Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New hoops commit raises all the Donahue recruiting questions again

Steve Donahue is one of the best Xs & Os coaches I've seen in college basketball. He is also a good face of the program and a tireless worker. Those issues were all pretty clear early in his BC tenure. The biggest unknown was could he recruit ACC-level players. Four years in we are still asking that question. He's brought in some, but as we face losing Olivier Hanlan to the NBA, the Don's first commitment for the small 2014 recruiting class is way below the radar point guard Matt Farrell.

Here's the good news on Farrell: it is highly likely that he is a "preferred walk-on." Farrell hasn't mentioned that aspect yet and neither have the recruiting sites, but I am hearing is that he is. BC obviously cannot make an official comment on it until Signing Day. Preferred walk-on would mean that he is not guaranteed a scholarship, but will get a fair shot to earn one. For a kid with Ivy and Monmouth offers, the chance to play and compete at the ACC level can be enticing even if there are no assurances. I appreciate a player who has faith in himself to compete and succeed.

The bigger issue that this raises though is why is Farrell the first guy in the 2014 Class to commit. Donahue targeted a series of elite prospects. We only have one definite scholarship available. Another scholarship is expected to free up due to attrition. Donahue needs a star.  A guy who can carry the load after Anderson and Hanlan leave. We don't need another shooter, undersized point guard. Those guys can be found and had at any time. Donahue can pick them up at or around Signing Day every season. Farrell is a proof that those types will come to play at BC even without a scholarship. Guys like Farrell are the role players for a Championship Team. Where is our post Hanlan centerpiece?

For a long time I thought this would be a make or break year for Donahue. Then I heard that Bates was on board with the schedule and the direction of the program. BC needs to show improvement this year, but it is not NCAA Tournament or bust. If BC is above .500 and makes the NIT, Donahue will be safe.

I like Donahue and I want him to succeed, but I am worried about our future. Hanlan and Odio are his only recruits (so far) who have exceeded their pre-BC expectations. I would say Anderson, Rahon, and Jackson have met. Clifford looked like a steal but we might never see him at 100%. The rest of the recruits have not lived up to their hype.

Recruiting is not easy. Skinner missed on a lot of guys and didn't even try on some local stars. Yet he built credibility with BC fans by landing enough guys who exceeded everyone's expectations of what they would be in college (with the biggest surprises being Bell, Dudley, Rice and Jackson). Is Matt Farrell going to be all ACC one day? Will we get one elite player in the 2014 cycle? With the way the musical chairs are playing out, I am not optimistic.

Preferred walk-on or not, this is going to be a small recruiting class. Donahue needs an impact player and I hope he finds one soon. Welcome to BC, Matt Farrell. I hope you shut up all the Doubting Thomases and dumb bloggers.

22 comments:

Bando '87 said...

Yeah, great, but agree, this better be a preferred walk-on. Is he better than Sam Donahue?

EL MIZ said...

have been one of the biggest Donahue supporters here or anywhere, but have been saying this from the beginning - we need a guy on the staff who has contacts with the AAU programs, with local high schools or with the summer camps or something. the recruiting has been strange to say the least. the profile of players we are recruiting is simply not adequate for long-term success.

Monmouth (10-21 last year) and Dartmouth (9-19)? LOL.

Donahue's first class leaves much to be desired -- Anderson has been a good player but not a program changer, Clifford showed signs but the injuries have held him back, and Odio has improved, how much so remains to be seen. the rest are bench players in the ACC. i love Hanlan and i love Rahon, and this incoming class remains to be seen (I am optimistic about Magarity from what i've heard, and think Owens and Hicks can both play as well).

we'll see what happens.

i also don't think its fair to make the parallel to Skinner -- Smith and Dudley were definitely under the radar. Tyrese Rice broke JJ Redick's VA HS record for most 3's in a career; Reggie Jackson was the CO Player of the Year. Troy Bell was a monster in Minnesota in HS, he averaged 36/6/4 as a senior.

if this is the only scholarship of the class, this is a disaster. the only play was to play out the season, bank on Hanlan and Co. gelling and playing well on national TV, increasing the profile of the way we play and the coach, and then in February or March trying to get a top uncommitted kid.

ATL_eagle said...

My point with Dudley, Bell, Jackson and Rice all exceeded what was ever expected of them as recruits. No one thought Dudley and Bell would be Players of the year nor Rice all ACC or Jackson a firstround draft choice.

JBQ said...

"Preferred walk on", what has the world come to? BC plays the game fair. Read "Meat on the Hoof" about U of Texas and the forcing of injured players to run steps until they quit. Scholarships are renewed yearly. This is the "Pepsi Generation" and a "throw away mentality". These are educational institutions despite what goes on in the SEC. There is a dual commitment for student and university. The NCAA and Dr. Mark Emmert are a complete laugh. Teams like "The Little Sisters of the Poor" are scapegoat targets while such as Auburn with Cam Newton are allowed to walk. BC does not need to stoop to joining the noontime rush with such as "preferred walk-ons". You know that it is coming. Saban of Alabama is pushing for a "super conference" where they pay the players. Where will that leave BC? The university presidents need to reassert control and dump the NCAA. Won't happen because of the big money and it's going to get worse. Emmert had been a chancellor at LSU. That is why the SEC is allowed to run wild. Recent exposes in S.I. profiled Oklahoma St under Les Miles who is now at LSU. Donna Shalala, Fr. Leahy's friend as well as Obama's, is shown in recent pictures with lobbyist Shapiro and Coach Frank Haith now of Mizzou. Knowledge and complicity go way up the ladder and will never end. Honest BC is just treading water.

Claver2010 said...

He better not be a scholarship player.

This isn't football where you have 85, it's even more of a problem considering the imbalance the program has.

blist said...

So when is Bruce Pearl allowed to coach again?

Joseph said...

I'll take Donahue's BB smarts over this blog everyday. Who here has seen the kid play? Who knows his potential? Who knows his character?

Bruce Pearl is a not a BC kind of guy.

Didn't you ever hear that winning is not, and never will be at BC, all there is. Winning is great, but not with a guy like Pearl.

SLeBC02 said...

and Craig Smith

Bravesbill said...

I'm actually a fan of Donahue, but with every post you make Joseph, you are simply outing yourself as an Athletic Department family member.

Knucklehead said...

The post and your comment are at odds ATL.

1)Hanlan is not leaving after this season. You keep talking about him going to the NBA. He is good. Had a great ACC tournament. He will need to do that consistently this season to get a sniff as a first rounder. The way Donahue coaches and the other options on this team Hanlan is not going to average the 20+ and 8 assists needed for the NBA. Height and quickness are an issue for him going to the NBA as well.

We have him and next season with him.

Farrell. Look at Dukes roster(we aren't Duke at basketball, I know). They have 6-8 legit players and 6-8 guys that know the game and there to boost the SAT scores of the other 6-8 guys.

I see Farrell as one of the guys who knows the game and boosts the SAT scores of say Hicks, Magarity and Owens.

Step away from the ledge.

Joseph said...

Sorry, Brave. I don't even personally know anyone connected to BC athletics at the administration or coaching or playing level. In fact, I have no connections to anyone in any position at BC. I just happen to use a wee bit of common sense and refuse to forget that BC is a top flight academic institution that should never put winning over anything that will get in the way of achieving and maintaining that goal. Too many posters on this and other blogs seem to so identify with being part of a win-at-all-costs club, that it makes one wonder if they recognize what the school is all about. I like what Bates is doing. I like what Donahue is doing. I like what Daz is doing, even though his trite enthusiastic quotes in the press are a little shallow. All the talk about being screwed by selection committees etc, is astonishing. What would BC be like if it were run the way too many people who post here, set policy. Remember all the talk before Daz was hired. Everyone seems to want another football factory. Why? get your jollies with vicarious identification of the old school team.

eagle1331 said...

BravesBill - the best approach to some commentators/apologists is to ignore them...

That being said...

I've been a huge Donahue fan and supporter from the beginning. I've often have my doubts, but he had a young team of mostly questionable recruits competing last year. We lost a lot of games by only a hand full of points. The team has been exciting to watch and I don't think he's done anything personally to make me question his vision or strategy to this point.

Of course, I think we should be getting some more recognized and highly rated recruits, and I hope he knows something we don't know about this kid. We do need more game changers though, and from his offer list and ratings, my guess is this kid won't be him. Hopefully Don can coach these guys up like he did at Cornell... but as much of an apologist as I am, this is year 3 or 4, so if the results aren't another leap forward this year, you'll find me off the wagon and thinking it may be time for a change...

Joseph said...

So, Why is your opinion of the kid better than Donahue's? Was Doug Flutie a "game changer"? Who was recruiting him? Even Matt Ryan only had a few offers (ND and Michigan said "no thanks". BC, or any team, is better off with 5 very good players, with a couple of good ones off the bench, that ok players with a "game changer". Bates and Donahue and Daz all recognize that they are building a solid base for the future and no just trying to please a few know-it-all bloggers, who want instant excellence. As long as there is a steady upward progression, they are doing it right. It will never be as fast as the guys who's major sports expertise is watching SC and listening to talk radio. If you are so damned good and smart, go makes the big bucks managing or coaching.

Claver2010 said...

There's a difference between the elites saying no thanks but "peer" programs offering. In this case, forget peers, no one a level below offered.

Legal Eagle said...

Nobody is saying that there is no chance that this kid develops into a quality player. People are simply saying that BC should be able to get more established prospects.
There is always a place at BC for a kid like this, just not in a year where we only have 1 scholarship. Now if they end up bringing someone else in and holding off on giving Farrell a scholarship for a year, then thats a different story.

eagle1331 said...

Are we not all on here to express our opinions in an open forum of passionate fans, Joseph? You come on here and call people out or attack them because your opinion differs; most of us aimlessly talk or criticize - whatever the flavor of the day is. You're entitled to your opinion, just like we are. Let's share the sandbox, instead of throwing the shovels and pails at others because their castles don't look like yours...

Donohue is not comparable to Daz, IN MY OPINION. The program was on the decline before he came in, not the gutter. Yes, he instituted a different style of play, but he is starting season 4, not season 1 from the bottom of the pile. I think that is plenty of "give him a break to rebuild time" at this point, and that is all we are saying. Plus what Legal Eagle so simply put...

eagle said...

Eagle1331, As you just said, "the best approach to some commentators/apologists is to ignore them...".

There is no talking with Joseph.

Joseph is not here to talk BC sports. He is here to irritate.

ATL_eagle said...

If you think I am being negative or antiBC, you are missing the whole point of the post. I really really like Donahue. He works his ass off and does the right thing. I also hope Farrell becomes a star. But this is not the type of player we need to spend much time with. Walkon, Preferred walkon or actual recruit, we don't need another undersized hybrid guard. We have a small recruiting class and need a big. Farrell could be had at any time. Let's hope the staff finds someone.

Ry said...

Looking forward, just to play devil's advocate, we desperately need a PG. We enter this season with only Hanlon and Rahon who are legitimately capable of running the point and they are usually out there together. We have zero depth at that position.

Bando '87 said...

Interesting that Farrell is a current H.S. teammate of Dominique Uhl, who just snubbed BC for Iowa. Donahue must have liked Farrell while he was scouting Uhl. He apparently had offered both, so since he only has 1 scholarship to give (barring attrition), the offer to Farrell simply had to be as a preferred walk-on. Everyone exhale.

Unknown said...

Farrell, whether he is a scholarship player or a preferred walk on, won't be playing this year. And for Donahue, this year is what counts. If the team does not show progress in the W column, then the coach is done. As per ATLEAGLE, that may take Bates another year to execute but everything hangs on this year's performance. So, forget Farrell because the only thing that matters is if Donahue can start winning this year.

Joseph said...

What?? "Joseph? You come on here and call people out or attack them because your opinion differs; most of us aimlessly talk or criticize - "

When I criticize you say that I attack. When you attack, you say you criticize. Your ability to debate and exchange ideas is very much like your ability to be a big time BB coach. Until Donahue proves to be a bad recruiter, I'll hold judgement. I haven't seen the kid and neither have you. Donahue has. And the winner is--- Donahue.