Previewing 2017-18 Men’s Basketball: Wake Forest

Boston College men’s basketball is coming off two conference losses to ranked foes by a combined five points, and is looking to get back on track against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons (8-6, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) have won the last four matchups against the Eagles (10-5, 1-2), including a first-round victory in last season’s ACC tournament.

Who is BC playing?
Wake Forest

When is BC playing?
Saturday, Jan. 6, 4 p.m.

Where is BC playing?
Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to watch:
The game will be broadcasted by ACC Network Extra and available online at WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:
BC:

1) Jerome Robinson has done everything he can the last two games, leading the Eagles against No. 9 Virginia and No. 25 Clemson with back-to-back 28-plus point outings. He’s shot 50 percent from beyond the arc and is now tied for fifth in the ACC in scoring (18.1 points).

2) The Eagles have struggled to get to the free throw line, managing just six attempts in their last loss. They rank outside the top 300 in free throw rate.

3) Last game, Jordan Chatman played all 40 minutes of regulation and didn’t score a point. He posted his lowest offensive rating (41) of the season just days after his most efficient outing, an 18-point effort on just seven shots against UVA.

Wake Forest:

1) Center Doral Moore, standing a towering 7-foot-1, has been one of the most efficient scorers in college basketball: 71.4 percent of his shots come at the rim, and his field-goal percentage of 77.9 percent leads the ACC.

2) Guard Keyshawn Woods, averaging 14.8 points per game across 30 minutes, is out with an injury. The Demon Deacons will likely turn to freshman Chaundee Brown, who piled up 16 points and six rebounds against Quinnipiac in November, the last game Woods didn’t appear in.

3) Wake Forest could have struggles containing the Eagles’ trio of sharpshooters, as it ranks in the bottom 20 of the country in defending the 3-point shot, with opponents shooting 39.4 percent from downtown.

Last Meeting:
Ky Bowman went down with a knee injury with five minutes left in the first half, and Wake Forest pulled away in the second period with a 14-1 run. NBA-bound big man John Collins had a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Austin Arians had a season-high 17 points. The Eagles weren’t able to keep up without Bowman, who had provided a spark and energy from the point. Robinson had 17 points in the loss, which capped a 15-game losing streak to end the season for BC.

BC wins if…
Robinson continues his torrid stretch, and gets enough help from Bowman and Chatman. He single-handedly willed the Eagles back into the game against Clemson, but without Chatman’s scoring presence, BC was doomed. Nik Popovic also accumulated three fouls in five minutes, and the Tigers exploited their size advantage down low. To beat Wake Forest, the Eagles need to shoot well from beyond the arc and keep Popovic in the game, as he’ll have his hands full with Moore.

BC loses if…
The 3-pointers don’t fall, and Moore’s size is too much down low. Robinson had to shoot 10-of-14 in the second half to avoid a blowout loss at home—that shooting percentage is unsustainable in the long run. If the Demon Deacons hit a few timely shots, Brown fills in nicely, and Moore uses his size to overpower the Eagles, BC could very well be in for a tough day at the office.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff

About Bradley Smart 131 Articles
Bradley is the associate sports editor for The Heights. He believes that America does truly run on Dunkin, March is the best month, baseball teams should always wear stirrups, and being down 3-1, in anything, is never cause for concern. You can follow him on Twitter @bradleysmart15.