There’s No Saving Boston College in Providence

Rainman M.

Saturday, November 25, 2017 7:52 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 7:52 PM UTC

Providence (4-1) hosts Boston College (5-1) Saturday at 8 PM ET. The Friars are favored by up to 9. read on and get the best play for Saturday's prime time game.

Boston College Eagles vs Providence Friars

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3337003, "sportsbooksIds":[19,1096,180,139,300], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Free NCAAB Pick: Providence -7.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

Boston College

The Eagles run foremost through their two returning guards, Junior Jerome Robinson and sophomore Ky Bowman. The duo is best known for leading the Eagles to a 5-1 ATS record against ACC teams from their home state of North Carolina. Both are leading their team with an average of 15 points per game. Bowman made the ACC’s All-Freshman team especially because of his shooting. He shot 44% from three last season, although he is currently struggling to regain his stroke.

Deontae Hawkins, the 6-8 graduate transfer from Illinois Sate, leads the Eagles' front court with his combination of size and athleticism. He is third on the team with 12 points per game and leads it with 10 rebounds per game. The versatile Hawkins is a force inside but also shot 44% from three last season.

Providence

The Friars return all 5 starters from last season, their 4th straight 20th-win season and their school-record fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Their top guy is senior Rodney Bullock, who leads the team with 12 points and 6 rebounds per game. The forward wanted most of all to improve his 3-point shooting and is currently doing so by averaging a 50% success rate behind the arc. Bullock is one of 4 returning seniors in the starting lineup.

Senior Kyron Cartwright brings leadership to the backcourt. He led the Big East in assists last year and is continuing to improve as a shooter—progressing from 36% shooting in 2015, to 42% in 2016, to 46% this season, while leading the team with 6 assists per game.

The Verdict

Boston College prefers an up-tempo game that achieves much of its scoring in transition. They rank 81st in adjusted tempo and 51st in average possession length. The Friars, on the contrary, utilize a defensive style of mostly man that slows down the overall tempo of the game. They rank 336th in average defensive possession length and 301st in adjusted tempo. Coach Ed Cooley’s Friars typically rank towards the bottom in offensive possession length.

In order to up a game’s tempo, a team should achieve turnovers, rebounds, blocks and steals. Boston College has yet to show the interior strength with which to achieve its preferred tempo against higher-ranked competition. Last season, they ranked 350th in free throws allowed and this has continued to be a weakness against their mostly soft schedule. They also rank poorly in blocks and steals achieved, while Providence has the size and ability to at least compete with Boston College on the glass.

Providence, with its continuity of 5 returning starters, is continuing to execute a solid half-court offense that ranks 62nd in A/FGM (assists per field goals made), while the Eagles lack the proven tools to upset their rhythm by upping the tempo. The Friars have one of the strongest defenses, ranked 37th in defensive efficiency. Boston College’s key ingredient for attacking the Friars’ D would be from behind the arc because the Friars rank 288th in 3PA/FGA (3 pointers allowed per field goals allowed). But the key to Boston College’s three-point attack is Ky Bowman, who seems unreliable given his current form. He will likely continue to shoot poorly from three because his career home/away splits are 47% from 3 at home, but 33% on the road. The Eagles also carry an 0-5 ATS streak as road dogs dating back to last season on our NCAAB Picks.

comment here