Boston College (7-6) will play host to 15th-ranked Duke (11-2) on Saturday in both team’s first conference game of the season.
The Eagles have underperformed so far this year, losing games to the likes of UMass Lowell, and fighting through the E. Coli outbreak that sidelined multiple players during their loss to Providence.
Despite the Eagles early season troubles, the Eagle’s are on the up again and things have looked better after snapping their six-game losing streak.
BC is currently on a four-game winning streak, including their last game against the University of New Hampshire in which guard Eli Carter dropped a career-high 28 points. Second-year head coach Jim Christian hopes Carter can keep his momentum going into their ACC opener.
But Carter and the rest of the Eagles will have their work cut out for them, as the nationally ranked Blue Devils haven’t lost to the Eagles since 2009.
Duke, led by head coaching legend Mike Krzyzewski, has played good basketball all season, thanks in-large-part to the play of Grayson Allen (20.8 ppg), who is coming off a 33-point scoring outburst against Long Beach State on Thursday. The sophomore guard has really taken over scoring duties after the Blue Devils lost freshman phenom Jahlil Okafor (17.3 ppg)to the NBA last season.
But Allen’s play hasn’t been the only factor for the Blue Devils’ success, as their second-leading scorer, Brandon Ingram, has been able to boost his draft stock and the success of the Blue and White. Ingram is a 6foot-9 guard. The freshman is widely-regarded as a Top-5 draft prospect after being heavily recruited by the nation’s top schools last spring. The former five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American had a solid month of December averaging 20.8 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game.
Ingram and Allen are Coach K’s two go-to scorers but are dangerous in every facet of the game, which is what makes them one of the best teams in the country.
Boston College will have to do everything right to win this game. Eli Carter is going to have to put up more big numbers offensively and carry the load offensively. Forward Dennis Clifford has to control the boards and limit Duke’s second chance opportunities, and finally, the Eagles will have to shut down Allen.