The Olivier Hanlan Show made an appearance in Greensboro, NC this afternoon.
Swooshing deep three pointers and knocking in toughly contested layups, the 6-foot-4 phenom from Quebec split through the Georgia Tech defense, doing what he does best: scoring points.
41 points and two tremendous halves later, Hanlan put closure to a spectacle likened to Tyrese Rice’s 46-point performance against UNC in the 2007-08 season.
Boston College head coach Steve Donahue pulled Hanlan from the game with a little more than a minute to play, cuing deservedly loud applause from the stands. He was immediately greeted by his teammates with enthusiastic fist-bumps and high-fives.
It was time to save some for the No. 8-ranked Miami Hurricanes, who the Eagles face tomorrow at noon in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. Hanlan will have to be at his finest once more if BC hopes to continue its four-game winning streak.
8-for-10 from three, Hanlan was en feu—that’s French for “on fire” in case you were wondering.
In the second half, during one of his eight three-pointers, Hanlan appeared to have been fouled, falling to the court fairly hard. Instead of raising his hands in protest for the and-one, he popped up and sprinted down the court. There was no time to play around and whine, despite the ever-increasing margin BC had.
Hanlan showed that same hustle in the first half, too. He intercepted a pass in the Georgia Tech backcourt and floated in a lay-up to give BC a 35-33 lead after being down 15-0 earlier in the game.
He seemed unquestionably serious on the outside. He was not going to let anyone abrupt his path to dominance. But something about his swagger—the smirk on his face—told you that he felt much different on the inside.
The kid inside Olivier Hanlan was undoubtedly elated.
Finally, a great game on the big-stage. And not just a “great” game—a historic one.
Hanlan’s tear broke numerous records. No freshman has ever scored as many points in the ACC tournament as Hanlan did today. Not to mention, no one in the ACC has scored as many points as Hanlan did in one game this entire year.
To the skeptics constantly drawing on the botched free throw against Miami and the failed pull-up jumper against Duke, Hanlan’s performance was a defiant response to the shortcomings of the past.
An exorcism of all that haunted the BC star, Hanlan solidified his ACC Rookie of Year honor, too. Cynics discrediting Hanlan’s latest honor have no argument now.
He found the basket nearly every time he advanced the ball past midcourt, surpassing ACC legends after each bucket.
As every game passes, the Canadian boy-wonder’s legend seems to grow. If he takes BC to the ACC tournament finals, who knows what will ensue?
One thing is for certain: need a quick layup as the shot clock expires? A deep three as the half winds down? Look to the Canadian, eh? He will get the job done.