Boston College vs. St. John's: Preview and Prediction

The Eagles and Red Storm face off today in a battle of two former Big East foes.
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Boston College (1-1) faces off with St. John's (2-0) today, in a battle of former Big East foes. This is the 73rd matchup between the two schools, the Red Storm holding a 45-27 edge over the Eagles. The two teams last played in 2008 as part of the NIT Tip Off, a game BC won 82-70 at Conte Forum. 

Time: 6:00 pm
Where: Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Connecticut
TV: ESPNU
Radio: WEEI 850
Current Line: Pick 'em
ESPN Matchup Predictor: St. John's has a 59.1% chance of winning this game. 

Tale of the Tape:

Via BCeagles.com

Via BCeagles.com

Projected Staters: CJ Felder, Makai Ashton Langford, Jay Heath, Wynston Tabbs, Steffon Mitchell

Injuries: Jon Rothstein announced that Jay Heath is set to play today

Player To Watch: Vince Cole

Cole came to St. John's through the JUCO route, after earning All American honors in that circuit. He already made his presence felt, hitting a game winning three pointer against St. Peter's in the season opener. He was named Lapchick Tournament MVP for his performance this past week. Per St. John's site:

Cole led the Red Storm in scoring on back-to-back days, netting 21 points in the Wednesday win over Saint Peter's before going for 19 on Thanksgiving afternoon against La Salle. During the season opener, Cole sank eight of his 12 field goal tries, including a 5-for-6 showing from three-point range. The two-time NJCAA All-American led the Red Storm to a comeback victory in his first Division I game, scoring five points in the final 18 seconds to erase a four-point deficit. The following afternoon against Saint Peter's, Cole led all scorers with 19 points in addition to tallying five boards, a game-high four assists and three steals.

Three Keys To The Game

1. Stay Aggressive. BC is a completely different team when they are attacking the rim. They are able to hit more shots, get fouled and keep defenses off balance. If the Eagles can continue to do more of that and less settling for jump shots and three pointers the will be in good shape against St. John's. 

2. Continue to play good defense. The story of the first two games has to be the play of the defense. BC at times played strong defense against Villanova, and limited a very good scoring URI team to 64. The defensive leader, Steffon Mitchell sets the tone, and if they can limit second chance opportunities and easy buckets they are setting themselves up for success. 

3. Hit your Free Throws. BC is shooting 60% from the charity stripe this year. Leaving all those points off the board is not going to win you many games. If the Eagles can clean that up and shoot even around the 75% range, they will drastically improve their scoring

AJ's Fearless Prediction: Boston College is battle tested right now, St. John's has beaten St. Peter's and Lasalle. The Eagles are getting Jay Heath back which is a huge boost for the squad who did well even without him. This is another very evenly matched game, but I think BC's depth again will be a big factor here. Boston College 71 St. John's 66