Boston College vs. Virginia Tech: Preview and Predictions
The Boston College Eagles (9-10) are back home and in desperate need of a win. Today they will face off against the Virginia Tech Hokies (14-5), one of the best teams in the ACC this year. The Eagles should be the healthiest they have been in months, but will that be enough to take out the Hokies? Let's preview today's game.
Time: 2:00 pm
Where: Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill
Radio: WEEI 850
Current Line: Virginia Tech (-3.5)
ESPN Matchup Predictor: VT has a 72.7% chance to win this game
Projected Starters: Nik Popovic, Derryck Thornton, Jay Heath, Jared Hamilton, Steffon Mitchell
Injuries: Mitchell (ankle), Thornton (leg), both projected to play
Ken Pom Ratings: Virginia Tech (59) Boston College (172)
Opponent Preview: Check out our interview with AllHokies writer Mike McDaniel
Special Events: The Eagles will be retiring All-American guard Troy Bell's jersey at halftime during the game.
Key Matchup: Landers Nolley vs. The Boston College Defense
As Mike McDaniel said in his preview with us, Nolley is a professional scorer and one that projects to be heading to the NBA after this season. He can make his shot, beat defenders in isolation and can take over games. At 6'7 I'm not sure how Boston College attacks him, Steffon Mitchell might be the best option. But the Eagles need to keep him in check, if Nolley puts up 25+ points the odds BC wins this one will be very small.
Three Questions That Need To Be Answered Against VT
1. Can BC play a complete game? It has been the biggest problem all year for BC, they stick with a team and then have everything fall apart for four or five minutes and can't dig themselves out of that hole. BC needs to keep their offense consistent, and do whatever they can to avoid another drought.
2. Can they let offense flow through Popovic? Against Pitt, Boston College found a lot of success getting the ball to Popovic and having him set up plays for the rest of the team. It opened up the three point shot, and gave the pick and roll a lot of juice. However, Pittsburgh adjusted to it and BC had no answer. Can BC figure out how to keep Pop the focus, and adjust it when needed
3. How do you stop Nolley? Already mentioned above, but he's an NBA level shooter, and his success could dictate how this game turns out.
AJ's Fearless Prediction: Virginia Tech 77 Boston College 65. Wednesday's game against Pitt was a figurative gut punch for the Eagles, the Hokies have the weapons to jump out early and especially run away from BC when the Eagles go cold. I don't expect this game to be close.