While few 11-2 teams need "statement" games, a win Sunday would be just that. Boston College is undefeated and ranked in the top 20 of both major polls. When looking at the RPI, Al Skinner's bunch are even better, with a top 10 ranking.
To stop the Eagles, the Mountaineers must contain junior power forward Craig Smith. The 6'7 Smith has the physique of a Brahma bull, and has been a handful in his two games against the Mountaineers. Two seasons ago in Chestnut Hill, Smith powered his way to 30 points in a 75-70 BC victory. In last year's Mountaineer win at the Coliseum, he recorded a double-double with 15 points, and 11 rebounds. Fischer knows he'll have his hands full with the All-American candidate.
"It's going to be a good battle in the post."
There's no such thing as a guaranteed win, especially in the Big East Conference. When Boston College puts its undefeated record on the line Sunday, Fischer promises that the Mountaineers will be ready to play.
"They're an undefeated team. They're going to have that momentum on their side and they know that they're a good team. We're also a good team, and we're going to match their intensity."
Fischer is stepping up his play in the New Year. In the Mountaineers recent shooting slump, Fischer has become more a part of the offense. When the shots aren't falling from the outside, D'Or keeps the Mountaineers competitive with his play in the post. According to him, it's all a part of the game.
"That happens sometimes. When the outside shooting's not working, you've got to work your way inside out. Hopefully we'll start doing that."
If Fischer can continue his stellar play on Sunday, and the Mountaineers shooting woes subside, the Eagles could leave Morgantown with something they've deserved for quite a while: their first loss.
* * *
D'Or is just one blocked shot behind Acie Earl for 21st place all-time on the NCAA list. Earl was a standout for Tom Davis's Iowa Hawkeye's in the early 1990's, and went on to play in the NBA for the Boston Celtics. Fischer currently has 364 career blocked shots between his stint at Northwestern State, and the past season and a half with West Virginia. His 162 career blocks for West Virginia rank second in school history behind Phil Wilson's 178.