Once again, a Boston College Eagle will have a shot to bring glory to a program that has yet to produce a big-name professional star.
On Thursday night, the Utah Jazz selected former BC guard Olivier Hanlan in the second round with the 42nd overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. Since Hanlan declared to forgo his senior season with the Eagles on Apr. 15, many scouts have projected the 6-foot-4 guard as a mid-level second round pick, with low-first round potential. Hanlan’s productive and consistent college career—the guard improved in each of his three seasons for BC—solidified Hanlan as a true NBA prospect.
As a freshman out of Canada, Hanlan burst onto the ACC scene in 2012-13. He averaged 15.7 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field, and added 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game. The breakout performance earned Hanlan the ACC Rookie of the Year award—he is the only Eagle to earn this honor to date, and the first to earn any Rookie of the Year honor since Troy Bell won it in 2001-02 when BC played in the old Big East Conference. The following year—a lowly eight-win campaign that saw the end of Steve Donahue’s tenure as the head coach at BC—Hanlan continued to shine with the Eagles. He finished the year with 18.4 points and 3.0 assists per game.
Under new head coach Jim Christian, Hanlan became a one man show for a thin BC team in 2014-15, one that held its own against ACC foes. With the bulk of the offense placed on his shoulders, he returned to the point guard position and led the ACC in minutes played per game and usage percentage. Hanlan received First Team All-ACC honors after finishing the year with a conference-leading 21.9 points and four assists per game. Hanlan notably stepped up in big games against some of the elite teams of the ACC, such as North Carolina, Duke, and Notre Dame. The star guard regularly put up monster games, scoring over 25 points in seven games, all ACC contests. Most of his high-scoring games, however, did not translate to wins—BC only won two of those seven games, both against a lowly Georgia Tech team.
At the beginning of the season, many had questioned Hanlan’s accolades at BC, citing his lofty point totals as a product of being the Eagles’ only offensive threat. However, his monstrous junior season became too much to ignore for scouts.
Hanlan is the first Eagle taken in the NBA Draft since Reggie Jackson was selected with the No. 24 pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2011. The second rounder is projected to be a two-way guard in the NBA according to ESPN’s pre-draft projections. Although there are concerns about his size, Hanlan has the unique skills to control the game as a point guard while also acting as an efficient scoring shooting guard, especially from the 3-point line. Additionally, as the leader of the Eagles for the last three years, Hanlan has the maturity to adjust as a leader in the locker room for the Jazz.
Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Heights Senior Staff