With two of their top three scorers from last season, forward Ryan Anderson and guard Joe Rahon, having decided to transfer Boston College needed to find some offensive help for leading scorer Olivier Hanlan heading into the 2014-15 season. On Friday first-year head coach Jim Christian added an experienced piece to the program, with former Southern Miss guard Aaron Brown deciding to transfer to BC.
The news was first reported by Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com, with other outlets confirming the news shortly thereafter.
In his lone season at Southern Miss, Brown averaged 9.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, shooting nearly 43 percent from the field and 39 percent from beyond the arc. And as a graduate transfer, Brown will be eligible to play at Boston College immediately and that’s undoubtedly good news for the Eagles.
Last season Boston College struggled on both ends of the floor, ranking in the bottom half of the ACC in both field goal percentage (9th) and field goal percentage defense (9th), and they finished with an 8-24 overall record (4-14 ACC). However one of the four ACC wins came at Syracuse, with the Eagles beating the then-undefeated Orange 62-59 in overtime.
In addition to Hanlan, who scored 18.5 points per game last season, Boston College’s leading returning scorers are guard Lonnie Jackson (7.0 ppg) and forward Patrick Heckmann (6.0 ppg). Christian and his staff were able to reel in a big man this spring, with former Cal commit Idrissa Diallo deciding to join the program following the retirement of former Cal head coach Mike Montgomery.
On Friday, the Southern Miss announced that guard Aaron Brown was granted his release from the program. The 6-foot-5 guard, who played his first two seasons at Temple, will be eligible to play the 2014-2015 season under the graduate transfer rule.
The weekend wasn’t over by the time multiple high-major programs have expressed interest in Brown. Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv reported on Sunday afternoon that Brown is considering Minnesota, Oregon and Rutgers, as well as Iona and Southeastern. This would be a notable late addition to a high-major team like Oregon, which dismissed three players accused of sexual assault and had another recruit fail to be admitted to the university. A mid-major like Iona, which is looking to return to the NCAA tournament, would also benefit from adding Brown, especially since MAAC rival Manhattan recently got word that Cincinnati transfer Jermaine Lawrence would be eligible this season.
According to BigGoldNation.com, the Rivals Southern Miss affiliate site, Boston College and Rhode Island are two possible destinations for Brown. Worth noting that URI head coach Dan Hurly coached Brown at St. Benedict’s Prep (New Jersey). Brown will visit the Boston College campus on Monday, according to Zagoria.
Boston College saw starting guard Joe Rahon (Saint Mary’s) as well as second-leading scorer Ryan Anderson (Arizona) transfer following the 2013-2014 season. New head coach Jim Christian does retain Olivier Hanlan, who averaged 18.5 points per game.
Brown, who was a starter on the top team in Conference USA last season, averaged 9.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc.
With four starters having moved on at the end of the 2013-14 season, new Southern Miss head coach Doc Sadler was expected to go into his debut season with Aaron Brown being his most experienced player. Brown, who began his college career at Temple, started 30 of the Golden Eagles’ 36 games and posted averages of 9.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.
However he won’t be around next season, with it being reported by Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com on Saturday that Brown’s request to be released from his scholarship was granted. And as a graduate transfer, Brown would be eligible to play immediately at another Division I school. In a school release, Southern Miss athletic director Bill McGillis explained why he and Sadler agreed to release Brown.
“Upon returning to the office tonight, after two full days away, I had the opportunity to fully review Aaron Brown’s written request for a release,” athletic director Bill McGillis said in a release. “I was able to contact and visit with Aaron personally to discuss his request and to understand his family circumstances. I was also able to visit with coach Sadler to gain his perspective.
“Coach Sadler and I agree that Aaron’s circumstances warrant the granting of his release. Coach Sadler thinks very highly of Aaron and is supportive of his decision to attend graduate school at another institution that better fits his family circumstances.”
Brown’s departure means that Jeremiah Eason, who started 14 games last season, former Minnesota guard Chip Armelin and guard/forward Matt Bingaya are Southern Miss’ most experienced returnees. Sadler added five players to his roster who will be eligible to play immediately, and former Dayton guard Khari Price is expected to have to sit out the upcoming season per NCAA transfer rules.
While losing another starter doesn’t help Southern Miss’ chances of making a run at another Conference USA title, it appears as if their decision to release Brown was made with the player’s best interest in mind.