Previewing 2018-19 Men’s Basketball: Wyoming

Following a surprising and disappointing loss to IUPUI, Boston College men’s basketball (2-1) will look to revitalize its play on a neutral court, taking on a lackluster Wyoming (1-3) team on Monday night at the Fort Myers Tip-Off Basketball Tournament. While star guard Ky Bowman has been playing on par with the precedent he set last year—he enters averaging 19.7 points and 7.3 rebounds—it is going to take take a much more balanced performance from his surrounding teammates to ensure the Eagles won’t suffer another embarrassment. BC was outmuscled and outworked in the upset loss to the Jaguars, something that can’t happen against another lesser opponent.

Who is BC playing?

Wyoming

When is BC playing?

Monday, Nov. 19, 9 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Suncoast Credit Union Arena, Fort Myers, Fla.

How to Watch:

The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Jordan Chatman is beginning to find his shot from beyond the arc, as the 3-point specialist is a shooting a cool 42.9 percent from distance and went 4-for-6 in the loss to IUPUI.

2) In only three games, big man Nik Popovic is averaging just under seven rebounds per game, which is not getting the job done. Bowman carries the brunt of the rebounds, but Popovic’s struggles in the paint were a big part of the loss to the Jaguars.

3) Maybe it’s the tendency for isolated scoring—Bowman and Wynston Tabbs are both prolific at driving into the paint thus far—but the Eagles are averaging just under 10 assists per game, whereas opponents are averaging two more.

Wyoming:

1) Wyoming’s leading scorer is Justin James, who is averaging a solid 21 points per game to accompany his per-game marks of nine rebounds and four assists. Defensively, he is a tough player to contain, which was an issue for BC when it faced IUPUI’s Camron Justice.

2) The tallest player on Wyoming is 6-foot-7, so playing with the lineup without an imposing big man inside has been tough—the Cowboys have been outrebounded by 30 boards on the season.

3) The Cowboys have been only putting up 70.8 points per game, but have kept opponents close, only losing games by an average of six points. This could result in a similar type of game as the Eagles’ last two, where opponents have hung around and even escaped with wins.

Last Meeting:

The teams have never met—BC also hasn’t ever played a Mountain West Conference foe.

BC Wins If:

The Eagles dominate on the boards, both offensively and defensively. Second-chance buckets have been the reasoning behind many of the Eagles’ slow starts to games as well as the come-back victory by IUPUI. Popovic needs to have himself a day and put up near double-double numbers in order to secure the victory and allow some breathing room for Chatman and Bowman to put up high-scoring performances. If rebounding is covered by the Eagles, then freshmen like Tabbs or role players like Mitchell will need to come up big by providing relief to the team’s key players.

BC Loses If:

Wyoming is able to get off to a hot start, which will be tough considering it’s struggled mightily to get shots to fall. Still, if they start to, the Cowboys team could be well poised to keep up with an inconsistent BC team. By building a lead and sticking around, the Cowboys could startle the Eagles and bring on the panicky play style that frequented the IUPUI game when BC started to lose control. James is the type of player who could enjoy a big game, having scored 46 combined points over his last two games, so how the Eagles do in defending him will have a lot to do with the outcome.

Featured Image by Tiger Tao / Heights Staff