Olivier Hanlan Validates ACC FrOY Award With 41 Points Against Georgia TechPosted by Jimmy Kelley on March 14th, 2013
Jimmy Kelley is an ACC correspondent for Rush the Court. Follow him on Twitter @JimmyKelley_
In case anyone was wondering what the biggest story of Day One at the ACC Tournament will be, it’s already been decided. Boston College knocked out Georgia Tech in the opening game of the tournament behind a 41-point effort from their much-debated ACC Freshman of the Year, Olivier Hanlan. The score book reads like a video game. Forty-one points, 14-of-18 shooting including 8-of-10 on three pointers. Five rebounds, three steals and one emphatic message sent to the rest of the ACC: “I’m here to stay.”
Boston College has been an intriguing team all season because of its youth and potential but its inability to close out games against Miami, Duke and NC State at home left the team near the bottom of the ACC despite losing those games by a combined seven points. Those experiences were eventually going to help build something and that something came to life over the last four games in the form of four BC wins and correlating solid performances by Hanlan. The last three games saw Hanlan average 17 points per game and wrap up the ACC Freshman of the Year award while Rasheed Sulaimon lost his starting job in Durham. Thursday’s performance only solidified his case.
Perhaps the more impressive part of his scoring outburst was that he did it almost entirely by himself. At the 10:23 mark of the second half, Hanlan hit a three to put him over the 30-point plateau and stretch BC’s lead to 59-46. At that point Hanlan was the only Eagles’ player in double figures with several others hovering in the seven-to-10 point range. Georgia Tech is no powerhouse but Hanlan simply toyed with them and when his teammates stepped up their performances — Joe Rahon, Ryan Anderson and Patrick Heckmann all got to double figures — the game got completely out of hand.
Boston College took its lumps this year and will get a boost from all the near-misses and, of late, big wins they have been through as they look toward the future. But for now, Eagles and ACC fans alike should just stand up and recognize that this Canadian kid is something really, really special and he’s here to stay.