North Carolina (10-6, 0-3) vs. Boston College (5-12, 1-3)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Smith Center
ESPN (Carter Blackburn, Sean Farnham)
“They’ve really started playing better… They’re making nine threes a game in conference play. They’ve got a guy in conference play shooting 60 percent almost from the 3-point line.” – UNC head coach Roy Williams
Season to Date: Boston College enters Saturday’s contest with a 5-12 (1-3 ACC). Fourth-year head coach Steve Donahue’s squad entered the 2013-14 season with NCAA Tournament aspirations, but it took less than a week for those dreams to take a broadside hit. The Eagles opened the season with losses to Providence, Massachusetts and Toledo before winning three of four to close November. Since then, however, Boston College has lost eight of its last 10 games, including a pair of ACC home games against Clemson (62-60) and No. 2 Syracuse (69-59). The Eagles’ lone win over the last month came at Virginia Tech (62-59) last Saturday.
Experience Not Equaling Wins: Last season, Boston College’s youth led to lofty offseason expectations for 2013-14. Underclassmen accounted for 95 percent of the Eagles’ scoring and 94 percent of their rebounds. With all of those players back, Boston College is now the ACC’s most experienced unit after returning 278 career starts. According to Boston College’s sports information department, the Eagles’ topped the ACC in minutes, points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks returned from last season.
Hanlan Firing Away: The 2012-13 ACC Rookie of the Year leads Boston College in scoring at 19.1 points per game, but his efficiency has declined since last season’s impressive run. The sophomore guard is shooting 41.9 percent from the floor, including a 31.4 percent effort from 3-point range. Those numbers are down from 45.7 percent (39.4 from 3) last season. The Aylmer, Quebec native has upped his scoring to 20.0 points per game in ACC play, although his shooting percentages have dropped even further (36.5 percent; 29.2 from 3).
Defense Meltdown: The primary reason for Boston College’s struggles this season have come on the defensive end of the floor. The Eagles occupy the ACC cellar in field goal percentage defense (45.8) and rank 13th in 3-point field goal percentage defense (35.9). Donahue’s squad is not producing much in the form of blocks (2.7 per game, 15th ACC) or steals (3.5 per game, 14th ACC) to help spur defensive improvement. Boston College is forcing just 9.2 turnovers per game, joining Virginia Tech (8.8) as the only two ACC teams not forcing at least 10 turnovers per game.
ACC Improvement from Deep: Boston College is shooting 44.6 percent overall in league play, good for 3rd place, and 40.5 percent from 3-point range (4th). The Eagles are averaging 8.5 made 3-pointers per game, which is second only to Duke’s 9.8 made treys per game. BC shot 44.7 percent (31.2 percent from 3) during its nonconference portion of the schedule.
Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Eagles, 82-70, at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill on Jan. 29, 2013. James Michael McAdoo led UNC with 17 points and 10 rebounds. P.J. Hairston scored 14 points in the first half before suffering a concussion.
Series History: UNC leads the series with Boston College, 10-5. The Tar Heels have won eight of the last 10, including four straight.
25 Joe Rahon (6-2, 192, So.) - 11.7 ppg, 3.0 apg
20 Lonnie Jackson (6-3, 178, Jr.) - 6.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg
21 Olivier Hanlan (6-4, 181, So.) - 19.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg
4 Eddie Odio (6-7, 213, Jr.) - 4.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg
12 Ryan Anderson (6-9, 250, Jr.) - 15.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg
23 Alex Dragicevich (6-8, 211, Jr.) - 4.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
0 Garland Owens (6-5, 203, Fr.) - 3.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg
33 Patrick Heckmann (6-6, 208, Jr.) - 3.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Roster & Bios
(Photos by USA Today Sports)