Just as Boston College men’s basketball showed its first signs of promise in nearly two years, the program took a huge step back. Sophomore A.J. Turner—the highest recruited Eagle since 2007—transferred to Northwestern. While his scoring numbers didn’t jump off the page, the 6-foot-7 forward finished the season with the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the ACC, and complemented the play of BC’s star-studded backcourt.
But, head coach Jim Christian and Co. have already found someone to replace Turner. Somebody who may not only be a replacement, but an upgrade at the position.
On Monday evening, Eagle Action’s Zack Spears reported that Illinois State graduate transfer Deontae Hawkins will join BC for the 2017-18 season.
Illinois State's leading scorer & rebounder Deontae Hawkins has committed to Boston College. 6-8/235lb All-MVC Forward last season. #BCHoops
— Zack Spears (@Zacklopedia) June 6, 2017
Last year, Hawkins led the Redbirds in scoring and rebounding. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 14 points and 6.5 boards per game. He shot an efficient 47 percent from the field and, potentially even more impressive, 44 percent from beyond the arc. Hawkins recorded five double-doubles and reached double-digit scoring in a team-high 27 games. To say the least, he was the centerpiece of a group that finished 28-7 and was debatably robbed of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
After the season, Hawkins was named to the All-Missouri Valley Conference Second Team and the Missouri Valley Conference Most-Improved Team.
Now, the soon-to-be 24-year-old will team up with Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson, in addition to eight other returning Eagles.
For the time being, BC won’t woo an ESPN 100 recruit. But that doesn’t stop the program from making a splash in the graduate transfer market. Like it did last year for Connar Tava and Mo Jeffers, BC continues to appeal to the guys outside of the Power Five. Come January, Hawkins will have the opportunity to play in the ACC against the nation’s best athletes. And, of course, he’ll get one more shot at the big dance.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor