North Carolina (19-6, 9-2) vs. Boston College (16-9, 6-5)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Dean E. Smith Center
4:00 -- ESPN (Mike Patrick, Len Elmore)
“[Reggie Jackson] was really good against Maryland. Man alive, he was scary that game. We caught him at a good time when we played them up there. I’d like to figure out what he had for breakfast that day and I’d send it to the hotel tomorrow morning… He’s really playing well. In my opinion, he’s been one of the five best players in the league.” – UNC head coach Roy Williams
Since the Last Time We Met… Boston College enters Saturday’s contest with a 16-9 (6-5 ACC) record. With only 18 days having elapsed since the last meeting between these two programs, the Eagles have only played three games, sandwiching victories over Virginia Tech (58-56) and Maryland (76-72) around a loss at Clemson (77-69).
Tough Trapani: Senior forward Joe Trapani was the lone bright spot for the Eagles in their crushing loss to North Carolina less than three weeks ago, scoring a season-high 25 points and pulling down a career-high 15 rebounds (nine offensive). The Madison, Conn. native is averaging 17.3 points and 10.3 rebounds over his past six games, including a 22-point, eight-rebound effort against Clemson on Feb. 8.
Jackson Back on Track: After a strong start to his junior season, Reggie Jackson struggled in three straight games against the upper echelon of the ACC – Duke, UNC and Virginia Tech – three weeks ago. The guard averaged 7.3 points on 26.5 percent shooting (9-of-34) during that stretch, but he has since responded in scoring 27 points (10-of-20) against Clemson and 31 points against Maryland (12-of-16) in his last two outings. Jackson is averaging 18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists on the season.
Holding Down the ACC Cellar: While Boston College’s offense has been productive, the defense has been anything but – the Eagles currently reside in the 12th spot of the conference rankings with a 46.7 field goal percentage defense mark.
Still Bombing Away: Boston College leads the ACC in 3-point field goal attempts (269) and currently ranks third in 3-point field goal percentage (36.8) in league play. The Eagles are tied for sixth nationally in 3-point field goals made per game (9.1) and rank 35th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (38.1).
Premium Ball Security: The Eagles rank eighth nationally and lead the ACC in coughing up just 10.8 turnovers per game. Boston College has committed fewer than 10 turnovers in 10 different games. Combine that with 15.4 assists per game (3rd ACC, 40th nationally) and you arrive at an assist-turnover ratio of 1.42 – good for tops in the ACC and 12th nationally.
Bench Production: Head coach Steve Donahue has been getting plenty of help from the bench this season. While Jackson, Trapani, Corey Raji and Biko Paris are all averaging 27.8 minutes or more, six more Eagles are logging at least 5.8 minutes per game and turning in valuable contributions. The group has helped Boston College’s bench to average 17.4 points per contest. Raji is a driving force in that regard, scoring 12.1 points per outing while coming off the bench in 19 of 23 games.
Last Meeting: The Tar Heels pounded the Eagles, 106-74, at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill on Feb. 1. Harrison Barnes scored a career-high 26 points, while Tyler Zeller added 18 and Reggie Bullock drained four 3-pointers en route to 16 points. North Carolina outscored Boston College 42-18 in the paint, 33-9 in points off turnovers and 24-2 in transition points.
Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series with Boston College, 7-5. UNC has won five of the last seven against the Eagles.
5 Biko Paris (6-1, 194, Sr.) - 10.3 ppg, 3.5 apg
0 Reggie Jackson (6-3, 208, Jr.) - 18.5 ppg, 4.6 apg
31 Danny Rubin (6-6, 170, Fr.) - 5.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg
12 Joe Trapani (6-8, 232, Sr.) - 14.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg
52 Josh Southern (6-10, 263, Sr.) - 7.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg
11 Corey Raji (6-6, 218, Sr.) - 12.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg
30 Dallas Elmore (6-5, 210, Jr.) - 2.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg
4 Gabe Moton (6-2, 170, Fr.) - 2.4 ppg
20 John Cahill (6-1, 170, Sr.) - 1.2 ppg
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