The Clemson Tigers (15-10) (8-5) will conclude their three game home stand on Wednesday evening while welcoming the Boston College Eagles (7-18) (0-12) to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena at 7:00pm. It will be the first of two meetings between the Tigers and the Eagles in the final five games of the regular season as the Tigers will conclude the 2015-16 regular season in Chestnut Hill on March 5th.
If there is one thing that Clemson has done at its home away from home in the ACC schedule this season, it has been win. So much so that Athletic Director Dan Radakovich may want to reconsider the undergoing renovations of Littlejohn Coliseum and swing the Tigers permanently to Greenville. (Joking, of course) Nevertheless, Clemson is 6-1 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in ACC play this season with 3 wins over ranked opponents.
The same cannot be said for the Eagles, who enter Wednesday nights contest losing 12 games in a row (all ACC contests) and are looking for their first ACC victory as the regular season winds down. While that number may be daunting, Boston College recently showed that it has the ability to play up to its competition as they fell to the 9th ranked Tar Heels 68-65 just last week. Although the effort was impressive, it is the only one of the Eagles 12 ACC losses that they managed to keep in single digits.
Boston College will receive the bulk of its scoring from Senior Guard Eli Carter who leads the team with 16.1 points per game this season. After impressive showings against North Carolina where he scored 19 and 26 points respectively, he has been ineffective against teams not wearing powder blue lately scoring only 16 points in his last 3 ACC contests. Carter does most of his damage from behind the arc as he has attempted an astonishing 38 three point shots in his last 5 games.
The Eagles only other scorer averaging double figures is talented Freshman Jerome Robinson who averages 11.6 points per game this season. Despite an impressive freshman campaign for the Eagles, Robinson has missed the past five games with a fractured right wrist, and will not play against the Tigers. Boston College is concluding a rough schedule similar to Clemson's extended stretch early in the ACC season as Clemson will be only the 2nd unranked team the Eagles have faced in the past 6 contests.
Clemson enters the contest in must-win mode as they sit clearly on the NCAA tournament bubble, needing to win at least 4 of their last 5 to be considered on selection sunday. After a rare off performance against Notre Dame, Jaron Blossomgame returned to top form scoring 17 to lead the way for Clemson in their victory against Georgia Tech. The key to victory for Clemson will be on the boards as the Tigers struggled on the glass against Georgia Tech. Boston College has been out-rebounded in each of its 12 ACC losses this season.
Clemson will look to put this game away early and make sure that Boston College does not gain any momentum as they are sure to be fighting hard for their first ACC victory. Look for the Tigers to go inside to Landry Nnoko early and often as Boston College runs a three guard system. Nnoko will be isolated against 7'1" Senior Dennis Clifford. Clifford is comparable to Nnoko in his ability to protect the rim and has put up impressive offensive numbers in the past two games, scoring 26 points on 13-of-21 shooting. Look for Clemson to attack him early and try to pick up the early fouls to get him on the bench and free up the lane.
Bubble Watch Notes: Clemson is currently on the outside looking in according to all NCAA Tournament projections which leaves the remaining 5 games especially crucial. ESPN noted today that Clemson's non-conference schedule is holding it back "which is among the 15 or 20 worst in Division I."
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