Boston College knew this season wasn’t going to be easy. Coach Steve Donahue loaded the nonconference schedule with tough matchups, betting that his experienced roster could win more than it would lose and that the Eagles would gain points toward postseason play by playing tough games leading up to the brutal ACC section of the schedule.
But after starting 0-3 with close losses at Providence, to UMass at TD Garden, and at home to Toledo, things weren’t looking good for BC.
Then Olivier Hanlan exploded for 38 points and the Eagles got their first win of the season, 82-79, over Florida Atlantic on Sunday night.
On Monday, Hanlan was recognized for his efforts when he was named the ACC Co-Player of the Week along with Duke’s Jabari Parker.
The sophomore from Aylmer, Quebec, had 18 points and a career-high six assists in the 95-92 loss to Toledo and a regular-season career-high 38 points against FAU. Through four games, Hanlan leads the ACC in scoring (24.5 PPG).
Hanlan had 27 of his 38 points on Sunday in the second half, allowing the Eagles to hold off the Owls, and finished 11-for-19 from the field and 12-for-14 from the free-throw line.
The scoring explosion came at a good time, because things don’t get any easier for Hanlan and the Eagles. BC’s next game is Thursday (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2, WatchESPN) against No. 18 UConn at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Sports Classic.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.