Monday, November 16, 2009

BC-St. Francis (NY) Preview

Who: St. Francis Terriers (0-1) vs. Boston College Eagles (1-0)
Where: Silvia O. Conte Forum -- Chestnut Hill, MA
When: 7:00pm EST on CBSSports.com

Last We Saw Them...

The news of the suspensions of Rakim Sanders, Corey Raji, and Courtney Dunn had just been handed out, and all of a sudden it seemed as though the Dartmouth game could become dangerous. But, thanks to a career high 30 by lone senior Tyler Roche, the Eagles shook off a rough start defensively to rout the Big Green 89-58 at Conte Forum. Reggie Jackson contributed 16 points in his first career start, while Biko Paris dished out 7 assists.

Know Thy Enemy...

St. Francis, like Boston College is short on depth (playing only a 7 man rotation against Brown) due to a string of injuries including their leading returning scorer Kayode Ayeni (13ppg last year). Among those who will be available to play for the Terriers include sophomore Stefan Perunicic who is looking to build on his solid freshman season (11ppg). He's a long range shooter who attempted over 200 3's last year, and when he gets it going, can be very difficult to turn off. Up front the Terriers lack size (both starting forwards are under 6'8) but Nigel Byam is good enough offensively to drag opposing 4's away from the basket and spread the floor. Under the basket, Herman Wrice is an effective if undersized shot blocker.

The Terriers have played just 1 game this season so far, dropping a tight 68-64 decision to Brown at home. Byam led the way for St. Francis with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Akeem Bennett was the high scorer with 19.

Go-No Go...

For BC, Rakim Sanders, Corey Raji, and Courtney Dunn will sit this one out to complete their 2 game sentence for a violation of unspecified team rules. They'll make their debuts Friday when the Eagles travel to the US Virgin Islands to take part in the Paradise Jam Tournament. Otherwise, everyone is healthy and available to go for BC.

For St. Francis, leading scorers Ricky Caldell and Kayode Aveni will sit this one out. Kayode is recovering from off-season knee surgery.

What to Watch For...

Putting the Hammer Down

Against what appears to be an inferior opponent who also happens to be missing its 2 best players, there is no excuse for BC to allow the Terriers to hang around in this game the way they did Dartmouth. Watch for the Eagles to come out with much more passion and fire, especially on the defensive side of the field, and try to bury St. Francis before halftime.

Tyler Roche's Shooting

The much maligned New Hampshire native scorched Dartmouth for a career high 30 points while shooting an outrageous 12-15 from the field. While he's unlikely to duplicate that performance (read: guaranteed not to), it would be nice for him to consistently make some shots and contribute when the team is at full strength. Watch to see if last week was an anomaly or whether Roche will be a factor on this team.

Biko Paris' A/T ratio

Fans were excited to see Biko distribute the ball well against Dartmouth (7 assists) and shoot well from the field (3-3, 6 points), and I was as well...however the 6 turnovers were of concern against such a mediocre opponent. Watch to see if Paris is able to turn ins something closer to a 2:1 A/T ratio. Efficiency is a major factor for a team with so little margin for error like the Eagles.

The Line: N/A
The Call: BC 94 St. Francis 69

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