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NC State takes on BC as the Wolfpack goes for its second win in a row

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The Pack has yet to put together a winning streak in league play.

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a feature of the schedule since expansion, but still it’s jarring not to play a league opponent for the first time until mid-to-late February. Like losing contact with a family member for years only to have them pop back into your life unexpectedly.

Hey, Boston College! How’s things been? Still up there, you know, in that place where you are?

What’s that? You got a new coach! Wow, how’s that going? ... Oh.

2021-22 Eagles

... Adj OE/DE (rk) eFG% TO% OR% FTR
... Adj OE/DE (rk) eFG% TO% OR% FTR
Offense 103.6 (171) 46.4 (313) 17.6 (112) 31.0 (92) 28.4 (233)
Defense 101.6 (143) 50.8 (217) 18.4 (189) 25.4 (72) 31.7 (223)

It’s going to take some time and some good luck for Boston College to become competitive in the ACC after spending a decade doing nothing to speak of under Jim Christian and Steve Donahue.

Earl Grant’s initial effort in Chestnut Hill isn’t going that badly by comparison but still it’s been a struggle—which it was bound to be given the amount of talent that the program lost to the portal after the coaching change. If Grant could have kept a couple of those guys at BC, it’d probably be a different story.

Grant did what he could with transfer additions to put band-aids on the roster but the losses took a toll—namely in how BC’s shooting fell off a cliff. Not that this was a great shooting team last season, but it was at least average-ish. This group is bad both inside and outside the arc, and in particular gets very little perimeter scoring. The Eagles rarely shoot threes, and they rank 325th in 3FG% anyway.

Brothers Makai Ashton-Langford (12.0 PPG) and DeMarr Langford (11.3) lead the team in scoring, though Langford missed their last game because of a toe injury. BC was also without forward TJ Bickerstaff, who has missed three straight with a calf injury. If those two can’t play Wednesday night, the Eagles’ task is much tougher. (Then again, they did beat FSU by 16 without those guys.)

Ashton-Langford may be more assertive if BC is shorthanded again, though his game is limited by his below-average jumper. Last time out, it was guard Jaeden Zackery who stepped up, scoring 18 points on 7-10 shooting. Zackery generally hasn’t been one to assume a heavy workload, but he is easily the Eagles’ best three-point threat (45.7% on 81 attempts), and that makes him an obvious worry.

Big man James Karnik (58.8% on twos) is another guy to watch out for.

KenPom likes NC State by five.