The one caveat that I will give to Boston College is that they were an extremely young team that lacked experience and cohesiveness playing together; however, their performance as a team last season cannot be sugar coated. The Eagles only managed to win four ACC contests (4-14), sputtering to a weak 8-24 finish which topped only Virginia Tech in the ACC standings. They were utterly deficient playing inside the paint, averaging just over 21 RPG, and their defense rarely had the intensity or urgency needed to compete at a high level in the NCAA. With just one graduating senior and zero commitments from the class of 2015 so far, Coach Steve Donohue will be working with a very similar roster this season; just don’t expect different results.
Ryan Anderson, F (14.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.4 APG)
Not only was Anderson the second leading scorer for Boston College last season, but he was also, by far, their best rebounder. He grabbed 25% of the Eagles’ total rebounds while spacing their offense with his midrange game. Anderson’s transfer to Arizona, one of the schools involved in his original recruitment process, is a heavy blow to a program that is looking, and struggling, to build a competitive roster.
With no recruits having currently committed to join the Eagles next season, it’s tough to be optimistic about the team going forward. Barring any signings or additions via transfer, the improvement will have to come from within. Who’s going to have to step it up for Boston College next year?
Olivier Hanlan, PG (18.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.9 APG)
With the transfer of Anderson, the pressure builds for Hanlan as he will likely have to carry the team on his back. His game usually dictates the pace, he’s the lead in getting his teammates involved with a knack for finding bigs in the pick and roll. But Hanlan must shoulder more responsibility to score now that he is the only reliable and proven scorer on coach Donohue’s roster. His three point shot needs a little work, maybe this is the year Hanlan takes that next step with his game.
Garland Owens, F (3.7 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 39 3FG%)
Although he did not see much action in meaningful ACC minutes last season, look for Owens to establish himself on the team this season as he earns more minutes and improves his game. Owens’ playing time will increase with the departure of Anderson, but it is critical that he uses these minutes, along with his elite athleticism, to disrupt ball movement on defense and to slash cutting lanes on offense.