Previewing 2017-18 Men’s Basketball: Central Connecticut State

Boston College men's basketball

For the second time in eight days, Boston College men’s basketball will host the Blue Devils, only this time, the Eagles (8-3, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) won’t be going up against the No. 1 team in the nation—in fact, they’ll be playing the quite the opposite. On Sunday, BC will welcome Central Connecticut State (5-5), a Northeast Conference representative that hasn’t topped a Power Five opponent in over 15 years, or had a winning season since 2010-11.

Who is BC playing?

Central Connecticut State

When is BC playing?

Sunday, Dec. 17, 1 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to Watch:

The game will be broadcasted on ACC Network Extra and live streamed on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) BC is 33-5 against members of the NEC. Just a month ago, the Eagles ran away with a 20-point victory over Sacred Heart, another conference representative.

2) Having scored 20-plus points in back-to-back games, Jordan Chatman is averaging 18.7 points per game over the course of the Eagles’ last three contests.

3) BC’s bench—a unit that has combined for a total of six points in the past three games—has only accounted for 24.9 percent of the team’s minutes this season, ranking 314th in the nation in usage rate.   

CCSU:

1) After rattling off a four-game win streak in the back half of November, the Blue Devils have gone cold in December, losing consecutive games to Depaul and Northern Illinois by an average of 17 points.

2) Entering Sunday’s matchup, CCSU has four players in double figures: Tyler Kohl (14.0 points per game), Austin Nehls (12.2 points per game), Deion Bute (10.4 points per game), and Mustafa Jones (10.1 points per game).

3) The Blue Devils are averaging just 68.5 points per game this season, in large part because their average possession length is hovering around 19.3 seconds—the 10th slowest in all of college basketball.

Last Meeting:

The two teams have faced each other four times prior to this weekend. BC won the most recent meeting, 82-57, on Nov. 19, 2015. After trailing early, the Eagles closed out the first half on a 36-19 run. The second period was more of the same. Led by Eli Carter and Jerome Robinson, BC extended its double-digit lead in the latter portion of play, picking up its second win of the year. The Eagles went 15 deep, and 11 different players etched their names into the box score, as head coach Jim Christian’s team finished with 31 bench points.

BC Wins if…

It scores 80 or more points. The Eagles are 6-0 when they reach the 80-point mark this season. Likewise, CCSU has yet to beat an opponent that has put up more than 73 points this year. Another 40-plus point first half, and BC will be on its way to its ninth victory of the season—one that would tie last year’s win total. A substantial lead would also allow Christian to give his reserves some minutes, something that he couldn’t really do against Columbia on Tuesday.

BC Loses if…

Ky Bowman, Jerome Robinson, and Jordan Chatman all have an off day. Over the past three games, the trio has scored 77.4 percent of the Eagles’ points. Plain and simple, they are the heart and soul of this team, especially now that Teddy Hawkins is gone for the year with a season-ending knee injury. Without Bowman’s dribble-drive penetration, Robinson’s isolation scoring, and Chatman’s 3-point shooting, BC would have to rely on its frontcourt, a group that has struggled of late, to stave off the upset.

Featured Image by Jake Evans / Heights Staff

About Andy Backstrom 298 Articles
Andy is the sports editor of The Heights. He is from the suburbs of Philly, but has been an Arizona Cardinals enthusiast since the first grade. Every so often, he'll replay Super Bowl XLIII on Madden to exact revenge on his father's beloved Steelers. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyHeights.