Garland Owens committing to BC raised a few eyebrows over the weekend. Other than BC, Owens had only been offered by two major programs, UTEP and Seton Hall. Rivals and ESPN have very little in terms of scouting on Owens, but he seems to have above-average athleticism with below-average fundamentals.
At first I was really surprised that Donahue would invest a scholarship in an unheralded player like Owens. In a year where BC has precious few scholarships to offer, the hope was certainly that we would land an Anderson-type recruit who could really come in and contribute in a major way. Owens is simply not that type of player. He seems to be a high-risk, high-reward player, and Donahue is betting that he and his coaching staff can minimize the risk while potentially reaping a solid contributor.
I like the idea of Donahue taking some calculated risks with scholarships. I want a coach who believes that he is better at evaluating talent than Rivals or ESPN. I want a coach who believes that he can coach up players and develop them over time. We don't need Owens to contribute as a freshman, although it would be nice for him to compliment Dragicevich as a major contributor off the bench in 2013-14. What we do need is someone who can spell Anderson and Heckmann for what will be a crucial season for the program in 2014-15. Donahue will have a year and a half to sculpt Owens into a usable bench player.
Owen's athleticism puts a very high ceiling on what he can achieve at BC. At best, Owens can turn into a Reggie Jackson type player. Reggie was only a moderately-ranked recruit coming into BC (3-stars, only other offers from Nevada and Wyoming). He showed immense progress from his senior year to his first year at BC, and was able to provide between 8 and 15 minutes of solid play off the bench each game. It's certainly feasible that Owens can show the same type of progress given his athleticism. Let's hope that Owens is the last piece of a puzzle that puts this team in the Sweet 16.