Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Another class of New England hoops stars slips away

Despite being located in a talent rich region, in the last 25 years much of BC's basketball success was on the backs of outsiders. The last great Massachusetts player to carry a team was Sconnie Penn and he didn't even finish his career at BC. Blame the AAU leaders. Blame the BC Admissions office. Point to Skinner or Donahue or now Christian. While we have landed some kids via New England prep schools (Smith, Hanlan), they are unfortunately the outliers and not the norm. That was supposed to change this year. This was going to be the best group of Massachusetts and New England recruits in years. Donahue was building towards this class (supposedly) and Christian hired New England recruiters in order to close on the local kids. It didn't happen. The last hope for a star player -- Josh Sharma -- committed to Stanford Wednesday. Recruiting is not over and Christian has yet to coach a game at BC, so I will continue to preach patience. We don't need to own New England to be great, but it would be nice. BC shouldn't have to look for hidden gems in California or hope to find a few overlooked transfers. The foundation for a great program is within a three hour drive of campus. Maybe Christian can get next year's locals. But for now another group of Massachusetts stars are headed elsewhere.

12 comments:

TS said...

Think you're missing the point here a bit ATL.

First, although Sharma is a Lexington native and therefore not a good example of this, plenty of the talent at the New England prep schools (i.e. Hanlan and Smith) comes from outside of the area. BC isn't a local school for them and it's proximity to New Hampshire is largely irrelevant. What is relevant - and what you seem to allude to - is that the short drive to the prep schools allows for more contact between our coaches and prospective recruits. But that brings me to my second point.

It might take a while and some success before BC is able to recruit kids who aren't diamonds in the rough. The Dudley and Smith years seem like ancient history to high school kids today. Can anyone blame Sharma for going to sunny California to receive a Stanford education and play for a team that was in the sweet 16 last year instead of coming to the Heights to play for a team that last made the tournament when he was in 6th grade?

This doesn't mean that BC needs to recruit solely 2-stars, but unless we want to start taking a more shady path to success, it will take time to rebuild the program. This is the standard to which Christian should be judged - do his teams and recruiting improve overtime? Donahue's sure didn't.

New England prep talent isn't going anywhere, let's have some patience.

Hoib said...

TS

Many good points. To say Smith was local is a reach. He only prepped to get ready academically. He was from LA. Christian has a tough job and it's the reason he has the job, nobody w/ a better resume wanted it. I think it's asking allot w/ Ollie & Cooley w/in the same driving distance that we win the N.E recruiting battle's now. Heck we already lost one to URI. We'll have to start showing something on the floor before we get the top local products.

eagleboston said...

Doesn't Sharma's family live in Hawaii? Standford is a 5 hour plane ride from Hawaii which means his family would be able to see some games, whereas if he committed to BC, that would be nearly impossible. I don't know that we can fault Christian for losing this one.

eagleboston said...

Woops, I meant "Stanford."

Joseph said...

Only a 5 hour plane trip at a few hundred bucks vs a 7 hour ride at a few hundred bucks. That surely swung the deal. How can we compete against that. I'm sure that his whole family will be cheering at every game.

nh eagle said...

Congratulations to Josh on his commitment to Stanford. I have watched him play frequently over the last few years and remember watching him at one of his first practices with his current AAU team at Reading High School -- his development since that time is a testament to his strong work ethic. As a BC alum it would have been great to have him at the Heights, but last I was told his parents do live in Hawaii, and you certainly can't argue with a Stanford education and athletic program.

Bravesbill said...

Even in sarcasm, Joseph is completely wrong. Tack on another 3 hours to that flight from Hawaii to Boston (more of a 10-11 hour flight) which is pretty significant. Add on at least another hour or two for any layovers (probably not going get a direct flight from Hawaii to Boston either), and that makes an even bigger difference. A 15 hour trip compared to about a 5 hour trip. Hard to compete with that.

Joseph said...

Mea culpa. Wrong, is right. Brain dead that early. No way to try to visit Boston, but I'm sure that they'll make most of the games in CA. As I said that swung the deal.

Yves said...

Joseph,

Nice to see you admit to factual error (of course, only after being corrected by another), but perhaps you could also admit to having a very negative, unwelcome and condescending tone.

Yves

Joseph said...

Yves, this may seem to be unwelcome and condescending, but how could I apologize for a stupid error of which I was unaware.

The bit about going to school in California so his family could fly a mere 5 hours to see him play seemed to be a little much. Don't you think that the reasons cited about Stanford and their academics and BB history were quite a bit more reasonable.

Hoib said...

If academics mattered Ryan Anderson would still be here. I think 99% of these decisions are hoop related.

Bando '87 said...

McDuffie cancelled visit to SMU AND Christian is doing a follow up visit with him today. Fingers crossed. Could be a nice weekend!