Olivier Hanlan is the total package. Boston College’s freshman point guard, who lit up Georgia Tech for 41 points today in a 84-64 Eagles route, is a big, strong guard capable of driving to the hoop and finishing through contact or making it rain from deep beyond the three point line. The young star from Canada has a great handle and is a staunch defender. The Eagles, led by their budding star guard Hanlan, have won four straight and have as bright a future as any team in the ACC. All of BC’s key contributors are freshmen or sophomores and their two freshmen guards, Hanlan and the clutch Joe Rahon, both have very bright prospects. After a 9-21 season last year, the Eagles are now 16-16 going into what should be an interesting ACC Tournament Quarterfinal tilt with an excellent Miami team. The Eagles have come along way this season–earlier this year they were blown out by Dayton. While BC won’t make the NCAA Tournament this year barring three more wins in the ACC Tourney, they should find their way into the bracket next year. I am expecting big things from the Eagles!
From one team that needs three wins to make the NCAAs, lets go to a team that already has clinched an NCAA bid, Harvard. The Crimson finished their Ivy League schedule in style at home, coming back for a narrow win over a Columbia team that blew them out in Manhattan earlier in the year and then sneaking by a shorthanded Cornell team on Saturday night in front of a great crowd at Lavietes Pavilion. On both nights Princeton lost, guaranteeing Harvard their second straight outright Ivy League Championship. I believe that Harvard is a team that can make noise in the NCAAs. Not many teams both defend the way they do and run such an efficient offense. But, the truth is, Harvard, like BC, is a young team. Outside of Christian Webster, everyone will be back for Harvard next season. Not only that, two of Harvard’s starters from last year’s 26-5 campaign, point guard Brandyn Curry and forward Kyle Casey, are expected to return after missing this year for academic reasons. With Casey and Curry joining a team led by Wes Saunders, Laurent Rivard, Siyani Chambers, and Kenyatta Smith, I see Harvard as a potential top 25 team next year.
BC and Harvard are both still hoping to play for as long as they can this year. When their seasons come to an end, an exciting 2013-2014 campaign waits.