2013 ACC/Big Ten Challenge: Boston College At Purdue Preview

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue hosts Boston College in the 2013 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

After last night’s rough night for the Big Ten Purdue faces a virtual must-win game if the Big Ten is going to retain the trophy in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Iowa and Minnesota won, but Illinois let a lead slip away in a loss at Georgia Tech while Indiana, Penn State, and Michigan all lost on the road.

The good news for Purdue is that home teams are 6-0 after last night. That should change tonight. I expect Michigan State to beat North Carolina, Wisconsin to win at Virginia, and Ohio State to beat Maryland. That means if Purdue wins the Big Ten will have six victories before a toss-up game between Miami and Nebraska in Lincoln decides if it is a tie or a Big Ten win.

Projected Starters:

Purdue Boilermakers (6-2)

Boston College Eagles (3-4)

Terone Johnson - Sr.

Alex Dragicevich - Jr.

Ronnie Johnson - So.

Ryan Anderson - Jr.

Basil Smotherman - Fr.

William Magarity - Fr.

Errick Peck - Sr.

Olivier Hanlan - So.

A.J. Hammons - So.

Joe Rahon - So.

Series With Purdue:

Series Tied 2-2

Odds:

Purdue by 4

Blog Representation

BC Interruption

Location:

Boston, Massachusetts

Best Postseason result:

Reached Final Four in 1975, 22-19 in 18 NCAA appearances

2012-13 Record:

16-17 (7-11 ACC)

Coach:

Steve Donahue (195-144 overall, 49-56 at BC)

RPI:

83

Time:

9pm

TV:

ESPN2

Radio:

Purdue Radio Network

Streaming Audio:

TuneIn.com

Here are your full stats for BC:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Olivier Hanlan 7 35.3 6.0 12.7 47.2 2.1 5.7 37.5 7.6 9.0 84.1 0.4 3.0 3.4 3.3 2.6 0.9 0.0 3.1 21.7
Ryan Anderson 7 33.0 5.9 11.4 51.2 0.4 1.4 30.0 6.9 8.1 84.2 2.6 4.6 7.1 1.6 2.4 0.6 0.7 2.1 19.0
Joe Rahon 7 34.0 4.4 8.9 50.0 1.9 4.6 40.6 2.7 3.0 90.5 0.7 3.1 3.9 2.4 2.4 0.3 0.3 2.3 13.4
Alex Dragicevich 7 23.9 2.0 4.4 45.2 0.9 2.9 30.0 1.1 1.4 80.0 0.1 2.4 2.6 1.3 1.0 0.6 0.6 1.3 6.0
Lonnie Jackson 4 20.0 1.8 6.3 28.0 1.8 5.0 35.0 0.8 1.0 75.0 1.3 2.5 3.8 2.0 1.0 0.0 0.3 1.5 6.0
Patrick Heckmann 7 14.1 1.3 2.4 52.9 0.4 1.1 37.5 2.3 2.4 94.1 0.1 1.4 1.6 1.0 0.7 0.3 0.0 2.4 5.3
Garland Owens 7 17.6 1.6 2.6 61.1 0.4 0.9 50.0 0.1 0.1 100.0 0.4 1.3 1.7 0.4 0.7 0.1 0.1 2.7 3.7
Will Magarity 7 13.1 1.4 2.4 58.8 0.1 0.7 20.0 0.3 0.9 33.3 0.9 0.9 1.7 1.0 0.7 0.3 0.3 3.0 3.3
Eddie Odio 6 22.3 1.0 2.8 35.3 0.2 1.2 14.3 0.3 0.3 100.0 0.3 1.5 1.8 0.7 0.5 0.3 0.3 2.7 2.5
John Cain Carney 1 1.0 1.0 1.0 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0
K.C. Caudill 6 3.5 0.3 0.7 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.3 100.0 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.7 1.0
Danny Rubin 5 3.0 0.2 0.8 25.0 0.2 0.6 33.3 0.4 0.4 100.0 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 1.0
Sam Donahue 3 0.7 0.0 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0


One thing that stands out about Boston College is that they are a team with a lot of size, yet they are awful at rebounding the basketball. The front line of Dragicevich, Anderson, and Magarity goes 6'8", 6'9", and 6'11", but they are one of the worst rebounding teams in America at 29.3 pre game. That is 343rd nationally. BC makes up for it by shooting the basketball well at 47.7% (73rd nationally) and being a relatively high scoring team at 79.9 points per game (72nd nationally).

Olivier Hanlan is averaging 21.7 points and 3.4 assists as a 6'4" point guard that will give the smaller Ronnie Johnson fits. He can get to the free throw line and he hits 84% once he is there. Anderson (84%) and Rahon (90.5%) are also excellent free throw shooters.

BC Interruption, the SB Nation blog in the network, had a brief preview:

This is actually a very important game for Boston College's season. The Eagles (3-4) are the only sub-.500 team in the conference and are coming off an OT victory over Sacred Heart. With an AdjO ranking in the top 15 in the nation and an offense predicated on the deep ball falling, BC can hang with anyone on any given night. It's the defense that's highly suspect (AdjD of 259) and BC hasn't exactly been the greatest road/neutral team over the last few seasons. Purdue sits at 6-2 heading into this matchup, but 33 percent of those victories have come against Siena. BC's early season record is a bit deceiving as three of those losses have come against teams still unbeaten (Toledo, UConn and UMass). Throw in Providence and BC's losses have come to opponents with a combined 27-2 record. On paper, Boston College appears to be the slightly better team, but who knows which Eagles team will show up tomorrow night.

In another post, however, they point out that Boston College has atrocious defense:

Through seven games, Boston College hoops adjusted defensive efficiency (AdjD), Ken Pomeroy's estimate of the defensive efficiency a team would have against the average D-I offense, ranks 257th in the nation (of 351). The Eagles' D currently ranks over 100 spots lower than the second lowest team in the conference (N.C. State at 153). Perhaps coincidentally, Donahue's former program, Cornell, ranks dead last nationally in AdjD through the games of December 3.

Donahue's teams have never excelled on defense, but it was assumed going into the season that the program would have to take a step forward on the defensive end of the floor if it hoped to improve on last year's strong finish. The team is going in the opposite direction, however, with a D that ranks worse than any other BC defense over the last dozen years (as long as kenpom has been keeping track of these sorts of things anyway).

This bodes well for a Purdue team that, let's be honest, has not exactly been the most consistent offensively. The Boilers have looked excellent offensively at times with multiple weapons from long range and two skilled post players in Jay Simpson and A.J. Hammons. Purdue has also looked awful with Sterling Carter not hitting threes and the Johnson brothers plus Bryson Scott driving blindly to the basket.

Purdue's defensive intensity has also been questionable. In the first half against Washington State and in the second half against Siena in Orlando the boilers were playing the tough, in your face defense they are known for. In the other halves of those games Purdue gave up a combined 95 points and blew a 10-point halftime lead against the Cougars.

Tonight Purdue is going to have to have its good defense show up and Hammons, Errick Peck, and Simpson are going to have to do work on the glass. Boston College is a slashing team so they will try to get to the basket. That is where Hammons' ability to protect the rim is critical. Hanlan and Rahon can be dangerous on the perimeter, but this is not an expressly good three-point shooting team under 35%.

Hopefully the second half of the Siena game down in Orlando served as a wakeup call. In the six halves of basketball played down there Purdue had three very good ones and three very bad ones. That is the biggest reason it lost two games and barely survived a second game with Siena. The bad halves outweighed the good even when the good was very good.

That also tells me that if Purdue puts together two good halves tonight it should get its fifth straight win in the Challenge.

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