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ACC Basketball Preview: Boston College

Quick Facts

2005-06
Record: 28-8, 11-5 in the ACC
ACC Regular Season Finish: 3rd
ACC Tournament Result: Lost in Championship Game
NCAA Tournament Result: Lost in the Sweet Sixteen

Players and Coaches
Head Coach: Al Skinner, 9th year at Boston College, 175-108. 18th year overall, 313-234
Key Returnees: F Jared Dudley(16.7 ppg), G/F Sean Marshall(11.1 ppg), G Tyrese Rice(9.3 ppg), F Akida McLain(4.2 ppg), F John Oates(3.4 ppg)

Preseason Rankings
Poll Rankings: AP: #15, USA Today/ESPN: #15
ACC Preseason Poll: 3rd

Outlook

Boston College is coming off a vary successful debut in the ACC where they finished third in the regular season and nearly won the ACC title. They were easily playing some of the best basketball in the country going into the NCAA Tournament. This season the Eagles return a solid lineup despite losing Craig Smith and Louis Hinnant. Senior forward Jared Dudley will be a force in the paint for the eagles. Tyrese Rice, who came off the bench a year ago will be bumped to starting point guard to play along side Sean Marshall. Sean Williams and Akida McLain are expected to be a part of the BC frontcourt but both have been suspended for two and nine games respectively. Filling that void early on may be freshman Shamari Spears who played 31 minutes and scored 20 points in the Eagles' only exhibition game of the preseason. Freshman Tyler Roach and junior Tyrelle Blair also logged significant minutes as coach Al Skinner attempts to naviagate the early season without two expected pieces of the puzzle.

THF Prediction

I have a BC bias stemming from the 1994 NCAA loss UNC suffered at the hands of the Eagles so I will try and be cordial. Boston College is a maddening team to play because they can outrebound and outhustle a lot of teams who are better equipped in the paint. I will refrain to use words like "scrappy" to describe them but they have the feel of a team that might be undermatched on paper but beat you in all of the other crucial areas. BC plays solid defense for the most part and also has a lot of unselfish play going on considering the two leading scorers last season also were ranked 2nd and 3rd on the team in assists. It will be interesting to see how they develop, especially relying on freshmen to fill the spots left vacant by two suspended upperclassmen. BC will be a lot like GT in that they may be much better in March than they are right now.

Prediction: 22-7 overall, 11-5 in the ACC for 4th place. NCAA Tournament