Coming off a bad loss to the Bryant University Bulldogs, the Boston College Eagles (2-4, 0-0 ACC) will look to rebound on the road against the Penn St. Nittany Lions (3-2, 0-0 Big Ten) Wednesday night in the annual ACC/Big 10 Challenge.
Comprised of the two premiere college basketball conferences in the NCAA, The ACC/Big 10 Challenge pits teams in the ACC against foes from the Big 10. At the conclusion of the two day affair, the wins for each conference are compiled, and the conference with the most victories is declared the winner of the coveted Commissioner’s Cup.
The ACC has been wildly successful since the inception of the Challenge in 1999, winning the first ten installments before dropping the last three by close margins. The Eagles have also found success since joining the ACC in 2005, amassing a 5-1 record with the only blemish being a loss to the Nittany Lions in last year’s matchup.
In this Wednesday night contest, look for the BC freshmen to dominate the game for the Eagles yet again. With opposing defenses keying in on junior forward Ryan Anderson, the freshmen guard combo of Olivier Hanlan and Joe Rahon has been able to find success against opponents early in the season.
In the defeat against Bryant, Hanlan was particularly impressive, as he led BC in scoring with 19 points and appeared to be the leader of the Eagles squad throughout the game. Hanlan’s leadership and effectiveness down the stretch was particularly noteworthy, and he was able to keep the Eagles in the game until the final buzzer.
Although he ultimately missed the shot that would have given the Eagles a chance to steal the game, his willingness to take the final shot in close games bodes well for the Eagles in the future.
The matchup against Penn St. will prove to be a tough one for the Eagles, but if the BC freshmen, especially Hanlan and Rahon, can continue to produce, BC will have a good shot at a victory.
Expect the opposing defense to key in on veteran Ryan Anderson, who will most likely see double teams all night long. This will put the ball in the hands of Hanlan and Rahon who must produce if BC is to find a win for the team and for the ACC.