Thursday, January 04, 2007

Previewing Boston College

Scouting Report
Season Stats (pdf)

BC Offense 06-07
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate20.996
Off Reb Rate39.926

Though they've had to replace Craig Smith and Louis Hinnant, efficient scorers both, the Eagles haven't seen much drop off in offensive efficiency from last year to this one. So far. Sean Marshall and Jared Dudley are the main reasons for that, but Marquez Haynes and Sean Williams have also stepped up and become more efficient, and freshman forward Shamari Spears has acquitted himself well in his first season.

BC's offense retains the same characteristics that it had in 2006. The Eagles shoot well, offensive rebound well, and get to the free throw line a lot.

The biggest dip has come in three-point shooting percentage. With Hinnant's 43% three-point shooting gone and with Tyrese Rice--who leads the team in 3FGAs--struggling a bit, the team is shooting 32% from outside (which ranks 243rd nationally), down from 36.8% last season. Fortunately for the Eagles, they are not in denial about it--they do not have Clemson Disorder. Their 3FGA/FGA ratio is lower in 2007 than it was in 2006.

Probable Starters:

Tyrese Rice (6-1, 190) -- Took over the primary scoring duties with Dudley injured, averaging 24.7 PPG over that span. Rice leads the team in %Poss and %Shots, and he isn't killing the offense by any means, but I've been wondering for weeks why Dudley and Marshall aren't taking a bigger chunk of the offense. This is not to say that Rice is ignoring his point guard duties, however; he has a good assist rate. He'll pull the trigger from outside at any time--he has 75 three-point attempts (about 6 per game).

Jared Dudley (6-7, 225) -- Dudley has missed BC's last three games while resting a stress fracture in his foot, but indications are that he'll be ready on Saturday. Dudley is having an excellent, first-team All-ACC type of season, and he isn't getting the ball enough. Tyrese Rice is taking 26.1% of BC's shots while he's on the court, Sean Marshall is taking 28.2%, and Dudley is next in line at just 21%. Now, Rice and Marshall had to pick up some slack when Dudley got hurt, but the Eagles were allocating their FGAs in a similar manner even when Dudley was playing. The man is hitting 62.1% of his shots and rarely turns the ball over--feed him!

My lone complaint: Dudley's on-court antics. You'd think that someone who has played as much and scored as many points as he has wouldn't need to go Lee Melchionni on us after every jumper.

Sean Marshall (6-6, 212) -- BC's third-leading scorer at 14.8 per game. He's the other (along with Rice) major three-point shooter among the starters. He won't get to the line too often, nor does he rebound very well.

John Oates (6-10, 255) -- There has to be something of positive value that Oates contributes while on the court (incisive repartee, maybe?); I just cant find it. Last season he could at least be relied upon to offer solid shooting, but his touch has failed him in 2007. Because he's actually quite perimeter-oriented, he's of little use on the offensive glass; his defensive rebounding, too, is weak, and he has no excuse for that.

Sean Williams (6-10, 235) -- Do not come into my man's lane. For serious. The Eagles have 100 blocks as a team; of those, 63 are Williams's. That's 5.7 per game, 7.1 per 40 minutes. But it isn't only about the blocks--Williams has improved his offensive game and become a valuable contributor at that end, too. He's hitting 60.8% of his shots and has lowered his turnover rate. His rebounding could still be better.


Shamari Spears (6-6, 245), Marquez Haynes (6-3, 185), Tyrelle Blair (6-11, 240), and Tyler Roche (6-7, 208) make up the bench.

Spears was the most highly-regarded recruit in Al Skinner's 2006 class, and it's pretty clear why. Spears scores the ball efficiently and is already the team's best overall rebounder--one of the few Eagles doing a respectable job on the defensive glass.

Haynes has been good in the reserve PG/SG role, if a bit too turnover prone.

BC Defense 06-07
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate20.3261
Off Reb Rate37.7286

Interesting, isn't it, that a team can rebound so well at one end (offensive) and so poorly at the other (defensive)? They're probably better on the defensive glass than they look: seven of their 12 opponents rank in the top 50 nationally in offensive rebounding percentage (Vermont, Providence, Rhode Island, Michigan State, UMass, Fairfield, and Kansas), so they've seen a lot of good rebounding teams thus far.

Pomeroy has the Eagles escaping Raleigh with a 78-77 win. I've got the Eagles winning 80-75.