Yes, I'm writing a basketball post. I told you I was giving up ripping on the basketball program for Lent. To show how much I mean it, I'm here to delve into the future of the program.
On the heels of an awful season, in which the Eagles have dramatically underperformed relative to expectations en route to an 8-23 record and a likely first round ouster from the ACC tournament, it's only natural to look to the future. Fans, in these situations, usually look at the incoming recruits and build them up as the saviors of the program.
So, let's pull up that handy-dandy 2014-15 commitments list courtesy of 247sports.com.
Needless to say, this is part of the problem many have with Steve Donahue. He's put all his chips into the middle of the table with this group, proclaiming that after 50... no wait, 100 games together, Hanlan, Heckmann, Rahon, Clifford (oh), Anderson and the crew would be good enough to compete with their more highly-recruited peers.
The Eagles are in on a pair of uncommitted prospects. Neither would likely totally change the equation for next year, but they'd likely help.
Matt Cimino, a 6'10'', 3-star center out of Worcester Academy, seems to be the best of the bunch. Donahue is probably done regardless of what he does on the recruiting trail, but it's safe to say this is one that he should nail down if he has any hopes of rebuilding this program himself. He's from Craig Smith's school, is a MA native, and fills a position of need and would probably start right away (barring a Clifford miracle). He also reportedly has excellent grades and is interested in strong academic schools.
His current offer list: BC, George Washington, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Tulsa, and Virginia. A number of those programs are in much better shape than BC is in right now, but that given all the other factors, the Eagles should theoretically have a chance here. This is one to keep an aye on.
The other offer BC has on the table for next year is for a three-star 6-8" power forward out of Kentucky, Jackson Davis (great name). BC doesn't have the geographic edge here, though they can probably promise a lot of playing time. He has a pretty extensive list of offers from midlevel/decent basketball programs: Alabama, Butler, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Oklahoma STate, Rice, UCF, and Vanderbilt. I would be rather surprised if BC came out on top in this one.
BC does have one prospect committed for 2015-16, power forward Jeremy Miller. Miller, a New Hampton, NH native who committed the day after BC's win over Syracuse, is a 6-0, 3-star forward who is ranked 26th nationally in his position. He's probably one of the best gets of the Donahue era (Olivier Hanlon was ranked 41st at his position by 24/7, though Ryan Anderson and Dennis Clifford were 26th and 25th, respectively.)
But he's just one guy, and he's a long way away for a program in need of a fresh start.
Assuming Donahue doesn't add any game-changers to next year's class, do you really have faith in the current roster to make a huge leap forward next year after a big step back in 2013-2014? I'm guessing not. And that's where BC's coaching search comes into play.
While many here have their preferred coaching candidates in mind (OMG SHAKA SMART! yeah that's probably not going to happen), nobody knows who the actual next coach will be. So a more pertinent question when talking recruiting is to figure out who and how the new coach should target prospects.
That's an open-ended question that I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on. What's the recruiting profile of basketball players who will come to BC and perform? What kind of coach can BC hire who can reach those types of players? Is "building a fence" around local prospects the key, or is it branching out nationally the way Al Skinner did during the modern-era halcyon days of BC hoops?
The re-re-re-rebuilding begins, in all likelihood, tomorrow evening. No place to go but up.