The Boston College Eagles struggled throughout Olivier Hanlan's three year collegiate career, going just 4-14 in ACC-play the past two seasons and 7-11 prior to that, but Hanlan found plenty of individual success, becoming one of the best scorers in college basketball. He ending his collegiate career averaging 20.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted while playing 37.6 minutes per game. This was enough to place him on the ACC All-Conference 1st team a year after garnering All-Conference 3rd team honors. The 22 year old Canadian turns his eyes toward the NBA draft now, hoping to show scouts his skills can translate to the NBA level.
While Hanlan has decent size for a combo guard, measured at 6'3.5 with a 6'5 wingspan at the 2013 Lebron James camp, his athleticism is average compared to most NBA guards. He doesn't have blazing speed but is capable of pushing the ball in transition and changes speeds well to beat defenders. He is a skilled offensive player which helps him overcome his lack of superior athletic tools, and he will need to demonstrate his skill set can help him succeed at the next level.
For the Eagles, Hanlan either had the ball in his hands or was working off screens to get it. With the ball in his hands, he ran through ball screen after ball screen, as pick and roll offense made up 26.5% of his possessions according to Synergy Sports Technology. He was comfortable using ball screens to generate offensive opportunities for both him and his teammates. He reads the defense well, either attacking the rim when he has an opening or finding his teammates when he draws the defense and is forced to pass. He's a great finisher around the rim, averaging 68.1% according to Synergy Sports Technology, fourth highest among players in our top 100 among players with at least 90 such shots, behind Jahlil Okafor, Richaun Holmes and Sam Dekker.
While his 4.5 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted and his 0.34 pure point rating both rank near the bottom of point guards in our top 100, this does not completely define Hanlan's ability to find open teammates. He has improved his passing ability over the years and has the ability to find his teammates around the perimeter for open shots, even if he looks most comfortable seeking out his own shots and passing as a backup plan, which makes sense considering the quality of teammates he was surrounded with in his time at BC, which have rarely been ACC-caliber.
He needs screens to break down the defense in the halfcourt, as he doesn't have great ball handling moves to beat defenders in isolation situations. He mixes up speeds well to get past his initial defender, but didn't regularly demonstrate the ability to break down the defense off the bounce.
When he is attacking off the dribble, either with a ball screen or in isolation, if he can't get to the rim, he settles for mid-range pull-up jump shots. He isn't efficient on these jump shots, averaging just 29.2% on his 106 attempts according to Synergy Sports Technology, as he is unable to control himself coming into his stop which puts him off balance. Also, since he is unable to create separation from his defenders off the dribble, these attempts are usually strongly contested. While he needs to improve his ability to get to the rim, he also needs to become more consistent in jump shots off the dribble to give him a second option to score.
Working off the ball, Hanlan moves well by cutting and rubbing his defenders off screens to get open. In catch and shoot situations, he shot 39.5% according to Synergy Sports Technology. He shot 35% from three as a junior and he will need to show he has the ability to space the floor when playing off the ball, as he won't be a focal point of a professional offense nearly as much as he was at BC.
On the defensive side, Hanlan showed a high level of focus and energy, despite his high offensive load. He doesn't have superior athletic tools, which limits his ability to contribute defensively, especially considering his lack of length will make it difficult for him to bother offensive players. He has a tendency to have tunnel vision on his man which can result in him being easily screened, as he doesn't see the screen until it's too late forcing him to run right into the screen or take a bad route around it. If he can put in consistent energy and move his feet well to stay in front of dribble penetration, he could make a better impact defensively, but his overall skill-set doesn't project him as a lock-down defender at the next level.
With defenses no longer solely focused on slowing down Hanlan, it will be interesting to see his development as a complementary offensive player. Hanlan has several ways to score, but often had to work extremely hard and beat multiple players just to get a shot off while in college. Hanlan took the eighth most field goal attempts of players in our top 100, so he will need to show he can find a balance between getting his own offense and creating for his teammates. He will also need to do so while accepting a smaller role, as he used the third highest percentage of his team's possessions in our top 100 but likely won't be given anywhere near that type of green light by a NBA team.
If he can convince scouts he can take a smaller offensive role and get his teammates involved, Hanlan could be drafted in June and strong summer and preseason performances could see him play his way onto a NBA roster. He has the offensive skill-set to be an impact player in the D-League or internationally if things don't work out initially, but if he works on some of his areas of improvement, he could certainly find a role at the NBA-level long term.