Boston College (8-6, 0-1 ACC) travels to Blacksburg to square off with the Virginia Tech Hokies (9-5, 0-1 ACC) on Wednesday January 9 at 7 PM (ESPN3). The Eagles look to bounce back from a five-point home loss to a 23rd ranked North Carolina State squad last weekend. Despite the loss, the Eagles enter their match-up with Virginia Tech with a considerable amount of momentum. Entering their game with NC State, the Eagles had rattled off five straight wins.
Even in their defeat against NC State, head coach Steve Donahue can draw considerable positives. Freshman guard Joe Rahon won ACC Rookie of the Week this past week – averaging 21 points and 3 assists against Dartmouth and NC State. His performance – along with that of fellow freshman Olivier Hanlan – was instrumental in the Eagles’ solid performance against the Wolfpack.
Sophomore forward Ryan Anderson provided the most dominant performance – contributing 22 points and 13 rebounds. And more importantly, the sophomore limited the offensive effectiveness of the talented NC State front court duo of C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell.
In Virginia Tech, the Eagles meet a team that has struggled as of late. Since taking down 15th ranked Oklahoma State, the Hokies have lost their form – losing four of their last five games. And their opponents haven't exactly been world-beaters. They fell to mid-major Georgia Southern at home before losing to Colorado State by 36 points. And their ACC debut brought much of the same as they lost at Maryland 94-71.
If Rahon and Hanlan continue their string of strong performances, the Eagles stand a great chance at clinching their first ACC victory. Ryan Anderson figures to have a strong performance against an average Hokie front court. However, the Eagles back court must remain attentive on the defensive end as senior guard Erick Green leads Virginia Tech with 24 points per game.
It must be noted, however, that the Eagles do not have much experience on the road in the season thus far. They faltered when they traveled to the College of Charleston in mid-November, but overcame Penn State when they visited Happy Valley. Regardless of the result, the Eagles’ visit to Blacksburg provides Donahue with an excellent opportunity to test his young roster. But given their recent performance, he will be hoping his team can claim their first conference victory.