BC – Hartford preview
By Ben Neuwirth
The Boston College Eagles face the Hartford Hawks Saturday, December 2nd in Hartford, Connecticut for a rematch of last year’s disastrous loss for the Eagles. The Hawks won the game in Conte Forum 65-63 in what was a low point in the program.
|Hartford||Stats courtesy Kenpom.com||Boston College|
|1-4||Last Five Games||2-3|
|Projected Starting Five|
|JR Lynch||PG||Ky Bowman|
|Jason Dunne||SG||Jerome Robinson|
|Jack Hobbs||SF||Jordan Chatman|
|John Carroll||PF||Deontae Hawkins/Steffon Mitchell|
|Hasaan Attia||C||Nik Popovic|
Run the Hawks off the 3 Point Line
Hartford hit 11 three-pointers in last year’s victory over the Eagles and in BC’s 3 losses this season they’ve allowed an average of 8 makes from deep. Like most small schools, Hartford makes their living off the long ball, top scorer Jason Dunne shoots over 8 at game at a 39% clip and 3 other teammates of his also shoot upwards of 4.8 attempts a game. BC hasn’t great defending the arc this year so full effort will be need to stop the opposing sharpshooters, especially given that they are likely to be more comfortable at home.
Nik Popovic, Rim Protector
Deontae Hawkins exited the Texas Tech game with a right knee injury and it’s unknown if he will play tonight. If not, big man Nik Popovic will need to step up his interior defense. While he normally does a good job keeping his hands straight up and contesting shots using verticality he can be slow to get in position and often get tempted to poke the ball away from opposing drivers, leading to fouls and an early exit. The Eagles will need Pop’s best as they already were a very shallow team and neither Johncarlos Reyes, who has actually been good on offense this season, or Luca Kraljevic have the chops to guard the paint. If Big Poppa is gonna make a leap, the time is now.
This one is obvious but for a team with so much outside shooting, it’s shocking to see the team as a whole shoot just 31.5% from beyond the line, 275th in the nation. Chatman has struggled this season with his stroke, he missed the Nebraska game and may miss this contest as well, while Bowman’s percentages have plummeted from last season’s 45% to 27% this year. Jerome Robinson and Steffon Mitchell are the team’s best shooters so far but both guys really make their living inside. Sometimes in basketball it just comes down to making shots, BC has to make more.
BC 92 Hartford 76
BC should blow out the hawks, who frankly just aren’t a good basketball team. Ky barely got to play in last season’s matchup and, along with the rest of the Eagles, should be looking for revenge. The Hawkins and Chatman injuries could lead to a lineup featuring both Steffon Mitchell and Vin Baker Jr in their stead. It was almost unthinkable that Baker would start just a week ago, he is so raw and clearly is still learning the schemes, however that’s what you get when 2 guys get hurt from a 7 man rotation. If this was against any other team, I’d be concerned, but the Eagles should have the talent advantage and motivation to demolish the hapless Hawks. If BC loses this game the season is all but lost.