The deadline to remove your name from the NBA Draft in this Sunday, May 8. All indications are that BC's Reggie Jackson will keep his name in this year's Draft field, despite receiving mixed feedback. ESPN's Andy Katz thinks Jackson will do just that, listing Reggie along with Tobias Harris, Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight, Isaiah Thomas, Klay Thompson and Tristan Thompson as players that NBA personnel don't expect to return to school.
Without Jackson on next year's roster, SB Nation Boston predicts doom and gloom for the Eagles (emphasis added):
"The breakdown is relatively simple: with Jackson, BC could be a 15-win team, but without him, a seven-win season seems likely. Again, that's not a put down on the rest of the players on the roster, or head coach Steve Donahue for that matter, who did an excellent job in his first season at the helm.
It's simply fact. To win in any level of basketball, a team needs talent. Jackson is a pretty talented athlete, no? Remove Jackson from the equation, and you have nothing but the unknown."
Now Jackson is, in fact, a pretty talented athlete. But projecting just a seven win season without him? C'mon. Even this year's Wake Forest team managed to win eight games, and the Deacons completed the worst ACC campaign in over 20 years (1-15).
Do I think there will be a drop off without Jackson? Sure. But I don't think that next season will be hopeless. Hardly.
Donahue brings in a very talented recruiting class, and will likely add a scholarship to the roster after Jackson makes the jump to the NBA. The non-conference sched will probably ease up next season, too. This past year, BC played just three non-conference teams with an RPI of 200+, second fewest in the ACC behind only Carolina. I'd imagine there are seven wins just on next year's non-conference schedule alone.
Finally -- and Tobacco Road purists can "earmuff" it for me here -- it's not like ACC men's hoops has been setting the world on fire the past few seasons. And improve still seems a couple years out. Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Miami will all be breaking in new coaches. Maryland is likely to lose Jordan Williams. Virginia Tech loses a lot of talent and leadership with Jeff Allen, Terrell Bell and Malcolm Delaney all graduating. Virginia will continue to de-emphasize revenue sports in favor of the Olympic sports. Outside of North Carolina and Duke, the conference will again be wide open.
I certainly wouldn't put it past Steve Donahue to surprise again in the ACC, even with a roster of players that haven't played significant minutes at the college level. Trust the process.