Preview: Boston College Comment Count

Tim December 2nd, 2009 at 11:36 AM

The EssentialsbostonCollege.gif

WHAT #36/31 Michigan v. Boston College
WHERE Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN 7:30PM EST

December 2nd, 2009
THE LINE Michigan -5.5*
TELEVISION ESPN2

*Line provided by online sports betting site Sportsbetting.com.

Michigan

The travel schedule for the Old Spice Classic makes it difficult for the Wolverines to prepare for a big game the following week, with only Tuesday to practice. That's the way of the Thanksgiving tournaments, however, and it's basically the same for every team. The team's weekend was disappointing, but they are young, especially in the backcourt, according to John Beilein. Darius Morris is still learning about the responsibility of being a D-1 point guard, and will only improve over time.

The team is still figuring out who plays the best in the zone defense, and Alabama did some things that the Wolverines hadn't seen before against the zone defense. There won't be mass personnel changes this week, but playing time will be adjusted for individual players.

The biggest woe for Michigan at this point in the year has been shooting. The Wolverines have a 46.6 eFG% at this point in the year, after reaching 50.3 last year. Part of that is getting Zack Novak more shots, according to Beilein, but a big part of it is the shooters just getting enough good looks, and stroking them with confidence.

Boston College

Boston College is 4-2 so far this season, with both losses coming in the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, to St. Joseph's and Northern Iowa. The Eagles beat South Dakota State in The Jam, and also beat Dartmouth, St. Francis, and Providence, with only the last coming away from home.

trapani.jpg

Boston College has been snake-bitten so far this year, suffering through numerous injuries. The biggest yet would be Joe Trapani (pictured above), the Eagles' leading scorer who has been suffering from flu-like symptoms this week. He currently leads the team in minutes played and points, and is second in rebounds and blocks. Coach Al Skinner says Trapani will likely be a game-time decision. Dylan of UMHoops adds on Twitter that the Eagles definitely won't have Rakim Sanders, and will probably be without Tyler Roche.

John Beilein wasn't so concerned with personnel losses for Boston College, noting that their team is 10 men deep, before adding, "I'll believe they're not at 100% when I see it."

Tempo-Free Breakdown

It's far enough into the year that tempo-free stats might mean something, so here's the first tempo-free breakdown of the season. If you need an explanation of the stats, check out Ken Pomeroy.

Michigan v. Boston College: National Ranks
Category Michigan Rank Boston College Rank Advantage
Mich eFG% v. BC Def eFG% 220 165 B
Mich Def eFG% v. BC eFG% 226 75 BB
Mich TO% v. BC Def TO% 4 330 MMMM
Mich Def TO% v. BC TO% 33 66 M
Mich OReb% v. BC DReb% 259 68 BB
Mich DReb% v. BC OReb% 310 12 BBB
Mich FTR v. BC Opp FTR 253 20 BBB
Mich Opp FTR v. BC FTR 5 155 MM
Mich AdjO v. BC AdjD 137 206 M
Mich AdjD v. BC AdjO 133 13 BB

Difference of more than 10 places in the national rankings get a 1-letter advantage, more than 100 gets a 2-letter advantage, more than 200 gets a 3-letter advantage, etc.

It's hard to read into Boston College's numbers as a predictor too much, since they have so many players either out or less than 100%. Still, they look like the slightly better team coming into this contest. I'd imagine Michigan's shooting improves at home, and the home crowd will play a factor as well.

Elsewhere

Dylan previews the game at UMHoops. AnnArbor.com's Michael Rothstein looks at what the game means for both teams. He'll have a live chat about basketball on AnnArbor.com at noon.

Comments

Blueskins

December 2nd, 2009 at 12:08 PM ^

This team lives and dies by the 3. Unfortunately they did the latter in Orlando. I agree with Tim that the shots will start falling now that they come back home. Michigan wins this one big.

Kvothe

December 2nd, 2009 at 3:30 PM ^

I haven't been able to find anything yet on Justin.tv, P2P, or Atdhe.net but it's still early. If anyone finds anything please give us a post! Thanks. It's on espn360, btw.