Previewing 2017-18 Men’s Basketball: Florida State

Boston College men’s basketball faces yet another tough conference test, hosting No. 23 Florida State on Monday night. The Seminoles (13-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) have dropped two of their last three games, but still enter as a formidable opponent that finished tied for second in the ACC a season ago.

The Eagles (12-6, 2-3) have already played four ranked opponents in conference play, going 1-3 against them. They narrowly lost to then-No. 9 Virginia and then-No. 25 Clemson, while also pulling off the upset over a top-ranked Duke team. BC is off to its best start since 2010-11 and another win over a top-tier foe would greatly improve its NCAA Tournament chances.

Who is BC playing?
Florida State

When is BC playing?
Monday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m.

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

How to Watch:
The game will be broadcast on ESPNU, and available to livestream on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Ky Bowman’s stat line is the only one of his kind in college basketball, as the 6-foot-1 guard is averaging 16.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game.

2) Bench depth is a recurring weakness for the Eagles, but this stands out: they rank 346th out of 351 teams in percentage of minutes played off the bench. Vin Baker Jr’s career best nine-point performance in Saturday’s win over Dartmouth was a good sign.

3) FSU is one of the highest-scoring teams in the conference, which bodes well if the Eagles can keep up—they’re 8-0 when scoring over 80 points this season.

FSU:

1) The Seminoles have heated up from beyond the arc, averaging over 11 made 3-pointers per contest over their last six games. They now lead the ACC in 3-pointers per game (9.3).

2) FSU’s defense has been formidable throughout the entire season: the Seminoles rank within the top 50 in both steal and block percentage.

3) Braian Angola has gotten off to a hot start in conference play, as the senior guard is posting 20.2 points per game through five ACC matchups, good for third-highest average in the league.

Last Meeting:
All 13 of FSU’s players scored at least four points, en route to a convincing 104-72 win in Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles were paced by NBA-bound forwards Jonathan Isaac (14 points) and Dwayne Bacon (16 points). BC’s backcourt duo of Robinson and Bowman combined for 45 points, but it wasn’t enough in a game that was out of hand by halftime. It was the Eagles 11th straight loss, as they struggled through a particularly brutal stretch of conference games.

BC wins if…
It limits second-chance points and protects the ball. The Seminoles are dangerous on the offensive glass and even more so in transition. If the Eagles are going to win, they’ll have to shoot well from beyond the arc to keep up with the high-octane FSU offense. The Seminoles are third in the ACC in scoring (84.6 points per game), so the BC backcourt will need to play to the best of its ability.

BC loses if…
It gets outworked on the glass. In last week’s 30-point loss to North Carolina, the Eagles were outrebounded 58-23, conceding over 20 offensive rebounds. The Tar Heels had endless opportunities and made them pay, piling up over 90 points in the blowout. FSU has recorded double-digit offensive rebounds in three of its last four games, so if they win the battle down low, it’ll be hard for the Eagles to catch up.

Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Staff

About Bradley Smart 66 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.