After winning their first round game over Drexel in the NIT, the Owls will face Boston College this Friday night at the Palestra.
Looking a little rusty after playing three games in three days during the Atlantic 10 tournament, the Owls defeated Drexel, 68-59.
Boston College, which is from the mighty Big East conference, will give the Owls and the infamous matchup zone all they can handle.
Led by Big East Player of the Year Troy Bell, who led the conference in scoring with 25.4 points, the Eagles won their first-round match 90-78 over Siena.
“I know Troy Bell is a great player. I’ve seen him play a couple of times,” Chaney said.
The Owls can’t afford to come out flat like they did against Drexel, and if they do, a team like the Eagles, who were on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament will take advantage of their mistakes.
“We just got to watch tape, figure out a game plan and execute,” senior forward Alex Wesby said.
Relegated to the NIT for the second straight year the Owls are looking for the same success they had last year when they made it to the tournament’s final four, losing in the semifinal to Memphis.
The travails of a treacherous schedule coupled with the demoralizing loss could still be lingering with Owls for a while, but they’re not making excuses.
“We fell short, so I think by falling short we still approach every game like any other game, we don’t care if it’s the NIT, we going to be in it and we going to try and win it,” Wesby said.
For only the second time this season the Owls are now over .500.
Coming into the Drexel game after a stinging loss, the Owls needed to regroup and establish the paralyzing defense they displayed in Dayton.
Aside from just scoring a lot of points Bell is also very accurate hitting 40 percent of his three-pointers.
The Eagles present other problems as well, with freshman sensation Craig Smith averaging 19.8 points and 7.9 rebounds, and leading the conference in shooting at a blistering 59 percent.
Had it not been for Syracuses’ freshman phenom, Carmelo Anthony, Smith would probably have been voted Freshman of the Year instead.
Chaney is familiar with the Eagles coach, Al Skinner, from his days at Rhode Island, where he spent nine seasons, before taking the position at Boston College.
“I’ve played against the coach when he was at Rhode Island, so I know the coach and some of the things that they do,” Chaney said.
Though the Owls missed opportunity at the NCAA’s continues to linger, they should still be grateful being a part of postseason, especially after overcoming the throes of a horrendous start.
Jason Haslam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.