Previewing Boston College

North Carolina returns to action after Tuesday's dismal performance in Atlanta, hoping to avoid sole possession of the 11th spot in the ACC with a victory over Boston College at Conte Forum on Saturday at noon.

North Carolina (14-12, 3-8) vs. Boston College (12-13, 3-8)
Chestnut Hill, Mass. -- Conte Forum
12:00 p.m. CBS (Gus Johnson, Greg Anthony)


"There's no real secret out there. You've got to go out and work hard for 40 minutes… We have not consistently played the kind of defense we need to play. I'm not exactly sure what the solution is. It's just a matter of maintaining that intensity for 40 minutes."" – Boston College head coach Al Skinner on how to turn the program's season around

"We have shown that we can play with anybody in this league. We just haven't been able to put an entire game together.'' – Skinner


Season to Date: Boston College enters Saturday's contest with a 12-13 (3-8 ACC) record. Despite returning four starters and 11 of 12 lettermen from last season, the Eagles have struggled to replace the play-making ability of Tyrese Rice. Early season losses to St. Joseph's, Northern Iowa, Harvard, Rhode Island and Maine provided plenty of evidence that Al Skinner's squad would reside near the bottom of the ACC. Boston College has defeated Miami twice and Clemson in conference play.

Last Time Out: Boston College went to the locker room on Sunday tied with Florida State, 30-30, but the Eagles would only score nine points over the final 15:16 as the Seminoles pulled away for a 62-47 victory. Joe Trapani led Boston College with 17 points.

Leading the Way: Reggie Jackson is slowly emerging as Rice's scoring replacement, boosting his scoring averaging to a team-high 14.0 points per game in conference play, despite starting just two games. For the season, the sophomore guard is averaging 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists in a team-high 30.3 minutes per game (14 starts). He currently ranks among league leaders in ACC play in four categories: scoring (11th, 14.0 ppg), free-throw-percentage (2nd, .854), assists (tied-9th, 3.5) and assist-turnover ratio (10th, 1.41).

Balanced Attack: You cannot accuse Skinner of trying to find a rotation that works during this troubling '09-'10 season. The 13th-year Boston College head coach is playing 10 Eagles at least 10.0 minutes per game in conference play, led by Trapani's 29.1 minutes per outing. The balanced approach even exists for the primary scoring options as Jackson (14.0 ppg), Trapani (12.5 ppg) and Rakim Sanders (10.1 ppg) have all attempted between 112 and 116 field goal attempts on the conference season.

Swiss Cheese ‘D': The primary reason for Boston College's losing record is lackluster defense. The Eagles are allowing ACC opponents to shoot a staggering 47.2 percent from the floor, good for 12th in league play. Skinner's squad also ranks 11th in steals (5.9) and blocks (2.5). That resume of statistics helps explain how Boston College is forcing a league-worst 11.6 turnovers per contest.

Random Fact of the Day: Sophomore forward Peter Rehnquist is the grandson of the late William H. Rehnquist, who served as the 16th chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Last Meeting: Boston College defeated top-ranked North Carolina, 85-78, on Jan. 4, 2009 at the Smith Center. The Tar Heels were held to 29.3 percent shooting in the second half. Tyler Hansbrough led UNC with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Wayne Ellington added 16 points and five rebounds.

Series History: The Tar Heels lead the series with the Eagles, 6-4. UNC has won four of their last five meetings against Boston College. North Carolina is 2-0 against Boston College in Chestnut Hill, winning on Feb. 17, 2007, and Mar. 1, 2008, in the Conte Forum.

Projected Starters:
5 Biko Paris (6-1, 200, Jr.) – 5.7 ppg, 4.6 apg
15 Rakim Sanders (6-5, 228, Jr.) – 11.0 ppg, 3.1 apg
11 Corey Raji (6-6, 218, Jr.) – 11.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg
12 Joe Trapani (6-8, 228, Jr.) – 14.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg
52 Josh Southern (6-10, 248, Jr.) – 5.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg

Top Reserves:
00 Reggie Jackson (6-3, 200, So.) – 13.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg
21 Tyler Roche (6-7, 218, Sr.) – 7.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg
30 Dallas Elmore (6-5, 210, So.) – 3.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg
24 Evan Ravenel (6-8, 255, So.) – 3.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg

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