Rahon and Hanlan: A Look at Boston College’s Freshmen Iron MenPosted by KCarpenter on January 3rd, 2013
It’s no surprise that Erick Green is in the top five in the the conference in terms of minutes per game. As the most important player on Virginia Tech’s squad, he leads the conference in just about every scoring related “volume” category that exists. He leads the league in points per game, usage rate, possessions used, field goals attempted, field goals made, free throws attempted, and free throws made. Of course he plays just about more minutes than anyone else too. Likewise it’s no surprise to see Duke’s Mason Plumlee in the top five in minutes per game; he’s the best player on the best team in the country and probably the front-runner for National Player of the Year. Shane Larkin, the ACC’s leader in average minutes, is Miami’s only consistent play-maker. It’s not surprising that any of these guys are getting serious minutes.
It’s the other two guys in the top five who are surprising: Boston College‘s Joe Rahon and Olivier Hanlan. Both of these players are freshmen who are off to a sensational start in their collegiate careers. Sure, the Eagles didn’t exactly have any truly established backcourt starters going into this season, but in these two youngsters, BC has seen the future. Next to Ryan Anderson, the two freshmen are the team’s leading scorers, both boasting double-figure scoring averages that easily justify their time on the court. Hanlan is a gifted scorer with a knack for getting to the line and an above-average rebounder for his position (a real asset for an Eagles team that will likely often go small down the stretch). while Rahon is a fairly traditional point guard who can dish, handle the ball, and score effectively from beyond the arc or while slicing to the rim. At 4.2 APG, Rahon ranks just below Marcus Paige and above Mfon Udofia and Shane Larkin in terms of distribution. Of course, this number is somewhat leading considering that Rahon plays more minutes than Udofia or Paige, but even in terms of the tempo-free assist percentage metric, Rahon is a top-10 dime-man in the conference. That’s not a bad resume for a pair of freshmen.
Of course, conference play has yet to start, so there is a big question as to whether Hanlan and Rahon can maintain their impressive production. More importantly, how do we evaluate the team’s individual performances if Boston College remains at the bottom of the ACC by season’s end? If you score 13.2 PPG in your freshmen year and only win two conference games, does that even mean anything? Are Hanlan and Olivier poised to become a smaller next-generation version of the Wake Forest duo of C.J Harris and Travis McKie, putting on sensational individual performances while their their team is mired in sub-mediocrity? It’s a distinct possibility.
While it is certainly too early to anoint the pair as anything significant 13 games into their collegiate careers, Hanlan and Rahon bear watching. It’s possible that little may come of their early flashes of brilliance, but with Ryan Anderson paying the role of BC’s team leader and reliable stretch scorer and rebounder, it’s just as likely that the trio turns into a reliable core, a foundation for Boston College success well into 2015. It’s not a sure thing by any means, but it’s definitely something to watch.