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NC State hosts an improved Boston College team, but one still stuck in the purgatory of mediocrity

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Boston College Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College is NC State’s next challenge, and this looks like another typical Jim Christian squad, which is to say a vaguely-interesting team with a ceiling of “just okay.” There are worse places to be as a program, but BC has been pretty much stuck here for all of Christian’s tenure.

(And kudos to him for getting seven years out of BC despite one winning season overall and zero seasons at .500 or better in league play.)

Notes on the Eagles:

— BC is better this year than last because it didn’t lose much of note. Derryck Thornton took a whole bunch of shots but also missed a whole bunch of shots, and that’s the kind of guy it can actually be a blessing to move on from. Promising sophomore wing Jairus Hamilton transferred to Maryland during the offseason, which was the program’s biggest setback.

— The Eagles are 2-5 but don’t have a bad loss, as all five have come against teams in the top 100 of the Pomeroy Ratings. Four were against teams in the top 30: Villanova, Minnesota, Florida, Syracuse. Mind you, only one of those four games was especially close—they lost to Minnesota in overtime.

— Wynston Tabbs is making up for lost time after missing all of last year because of injury: he’s accounting for almost 30% of BC’s shots while he was on the floor, and he’s been pretty good with the heavy workload (49% on twos, 39% on threes). He’s a bit turnover-prone but has otherwise been solid.

— Jay Heath and Makai Ashton-Langford also account for a lot of offense, and those two along with Tabbs account for three-quarters of BC’s shots when they’re on the floor together. Heath and Ashton-Langford both take plenty of jumpers but both have struggled from three.

— This is the most three-inclined team that Christian has had at BC: 46.5% of its field goal attempts have been from beyond the arc. They’re shooting only 31.8% on those attempts, though, which is a problem. The worry for NC State, of course, is that this below-average outside shooting team has a fluky-good night, which definitely could carry BC to a win given how frequently they take said shots.

— The Wolfpack should be able to exploit the interior of BC’s defense, which has been awful. Opponents have made 58.3% of their twos against the Eagles, who don’t have a lot of size across the board.

— KenPom likes NC State by 10.