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Previewing Miami Basketball Vs Boston College with BC Interruption

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Just in case this one isn't snowed out tomorrow night, we take a look at 'Canes Vs Eagles and more.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

It's now or never for this Miami Hurricanes Hoops team.

A loss to the Eagles (9-14, 1-10) would be absolutely crushing.

But is this BC team as bad as their record?  Can they be the latest underdog team to give UM issues? What is the skinny on their best player?

For all of that and more we talked with Brian Favat of BC Interruption:

You can also find our responses to his Q's HERE

BCI

SOTU: Please encapsulate the Eagles season for us.   Has it been a complete disappointment?  Or was rebuilding expected coming into Jim Christian's first season at BC?


BCI: The first half of the season was a bit up and down, with some decent wins and some frustrating losses. The non-conference wins over Providence and New Mexico seemed to portend good things to come for BC and it was equally pleasing to finally get the Harvard monkey off the program's back (had lost six straight to cross-town Ivy League rivals until this year). Still, there were some frustrating losses. The UMass loss early and a home loss to what's once again turning out to be a really mediocre USC team stung. BC also hung with both West Virginia and Dayton late in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off but couldn't hang on in losses.

It's been frustrating that the wins just haven't been there in conference play, but the team has been in a lot of games. Despite a 1-10 record in conference, there were really only two games -- at Duke and at Clemson -- where BC got run off the court. The rest, and save for the last 16 minutes played vs. Syracuse, BC has remained competitive despite rocking a roster of maybe 1.5 ACC caliber players.

I wouldn't call this season a complete disappointment. Given the sheer talent gap with the roster of players Donahue left Christian, BC fans knew we were in for a rocky year. That said, I'm interested to see what happens the rest of the way. As I mentioned, BC seemingly quit over the final 16 minutes of the Syracuse game. Whether that's simply a one-game outlier or an indication the rest of the year will be even rougher than the first half remains to be seen.


SOTU: Boston College had some nice out of conference wins over New Mexico and Providence.   What went right in those contests?  What's gone wrong since?

BCI: Man, those victories seem so long ago. If I recall, in both contests BC was able to score points in transition and capitalize on some Lobo and Friar turnovers. This team has really struggled against full court pressure and zone defense, so the best way to get past that is to get down the court faster than the opponent and score points quickly in transition. BC carried leads late into the second half and then sealed it at the free throw line. The Eagles just aren't build to mount comebacks. In both wins, both Olivier Hanlan and Aaron Brown had strong performances. When both of those guys get going in the same game, BC has a chance.

I don't know if I could point to anything specifically recently in terms of what's gone wrong other than maybe the level of competition being upped significantly. BC's already faced five of the six ranked teams they'll face this year with only a home game against #10 Notre Dame to go and has played both against Syracuse. The schedule lightens considerably down the stretch, so that's a positive.

As I mentioned, BC's been competitive with most teams this year. They simply lack the talent and depth that other ACC clubs do; mostly due to attrition, injury and under-recruiting by Donahue.


SOTU: Has Olivier Hanlan's BC career lived up to his potential considering he won the ACC Freshman of the Year two years ago?   How disappointing has it been that the team success has been nominal during his stay?


BCI: I think it has. There's an odd faction of the BC fan base that gets on Hanlan for being overrated or not clutch or whatnot, which I don't get. In my opinion, BC asks way too much of Hanlan. This year's he's really the team's only ball-handler and also looked to as the team's main scoring threat. They also run him into the ground. He's averaging 37.2 minutes a game -- basically an entire game in regulation -- and the offense really goes pear-shaped when he takes a breather or has to hit the bench in foul trouble.

It's disappointing, at least to me, that Hanlan isn't on a better team and probably will not sniff the postseason over his 3-4 years on the Heights. Still, he's put together a pretty impressive career through three seasons and, should he come back next year, has an opportunity to finish as one of the school's top 5 all-time scorers. Even with all the minutes he's played, that's no small feat.


SOTU How many and which teams from the ACC do you expect to make the NCAA tournament?


BCI: Tough to say at this point, but things don't look all that good for the ACC. Syracuse probably wasn't going to make it anyway with a tough slate down the stretch, but really I think you're looking at only five teams at this point -- Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville and North Carolina. No surprise, really.

Maybe either Miami or Pittsburgh sneaks in there if they can get to 20 regular season wins and doesn't make an early exit in Greensboro, but you guys still play each other, so there's also the possibility of knocking each other out. Very clear the ACC is extremely top-heavy this year, and the mid-tier -- Miami, Pitt, Clemson, N.C. State -- has really faded of late, though the beat-up-on-each-other aspect of the 18-game schedule is strong this year.

SOTU: Which players or match-ups on Miami most concern you?

BCI: Jekiri on Clifford. I think BC's guards can hold their own against Miami's talented backcourt, but BC has very little inside presence and that's something that teams can easily exploit. Jekiri is also a force on the defensive end, so I'll be keeping a close eye on the battle on the glass.


SOTU: Last but not least, who wins this game and why?


BCI: You know, earlier in the week I thought BC would pull out a squeaker seeing as it was at home. After the second half of the Syracuse game, I'm just not sure. BC's the only ACC team in the conference yet to notch a home victory, so do with that information what you will. I guess I'll stick to my original prediction from earlier in the week -- 75-71 BC -- though a 10-point BC loss en route to a disastrous back half of the schedule is absolutely on the table for the Eagles.

Thanks again to Brian for letting us catch up with him.

The info on the game is below.

If there are changes or the game is postponed, SOTU will have prompt updates.

Miami at Boston College

When

Feb. 15, 2015 |  6:30 p.m.

Where

Conte Forum  |  Chestnut Hill, Mass. 

Television

ESPNU

Online

ESPN3

Radio

560 WQAM