Admittedly, Olivier Hanlan of the Boston College Eagles isn’t your average “Under the Radar” player. He won the 2013 ACC Rookie of the Year award and is one of the most respected scorers amongst college basketball pundits. He was also a snub on the preseason All-ACC team.
When it comes to the NBA draft, Hanlan is as underrated as they come.
My least favorite word in all of collegiate and professional athletics is “elite.” It’s as over-utilized as any word in the English dictionary and it often paints an inaccurate picture for players that are good enough to warrant respect, but not great enough to take on the burden of superstardom.
With all of this being established, Hanlan is a genuinely elite scorer.
Hanlan burst onto the scene in 2012-13, posting averages of 15.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals as a freshman off-guard. He did all of this while achieving an efficient slash line of .457/.394/.750, which simply shouldn’t exist for a first-year player in a major conference.
As a sophomore, he’s taking his game to a new level.
Albeit early in the season, Hanlan is currently averaging 19.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 0.7 steals on a slash line of .459/.360/.833. Despite seeing a significantly greater workload and becoming every opposing defense’s No. 1 target, Hanlan remains efficient in every phase of the game.
If you’re looking for his star-caliber performance, try a 38-point outing against Florida Atlantic in which he was 11-of-19 from the field, 4-of-10 from 3-point range and 12-of-14 from the free throw line. Or his 41-point eruption against Georgia Tech during the 2013 ACC tournament.
If you’re looking for an NBA comparison, the best upside doppelganger is Monta Ellis of the Dallas Mavericks.
Much like Ellis, Hanlan is more than capable of slashing, hitting jumpers and facilitating the offense. He can also be a defensive liability, but the upside is there for him to turn things around on that end.
Unfortunately, Hanlan is quite similar to Ellis for another reason: he’s on the second-round bubble.
Draft Stock: Second Round
As great of a scorer as Hanlan may be, there are a number of different factors working against him from an NBA draft perspective. His size isn’t ideal for the 2, he isn’t the best athlete in the gym, he’s not a traditional point guard and he is a sophomore—because entering the draft at 21 would be oh, so old.
That all adds up to an irrational underrating on draft boards.
For all that may be holding him back, it may actually behoove Hanlan to remain in school for another season. He doesn’t have the benefit of playing for an NCAA Tournament contender, nor does he possess the transcendent size or athleticism to push him into the draft lottery.
Regardless of where he ends up getting drafted, Hanlan has a genuine NBA future. He’d simply see more money by spending another year at Boston College before declaring and competing for a lottery slot.
What separates Hanlan apart from the average star scorer is that he’s proven capable of shining as a slasher and a shooter against top-tier ACC defenses. Most impressively, he’s done this without the supporting cast necessary to alleviate defensive pressure from applying double-teams.
Hanlan is the real deal. He’s just suffering to crack the first round in a stacked draft class.