If priority #1 for new Boston College head men's basketball coach Jim Christian is convincing star G Olivier Hanlan to return to the Heights, priority #2 is finding adequate production to fill the hole in BC's frontcourt that F Ryan Anderson will leave behind. A potentially exciting option to replace Anderson's roster spot and scholarship is 2014 four-star recruit (according to Scout) Tariq Owens, a 6'8" F whom Christian recruited to Ohio University but who recently asked OU for a release from his letter of intent. Unfortunately for Christian and BC, Ohio won't grant Owens his release; per NBC Sports:
Following Christian’s departure, Owens, a three-star recruit according to Rivals, requested his release from his National Letter of Intent. According to a report from Evan Daniels of Scout, Ohio Director of Athletics Jim Schaus has denied that request.
"Same source says, Tariq Owens has no intentions of going to Ohio and would sit out a year if he has to," Daniels tweeted.
While the recruiting outlets differ on Owens' exact rating (Scout has him at four stars, but Rivals and ESPN have him at three) his consensus strengths make Owens an attractive target to replace Anderson, BC's leading rebounder (7.3 per game). Owens is what Jay Bilas would describe as long with a 7-foot wingspan, and he reportedly has demonstrated knacks for shot blocking and offensive rebounding. The St. Vincent Pallotti (MD) standout, who drew interest from Miami (FL) and Georgetown as well as claimed offers from Seton Hall and VCU, has also shown polished offensive ability with the ball on the block. The biggest question mark for Owens, who is listed at 205lbs., is whether he can add the bulk and strength necessary to become a physical force against high-level competition.
In relation to Christian's current roster options at the 4 - including Eddie Odio and Will Magarity and assuming Dennis Clifford returns healthy enough to take over at the 5 - Owens seemingly has the most upside. Given that he would rather sit a year than play at Ohio, it isn't a stretch to presume Owens committed to playing for Christian moreso than the school and could be interested in following him to BC. Admittedly, that is pure speculation on my part.
Eagle in Atlanta believes that BC targeting Owens, should he be released by Ohio, would be "bad form." Personally, I disagree. Recruits following coaches is fairly common, as BC fans witnessed when Scoonie Penn followed Jim O'Brien to Ohio St. If Owens wants to play at BC and BC will have him, he should be able to do so, same as any other student. Even if it is shortsighted for any recruit to choose his commitment based on a school's coach rather than the school itself, that remains the recruit's choice. As we well know, coaches come and go as they please, and recruits shouldn't be held to a letter of intent when the circumstances behind that intent, like playing for a particular coach, change.
What do you all think?