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ACC Basketball Introductions: How Syracuse Matches Up With Boston College

This series previews Syracuse's conference opponents for the 2014-2015 season, starting with the Boston College Eagles.

Rich Barnes

Knock, Knock.

Who's there?


Orange who?

Orange you glad the basketball season is quickly approaching?! Thought so. Me too.

About the extra cheese right there -- sorry, not sorry. We're looking very forward to the 2014-2015 season, that's all. This means it's time to help everyone get ready for the year by reacquainting you with our conference foes. Let's get to it, starting with the Boston College Eagles!

2013-2014 Record: 8-24 (4-14)

Conference Ranking: 14th

Last Time We Saw Them: 'Scuse me? I have no idea what you're talking about. Next question, please.

Season Summary: During conference play, Boston College won four games -- two against Virginia Tech and once at Wake Forest. They also won another road game against a team that looked vaguely familiar, but I can't be sure. I may or may not have blocked it out. In the ACC Conference Tournament, the Eagles lost to Georgia Tech in the first round, and that ended their season. Well, except for the whole dismissal-of-the-head-coach thing. That ended the season.

Key Players:

Olivier Hanlan (18.5 PPG/3.4 RPG/2.9 APG). Obviously. He ranked third in the ACC in scoring last year, not that we need to be reminded of that. There's no reason to think he won't continue to be one of the best players on this team. Although he considered turning pro, he decided to come back to school, which surely resulted in a collective sigh of relief in Chestnut Hill.

Lonnie Jackson (7.0 PPG/2.2 RPG). Deception. That's all I have to say about these numbers. They are full of deception. He was a streaky three-point shooter, but still averaged 38% from behind the arc last year. The relatively low point averages were due to other guys getting more opportunities. That's all. In light of the personnel changes, he is now in the perfect position to play his face off to the dismay of his opponents.

Dimitri Batten (11.0 PPG/4.2 RPG). He's an "if" guy. This graduate transfer will play immediately, and fits right into the slot that Joe Rahon left open (see below). If he can have the same kind of success playing in the ACC that he had in the C-USA, you'd better...Batten down the hatches.

Personnel Changes: There were a few big ones, none of which were more notable than the departure of head coach Steve Donahue. On top of that, starters Joe Rahon (9.0 PPG/3.4 RPG) and Ryan Anderson (14.3 PPG/7.3 RPG) transferred to St. Mary's and Arizona, respectively.

The Eagles' new head coach, Jim Christian, came in from Ohio University. As for players, the only incoming recruit is Idrissa Diallo (6-11, center). Guard Dimitri Batten transferred in from Old Dominion University, and graduate transfer Aaron Brown (9.9 PPG/4.3 RPG) will play immediately after leaving Southern Mississippi.

2014-2015 Potential: Hard to say. There's optimism surrounding the new blood coming in, but having lost two of its top three scorers in Rahon and Anderson, BC still has a lot of work to do. Expectations are low. On the other hand, when you went 4-14 in conference play the previous year, there's really only one way to least that's what the Eagles would like to think.

Orange Match-Up: I anticipate seeing some scary game faces when these teams meet for the first time on January 20th in the Carrier Dome. The Orange was utterly dejected after losing to the Eagles at home, and I'm sure they'd love to avenge that loss.

Word on the street is that coach Christian's teams are more post-oriented, and he uses the pick-and-roll offense rather frequently. Ok, so you're going to try to penetrate the zone and head toward Rakeem Christmas and (fingers crossed) DaJuan Coleman? On purpose? Have at it, guys. That's nothing Syracuse hasn't dealt with before. Expect Christmas to really embrace a leadership position on the team as a senior, which should be fun to watch; and if the basketball gods finally give Coleman a break and let him fully recover, I'd expect him to play with some extra pep in his step, after enduring two season-ending injuries in a row.

But even if Coleman's still hurt, I hope he rests easier knowing that when Syracuse visits Boston College, Conte Forum will be full of adoring Orange fans, whether the Eagles like it or not. Just like last time.