Boston College: 2009 NCAA Tournament

    
March 16th, 2009

Boston College Eagles

Atlantic Coast Conference (22-11, 9-7)

Seed: #7

Midwest Region

 

RPI: 59

Big Wins: 1/4 at North Carolina (85-78), 2/15 Duke (80-74), 2/24 Florida State (72-67)

Bad Losses: 11/22 at Saint Louis (50-53), 1/7 Harvard (70-82), 3/4 at North Carolina State (69-74)

Last NCAA Appearance: 2007, Second Round loss to Georgetown

Coach: Al Skinner (7-8 in 8 NCAA appearances)

 

Probable Starters:

Tyrese Rice, Senior, Guard, 17.1 ppg, 5.4 apg, 3.9 rpg

Rakim Sanders, Sophomore, Guard, 13.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.6 spg

Joe Trapani, Sophomore, Forward, 13.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.0 bpg

Corey Raji, Sophomore, Forward, 9.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg

Josh Southern, Sophomore, Center, 6.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg

 

Key Roleplayers:

Cortney Dunn, Sophomore, Forward, 0.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg

Reggie Jackson, Freshman, Guard, 7.1 ppg, 1.7 apg

Biko Paris, Sophomore, Guard, 3.5 ppg, 1.7 apg

Tyler Roche, Junior, Forward, 3.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg

 

Why They Can Surprise:

It takes a superstar to beat North Carolina and Duke like the Eagles did this year…and Boston College has one in Tyrese Rice. The 6-1 senior averaged 17.1 points and 5.4 assists per game during the regular season and is the unquestioned leader of the team. Rice is a solid three-point shooter and an elusive ball handler. He will use his quickness to get to the basket, and thus the free-throw line where he shoots 85.6 percent.

 

Rice scored more during the 2007-2008 season than he did this year because he was the only option. That is not the case anymore and sophomores Rakim Sanders and Joe Trapani have emerged as solid perimeter-orientated players. Sanders, a 6-5 wing, can use his size to overpower most opposing shooting guards. He is also a solid shooter from long range. The same can be said for Trapani. The transfer from Vermont is a 6-8 forward who will spend a majority of his time on the offensive side of the floor hanging around the perimeter. He is a dangerous shooter and can shoot over most opposing defenders.

 

Why They Can Disappoint:

What BC lacks is a scoring big man. Corey Raji is an effective and tough scorer, but he is just 6-6. That is not exactly the typical ACC interior scoring presence. At 6-10 and 242 pounds, Josh Southern has the look of the part. He will be the starting center and has done a great job hitting the glass and using his big body to play solid defense, but he is not a consistent scorer at this point in his career. Tyler Roche can score; however, most of his shooting comes from beyond the arc. Without a major scoring threat in the paint, it becomes much easier to defend the scorers on the perimeter and that could be what keeps the Eagles from making a tournament run.

 

Who To Watch:

Boston College also needs to find some production off the bench in the frontcourt and the backcourt. Sophomore Cortney Dunn has not played much this season, but he has the most size among the usual roleplayers and needs to give Southern some rest on occasion. Roche and Trapani both have the size to play at the four or even the five spots, so the depth in the paint is not too big of an issue. The same is true for the backcourt, but Rice and Sanders need a break every once in a while. Biko Paris’ shooting has been pretty bad, but he is a capable ball handler who can run the show. If he is playing well than Coach Al Skinner will move Rice off the ball as much as possible and keep Paris running the show. Reggie Jackson has been the most productive substitute throughout the season. The 6-3 freshman has struggled with his shot, yet he will still do plenty of damage attacking the basket.

 

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 75.2 (57th in nation, 5th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 70.8 (246, 9)

Field-Goal Percentage: 44.8 (114, 6)

Field-Goal Defense: 42.3 (122, 8)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (136, 6)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.9 (166, 5)

Free-Throw Percentage: 72.7 (52, 4)

Rebound Margin: 3.0 (80, 7)

Assists Per Game: 15.1 (58, 3)

Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (137, 4)

 

Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to USC

 

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