Previewing Boston College

North Carolina opens its conference schedule on Saturday against Boston College. Tip-off at the Smith Center is set for 2:30 p.m. and will be televised by the ACC Network.

North Carolina (13-2, 0-0) vs. Boston College (5-9, 0-0)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Dean E. Smith Center
2:30pm -- ACCN (Tim Brant, Mike Gminski)


"I'm excited to see them in ACC play — one of the best leagues in the country — to see how they compete." Boston College head coach Steve Donahue on his team


Season to Date: Boston College enters Saturday's contest with a 5-9 overall record. Head coach Steve Donahue's second season in Chestnut Hill began with blowout losses to Holy Cross (86-64) and Massachusetts (82-46). The Eagles lost six of their first seven games before reeling off three straight victories against Stony Brook, Bryant and Sacred Heart. Boston College has now dropped two in a row with losses to Harvard (67-46) and Rhode Island (78-72, OT).

Getting the Ball Rolling: While freshman Patrick Heckmann technically leads the Eagles in scoring (11.3 ppg), his average was bolstered by a 32-point performance in November against UC-Riverside. Boston College's leading scorer over the past nine games has been fellow freshman Lonnie Jackson (10.9 ppg). During that stretch, the Valencia, Calif. native has shot 47.8 percent (33-of-69), including a 50 percent effort (26-of-52) from long range. The 6-foot-3 guard earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors in December after a 26-point performance – thanks to seven 3-pointers – against Bryant.

Playing Time Up For Grabs: Donahue welcomed 12 new players to his program this season – nine freshmen and three transfers – after losing his entire starting five and 10 lettermen from the 2010-11 campaign. The Eagles have used nine different starting lineups on 14 games thus far with 10 different starters. Boston College has started five newcomers in six straight games and is expected to start five freshmen against UNC on Saturday. Donahue and his staff are still working through their options, as evidenced by nine players averaging 10 or more minutes a game.

Stat Breakdown: Boston College ranks 10th or worse in 15 statistical categories in the ACC. The Eagles hold down the conference cellar in scoring offense (61.8), scoring margin (minus-6.5), field goal percentage (41.4), rebounding margin (minus-5.4) and offensive rebounds (7.9).

Ryan Anderson
Bombs Away: Boston College ranks third in the ACC in 3-point field goals made per game with 7.4. The Eagles have made at least five 3-pointers in 13 of their 14 games this season, while knocking down eight or more in nine games.

Rookie Elevating His Game: Seven-footer Dennis Clifford has played his way into the starting lineup with strong performances in his last five outings. During that stretch, the Bridgewater, Mass. product is averaging 12.2 points per game on 24-of-29 shooting (82.8) and 5.2 rebounds per game. Clifford is leading Boston College in field goals, field goal percentage and blocks (nine) over those five games.

Random Fact of the Day: Boston College's high statistical ranking nationally falls in the personal fouls category. The Eagles rank 14th nationally with 14.9 fouls per game.

Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Eagles, 48-46, on Feb. 19, 2011 in Chapel Hill. UNC's 48 points represents its lowest-ever at the Smith Center. Tyler Zeller led North Carolina with 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Harrison Barnes added 10 points and nine rebounds. Kendall Marshall was the only other UNC player to score in double figures (10 points, seven assists).

Series History: North Carolina leads the overall series with Boston College, 8-5. The Tar Heels have won six of the last eight meetings in the series.

Projected Starters:
10 Jordan Daniels (5-8, 153, Fr.) - 5.2 ppg, 2.2 apg
20 Lonnie Jackson (6-3, 170, Fr.) - 7.1 ppg, 46% 3pt
33 Patrick Heckmann (6-5, 196, Fr.) - 11.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg
12 Ryan Anderson (6-8, 217, Fr.) - 9.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg
24 Dennis Clifford (7-0, 241, Fr.) - 9.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg

Top Reserves:
14 Matt Humphrey (6-5, 192, Jr.) - 9.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg
2 John Cahill (6-1, 170, Sr.) - 3.4 ppg

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(Photos by US Presswire)

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