Previewing 2017-18 Men’s Basketball: Georgia Tech

bc men's basketball

Boston College men’s basketball will hope to bounce back at home on Sunday afternoon when it hosts Georgia Tech. BC (13-9, 3-6 Atlantic Coast) is coming off of three straight losses, two of which were on the road, and has a chance to redeem itself with a win over another middle-of-the-pack ACC opponent.

The Yellow Jackets (11-11, 4-5) are hot off a four-point win over Syracuse, the same team that handed the Eagles an 18-point loss a week and a half ago. Both teams are vulnerable in their own right: GT has one of the best defenses in the country, but struggles to put points on the board on a nightly basis. On the other hand, BC can run with anybody—time and time again, turnovers and defensive breakdowns have spelled doom for head coach Jim Christian’s team. Quite simply, the matchup—a must-win game—is a toss up.  

Who is BC playing?

Georgia Tech

When is BC playing?

Sunday, Feb. 4, 12 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to Watch:

The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU, in addition to being livestreamed on WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Jerome Robinson, BC leading scorer, is averaging 19 points per game this season and just tied his career high with 32 points in the Eagles’ loss to Virginia Tech on Wednesday night. He has been consistent from the 3-point line, as well as the foul line, where he was 12-of-13 against VTech. His efforts have contributed to BC’s overall team free throw percentage of 80 percent.

2)  The Eagles have frequently turned the ball over of late, spurring their three-game skid. In their past two contests alone, they coughed up the rock a combined 33 times.

3)  BC has been exceptionally strong on the boards, hauling in more than 80 percent of its defensive rebounds with the help of Steffon Mitchell, who recorded a game-high 12, Nik Popovic, and Ky Bowman—who logged nine boards apiece—against VTech.

GT:

1) Sophomore Josh Okogie has been averaging 18.4 points per game and just lead the Yellow Jackets to a recent victory against Syracuse with 20 points, snapping GT’s four-game losing streak. He has also hit 40 percent of his 3-point shots, 80.8 percent of his free throws, and has averaged 6.1 rebounds this season.

2) Recently, GT has had trouble connecting from the floor, knocking down a mere a 33 percent of its shot attempts against Syracuse. The Yellow Jackets have a losing record when they shoot less than 43 percent, which BC could use to its advantage, pending superb defensive play.

3) The Yellow Jackets are averaging 12.7 turnovers and 12.2 versus ACC opponents. Prior to playing the Orange, GT was averaging over 16 turnovers per game in its previous three matchups.

Last Meeting:

Last season, the Eagles and the Yellow Jackets faced each other in Atlanta, where GT defeated BC, 65-54. At the moment, the Yellow Jackets are currently on a two-game winning streak against the Eagles, and they lead the all-time series, 10-9, since BC joined the ACC. Most of the games have been decided by less than 10 points, including a pair of overtime contests. Senior GT guard Tadric Jackson scored 29 points in last year’s bout. The Eagles obviously need to keep Jackson in check Sunday if they are to get back in the win column.

BC wins if…  

It keeps the Yellow Jackets off the free throw line and holds them under 43 percent shooting. It is imperative that the Eagles exhibit better ball control and keep their turnover numbers down. BC’s top scorers, Robinson and Bowman, need to be on their A-game, taking and making quality shots, especially from the perimeter. BC also needs to get to the foul line more often to take advantage of easy points and shoot at least its team free throw average (73 percent).

BC loses if…

It continues to turn the ball over at a high rate. After committing 17 turnovers at Syracuse, the Eagles followed up with a 16-turnover performance in their loss to VTech on Wednesday. They are averaging 13 turnovers a game this season and have the third-worst turnover margin in the ACC. If Okogie and Jackson, who have racked up points all year, get hot, BC could be in trouble. Jackson just reached 1,000 career points and has converted 55.2 percent of his shots from inside the arc. The scoring duo coupled with the Yellow Jackets’ stingy defense could very well be just enough to take down the Eagles.

Featured Image by Sam Zhai / Heights Staff