College basketball free agency is now one of the most exciting parts of the year. It is also working to stretch college hoops into a year round league which is something that I obviously support.
In talking with a member of the CBB Central podcast a couple weeks ago we were actually discussing Boston College hoops in particular as he (@BradCav2) was creating his own version of the pre-season positions award lists to right the many wrongs with the official lists. He had Wynston Tabbs (one of my favorite ACC guards) listed as a point guard. I wanted to combat this thinking…but he was correct. I know the staff likes Chris Herren Jr., but is he a point guard? Brad says no and I tend to agree with him there. That was not a good situation for BC hoops in my typically not very humble opinion. You want Tabbs off that ball, you need Tabbs off that ball.
Shortly after, USC graduate transfer Derryck Thornton committed to Boston College in a somewhat surprising move.
Thornton, formerly of the Duke “brotherhood”, is a former 5-star recruit who played with the Blue Devils during the 2015-16 season. He averaged 7.1 points and 2,5 assists per game as a freshman in 26 mpg. Solid if unspectacular. In typical Duke fashion, Thornton was quickly recruited over due to his egregious failure in becoming a consensus All-American and went back home to the west coast and USC.
Then again, Thornton never quite lived up to his 5 star rating at USC either. Whether or not that is a problem with the player or the prep player evaluation process I do not know. Either way, the expectations have not been met.
Now, if ever there were a perfect fit, this might be it. Jim Christian is a coach with a reputation of developing his guards into quality ACC level players and his offense is obviously guard driven (which is cliche’, I am aware.). Maybe Thornton will finally have that season some expected of him. The move is already a win in the sense that Wynston Tabbs will not have to play the point guard position.
Boston College now has an ACC (lower) level back court for the 2019-20 season.
Now, another bit of news dropped yesterday regarding Boston College point guards. Providence transfer Makai Ashton-Langford, a former top 40 recruit in the 2017 class, will also transfer to BC.
Langford is a sit one play two PG who played at Brewster Academy as a prep. In his two seasons at Providence he averaged 4 points, 2 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game in 63 contests.
You don’t often hear about guards under-performing in that Providence system under Head Coach Ed Cooley. In fact, they often overachieve. Former All-Big East performer Kyron Cartwright was ranked in the mid to late 200’s by 247sports and flourished under Cooley. Then of course you have Kris Dunn, Bryce Cotton etc.
For me, this move is a bit of a head scratcher. Now, I liked MAL as a prep player. As a guy from the Northeast myself, it was hard not to know who he was. But, he really struggled in the Big East and I thought a step down was something he could really benefit from. Vermont, Iona (or any number of MAAC schools really) or possibly some A-10 programs would have been a great fit. Instead, he transfers UP to the ACC and while I am a Jim Christian advocate, unless the Eagles perform this year JC (this JC, not that JC) may not be in Chestnut Hill when MAL becomes eligible.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I have certainly been wrong before, it’s more than likely that I will eventually be wrong again. I hope it works for Thornton (drop 30 on Duke please), Tabbs (I hope you’re healthy and put on a show), MAL and especially Boston College, who have been really close lately to getting themselves in the ACC mix.