 103.3 (ranks 140th)
Adjusted defensive efficiency: 102.2 (ranks 162nd)

Boston College @ StatSheet
Boston College roster
Boston College schedule
Boston College stats 2014 / 2015

The Boston College offense and starters

Boston College Offense -- Four Factors eFG% (National Rank) TO% OR% FT Rate
2013-14 52.1 (63) 17.4 (105) 27.1 (300) 44.5 (67)
2014-15 49.8 (133) 19.4 (187) 27.7 (282) 33.1 (273)

First-year head coach Jim Christian had his work cut out for him heading into this season, to say the least. He took over a Boston College team coming off an eight-win campaign, and he couldn't convince big man Ryan Anderson to stick with the program. (Anderson transferred to Arizona.)

Olivier Hanlan is still doing his thing in Chestnut Hill and having a fine season, but as he is neither superhuman nor capable of cloning himself, there could be no dodging the pain in 2015. Christian brought in some transfers to help buttress the rotation, to little avail. The Eagles have not won a game since Jan. 25, a string of nine games.

The offense, which was a legitimate strength last year, has slipped into mediocrity thanks to a decline in three-point shooting, free throw shooting, and an increase in turnovers. This Boston College group maintains some of its Steve Donahue tendencies--namely they like to shoot from outside a lot, though not quite as often as they did under their old coach.

Unfortunately, they've gone from an above-average three-point shooting team to one that is well below average. The departure of Joe Rahon (35.7% in 2014) and injury to Lonnie Jackson (38.5%) has limited the Eagles' shooting options, and they're showing obvious strains as a result.

Patrick Heckmann's three-point accuracy flew off a cliff in 2015, while Aaron Brown and Dimitri Batten have been unable to produce efficiently from outside.

The Eagles haven't been able to diversify elsewhere, so their efficiency sank with poorer overall shooting. It's a tough break for a program that could use an assist, but this season was destined to be difficult for BC regardless.

Starters

Olivier Hanlan (6-4, 190) -- It took a long time for Hanlan to find his outside shooting touch--he was only 11-52 (21.2%) in November and December--but now dude is cookin'. He's 26-59 (44.1%) from outside in February and hitting 44.6% since the start of ACC play. In seven games this month, he's gone for 30 or more points on four occasions, and 28 on another. He's made at least five threes in three of the seven.

In league play, he is taking nearly a third of BC's shots while on the floor, a proportion that is second only to Louisville's Terry Rozier. Despite the workload, he's been great in nearly every respect, and has even knocked down half his twos. Shame it's all gone to waste.

Dimitri Batten (6-3, 205) -- Batten spent the last three seasons at Old Dominion, where he was a high-volume, low-efficiency scorer. Somehow BC has gotten him to dial back his role at the offensive end significantly, which has paid dividends with his two-point shooting but not his outside shots.

Aaron Brown (6-5, 215) -- Brown spent time at Temple and Southern Miss before landing at BC, where he's established himself as the top option behind Hanlan. Brown's hitting 52% inside the arc, which is a bonus for a team lacking a legitimate interior presence, but he's shooting only 32.1% from three.

Patrick Heckmann (6-6, 210) -- The career 33.9% outside shooter is hitting only 26.8% from three this season, though his two-point accuracy is still there. He's a career 56.4% shooter inside the arc, but maybe doesn't lean on that part of his game as often as he should.

Dennis Clifford (7-1, 250) -- BC's best offensive rebounder but just a mediocre scorer in the paint who in the past has had serious problems with turnovers. He's also the Eagles' best shot blocker.

The Boston College bench and defense

Reserves: Garland Owens (6-5, 210), Eddie Odio (6-8, 210), John Cain Carney (6-9, 225), Will Magarity (6-11, 240). Boston College hasn't gotten much offense from these guys--Magarity is leading the bunch at 3.9 PPG, though he's been sidelined recently by a concussion.

Odio is good for five fouls, and also possibly five turnovers. Owens has been a decent--if only occasional--shooter, while I am not entirely sure that John Cain Carney exists. He has not attempted a shot since Feb. 7, though he has logged at least a couple minutes in every game since.

Boston College Defense -- Four Factors eFG% (National Rank) TO% OR% FT Rate
2013-14 52.1 (283) 15.0 (337) 35.2 (318) 41.5 (204)
2014-15 50.3 (230) 19.7 (152)
30.2 (134) 43.7 (300)

Say this for Christian: he got Boston College playing better defense. Got to take those small victories where you can get 'em. The Eagles have improved from 298th in defensive efficiency last season to 162nd in 2015. Now, 162nd is still a long way from good, but it's a hell of a long way from 298th, too.

In conference games, however, the Eagles have looked nearly as bad as their 2014 horror show--they've given up 1.14 points per possession, tying them for last with Virginia Tech. ACC teams have shot 38.6% from three and 51.2% from two, which speaks to the lack of ACC-caliber talent on the roster.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes NC State by five.