Oliver Hanlan went off for Boston College this afternoon, breaking the ACC tournament record for points by a freshman in scoring 41 in an 84-64 victory over Georgia Tech. The 41 points were not only the most scored by an ACC freshman, but the most by any player in the conference tournament since 1970.
Hanlan won the ACC Freshman of the Year award, and was one of four New England preps named Freshman of the Year in his conference this season. Nerlens Noel (Tilton) of Kentucky, St. John’s JaKarr Sampson (Brewster) and Xavier’s Semaj Christon (Brewster) were the winners in the SEC, Big East and Atlantic 10, respectively.
Long-time readers of this site will remember Hanlan from his days at New Hampton Prep. Last season New Hampton was loaded with Hanlan directing a core made up of Notre Dame freshman Zach Auguste (a top-100 player in his own right), 2013 McDonald’s All American Noah Vonleh (#8 in the class of 2013 and headed to Indiana) and top-75 2014 shooting guard Jared Terrell.
It was a team that ended the prep career of Providence’s Ricky Ledo — but it didn’t come without a fight.
Before we delve into Ledo’s tremendous prep finale, it’s worth noting that Ledo had his share of so-so games during his prep career. What we saw at Mal Brown this past October was often what you’d see from him on the prep circuit — flashes of brilliance mixed in with up and down play at times. Yet, when the lights were brightest Ledo was typically at his best.
That was certainly the case against New Hampton.
On paper, South Kent appeared to be overmatched in the NEPSAC Quarterfinals last year. Star guard Chris Thomas left the program mid-year, so Ledo was surrounded by a serviceable core that had limited impact as college freshmen this past season. Laimonas Chatkevicius is a 6’11 project at South Carolina, Zedric Sadler a five-point-per-game scorer at Rider and Chris Ortiz a two-and-two guy at Kent State. Seven foot Isaac Freeman ended up at Massachusetts, but is another project.
New Hampton came back from a 16 point halftime deficit to eliminate South Kent, 70-69, behind 19 from Auguste, 18 out of Terrell and 11 by Hanlan, but Ledo was spectacular in his last game at the prep level.
He scored 39 points in every way imaginable that afternoon and grabbed 13 rebounds in defeat.
Hanlan has had a terrific first season for Boston College, but it’s hard for those who watched them both the past few years to see the type of season he’s having and not wonder about the impact Ledo could have had this season, or will have if he returns to Providence next year.
Ledo is a big game player on a team that has struggled on the biggest stage in recent seasons. It’d be fascinating to see how he would deal with the bright lights of New York City if he were to play for the Friars next season.
video courtesy of BallasTV