Just two weeks after Boston College men’s basketball and head coach Jim Christian landed former ESPN Top-100 recruit graduate transfer Derryck Thornton Jr. from Southern California, the Eagles were back at it in the transfer market. On Tuesday morning, CBS Sports insider Jon Rothstein reported that former four-star recruit Makai Ashton-Langford of Providence is the latest addition to the BC roster.
Ashton-Langford, who will sit out the 2019-20 season and then have two years of eligibility in Chestnut Hill, joins the program after a disappointing season with the Friars, where things never seemed to click. The sophomore—who initially was committed to Connecticut before choosing Providence over ACC schools like BC, Louisville, and Georgia Tech—averaged just 3.7 points and 2.3 assists across 17.2 minutes of action per game.
The rising junior was described out of high school as “a playmaking lead guard who has a natural instinct for getting to the rim and smoothness to his game.” That warranted him the No. 38 ranking in the ESPN Top 100, and there were flashes of that elite talent in Rhode Island—the 6-foot-3 guard dropped 20 points in an early January loss to Villanova and registered eight assists in an overtime setback to Georgetown.
His high school scouting reports, however, pointed to concerns with his shooting, and that cropped up. He shot just 3-of-25 from distance in his first year on campus, then hit at just a 30.8 percent clip the following year. The ability for defenses to give Ashton-Langford space on the perimeter likely hampered his ability to shine as a driver, and it didn’t help that he’s a career 55.8 percent free throw shooter.
Still, Ashton-Langford has plenty of strengths. He’s a good passer, finishing fourth in the Big East last year during conference play in assist rate (26.8). He’s also quick against opposing guards, disruptive in passing lanes, and has shown the potential to grab a few steals a game.
He figures to factor in as an experienced point guard option in the 2020-21 season, which will be needed once Thornton graduates. This season, Thornton will likely man the point with Wynston Tabbs at shooting guard, while sophomore Chris Herren Jr. and freshmen Jay Heath and Julian Rishwain will likely come off the bench. Ashton-Langford will be waiting in the wings for his chance to shine the following year, as he’ll be a redshirt junior who looks like he’ll mesh well with Tabbs and Co.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Senior Staff