What To / Where To: Providence vs. Boston College Game Preview

dave@friarblog —  December 8th, 2011 9:13 AM —  Comments
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Another big win for Coach Cooley” – Vincent Council, with a huge grin on his face talking about playing BC in a post game interview after the Brown win.

The Ed Cooley reunion tour makes another stop this season with his former Boston College Eagles visiting The Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Cooley spent 9 season under Al Skinner as the assistant coach for BC, 5 of which resulted in NCAA Tournament births. If he has similar feelings as he did when his Friars played a team he was the head coach for, then Coach Cooley will probably want to rip off their limbs in addition to simply ripping out their throats. Sure, he will have emotional ties to the school itself, but BC has a new coaching staff and no players he personally recruited. All that matters now is the Friars getting another home out of conference win.

The Eagles are young and rebuilding as well, but the team is tremendously struggling to start the season. They’ve struggled on offense, defense, rebounding, you name it. PC should definitely have the edge against a team they haven’t beaten since Tim Welsh’s last season.


Game Time: 7:00PM EST

Opponent: Boston College (2-6)

Location: The Dunk

Spread: Providence -13

ESPN Accuscore: Providence 76.7, Boston College 60.8 (Providence wins in 87.4% in 10,000 sims)

CBSSports Daily Picks: Providence 74, Boston College 63

Four Factors

Hit up the rest of the preview after the jump.


BC Still Looking For Right Mix: BC has had 10 different players in its starting lineup, and their minutes are pretty spread out amongst everyone. The possessions are pretty distributed as well, as the four guys getting the most minutes (Matt Humphrey, Ryan Anderson, Dennis Clifford, and Patrick Heckmann) all have possession percentages above 20%.

The Friars are going to R-U-N: Boston College has had some trouble in faster paced games, and we know the Friars will push it given the chance. Vincent Council has been the best player on the court for the last several games, and he will be once again against BC.

Rebounding Challenged: In all but their first two games BC has failed to get double-digit offensive rebounds. They only get slightly more than one out of every five of their own misses, giving them a rank of 320 in the country. PC has struggled at times in the rebounding department this season, but this is a game where they should be able to take control of the glass with some toughness and effort.

BC’s offense = Friars good defense: The Eagles are struggling offensively, putting up an adjusted offensive rating of 96.1 (#251 in the nation). Only once has BC scored more than a point per possession, which came in the loss against Holy Cross when they scored 1.05 PPP. The five players who have played the most minutes so far this year all have poor efficiency numbers, with 4 of them having offensive ratings below 90.0. The Friars will probably employ the same strategy that helped in wins against South Carolina and Brown. Sit in a zone and let them fire away from long range. Just watch those long rebounds!


StatSheet.com: Pregame

Friars.com: Gamenotes [PDF]

Boston College is the third most-common opponent for PC, as they have met 105 times with the Friars holding a 57-48 advantage. Of those meetings, 56 came in BIG EAST Conference play, as BC was a member of the league from 1975-2005 before moving to the Atlantic Coast Con- ference. Boston College is one of three schools PC has played at least 100 times, with the others being Rhode Island (122 games) and Brown (117 games). The first meeting between PC and BC was in Providence in 1942, with the Friars taking a 64-37 win. BC has won the last three meetings, two in Chestnut Hill, Mass., the other at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Providence’s last win was by a 98-89 margin on December 1, 2007, in overtime at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Mass. The teams have met every season since 1953-54. Last season, the Eagles earned an 88-86 win at BC on December 8, 2010.

Friar Basketball: Rehashing the Boston College Comparison

Four short months later, it looks as though Cooley has the early edge, having landed a pair of top 20 recruits this summer and starting 7-2 on the season.  Boston College’s recruiting was slowed by the loss of associate head coach Joe Jones to Boston University, while the product on the court is as bad as they’ve seen since Al Skinner was handed a remodeling job of his own at the Heights – one that resulted in Skinner finishing his tenure as the school’s all time winningest coach.

BC Interruption: 2011-12 Boston College Basketball Preview: Season Expectations

15-15 (4-12) … The non-conference schedule is weak enough that BC could win quite a few games. At Providence and at Holy Cross are both very winnable games. Then BC would only have to win all but 2 games at home OOC and go 2-1 in their tournament. Going 15-15 is much better than I thought I would expect out of this team, but I think it is very doable. There are some other not great teams in the ACC and BC is well coached. It is also a good sign that of our few returners, it does not look like much will be asked out of them and at least four starters will be new to the team, so I think 4 wins in conference is a reasonable expectation as well.

BC Interruption: Boston College Hoops Player Profile: Patrick Heckmann

We are three games into Boston College’s basketball season and I believe three things are relatively clear. This team is young, this team is bad, and Patrick Heckmann is the best player. The freshman guard/forward out of Germany has been easily the most impressive player on the floor for the Eagles, although he has only played in 2 of the 3 games. I understand that it is still a minuscule sample size and that many things could change from now to conference play to the end of the year, but I’d like to look at Heckmann’s game a little bit closer.

Soaring to Glory: Analyzing BC Basketball’s In-Game Competitiveness

The Eagles have been in more than two games, but in the majority of these contests, BC has ended up losing by a comfortable margin. Only once did BC’s deficit move in the right direction with five minutes to go in the game, and that was against California-Riverside. Aside from that, the Eagles have shown some ability to keep the game close for much of the second half, but other than UCR, they’ve not been able to complete a comeback after halftime.

There is no one moment to which we can point and say “that’s when BC falls apart,” since it varies, but so far, what we know is that the Eagles are usually showing signs of life early and gradually let it erode away from there.

Boston.com: BU was longing for it

History, tradition, and conference prestige were working against Boston University yesterday. But the Terriers did not behave like underdogs as they took a 75-61 nonconference win over Boston College at Conte Forum, their first victory over the Eagles in 37 years.

Boston.com: Eagles routed by hot UMass

The indoctrination for Donahue’s painfully young team will include nights like this, when the Eagles got caught up in UMass’s high-tempo game and were eventually steamrolled by the frantic pace.

“I was just disappointed with our effort in the second half in particular,’’ said Donahue, whose team was outscored, 45-20, after the break. “We were unable to be competitive within possessions. Certain things we look for. You’re going to hear this a lot. I know they’re young but there are other things we still need to compete better than we did.’’

The BC Blog: BC Three-Pointer: UMass mauling another painful lesson for Eagles

UMass coach Derek Kellogg, whose motoring Minutemen are averaging 82 points per game, can understand Donahue’s challenge.

“With nine new guys and really not much experience out there, I think that obviously cost them at times when they were trying to get back in the game,” Kellogg said. “I think for where they are as far as maturity and age-wise, they fought hard for a while and then our age and experience kind of took over.”

ESPN: Boston College Blue Ribbon Preview [INSIDER]

Donahue has some promising shooters — Rubin, Humphrey, Heckmann and Jackson provide some perimeter firepower. Playmaking will be a bigger challenge — the tiny Daniels is the only true point guard on the roster, although Donohue insists that Heckmann, Daniels and even Humphrey can handle the position in a crunch.

And how much consistent inside play will the Eagles get from their two freshmen big men and their one big forward, Anderson?

This team has a lot of question marks and not too many answers. If Donahue manages to escape the ACC cellar, he’ll have done a magnificent coaching job. And even if the Eagles do take a beating this season, withhold judgment for another year or two until we see whether this bunch of recruits can grow up like his Cornell class of 2006-07 did.


Lobos basketball beats Boston College 75-57 for 5th place in the 76 classic.

Boston College’s Steve Donahue speaks with members of the media at ACC Media Day on Oct 19.


Friars.com: Gametracker

Twitter.com: I’ll probably be live tweeting the game @friarblog. Also be sure to follow the #pcbb hashtag as always.





Friars.com: All-Access

WEEI 103.7 FM

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  1. Daniel James says:

    that win over BC during welsh’s last year (i believe it was the hartford classic held at the boston garden) is one of my favorite all time games for the friars

    1. friarblog says:

      Was that the game that went to OT when we blew the big lead?

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