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March 12, 2013

Archive: Donahue Lands Hanlan

BC received some big news on Tuesday when it was announced that Olivier Hanlan won ACC Rookie of the Year. Here is a look back at an article written on October 27, 2011 when Hanlan committed to BC.

October 27, 2011

When Steve Donahue took over at BC, he made a point to acknowledge that it was important to take advantage of some of the talent that was available in New England.

"At Cornell we really went out of our way to get away from other schools. We could attract a kid from anywhere in the country, particularly in the Midwest because there weren't great academic options for kids who were just below that Big 10 or Big 12 type of kid, so I think that's what we did a good job on. Now, we want to attract a kid now who gets that type of attention. I think we've got to do a great job close to home. I think that's critical to our success here. I think if we are going to get great players most likely we are going to get guys closer to home than further away," said Donahue in 2010.

Last season, Donahue and his staff made a step towards that goal when they landed center Dennis Clifford, a big man who was flying under the radar when BC offered him. The BC staff did their homework and found Clifford before other schools discovered his talents. One year later, the Eagles have received a commitment from another New England prep school player, only this time it's one who was well known by many programs across the east.

Olivier Hanlan joins Joe Rahon in BC's class of 2012. Hanlan is a 6'3" point guard from the New Hampton School in New Hampshire, and was one of the best uncommitted point guards remaining in this class. Hanlan was getting serious interest from Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, and had been recruited up until last month by Dayton, Maryland, and TCU before they received commitments from other guards. In the end, Hanlan just felt the most comfortable with the BC coaching staff.

"They have a great and competitive coach. I really loved Coach Donahue when I met him. When I went on my visit he showed me how I'd fit into their system and how I could impact the program coming in as a freshman. I really liked that. I really like the players they have too. They have a young, talented team that I'll be playing with," said Hanlan.

After discussing all of the options available, Hanlan also felt like BC offered the best style of play for him.

"I like their style. Their guards spend a lot of time attacking, dishing, scoring, and shooting on the wing. I've been playing that way since when I played in Canada with Coach Dave Smart. I'm used to that system and I feel comfortable in it," said Hanlan.

What are the Eagles getting in Hanlan? They'll be getting a long point guard who is used to guarding the best guards in the northeast, and more importantly, guarding them well. Hanlan can take his man off the dribble and as of late has become a good outside shooter. As a bonus, Hanlan has shown both on the prep and AAU circuit that he has ice in his veins late in the game. Over the past year, Hanlan has delivered a few clutch shots in the final moments of games. Despite offering all of those skills, Hanlan knows he can be better.

"I'm going to work on ball handling and really getting into great shape. Ill work on getting my man off balance and then going straight up for a shot," said Hanlan.

The last hurdle for Hanlan will be straightening out some transfer of credits from when he went to school in Canada. Quebec has a multi-tiered education system where students actually graduate high school in grade 11, which Hanlan did. Despite Hanlan going to New Hampton last year and taking 5 classes (1 more than the required 4) and having 17 classes on his transcript, the NCAA was treating it as a post-grad year instead of his fourth year of high school. In reality, Hanlan has been planning for this 2011-2012 season to be his post-grad year.

"We already applied for a waiver in the summer and we got the partial qualifier. Now that I've committed to a school I need to apply for another waiver. Another holdup we have is they are saying an English course I took in Canada at a French school as my second language is the same English course I took at New Hampton last year. That doesn't make sense because one was more of a language course and one was an English class. I'm doing extra SAT's to get my scores even higher so I can try and play next year. Everybody thinks that Ill be able to play next year," said Hanlan.

Olivier's brother, Dominique, is also optimistic about the situation.

"He has 17 core classes between Quebec and New Hampton which includes AP classes. All of the schools that we talked to along the way were very confident that he'd be able to play in 2012, said Dominique.

In a worst case scenario, Hanlan would have to sit out the 2012-2013 season at BC, which would almost be like a red-shirt situation. He'd be able to practice with the team and would still have 4 years of eligibility. No matter what happens, BC is just happy to have one of the best point guards available.




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