With yesterday's news that Point Pleasant Beach PG Matt Farrell committed to Boston College (though it is still unclear whether Farrell joins the program as a preferred walk-on or scholarship player), let's take a look at the hoops scholarship situation.
It's somewhat instructive to first look at the scholarship situation Donahue inherited when he took the reins in 2010-11. Just how exactly did the scholarship situation become so unbalanced?
Here's the scholarship breakdown heading into Donahue's first season:
|1||Gabriel Moton||Gabriel Moton||Gabriel Moton||Gabriel Moton|
||Matt Humphrey||Matt Humphrey||Matt Humphrey||OPEN|
|3||Reggie Jackson||Reggie Jackson||OPEN||OPEN|
|4||Dallas Elmore||Dallas Elmore||OPEN||OPEN|
|Walk-On||Danny Rubin||Danny Rubin||Danny Rubin||Danny Rubin|
|Walk-On||Peter Rehnquist||Peter Rehnquist
Donahue went into that first season with just eight active scholarship players, four below the NCAA limit of 13. Oregon transfer Matt Humphrey sat out the 2010-11 season per NCAA transfer rules. It didn't help matters that the three players recruited for the 2010 class -- Brady Heslip, Kevin Noreen and Papa Samba Ndao -- went elsewhere after the school parted ways with Al Skinner. The 2010 recruiting class of Heslip, Noreen and Ndao were backfilled by Humphrey, Moton and Rubin (walk-on).
As you can see, when five of eight scholarship players are seniors, this creates a rather large scholarship imbalance for 2011-12 and every four years thereafter. It didn't help matters that the non-seniors on the roster in 2010-11 didn't stick around for much longer after that. After Humphrey sat out in 2010-11, he played one season for BC before transferring again to West Virginia. Dallas Elmore left the program following the 2010-11 season and Moton transferred out the year after.
Fast forward to present day, where the scholarship situation looks like this:
|1||Garland Owens||G. Owens||G. Owens||G. Owens|
||Darryl Hicks||Darryl Hicks||Darryl Hicks||Darryl Hicks|
|3||Will Magarity||Will Magarity||Will Magarity||Will Magarity|
|4||Olivier Hanlan||Olivier Hanlan||Olivier Hanlan||OPEN|
|5||Joe Rahon||Joe Rahon||Joe Rahon||OPEN|
|6||Alex Dragicevich||Alex Dragicevich||OPEN||OPEN|
|7||Eddie Odio||Eddie Odio||OPEN||OPEN|
|8||KC Caudill||KC Caudill||OPEN||OPEN|
|9||Ryan Anderson||Ryan Anderson||OPEN||OPEN|
|10||Lonnie Jackson||Lonnie Jackson||OPEN||OPEN|
|12||Pat Heckmann||Pat Heckmann||OPEN||OPEN|
|13||Danny Rubin||OPEN||Matt Farrell?||Matt Farrell?|
|Walk-On||Sam Donahue||Sam Donahue||Sam Donahue||Sam Donahue|
|Walk-On||Steve Perpiglia||S. Perpiglia||S. Perpiglia||S. Perpiglia|
|Walk-On||Drew Jacobs||Drew Jacobs||Drew Jacobs||OPEN|
|Walk-On||John Cain Carney||John Cain Carney||OPEN||OPEN|
While Donahue has done a decent job of filling the roster with scholarship players (BC will presumably be at the scholarship max for the first time in years at the start of next season), the program is still headed towards a huge roster turnover in 2015-16, needing to replace a majority of the scholarship players starting in 2015-16 (7 of 13). That class becomes one larger should Hanlan jump to the NBA a year early.
Perhaps there's some roster attrition next season, freeing up a scholarship, or Farrell turns into a serviceable ACC player, but four years have gone by and the scholarship imbalance has hardly been addressed. If Hanlan turns pro a year early, Donahue will be left needing to fill eight of the 13 scholarships for 2015-16; one less than the situation he found himself facing four years ago before the start of the 2011-12 season.
Graphics via testudotimes.com