The Blue Devils will face one of the ACC more disappointing teams on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Boston College. However, as last year proved, if the Eagles get hot from the perimeter, an upset can certainly brew.
F- 04 Eddie Odio (4.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
?F- 12 Ryan Anderson (15.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg)
G- 20 Lonnie Jackson (7.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg)
G- 21 Oliver Hanlan (17.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
?G- 25 Joe Rahon (9.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.3 apg)
?Oliver Hanlan should be well known to Duke fans as he averaged 16.0 points per game against the Blue Devils a season ago. The sophomore leads the Eagles in scoring and ranks third in the league at 17.7 points per night. What’s interesting about Hanlan is that he’s a notorious slow starter, who scores 12.0 of his 17.7 points per game after halftime. Of the 264 points he’s scored in the second half or overtime, 106 of those have come at the foul line where he’s shooting 82 percent in the latter stages of the game. In his previous game against Virginia, Hanlan recored all of his 14 points after intermission.
- After shaking off some emotional hangover early on against Wake Forest, Duke cruised to an easy victory over the Demon Deacons to move to 7-3 in the ACC. The Blue Devils will now travel to Chestnut Hill to face a disappointing Boston College squad that has sunk to just 2-7 in league play. Despite the slump, the Eagles have proven to be a very dangerous opponent for Duke over the years, and took the Blue Devils to the last possession a season ago on this floor. Boston College is 6-16 on the season and 2-7 in the ACC after being picked to finish eighth in the preseason.
- The overall series history is weighted heavily in Duke’s favor at 16-2. The Blue Devils have won seven straight games against the Eagles and nine of the last 10 contests overall. In games played at Conte Forum, Duke holds an impressive 6-1 record.
- In addition to Oliver Hanlan, the Blue Devils’ scouting report will focus heavily on forward Ryan Anderson. The 6-foot-8, 220 pound forward out of California averaged 20.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game against Duke a season ago. In Conte Forum, Anderson recorded 17 points on 8-for-14 shooting to go with six rebounds. As a junior, Anderson has upped both his scoring and rebounding numbers to 15.2 and 7.1 per game. He is the ACC active leader in career double-doubles with 18. In the last three games, Anderson is averaging 19.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Anderson ranks eighth in the ACC in rebounding and ninth in scoring.
- While the Eagles’ record has been disappointing compared to their preseason expectations, it’s somewhat understandable as BC has played the nation’s second toughest schedule according to KenPom.com. The record of all 22 of BC’s opponents so far is a combined 298-170. All of the Eagles opponents are a combined 388- 215 - a .643 winning percentage.
- In order to battle such a tough schedule, the Eagles have learned how to value the basketball. That wasn’t the case throughout the season, however the ship seems to have been righted over the past four contests where BC has turned it over just 26 times in total. The Eagles have committed single-digit turnovers in four consecutive games for the first time since it joined the ACC for the 2005-06 season. In those four games the team has benefitted from a 58-23 advantage in points off turnovers.
- The Eagles don’t score a ton of points, averaging just 69.9 on the season. However, if you give them the opportunity to earn points at the charity stripe, they’ll convert. As of February 3, Boston College ranked 10th in the country in free throw percentage at 75.7 percent. Hanlan ranks ninth in the ACC in free throw percentage at .824 (136-for-165). Anderson is 116-for-162 (.716). Hanlan (7.5) and Anderson (7.4) are second and third in the ACC in free throw attempts per game, respectively.
- What are some surefire ways for Duke to find victory against Boston College on Saturday afternoon? The first would be to hold the Eagles to 39 percent shooting or worse. When that’s happened to BC this year, the Eagles are 0-4. If Duke shoots better than 40 percent from the field, as the Blue Devils have done in nearly every game this season, it’s a bad sign for the Eagles who are just 3-15 in games where opponents top 40 percent from the field. If the contests where the Eagles commit more turnovers than their opponents, BC is 2-11.
- The Eagles will be without junior Dennis Clifford, their best post player. The 7-foot-0, 250 pound third year player has battled knee problems over the last two seasons. He is foregoing the rest of the this season to apply for a medical redshirt. Clifford appeared in just two ACC games, averaging 3.0 points and 4.5 rebounds. As a freshman he averaged 8.9 points and 4.7 boards.
- As a team the Eagles like to build their offense from the outside. Boston College has taken 23.3 perimeter attempts per game through 22 contests led by Hanlan who has let it fly from three point territory 123 times (making only 40 for 32.5 percent). Overall, Boston College has shot 593 times from two point territory and 513 times from the perimeter - meaning 47 percent of the attempts are from long range. As a team the Eagles shoot 34.3 percent from the perimeter and 53.8 percent from inside the arc.
That shot selection has actually flipped in ACC play where the Eagles have attempted 428 field goal attempts through nine games - 215 of those have come from behind the arc, while 213 have been two point attempts. In conference play, Boston College is shooting 38.6 percent from the perimeter and 51.2 percent from two point territory.
- Duke will also shoot the perimeter jumper with regularity. The Blue Devils are hitting 41.6 percent from long range as a team. Unlike the Eagles, however, Duke has begun to rebound the ball to create second change points. Since beginning conference play, Duke is averaging 13.0 offensive rebounds per game to rank third in the ACC. Duke has pulled in double-digit offensive rebounds in six straight games and is averaging 16.3 points on second-chance opportunities in ACC play.
- Reigning ACC Rookie of the Week Jabari Parker is attempting to become the first Duke freshman to lead the team in scoring and rebounding in the same season, currently averaging team highs of 18.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Only two freshmen have led Duke in scoring, and only six have led the team in rebounding.
- Parker leads the ACC in rebounding, averaging 8.2 boards per game. In conference play, he averages an ACC-high 3.8 offensive rebounds per game. His 8.2 rebounds per game would rank as the third highest rebounding average by a Duke freshman in school history..
Boston College athletics contributed to this report.