When Olivier Hanlan, a Quebecois freshman, showed up at Boston College in 2012, the word was that he was “ready” to play right away.
What became somewhat clear over the course of the 2012-13 season is that the rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference was not ready for him.
After having had a tremendous regular season, Hanlan was named as the ACC’s Freshman of the Year for 2013 on Tuesday afternoon. The Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association voting results were as follows:
Olivier Hanlan, BC: 43 (55.8%)
Rasheed Sulaimon, Duke: 15 (19.5%)
TJ Warren, NCST: 12 (15.6%)
Devin Thomas, WF: 4 (5.2%)
Devon Bookert, FSU: 1 (1.3%)
Robert Carter, GT: 1 (1.3%)
Marcus Paige, UNC: 1 (1.3%)
Thankfully, Hanlan was not in a position where he had to count on Tobacco Road’s vote splitting — an outright majority of the vote speaks to that. That Hanlan accomplished this against two major competitors in Sulaimon and Warren, both of whom will be playing in the NCAA Tournament next week, is even more noteworthy.
One can argue that Hanlan was not only the top freshman, but the best player on his team this season. Along with fellow freshman Joe Rahon, Hanlan led a Boston College backcourt that on many nights propelled the team. ACC third-team sophomore Ryan Anderson leads the team with 15.1 points per game while Hanlan has 14.6, and Hanlan does not grab the rebounds that Anderson does, but what is unique to Hanlan is the spark he provides the Eagles in games. Hanlan takes and makes big shots while sometimes single-handedly controlling the game on the offensive end. There is no question that a good bit of BC’s improvement from a 9-win team to a 15-win team (and perhaps more) is thanks to Hanlan.
Congratulations to Hanlan on his award, the first time in over a decade since a Boston College player was named its conference’s rookie of the year (Troy Bell, Big East, 2000). The future for Eagles basketball remains bright with him leading the way.