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Previewing 'Canes Vs Eagles with BC Interruption

Boston College went into the Carrier Dome and kicked off #1 Syracuse last time out. What do they have in store for the Hurricanes?

Streeter Lecka

A week ago this game had the makings of a snoozer.

My oh my how one night can change things!!

On Wednesday night both teams were in action and Miami knocked off Notre Dame with an exciting performance and new found confidence on offense, while all BC did was knock off #1 and unbeaten Syracuse the Carrier Dome.

Suddenly tomorrow's meeting high noon at the BUC has appeal!

We caught up with Brian Favat of SB Nation's Boston College blog BC Interruption and got the scoop on the Eagles and more.

SOTU: Congrats on knocking off previously unbeaten and top ranked Syracuse Wednesday Night! How did BC pull it off? Did the 'Cuse overlook the Eagles, or was this a complete effort by Steve Donahue's squad?

BCI: I wouldn't say Syracuse overlooked BC. The surprising result was more the product of BC's sharpshooting and carving up the Syracuse zone in the second half. Syracuse was up by as many as 13 early in the second half, but Patrick Heckmann helped spark the Eagles to close to gap. All told, BC shot 52.2% from the floor in the second half, including 7-of-12 from three, while committing only five turnovers and allowing just two points off turnovers. BC was able to penetrate on the Cuse zone and then just kick it out for the three ball. The Eagles shot the ball well in one of, if not the most complete effort by this year's team.

SOTU: How big of a factor was the inspiration the team got playing for Dick Kelley, the team's long time Basketball Media Relations Director, who passed away Tuesday after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's disease? How badly will Kelley be missed?

BCI: DK meant everything to the athletics department but specifically the basketball team. No doubt there were some heavy hearts on the bench this week as the team and the school laid Kelley to rest in a memorial service earlier in the week. I'm sure playing for the memory of DK played a role in the Eagles' upset, but I don't think that was all of it. What is funny is at the beginning of the year, Steve Donahue mentioned that as this team is currently constructed, they wanted opponents to play zone against the Eagles. Donahue was also very familiar with Boeheim's zone during his time at Cornell. The game plan worked perfectly, with BC driving to the hoop and then kicking it out to the sharpshooters from range.

SOTU: Despite the win over the Orange it has been a disappointing season. I had them picked 7th in my ACC Preseason Picks!! What has gone wrong for the Eagles this year?

BCI: A bit of everything, really. Donahue set up a road/neutral heavy non-conference schedule and despite a bunch of close calls, BC lost a lot of those games early. Losing Dennis Clifford for the year is a factor, though how big of a factor is a hot topic of debate amongst Eagles fans. As the losses started to pile up, Donahue tried all sorts of rotations and starting lineups without much success. He ended up shortening the rotations and shortening the bench in the Syracuse game and that seems to be working a bit better. What's frustrating is that it took 25+ games to figure out the right rotation without Clifford.

SOTU: How has 2013 ACC Freshman of the Year Olivier Hanlan progressed? Which players have been pleasant surprises and which have disappointed?

BCI: To be honest, I'm not sure if Hanlan has progressed much year over year. He definitely sparked the Eagles in the win over Syracuse, but I'm hard-pressed to single out one player who has progressed this season. It's been that kind of year. Hanlan is arguably the only player on the roster that can single-handedly take over a game, and he just hasn't done that all that much this year. Patrick Heckmann had the game of the season against Syracuse, which was a pleasant surprise because for whatever reason, Donahue tried burying him on the bench earlier in the year. BC just can't afford to have guys like Heckmann or Lonnie Jackson not playing a significant amount of minutes if the Eagles are going to be successful the rest of the way.

SOTU: Please give me your all-time BC starting 5?

BCI: I remember answering this question a few years back for Category 6. I can't recall what my answer was at the time, but none of the players from the last few seasons would crack the top 5. Let's say: Troy Bell and Dana Barros at the guard positions, Bill Curley, Craig Smith and Jared Dudley at forward. Tyrese Rice and Danya Abrams coming off the bench.

SOTU: Who do you have on your ALL-ACC teams?

BCI: Right now, my first team would include Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis, North Carolina guard Marcus Paige, N.C. State forward T.J. Warren, Clemson forward K.J. McDaniel and Duke forward Jabari Parker. Pitt's Lamar Patterson just misses the cut.

SOTU: Last but not least how do you see this game playing out? Who wins and why?

BCI: This is a very interesting game from BC's perspective. Will the Eagles use Wednesday's win over #1 Syracuse to propel them to another strong finish to end the season, or was that game an aberration in an otherwise forgettable season? Miami is a tough team to figure out this year. Despite the complete roster turnover, the Canes have been in plenty of games and have a couple of decent conference Ws under their belts. Vegas likes Miami by 5.5. A big part of me thinks that BC's win over Syracuse was an aberration but I could also see the Eagles pulling the road upset here. Either way, I think it's going to be a game that goes down to the wire with one team hitting a shot to pull out the W. Given that I think it'll be a close game, I'll put on the maroon-colored glasses and call it BC 72, Miami 69, though I would not be surprised in the least if the Canes are on the winning end of this one.

Thanks again to Brian for working with us. Be sure to check out the game this afternoon at Noon EST.

TV: RSN (Affiliates)
Watch the game on these affiliates in Florida: Gainesville - TV 20, Jacksonville - FOX 30, Miami-Fort Lauderdale - MY 33, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne - My 65, Panama City - News 13, Tampa-St. Petersburg (Sarasota) - CW 44, West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce - The CW West Palm.

Radio: 560 WQAM | 90.5 WVUM | Sirius 132 | XM 196
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