Preview and Game Thread: Boston College Eagles vs Florida State Seminoles, 7:30pm EST

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After a tough shooting night at Clemson, the Seminoles return to the Tucker Center to take on the Boston College Eagles before packing their bags for two games on the road: Virginia and North Carolina. This is an important game for the Seminoles to keep pace with Clemson and Georgia Tech and to start reeling in Virginia and Virginia Tech. These teams met two weeks ago in a game that the Seminoles recovered from a poor first half shooting effort to edge out a 61-57 win. Since their last meeting, the Eagles have lost to Duke and Wake Forest and would love to end their three game losing streak with an upset in Tallahassee.

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vs.

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Game Time: 7:30pm EST

Opponent's Site: BC Interruption

Television: FSN

Live Stats: scacchoops.com

The eleven days between February 13th and 24th could make or break many of the teams in the ACC. The Seminoles have one of the easier schedules, only playing three games in 10 days, while other like Maryland and Virginia play as many as five. In fact, Virginia plays four out of their five games on the road. Their only home game in that stretch is a visit from Florida State.

Let's take a quick look at the schedules for the 'middle of the pack' in the ACC. This is a large group and from what we have seen in the ACC so far this year, no one, including Duke, is safe.

Florida State: Boston College, Virginia, UNC

Virginia: Virginia Tech, Maryland, FSU, Clemson, Miami

Clemson: Miami, Virginia, Maryland

Georgia Tech: Wake Forest, UNC, Maryland

Maryland: Duke, UVA, NC State, Georgia Tech, Clemson

Wake Forest: Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, NC State

Virginia Tech: Virginia, Wake Forest, Duke, Boston College

Florida State could win all three games in the next ten days, which could boost them up the standings. It will not be easy for Leonard Hamilton and his young team to go into Virginia and Chapel Hill and win two games in a row in the ACC. Maryland and Virginia had their game added to this stretch of time due to the weather along the east coast the past few weeks. Virginia is playing better than anyone expected. North Carolina is playing well below expectations. Of the two games, it will likely be more important for Florida State to beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill, which is no easy task, simply because everyone else has done it this year, with the exception of Virginia Tech.

Before looking too far ahead, the Seminoles need to take care of business at home and beat the Eagles for the second time this year. Since the Seminoles last played Boston College, they lost to Duke at home by three and at Wake by seven. Boston College played relatively well in those two games with an Offensive Efficiency of 104 and 118. However, Duke and Wake Forest had an Off Efficiency of 109 and 128 respectively. In fact, Wake Forest had an eFG% of 63% against the Eagles. Tough to win a game when your opponent rarely misses.

As a reminder, Boston College is currently 12-12 and sits at 3-7 in conference play. Their out of conference play highlights include wins over Michigan and Providence and losses to Harvard, Maine, St. Josephs and Rhode Island. They did, however, hold the New Jersey Institute of Technology to 32 points. Boston College is currently ranked at the time of writing as the 65th best team in the Pomeroy rankings with the 38th and 105th best offense and defense respectively.

They play at a slow pace and do an excellent job on the offensive glass pulling down 39% of their possible rebounds. However, they do a couple of things that play into the Seminoles right into the Seminoles hands: they don't shoot the ball well from beyond the arc and they get blocked (a lot). 60% of the Eagles' points are from inside the arc, which is an exceedingly high percentage. One can only hope that the Eagles' shooters don't get hot tonight. Despite playing mostly man to man defense, the Eagles do not force many turnovers and they let you score from inside. The do, however, defend the perimeter well.  Advantage Florida State.

Starting Lineups:

Boston College

F #11 Corey Raji 6'6 218lbs Junior 11.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg
F #12 Joe Trapani 6'8 228lbs Junior  14.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg
C #52 Josh Southern 6'10 248lbs Junior 5.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg;
G #5 Biko Paris 6'1 200lbs Junior 5.9 ppg, 4.7 apg
G #15 Rakim Sanders 6'5 230lbs Junior 10.9 ppg, 2.0 apg

Florida State

F #31 Chris Singleton 6'9 227lbs Sophomore 10.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg
F #42 Ryan Reid 6'8 237lbs Senior 7.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg
C #32 Solomon Alabi 7'1 251lbs Sophomore 12.7 ppg, 2.3 bpg
G #21 Michael Snaer 6'5 200lbs Freshman 8.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg
G #22 Derwin Kitchen 6'4 198lbs Juniors 8.7 ppg, 4.0 apg

If the Eagles are going to try and beat the Seminoles from beyond the arc, keep an eye on Tyler Roche, a 6'7 Senior who is shooting .414 from deep. However, he only has 58 three point attempts on the year. The person to take care of in the paint is Corey Raji, he is one of the best offensive rebounders in the country with an OReb% of 15.7.

For the third straight game, Michael Snaer gets the start and this is perfectly reasonable. He has been playing well on both ends of the court and has shown significant improvement. Unfortunately, his shots would not drop early in the game against Clemson. Not only is Snaer getting much love on TNation, he is catching the eye of ACC Coaches:

"He’s (Michael Snaer) been playing with more and more confidence as he’s moved through the
season. He’s not as tentative. He’s more assured of himself. He’s making better decisions with the
ball. You can just see his body language is one of confidence -- I know what my role is and let me
go out and make sure I complete it. I expect him to continue to improve, even though he played
well in the game against Boston College, I still think his best basketball is ahead of him.''

Gary Williams
Head Coach, Maryland

From Seminoles.com

Four Factors:

 

Florida State has the slight edges in three out of the four categories. Hopefully, the Seminoles' trend of limited turnovers. In only three out of their last 13 games have the Seminoles turned the ball over more than 25% of the time. In their first 13 games, the Seminoles crested 25% seven times.

Keys to the Game:

1. Get good looks at the basket. The Seminoles shot poorly against Boston College in the first half two weeks ago. After the performance against Clemson, the Seminoles need to get off to a good start to rebuild their confidence. Don't force shots simply because you want to get back on a roll.

2. Limit the Put Backs. Boston College does not shoot well from the perimeter. Don't give them easy points off rebounds.

3. Solomon Alabi. For the Seminoles to make a run down the stretch, he needs to get rolling, consistently.

4. Don't look ahead. Boston College is a better team than what appears on paper. One game at a time. One possession at a time. Play controlled, efficient basketball.

Prediction: Florida State 72 Boston College 64

Game Time: 7:30pm EST

Opponent's Site: BC Interruption

Television: FSN

Live Stats: scacchoops.com

Random Fact from Seminoles.com:

FLORIDA STATE FROM THE FREE THROW LINE
Florida State is shooting .738 from the free throw line in its last three games – a stretch that includes a
perfect 11 of 11 performance from the free throw line against Maryland.  It marked the third time since the
Seminoles joined the ACC for the 1991-92 season that the Seminoles were perfect from the line on 10 or
more free throws in a single game.

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