With yesterday's news that Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan will forego the NBA Draft and return to the Heights for his junior season, let's take a look at the hoops scholarships situation heading into year 1 under head coach Jim Christian:
|1||Darryl Hicks||Darryl Hicks||Darryl Hicks||Darryl Hicks|
||Garland Owens||Garland Owens||Garland Owens||OPEN|
|3||Will Magarity||Will Magarity||Will Magarity||OPEN|
|4||Olivier Hanlan||Olivier Hanlan||OPEN||OPEN|
|5||Dennis Clifford||Dennis Clifford||OPEN||OPEN|
||Jeremy Miller||Jeremy Miller||Jeremy Miller|
The good news of the scholarship front, if there is any, is that Christian should get another year out of both Darryl Hicks and Dennis Clifford -- both of which were lost last season to injury. That will certainly help balance the scholarships a bit and give BC at least one less spot to fill in the 2015 class, assuming a healthy Clifford returns to the team.
Christian currently has three open scholarship spots on this year's roster barring a Rahon change-of-heart. It will be interesting to see what Christian does here. BC could certainly use at least one incoming freshman in this year's class to dull the pain of having to replace up to seven scholarship players in the 2015 class.
For it's when we come to 2015-16 where the program falls off the scholarship cliff. Christian will have to replace at least seven scholarship players. Eight scholarships if Hanlan turns pro a year early, which, if he has the season we think he's capable of having next season, seems more likely than not at this point in time. BC does add power forward Jeremy Miller in 2015 and will be left with a scholarship roster that includes Hicks, Owens, Magarity, Hanlan, Clifford and Miller.
If Christian is going to turn things around, the program has to get out of the business of completely turning over the roster once every four years. Luckily, the loss of Anderson and Rahon helps quite a bit here.
While it's rather late in the game, if Christian can grab one or two recruits for this year's recruiting class, that would put the program in a much better position to balance the scholarships going forward.
2014: 2-3 incoming freshmen (including Darryl Hicks) ... 11-12 (of 13) scholarship players total
2015: 5 incoming freshmen (including Jeremy Miller and assuming Hanlan turns pro) ... 11 scholarships players total
2016: 3 incoming freshmen ... 13 scholarship players total
2017: 2 incoming freshmen ... 13 scholarship players total
2018: 3 incoming freshmen ... 13 scholarship players total
The 2015 class is still larger than the others and the program is still below the 13 scholarship limit, but hopefully Christian can pick up a grad transfer or two to get up to 13 scholarship players in those first two seasons. The staff can get a bit creative in later years -- using a mix of recruits, sophomore transfers and grad transfers -- but the prospects of better balancing the scholarship distribution in two years time is certainly promising. Especially given that BC can't even field a starting five for the start of the 2016-17 season.