Boston College vs. Syracuse: Preview and Predictions
Boston College faces off with Syracuse tonight in a matchup between two old Big East foes. Neither of these teams have had a strong '19-'20 and both sit at 9-7. But Syracuse is loaded with talent and their defensive prowess could be a challenge for the young Eagles.
Time: 6:30 pm
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse New York
TV: ACC Network
Radio: WEEI 850
Current Line: Syracuse (-11.5)
ESPN Matchup Predictor: Syracuse has an 87% chance of winning this game
Projected Staters: CJ Felder, Jarius Hamilton, Jay Heath, Jared Hamilton, Steffon Mitchell
Injuries: Nik Popovic (Back, Out)
Ken Pom Rating: Syracuse (61) Boston College (159)
Key Matchup: Elijah Hughes vs. Jarius Hamilton
Hughes has been quite the story for the Syracuse, coming as an under recruited wing, he has blossomed into a leader and star for the team this year. Against Georgia Tech earlier this season he was nearly unstoppable with 33 points, and has been a consistent scorer all year long. A lot of BC's emphasis will be on stopping the guards Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim, but Hughes needs to be a player to watch. He's an excellent facilitator as well averaging 4.5 assists per game. If he can keep the ball moving, not only will he score but he'll make the players around him effective as well.
Opponent Preview: Check out our conversation with Brian Harrison
Three Questions Heading Into This Game:
1. What role will Derryck Thornton Play? As mentioned before, Jon Rothstein reported that the transfer will play for the Eagles tonight. What can he give BC though? Will he start? Will his minutes be limited? Lots of question marks about this one.
2. Can Boston College break the dreaded zone defense? Credit when credit is due, the Eagles were able to crack UVA's defense, so there is precedent here. But Syracuse's defense can be a nightmare to score on, especially with a young squad. Will be a big challenge for this team tonight.
3. Can BC's defense hold? Syracuse's AdjO is 33rd in the country according to KenPom, but they are incredibly unselfish with the ball ranked 13th in the country in assists. With good ball movement, and good scorers can BC stop Jim Boeheim's offense?
AJ's Fearless Prediction: Syracuse 75 BC 60. A road game against a Syracuse team hungry for a win, this just screams bad matchup for the Eagles. Thornton's ability to play should be a major factor in this game, BC desperately needs him, especially on the road.