North Carolina stays on the road to face the Eagles of Boston College at the Silvio O. Conte Forum at 9:00 PM on ESPNU tonight. UNC is coming off a big loss to cross town rival NC State on Saturday, after a three game winning streak in the ACC the Tar Heels fell short in a comeback attempt that likely would have sent them back into the Top 25 with a win.
Boston College sits at 9-10 overall and just 1-5 in the conference this season. The Eagles employ a motion offense that relies heavily on good shooting in the half court. They are faster paced than we saw last year but I still wouldn’t refer to them as a fast paced team by any means. They do a good job of spacing the floor and getting open looks on the perimeter which could be a problem for UNC who have had trouble guarding against the three all season long if they can shoot the ball well . On the bright side although BC gets open looks they often come up short anyway, as a team they shoot 33% from three with only one player shooting above 40% from downtown (of those who have made more than two threes). Sophomore forward Ryan Anderson is the player to watch out for in this one, Anderson averages 16.3 points and nine rebounds per game.
Tempo will be very important in this game; four players on the BC roster average 31 or more minutes and fatigue could be a factor if UNC is able to get out and run the break.
Statistically the Eagles are no match for Carolina and do not rank any better than 173rd in any offensive category or better than 86th in any defensive ranking. In other words, this is a game Carolina should win convincingly and win without any hiccups or problems. Coming off a hard loss to State it’s important that the Tar Heels play hard for 40 minutes and regain some lost confidence.
It will be interesting to see how Roy Williams handles the minutes distribution among his perimeter players in this game. Roy has leaned heavily on Dexter Strickland despite his poor offensive and defensive performances in conference play. P.J. Hairston and J.P. Tokoto have been playing well yet have played substantially less than Strickland. This will be the last of a three game suspension for Leslie McDonald who will return to the lineup on Saturday against Virginia Tech.