It’s been awhile since Boston College was really relevant in the world of college basketball, but the Eagles have a chance to reemerge as an NCAA Tournament team this season thanks in large part to sophomore point guard Olivier Hanlan.
Hanlan, a native of Alymer, Quebec, exploded onto the scene last season on his way to becoming the Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year. While he isn’t a household name yet, if he has the season many are expecting he will be by the end of the year. Hanlan is the most exciting player to come out of Boston College since Jared Dudley and, before him, Troy Bell, and the sophomore point guard will have to be even better than he was a year ago if the Eagles are to make a push for a berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Last season Boston College finished the year with an overall record of 16-17, but between Hanlan and fellow sophomore Ryan Anderson, there’s a real belief around Chestnut Hill that this year’s team could find itself in the top half of the ACC standings. Of course that prospect has become substantially harder with the additions of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame to the league, but the 6-foot-4 point guard is an explosive enough player and scorer to give Eagles fans some real reason for optimism.
Hanlan averaged 15.4 points on 45.7 percent shooting, and knocked down 39.4 percent of his attempts from long range. He’s not your typical point guard in that he’s more of a scorer who just happens to run the team, as evidenced by the fact that he only handed out five assists once last season and averaged just 2.3 dimes per game. Still, it’s hard to argue with what he brings to the table from a scoring standpoint, and that alone has many thinking he could find his way onto the All-ACC First Team at the end of the year.
You can pretty much count on a handful of teams from the ACC making it into the field of 68, and at least at the outset of the season the Eagles are on the outside of the bubble looking in. Still, Hanlan and Anderson have the talent and now the experience to lead the Eagles back to the Big Dance for the first time since 2009.