The Boston College Eagles (8-5) are back in action tonight as they head to Cameron Indoor Stadium to face off with Mike Krzyzewski and the #2 Duke Blue Devils (11-1). It has been a bit of a break for the Eagles who haven't played since December 21st when they defeated California in the Al Attles Classic. While Duke a deep team this year and has played well, with a loss to Stephen F. Austin their only loss this season.
Time: 6:00 pm
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham North Carolina
TV: ACC Network
Radio: WEEI 850
Current Line: Duke -22
ESPN Matchup Predictor: Duke has a 96.4% chance of winning
Projected Staters: CJ Felder, Jarius Hamilton, Jay Heath, Derryck Thornton, Steffon Mitchell
Injuries: Nik Popovic (Back)
Ken Pom Rankings: Boston College (136) Duke (1)
Key Matchup: Derryck Thornton vs. Tre Jones
Tre Jones returns to the Duke lineup after missing the previous two games with a foot injury. This season the sensational sophomore averages 15.6 points per game, along with 7 assists. This do it all point guard is a voracious defender who most likely will be matched up with former Blue Devil Derryck Thornton. In what must be a big game for him, Thornton is going to need to be the spark plug for the Eagles offense. He can not have an off game, littered with turnovers and poor shots. If Boston College stands any chance of winning this game Thornton is going to need to be aggressive and distribute to help his teammates find shots.
Three Questions Heading Into This Game:
1. How will BC find a shot against the Duke defense? According to Kenpom's rating system Duke has the third best defense in the country, while Boston College has the 239th offense. Add in the difficulty of playing at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and it looks like a poor shooting Boston College team will struggle. If they are to stay in this game how will they create points?
2. Can Jarius Hamilton take the next step? If Boston College can make this a game, it will probably be on the back of Hamilton who has stepped up recently with sixteen points against Albany and eighteen against Cal. He came to BC with a lot of hype as a four star recruit, and a big game against Duke would continue his assent into hopefully becoming a star for this team in the future.
3. Can BC avoid a long scoring drought? Every game BC seemingly goes ice cold from the field which leads to a big opposing scoring run. Against weaker opponents BC has been able to rebound, but this is a recipe for disaster against a team as talented as Duke. BC needs to prevent careless turnovers, grab some offensive rebounds and prevent a double digit run from the Blue Devils
AJ's Fearless Prediction: Duke 85 BC 52. This game is not going to be pretty, as Duke is a superior team in every facet of their game. Add in the home crowd atmosphere and it could be a long night for Boston College.