Boston College will battle Duke to tip-off the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. The Blue Devils (11-1) will welcome the Boston College Eagles (8-5) to Cameron Indoor Stadium. Derryck Thornton, former Duke player, will return to Cameron for the Eagles after transferring out after his freshman year. Now, these two teams have met twenty-four times, with Duke winning twenty-one of those games. Of the three games Boston College has won, none of those have come at Cameron Indoor Stadium. So what does Boston College have to do to change the tide of this rivalry? And what does Duke need to do in order to stay dominant over their conference foes? And finally who will ultimately win this game?
Duke Blue Devils (11-1)
Project Starting Five
- G – Jordan Goldwire (3.8 points, 2.3 assists & 1.9 rebounds)
- G – Cassius Stanley (10.4 points, 4.2 rebounds & 48.1% FG)
- C – Vernon Carey Jr. (18.7 points, 9.0 rebounds & 2.1 blocks)
- F – Matthew Hurt (10.4 points, 3.6 rebounds & 75% FT)
- F – Jack White (3.8 points, 4.3 rebounds & 0.9 steals)
Keys To Victory
- Shut Down Thornton: The Blue Devils players and crowd really need to take Derryck out of the game early. Derryck is their leader and team-leading scorer. Jordan Goldwire and Cassius Stanley will need to defend well to keep Thornton quiet in this game. Emotions will be high for Derryck so they must not let him start well.
- Turn The Eagles Over: One of the Eagle’s biggest weaknesses is their inability to take care of the ball. They turn the ball over an average of 14.7 times per game, compared to Duke’s 13.6. Duke must win the turnover battle in this game in order to capitalize on easy baskets.
- Rebound Well On Both Ends: The Eagles are another shorter team, so Duke needs to outrebound them, and by a significant margin. The Blue Devils average more than seven rebounds per game than Boston College. Vernon Carey Jr. is their leading rebound getter so need must play big all night long.
Boston College Eagles (8-5)
Projected Starting Five
- G – Jay Heath (12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds & 1.8 assists)
- G – Derryck Thornton (13.8 points, 3.6 assists & 3.2 rebounds)
- F – CJ Felder (5.3 points, 3.8 rebounds & 76.5% FT)
- F – Jairus Hamilton (9.6 points, 3.9 rebounds & 80% FT)
- F/C – Steffon Mitchell (7.2 points, 8.9 rebounds & 2.3 steals)
Keys To Victory
- Contain Vernon Carey Jr: Like most teams before Boston College, they must try and solve Vernon Carey Jr. The talented freshman has punished most teams with his six-foot eleven-inch body. The tallest starter for the Eagles is six foot eight, so they will be undersized.
- Pressure Duke: One thing that teams have not made Duke pay for over the last couple of games is ball handling. Duke has been without Tre Jones and while Jordan Goldwire has been serviceable, no one has attacked him. Boston College needs to put some sort of pressure on these Duke guards through traps and presses. If they can do so effectively, they could win this game.
- Force Duke To Shoot Three’s: Duke had an abysmal shooting night against Brown. They made just two three-pointers and shot twelve percent from three in the game. Alex O’Connell was the only Duke player to hit a three in that game, so they must not let him get going. If you force others to shoot threes then you have a good chance against this team.
The Blue Devils typically do not lose to Boston College and we see them continuing with that trend. While Duke will be without Tre Jones, Boston College is missing Nik Popovic production as well, so that evens things out. Duke will likely not shoot as they did against Brown, so look for Duke to win this one comfortably. Thornton will likely have a good game for Boston College, but it will not be enough.
Duke 87 Boston College 68
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