BC - Nebraska Preview

BC – Nebraska Preview

By Ben Neuwirth 

 

Nebraska   Stats courtesy Kenpom.com Boston College
5-2 Record 4-1
0-0 Conference Record 0-0
3-2 Last Five Games 4-1
111 KenPom Ranking 90
105.2 Offensive Rating 108.1
100.0 Defensive Rating 101.2
69.7 Pace 71.2
Projected Starting Five
Glynn Watson Jr PG Ky Bowman
Evan Taylor SG Jerome Robinson
James Palmer Jr SF Jordan Chatman
Isaac Copeland PF Deontae Hawkins
Jordy Tshimanga C Nik Popovic

 

The Boston College Eagles travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to face the Cornhuskers in their 2nd Power 5 conference matchup of the year, the lost to Texas Tech 75-64 a couple weeks ago. Both teams face their toughest tests of the season shortly after, as Nebraska faces #3 Michigan State the game after while BC will face #1 Duke following their rematch with Hartford.

 

Keys:

 

Play Small

The Cornhuskers are a somewhat small team, Cente Jordy Tshimanga plays just 16 minutes a game, often replaced by 6-8 Isaiah Roby. This presents an interesting opportunity for Coach Jim Christian as BC has blitzed teams when they slot Deontae Hawkins to C and Steffon Mitchell to PF. Given Roby’s size, Hawkins should have little trouble matching up and BC could reap some of the rewards this grouping has to offer.

 

Chatman Needs to Catch Fire Again

Jordan Chatman has greatly improved his passing, dribbling and defense from last season. While he had almost no skills in these areas last year, he is now at least competent in all areas, forcing defenses to respect him. However that hasn’t produced the open looks and high percentages one may expect. In fact, Chatman has started off the season in a shooting funk, hitting his 3’s at just a 30.6% rate and only making 38.5% of his shots from the floor. The Eagles need his floor spacing, the need the old flame throwing Jordan back.

 

Get more Aggressive Jerome

Mr. Robinson has found himself negatively featured in this section a few times in this early season, an uncharacteristic trend for the star junior. He had another bad game against Providence, scoring just 2 points in the opening half. For some reason his finishing has been off this year as million dollar moves are concluded with a ten cent finish that usually rims out. This has led ‘Rome to try his hand at outside and mid-range shooting more. While he is more than competent at these things his bread and butter is his paint game, when he gets into the lane it brings him into a groove that carries the team with him. Jerome needs to stick with it, keep getting in the paint and eventually the shots will follow.

 

Prediction:

BC 80 NEB 75

The Eagles badly need this win, they have yet to beat a real power school and frankly were embarrassed Saturday at Providence. Once again, this team has pretty much 0 depth, but they do have 5 to 6 (depending how you see Nik Popovic) really quality basketball players. That should be enough to carry you most nights, especially when you’re not going against the top teams. A win here would give the Eagles some momentum heading into Duke next week, a loss could send the season into a spiral.