What UVA Basketball fans need to know about Boston College
The Eagles don’t have a bad loss on their resume – well, OK, the 101-63 home loss to Syracuse last month was bad, but it was Syracuse.
They only have one loss to a team ranked outside the KenPom.com Top 50, and that was St. John’s, currently at 92 in the metrics.
Their most recent loss was a one-point setback at Duke on Wednesday in which they shot 56.1 percent from the floor and were 9-of-16 from three.
BC likes to push tempo – KenPom has them at 72.6 possessions per game, 44th in the nation.
They’ll go small – the backcourt is 6’2” junior Wynston Tabbs (14.6 ppg, 43.6% FG, 43.6% 3FG), 6’3” sophomore Jay Heath (13.1 ppg, 39.6% FG, 33.9% 3FG) and 6’3” junior Makai Ashton-Langford (9.3 ppg, 39.7% FG, 17.9% 3FG), with 6’7” C.J. Felder (9.7 ppg, 55.4% FG, 38.7% 3FG) a smallish four, and 6’8” senior Steffon Mitchell (7.5 ppg, 6.6 rebs/g, 47.4% FG, 20.8% 3FG) playing bigger than his size at five.
That’s your projected starting lineup, anyway. Tabbs, the team’s leading scorer, came off the bench in the loss at Duke, getting 25 minutes, as coach Jim Christian went with 6’1” senior Rich Kelly (9.6 ppg, 44.6% FG, 37.2% 3FG) at the point, and then played the two together for stretches.
Ashton-Langford was out, and I’m not finding anything on his status for Saturday. His younger brother, DeMarr Langford (4.9 ppg, 42.1% FG, 25.0% 3FG), a 6’5” freshman, started in his place, and was productive – scoring 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and pulling down eight rebounds in 34 minutes.
The other rotation guy to watch is 6’9” senior James Karnik (7.6 ppg, 5.6 rebs/g, 51.2% FG, 30.0% 3FG), who is getting 21.1 minutes per game off the bench at the five, usually paired with Mitchell, who moves over to the four.
Watch these guys on basket cuts: per Synergy Sports, Felder is 10-of-14 (71.4%), Mitchell (6-of-8, 75%) and Karnik (6-of-10, 60%) on basket cuts, basically backdoor cuts and dump-offs, which have been a problem at times for Virginia defensively.
They don’t post up a lot: just 14 of their 599 field goal attempts (2.3 percent) come on post-ups.
They can be goaded into settling for jumpers, and they’re not all that good. Synergy has BC putting up 36.9 percent of their shots as spot-ups, and they shoot just 35.3 percent on them.
Defensively, they’re average – 128th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, from KenPom, particularly vulnerable on the perimeter (opponents have an effective field goal percentage of 55.3 percent on spot-ups, per Synergy) and basket cuts (opponents are shooting 64.8 percent here, from Synergy).
Most telling there: sports-reference.com doesn’t show a single BC player with a defensive rating under 100.
For comparison, six of the 10 players getting rotation minutes for Tony Bennett have sub-100 DRtgs.
At a glance
- Offense: Boston College 106.7 (82), Virginia 110.9 (35)
- Defense: Boston College 99.5 (128), Virginia 90.6 (16)
- Tempo: Boston College 72.6 (44), Virginia 60.0 (357)
Efficiency data from KenPom.com
#22 Virginia (6-2, 2-0 ACC) at Boston College (2-8, 0-4 ACC)
ACC Network, 9 p.m.
- ESPN BPI: Virginia +8.6, 81% win probability
- BartTorvik: Virginia 69-62, 78% win probability
- KenPom: Virginia 69-63, 71% win probability
Story by Chris Graham