Patience is in short supply with Boston College fans these days, and understandably so. But all things considered, Jim Christian’s recruiting has been pretty solid over the last few years. Last night, Luka Kraljevic committed to BC - a top 50 European recruit with a good offer sheet (Auburn, DePaul, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico).
It’s good not only to see BC land a recruit with some upside, it’s also encouraging to see Christian and Spinelli building new recruiting pipelines, even from schools and areas we may not have recruited players from in the past. BC should absolutely be scouring every available option to finding talent that can contribute.
We all know about the challenges Christian faces in recruiting basketball players to BC: the facilities, the lack of attendance and interest, and the daunting task of climbing up the ladder of the grueling ACC. Realistically, it would be hard for the coaching staff to convince a recruit they’re going to make the NCAA tournament in the first few years of their short college tenure.
And yet BC has won some recruiting battles: Ty Graves had offers from UVA and Virginia Tech, and generated interest from some other ACC programs as well, including ones in his native North Carolina.
Kyran Bowman, in addition to his offer to play football at UNC, had a bevy of hoops offers, including Cal, Cincinnati, DePaul, Memphis and Rutgers. He also had some interest from NC State, Missouri and Maryland.
A.J. Turner and Jerome Robinson are promising prospects who were also very good gets for Christian. Turner picked BC over Florida State, Stanford, Michigan State and Providence. Robinson was a diamond in the rough find with a number of solid mid-major offers.
The fact that Christian has been able to win recruiting battles against other ACC and power-5 programs is impressive given the current state of affairs.
In spite of the losses, Christian’s teams have never looked like they’ve given up on competing for themselves or for their coach. Christian also makes no excuses and by all accounts is someone who is well-respected, passionate and dedicated to the project of turning BC around.
There was understandable skepticism about the hiring of Jim Christian, and the Eagles’ continued struggles have added to that skepticism. But BC continues to amass some young talent with upside, much more than they did under the previous regime; Christian deserves the benefit of the doubt, as long as the team shows some signs of progress on the court this season.