This spring and summer we wrap up last basketball season with a look ahead to next year. We’ll break down the recruiting classes as they currently stand for all 15 ACC men’s basketball programs. Bear in mind, recruiting is incredibly fluid and things will almost certainly change before the season begins.
Boston College had a resurgent season in 2017-18 thanks to one of the best backcourts in the entire country. Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman lead the Eagles to a 19-16 overall record that included seven wins in ACC play, a pair of upset victories in the ACC Tournament, and a berth in the NIT.
Those might seem like modest results, but it’s extremely impressive considering where the program was just two seasons ago. In 2015-16 the team won just seven games total and went winless against the conference. They won only two ACC games the following season.
Jim Christian managed the turnaround by recruiting hard, finding some key transfers, and being patient. It all paid off last season, but now there are new question marks to consider.
Both Robinson and Bowman declared for the NBA Draft at the beginning of April. Neither hired an agent at the time, but Jerome Robinson recently announced that he’s staying in the draft. Bowman has been quiet, so the possibility that he will return to Chestnut Hill still exists. If both end up leaving the program that leaves a massive hole in the roster. It wouldn’t leave the cupboard bare however.
Rising junior big man Nic Popovic (9.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG) proved capable of giving BC a reliable presence in the post as did true freshman Steffon Mitchell (6.4 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.1 APG. The two combined for 62 blocks and were strong on the offensive end as well.
Jordan Chatman is another dangerous guard who chipped in 12.9 points per contest. He’ll be asked to shoulder most of the scoring load if his backcourt mates both stay in the draft.
Next year’s recruits look to continue the program’s rise. The stud of the class is 6’7″ wing Jairus Hamilton. The four-star recruit is a huge get for several reasons. The first is obvious in that he’s a major talent. He reportedly had offers from half of the ACC and several major programs like Arizona, West Virginia, and Kansas.
You can see why when he’s capable of dropping 22 points on a powerhouse like Oak Hill Academy.
The second major point about this commitment is that Hamilton is from Concord, N.C. To snag a kid with tremendous upside right from the heart of ACC territory is a major coups for Christian and Co.
The other current member of the class is 6’3″ guard Wynston Tabbs. The three-star prospect claims offers from ACC members Clemson and Virginia Tech, plus numerous non-conference schools.
He would benefit greatly from being able to ease into things if Bowman returns, but either way he can help next season. He’ll join a roster that boasted eight freshmen in 2017-18. Clearly they’ll be more experienced this coming campaign.
We’ll have to wait and see what the NBA folks tell Ky Bowman. If he joins his backcourt mate in the draft, BC may have to turn to the transfer market and hope to find someone to plug in next season. It’s getting to be slim pickings among those players however and it’s highly unlikely to find ACC caliber four-year players at this time of year. BC could be forced to get creative if both guards leave.
The Eagles are going to take a big step in 2018-19, the question remains is it a step forward or back?