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Olivier Hanlan passes up NBA draft, will return to Boston College for junior year 04.16.14 at 6:23 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — While new coach Jim Christian is looking to rebuild the basketball program, he is getting a big piece back from the Steve Donahue era.

Sophomore Olivier Hanlan announced Tuesday that he will forego the NBA draft this spring and return to Boston College for his junior year.

Hanlan, the 6-foot-4 swingman, broke onto the scene with a sensational freshman season and set an ACC tournament freshman record for scoring with 41 points against Georgia Tech on March 14, 2013. The Eagles won 84-64. Hanlan went on to win ACC Rookie of the Year.

This past season, Hanlan ranked third in the ACC in scoring (18.5), fourth in minutes (36.2), sixth in free throw percentage (.811) and seventh in field goal percentage (.447). During conference play, he ranked second in scoring (18.4) and fourth in field goal percentage (.460).

The Aylmer, Quebec, product became the third player in Boston College history and the 29th player in ACC history to reach 1,000 points as a sophomore (1,100). Troy Bell and Craig Smith were the other Eagles to accomplish that feat and they are first and second on the BC career scoring list, respectively.

Hanlan was an All-ACC third-team selection this year after being named the conference Rookie of the Year in 2013.

Read More: ACC, Boston College, Craig Smith, Jim Christian
Jim Christian hires recruiting wiz Scott Spinelli to help rebuild Boston College hoops 04.14.14 at 5:42 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL ‘€“ The first major move of the Jim Christian era is complete.

The new head coach of the men’s basketball program at Boston College announced Monday that he has hired recruiting specialist Scott Spinelli away from the University of Maryland. The news first broke minutes after Christian’s introductory news conference last Tuesday at Boston College. Christian said one of the keys of getting Boston College back on the map in the Atlantic Coast Conference would be “recruiting the right kids” and “recruiting the players who really want to be at Boston College.” Spinelli will lead that effort.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman was the first to report the hiring of the man who spent the last three seasons on Mark Turgeon‘€™s staff at Maryland. He has coached with Turgeon for the last eight years at Wichita State, Texas A&M and in College Park.

‘€œWe are excited to have Scott join our basketball staff here at Boston College,’€ Christian said in a school news release. ‘€œHe is an outstanding young coach, a proven recruiter and he has developed strong relationships in the New England area. Scott has had success everywhere he’€™s coached and he has a few important qualities I was looking for: the ability to recruit and coach at a high level, and to develop the student-athletes in our program.’€

It’s a coming home of sorts for Spinelli, who is a native of Leominster, Mass. and a graduate of Boston University. Spinelli was the key recruiter that helped lead Texas A&M and Maryland to four NCAA Tournaments and one NIT appearance. In his four seasons at Texas A&M, the Aggies had the best four-year win total in program history.

Spinelli has helped the Terrapins bring in consecutive top-25 recruiting classes. Five of his players are currently playing in the NBA in Gal Mekel (Dallas), Donald Sloan (Indiana), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee), DeAndre Jordan (LA Clippers) and Alex Len (Phoenix.)

Spinelli first joined Turgeon’€™s staff as an associate head coach at Wichita State in 2006-07. He has served as an associate head coach since the 2005-06 season at Nebraska. He was an assistant coach for two years with the Cornhuskers prior to his promotion. Spinelli was also the associate head coach at Maryland (2011-14) and Texas A&M (2007-11).

Spinelli has also spent time with Loyola-Chicago (2001-03), Philadelphia 76ers (2000-01), Cincinnati Stuff of the IBL (1999-2000), American (1997-99) and Wyoming (1996-97). His first coaching jobs were as head coach at Milford (NY) Academy (1990-93) and the Winchendon School (1993-96).

Read More: Boston College, Jim Christian, Mark Turgeon, Maryland
Johnny Gaudreau wins Hobey Baker, signs with Calgary Flames, leaves BC after three seasons 04.11.14 at 7:37 pm ET
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After dominating his sport in his junior season at Boston College, Johnny Gaudreau won the hockey equivalent to the Heisman Trophy Friday as he was awarded the Hobey Baker award as the most outstanding player in college hockey. He joins Mike Motteau (2000) and David Emma (1991) as previous winners in school history.

With three winners, Boston College matches Harvard for the third-most in the history of the award, which began in 1981. Minnesota, which will play for the national title on Saturday night in Philadelphia, has four winners. Minnesota-Duluth has had five winners in the 34-year history of the honor.

Friday was a big day for Gaudreau, known simply as “Johnny Hockey” on the Chestnut Hill campus. After accepting the award, he agreed to sign on with the Calgary Flames, who had his draft rights dating back to 2011, when he was selected 104th overall in the fourth round of the NHL Entry Draft. Listed at 5’6′€, Gaudreau was one of the shortest players taken at the 2011 draft.

After attending the Flames training camp, Gaudreau started his career with Boston College. He originally signed a letter of intent to play with Hockey East rival Northeastern University but opted for Boston College when Northeastern Hockey coach Greg Cronin resigned in June 2011, to take a position with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As a freshman, Gaudreau scored 21 goals and 23 assists in 44 games, leading all freshmen in scoring. Gaudreau played a key part in Boston College’s win in team’s National Championship, scoring a highlight reel goal late in the third period in their 4′€“1 win in the final over Ferris State. Gaudreau was awarded the Bill Flynn Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the Hockey East Championship tournament. Gaudreau also helped BC win the traditional Beanpot Tournament for the third year in a row and was named “Beanpot MVP” after the tournament.

Instead of leaving after his sophomore season last spring, Gaudreau stayed and Boston College. “Johnny Hockey” would post one of the most memorable hockey seasons in his school’s history.

He tied Paul Kariya‘s record for the Hockey East single season scoring streak at 31 games recording 29 goals and 61 points during this spree. He was named the Hockey East Player of the Year for the second straight season, as well as earning the league’s scoring title with 36 points in 20 games, and was named a unanimous First-Team All-Star. On March 20, he was also named a Hobey Baker top 10 finalist and a top 3 “Hobey Hat Trick” finalist for the second straight year on April 2.

His season came to a stunning end Thursday when BC lost to the Union Dutchmen in the Frozen Four, he finished the season with 36 goals and 44 assists for 80 points in 40 games played.

Gaudreau said after his sophomore season that one of the main reasons he stayed was to play with his younger brother Matt, who joined the team in the fall.

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Read More: Boston College, Calgary Flames, David Emma, Frozen Four
Jim Christian makes his passionate case – and plan – to make Boston College hoops relevant again 04.08.14 at 9:18 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Jim Christian was officially introduced by athletic director Brad Bates Tuesday as the new head coach of the men’s basketball program at Boston College. Christian, who replaces the fired Steve Donahue, says he plans on boosting the image of Boston College through selective recruiting and has already reportedly attracted a prominent scouting coach from the University of Maryland. Meanwhile, Christian said he had reached out to star player Ryan Anderson, who has informed the school he will be transferring to another school after getting his injured shoulder treated.

In introducing Christian, Bates explained his reasoning for selecting the 49-year-old who has previously coached at Kent State, TCU and, most recently, Ohio University. Bates, the former athletic director at Miami of Ohio, indicated he was familiar with Bates from his time at Kent State, where he led the Golden Flashes to six consecutive seasons of twenty or more wins, four MAC East division titles, two overall MAC titles, and two conference tournament championships. His teams also had five post-season appearances, three in the NIT and two in the NCAA Tournament. His record at Kent State was 137′€“59. He moved onto Texas Christian in 2008 before a two-year stint at Ohio University.

“Exciting day in Boston College basketball,” Bates said. “There are a lot of characteristics you look at when you are selecting the next leader of your basketball program.

“There are some core elements at Boston College that go without question, they’re fundamental. Integrity, competitiveness, ability to coach and recruit. But beyond that, Jim Christian brings really four elements that makes me really excited to have him leading our program. 

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Read More: Boston College, Brad Bates, Jim Christian, Kent State
Thatcher Demko has ‘unspeakable amount of excitement’ for Frozen Four in Philadelphia at 7:09 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Boston College standout freshman goalie Thatcher Demko is looking forward to heading to Philadelphia and taking on Union College in the NCAA Frozen Four national semifinal on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center.

“Unspeakable amount of excitement I think,” Demko said before hopping on a bus that would take the team to the airport and a flight for Philadelphia. “Everyone is just really excited to get out there. Looking forward to it.”

The Eagles, the No. 2 seed in the 16-team field, will play No. 3 seed Union College on Thursday night. The winner of that game will take on the winner of the No. 1 seed Minnesota and North Dakota in the national championship Saturday night in Philadelphia.

Boston College players and coaches, led by NCAA wins leader Jerry York, left campus Tuesday afternoon for the trip to Philadelphia and to begin preparations at Wells Fargo Center. One player who will be especially looking forward to the trip is Hobey Baker favorite Johnny Gaudreau, a junior and native of nearby Carneys Point, New Jersey.

“I know it’s his hometown so he’s going to owe some guys [dinner],” Demko said.

Even new men’s basketball coach got in on the act Tuesday during his introductory news conference, “Give my all of my best to Coach York and the BC hockey team as they set out to hang another banner in Conte Forum and win the national championship. You don’t have to be here long to know who ‘Johnny Hockey’ is and his quest to win the Hobey Baker Award.”

Demko is 16-4-3 in 23 games with BC this season with a 2.16 goals-against average, two shutouts and a .920 save percentage. The NHL Central Scouting Bureau has him ranked as the top draft-eligible goalie in this year’s NHL draft.

He is the likely starter Thursday against Union after making 18 saves in a 6-2 victory against Denver in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 29 and 29 saves in a 4-3 victory against the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in the quarterfinal round on March 30. Demko is a freshman who is trying to lead the Eagles to their sixth national title and fourth in seven years. The Eagles have won the NCAA championship in each of the even-numbered years since 2008.

Demko said Tuesday he’ll be relying on juniors like Gaudreau and senior Kevin Hayes and Patrick Brown to show the underclassmen how it’s done on the big stage.

“Absolutely. We have a lot of guys that have been through it,” Demko said. “Juniors and seniors have both won a national championship so that experience is huge for us. Their experience is coming down to the lower class guys and helping us out and getting us ready for it.”

Read More: Boston College, Frozen Four, Johnny Gaudreau, Johnny Hockey
Jeff Goodman on D&C: Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins could be good fit at Boston College 03.20.14 at 11:02 am ET
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ESPN’€™s Jeff Goodman joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday to talk about coaching changes at Boston College and March Madness. To hear the full interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Boston College announced Tuesday that it has fired basketball coach Steve Donahue. The Boston Globe has reported that Harvard bench boss Tommy Amaker could take Donahue’€™s spot.

“It’€™s a double,” Goodman said. “You’€™re hitting a double with that one I think. It’€™s safe, and new AD Brade Bates, he hasn’t tipped his hand, so I’€™m not sure how much truth there is to that yet. … I will say, still with all those people that are saying, ‘Well, they should’ve never fired Al Skinner,’ I disagree with that. The program was going down still. They had gone under .500 two of the last three years under Skinner.

“The problem was they hired an Ivy League coach who recruited Ivy League players. And I love Steve Donahue – great guy, high character — but he had two guys in Olivier Hanlan and Ryan Anderson who were ACC-caliber players, and you need to recruit. Amaker has shown he can recruit at Harvard — he’€™s done a very good job. Now honestly, it’€™s probably going to be harder for [Amaker] to recruit at BC than it’€™s been for him at Harvard because you’€™re fighting other academic institutions for players. There’€™s a small pool and you can sell Harvard, you can sell the fact that you played at Duke, you’ve been a coach at Seton Hall and Michigan.”

Goodman thinks that Mike Hopkins, the assistant coach at Syracuse, could fill the role.

“He played for [Jim] Boeheim, he’€™s going to be the next coach at Syracuse whenever [Boeheim] retires, but I think he’€™s a guy who’€™s extremely plugged in to the Northeast, to the prep school scene,” Goodman said. “He can recruit. He’€™s got a lot of support among the people who matter as far as AAU coaches, people that have juice with the players because you have got to keep the best players at home.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more college basketball news, head to collegeblog.weei.com.

On No. 1 seed Wichita State: “I’ve been the one guy who’€™s said I wouldn’t have even given them the No. 1 seed. I know it sounds nuts — they’€™re undefeated, I get it. But they’ve beaten three teams all year and played in the Missouri Valley, which is like me playing [Brian] Scalabrine one-on-one every day. He wins every game, right? He’€™ll beat me 30 straight times, but he beat me. What good is that? Do we know by beating me he is worthy of a No. 1 seed? No, and that’€™s what I feel like with Wichita. They beat a bunch of teams that weren’t even close remotely in the league of some of these other teams.”

On the most overrated and underrated teams in the tournament: “I’€™m not buying Virginia. I’€™m just not as a No. 1 seed. Part of the problem is I saw them earlier in the year, and they lost 48-38 to Wisconsin at home. I can’€™t get that out of my head. I know they’ve played well, I know they deserve being a 1 or 2 seed and Tony Bennett‘€™s a heck of a coach. I’€™m just not buying them. … I love both Michigan State and Louisville. Michigan State, they were banged up. Louisville, just it took a while to get going — you know the first half of the year they had to learn to play without Peyton Siva and Gorqui Dieng defensively. Siva was kind of the guy on the perimeter, the leader, the point guard, and Dieng was the rim protector. They kind of started to figure it out a little bit.”

Read More: Boston College, March Madness, Mike Hopkins, Steve Donahue
Steve Addazio on Andre Williams as a Heisman candidate: ‘Why not Andre?’ 11.16.13 at 5:19 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — After Saturday’s 339-yard rushing effort in a 38-21 win over North Carolina State, Boston College head coach Steve Addazio feels Andre Williams has certainly earned a December trip to New York City as a Heisman Trophy finalist.

“Absolutely, I think that any time you have a dominant football player that is all about the right things and stands for what is right in college football, then that is what that award represents,” Addazio said. “There are some tremendously worthy players out there but why not Andre?”

One week after rushing for 295 yards and setting a Boston College single-game record, Williams topped the 300-yard plateau, rushing for 339 yards on 42 carries. The 42 carries ties his own single-game school record.

The 339 yards passed John Leach of Wake Forest for the ACC single-game record. Williams also set the single-season rushing mark with two games remaining. He has 1,810 yards in 10 games for an astounding 181 yards per game average.

“That’s for other people to decide, added BC quarterback Chase Rettig. “We know he’s our Heisman.”

Read More: Andre Williams, Boston College, John Leach, Mike Cloud
Andre Williams runs wild (339 yards) as BC thumps NC State for bowl eligibility at 4:06 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Senior Andre Williams set a single-game school and ACC record with 339 yards rushing on 42 carries and set the new single-season school record for rushing as the Boston College Eagles beat North Carolina State, 38-21, Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.

The Eagles raced out to a 10-0 lead and led, 17-7, at the half.

The Eagles scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away and help BC improve to a 6-4 record (3-3, ACC) and clinch bowl eligibility in coach Steve Addazio‘s first season with the Eagles.

Senior kicker Nate Freese also had a record setting day, setting the new school scoring record when he converted the extra point on Boston College’s first touchdown of the day, a Williams 17-yard run in the first quarter.

Read More: Andre Williams, Boston College, nate freese, NCAA
BC men’s basketball tabbed to finish eighth in ACC preseason poll 10.17.13 at 3:43 pm ET
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The 2013-14 season looks to be very promising for the Boston College men’s basketball team, as the Eagles return all five starters and 12 letterwinners.

Despite returning 96 percent of the team’s scoring, points and rebounds, the Eagles still face an uphill battle in the competitive Atlantic Coast Conference, as BC was chosen to finish eighth in the ACC preseason poll on Wednesday. Boston College received 457 votes in the poll.

Led by hyped freshman recruit Jabari Parker, Duke was tabbed to finish first, receiving 805 votes and 50 first-place votes. Syracuse (753 votes) and North Carolina (668) round out the top-three teams in the poll.

Virginia (612), Notre Dame (608), Pittsburgh (477) and Maryland (473) were next up.

After BC, Florida State (334), NC State (332), Georgia Tech (311), Miami (224), Wake Forest (220), Clemson (141) and Virginia Tech (65) round out the poll.

Syracuse’s C.J. Fair was named the ACC Preseason Player of the Year, while Parker was tabbed as the ACC Preseason Rookie of the Year. BC sophomore guard Olivier Hanlan received three Player of the Year votes.

The ACC Preseason All-Conference Team also was announced on Wednesday, consisting of Fair, Parker, Joe Harris (Virginia), Rodney Hood (Duke) and Jerian Grant (Notre Dame).

Read More: ACC, Boston College, men's basketball, preseason poll
Hockey East Season Preview: This really might be ‘the deepest the league has ever been’ 10.07.13 at 9:22 am ET
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If you go to enough Hockey East media days, you’ll realize that there are certain lines you’re bound to hear from coaches year after year.

“Anyone can beat anyone in this league.”

“There isn’t much of a difference between the first-place team and the last-place team.”

“This might be the deepest the league has ever been.”

“There’s more parity now than ever before.”

The first quote is obviously true. That’s how sports work. We see upsets all the time, and Hockey East is no different. Just last year, we saw conference champ Massachusetts-Lowell drop the season series against eighth-place Maine (Lowell went on to sweep Maine in the playoffs, though), and second-place Boston College lose games against each of Hockey East’s bottom three teams.

But the fact that the first quote is true doesn’t necessarily mean the second quote is true. Let’s face it: the worst teams really only have a chance of beating the best teams when the best teams are off their game. There’s a reason Lowell and BC ended up with significantly better records than Massachusetts and Northeastern last season — because Lowell and BC were significantly better teams. And barring something crazy, they’ll be significantly better teams again this year.

As for the third and fourth quotes, when you hear them every year, you start to wonder if coaches would say those things even if they didn’t actually believe them. The league can’t really get deeper every single year, can it? There can’t really be more and more parity every year, right?
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Read More: Boston College, Boston University, Hockey East, maine
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