On Monday, Boston College head coach Jim Christian announced that senior guard Lonnie Jackson will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season.
A leg injury, which kept Jackson out of all but three games before he made his first appearance against Binghamton in mid-December, will sideline the Eagle.
In those three games, Lonnie Jackson totaled 26 minutes and grabbed two rebounds, while also notching two steals and one assist. He missed all five shots he took this season: all three-pointers.
The news will not come as much of a surprise to any party involved, as Jackson had been very limited in terms of playing time and actual on-court performance this year. Boston College lost one of their few legitimate three-point shooting threats, but it was not when Christian shut Jackson down for the year: it was when he suffered the injury that felled him in the first place.
Yet, while there might be some melancholy and feeling bad for Jackson, there are two truths that are inescapable.
Reality #1: Lonnie Jackson would not alter Boston College’s bottom line this season whatsoever.
With or without Lonnie Jackson, Boston College is about a 12 to 14-win team. The only difference with regards to having him might be that the Eagles could hit a few more threes. His being there does not change the fact that the Eagles are talent deficient relative to the better teams in the ACC.
All that is lost here is some depth, but when the team is not otherwise deep and not going anywhere, anyway, it makes little difference.
ESPN’s Jack McCluskey pointed out that the Eagles have suffered greatly from Jackson’s absence when it comes to three-pointers. There is no question that Boston College is shooting the deep ball poorly this season, but with him all of last year, the Eagles were only tied for 138th in shooting threes at about 35 percent. That team was certainly better than this one in that regard, and Jackson’s absence is felt there, but by no means was it great.
Furthermore, and this goes without saying for Eagles fans who suffered through the last several years, shooting nothing but threes did the opposite of helping us out.
So as to avoid putting that dramatic drop in three-point shooting percentage all on Lonnie Jackson, Olivier Hanlan has gotten worse at it each season. As a freshman, he made 39 percent of them. As a sophomore, 35 percent. This season, 21 percent.
Reality #2: It’s better to shut Lonnie Jackson down now than having to do it later.
Boston College Eagles
Having established that this season is an exercise in futility, there was no practical purpose to playing Jackson if he is injured. It is far more preferable that they pulled the plug on his year now than for him to (a) lose out on a potential medical redshirt and/or (b) exacerbate his injury during one of the said meaningless games.
They gave it a try with him and it was not working out; now, ideally, he might be able to get a fifth year if he so chooses, and perhaps his three-point shooting skills will serve a better purpose in a future season.
Ultimately, Jackson is a nice roleplayer for this team, but this is not season-altering news. Nevertheless, best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.