NC State Faces Future ACC Foe

NC State (10-3) travels to Boston College (12-4) in a clash between the ACC and the Big East. Game time is set for 6:00 and will be televised ESPN2... <P> Premium Subscribers can chat Live in the <a href=> Premium Chat Room</a> via the "Join Live Chat" Link.

Boston College coach Al Skinner

NC State (10-3) vs. Boston College (12-4)
6:00 pm ESPN2
Conte Forum: Capacity: 8,606
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
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Boston College forward Craig Smith
The Match-Up: The Pack goes out of conference and out of town to take on Big East power Boston College. A win by NC State will go a long way with the NCAA selection committee. BC currently has an RPI ranking of 20.

Head Coach Al Skinner: Al Skinner is in his 16th season as a collegiate head coach, his seventh season as Boston College's head coach. Skinner was introduced as the Eagles' head coach on April 17, 1997. In his first six seasons on the Heights, Skinner has established the Boston College program as a constant contender for BIG EAST titles and a perennial player on the national stage. His coaching abilities have already resulted in two BIG EAST regular-season crowns, one BIG EAST Tournament title and three postseason tournament berths.

Early Season: The Eagles have been up and down for the season and currently find themselves in the middle of the Big East conference standings with a 2-2 mark (losses to Villanova and Syracuse) and a 12-4 overall record. One of the more disappointing losses for the season came against the Acc when they were whipped by Clemson in South Carolina 72-62. Vernon Hamilton speed was too much for the Eagles, as Hamilton scored 13 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

Probable Starting 5: F – #1 Craig Smith (So 6-7 265), 18.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.2 bpg, 2.0 spg... F – #3 Jared Dudley (Fr 6-7 210), 12.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg 2.6 apg... F – #43 Uka Agbai (Sr 6-8 262), 11.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg... G – #23 Shawn Marshall (Fr 6-5 205), 9.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg... G – #4 Jermaine Watson (Jr 6-3 198), 6.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.5 apg.

Boston College's Top Gun: Craig Smith is a wide bodied post player (6-7, 265) is averaging 18.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest. In the match-up against NC State last year, he scored 20 points which powered the Eagles past the Pack 93-81. Craig has had 6 double doubles this year. Smith was listed among the top 50 preseason candidates for the 2004 John R. Wooden All-American Team and Player of the Year Award.

BC Big Men not up to Big East Standards?: The Boston College frontline, as promoted as they are, sit last in the Big East for blocked shots per game, swatting away 3.31 shots per game. This compares to league leading Connecticut who are blocking 9.59 shots per game. Still, the match-up should be good against the Pack, who are averaging only 3.4 blocks per game.

Herb Said It: "I just think they're a good team. They seem to be a tough team; a team that has good chemistry. They play well together and they play both ends of the floor. They're obviously off to a good start."

Fast Break Points
Boston College

BC beat the Wolfpack, 93-81, last season in Raleigh
The Big East is 2-8 against the ACC for the season.
Boston College senior Uka Agbai is 35 blocks away from the Eagles' overall career blocked shots record (Burnett Adams, 168).
Boston College coach Al Skinner is two wins away from 250 career victories.
Freshman of Influence: Jared Dudley is the Eagles second leading scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounder (6.9 rpg). Those numbers also are good enough for second among freshamn in the Big East for both categories. He is currently fourth among freshman in thefts, averaging 1.1 steals per game. Dudley was Freshman Big East rookie of the week for Dec 1.

Key Match-Up:Perimeter play: The Wolfpack can take a page out of the Clemson page book and see that the Eagles weakness is their perimeter play. If BC makes the mistake of playing tight man to man against the NC State offense, the guards should have a field day in assists and the big men should get plenty of cutting lay-ups… Coach Skinner acknowledges the Eagles weakness. "We had a very fine backcourt last year. Now our frontcourt is the focal point. Sophomore Craig Smith, freshman Jared Dudley and senior Uka Agbai all do a very nice job. Fortunately, our perimeter people are patient enough to try and get them the basketball. I think it's kind of unique. Usually the backcourt in college basketball is the strongest area. For us, the frontcourt is obviously our strongest area. We're just trying to make that work for us."

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Boston College (Steve Hailey pictured) can be beaten on the perimeter. Ilian Evtimov, Engin Atsur, Scotter Sherrill and Julius Hodge will have the opportunity to have a big night in Massachusetts. (AP Photo)

No Name Pos Ht Wt Yr City (High School)
00 Uka Agbai F 6-8 262   SR Archbishop Molloy/Queens Village, NY
1 Craig Smith F 6-7 265   SO Fairfax/Los Angeles, CA
3 Jared Dudley F 6-7 210   FR Horizon/San Diego, CA
4 Jermaine Watson G 6-3 198   JR Tabor Academy/Dorchester, MA
11 Louis Hinnant G 6-4 190   SO Gwynn Park/Oxon Hill, MD
12 Steve Hailey G 6-0 170   FR Worcester Academy/Boston, MA
13 Nate Doornekamp C 7-0 263   JR Ernestown Secondary/Odessa, Ontario
21 Tyler Neville G 6-3 190   SO Ridgewood/Ridgewood, NJ
23 Sean Marshall G/F 6-5 205   FR Eisenhower/Rialto, CA
24 Devon Evertsen G/F 6-6 205   FR Moon Valley/Phoenix, AZ
25 Ted Dunlap G 6-3 195 SO Jesuit/Dallas, TX
31 Tavio Hobson G 6-0 185   SO Seattle Prep/Seattle, WA
33 Johnnie Jackson F 6-6 198   SO Fairley/Memphis, TN

*Thanks to Boston College Athletics for much of the information in this preview.

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