By: Matt Doherty
The Boston University men’s basketball team displayed a frustrating yet impressive two-game stretch last week when they lost by a combined six points to power five programs Connecticut and North Carolina State on the road.
One of the bright spots from the road trip was forward Tyler Scanlon. The freshman from Chantilly, Virginia is averaging 7.0 PPG and 3.6 RPG eight games into his Terrier career, including a jaw-dropping 15-point, nine-rebound performance Saturday in Raleigh against the Wolfpack.
Playing against four and five star recruits from the ACC, the 6’7 Scanlon displayed his unique athletic ability on the offensive end knocking down 3 three-pointers and attacking the basket. His nine rebounds also led the team, showing his versatility on both ends of the floor.
Scanlon certainly showed no passiveness playing on the big stage at Uconn and NC State, looking afar from his 18-year old self.
Despite his strong showing against a talented team in his first true hostile collegiate environment, Scanlon credited his teammates for his success in the game.
“It was just my teammates finding me and getting me the ball where I’m comfortable,” Scanlon said. “The offense played really well that game and they found me in good spots.”
Scanlon began his Terrier career putting together a three-point clinic during the Steve Wright Classic where he went 7-12 3FG in the three games. In Raleigh, his 15 point performance marked a career high as Scanlon says he is continuing to grow accustomed to the college game.
“The first couple games were a little overwhelming because of the size of the players, speed of the game,” Scanlon said. “But I think I’m adjusting to it all.”
Scanlon also mentioned adjusting from going to “the guy” in high school to taking a backseat to upperclassmen at BU.
“There’s so many guys here that can score and you have to rely on them,” Scanlon said. “You have to get used to that.”
Scanlon is not used to such an adjustment, though. In high-school he put together an unprecedented athletic career achieving the Virginia State Player of the Year in both football and basketball as a senior. He also led Westfield H.S. to state championships in both sports last year.
In football, Scanlon played quarterback and wide receiver, and in basketball he carried his team to a state championship averaging 23 PPG.
He received multiple Division I offers from schools like American, William and Mary, and George Mason but Scanlon said he chose Boston University because it felt like home.
“It offered the best from the academic side and I really fit in with the players, and the coaches were accommodating,” Scanlon said. “The city of Boston was just a nice place to be.”
Now with his Boston University career off and running, Scanlon is watching his game grow and reach new heights.
He understands that his offensive arsenal is not where it needs to be in order to be a consistent scorer at the D1 level but is trying to find other ways to contribute.
“Where I can help this team is finding the guys who know how to put the ball in the basket,” Scanlon said.
As a freshman, Scanlon is just scratching the surface of the potential impact he can have on the program. His ability to shoot the three, play on the block, handle the ball, as well as guard multiple positions on defense make him an intriguing skillset.
For now though, he is continuing to get better each and every day.
After the close losses at UConn and NC State, Scanlon believes his team can play with anyone.
“We have the talent and we have the pieces, we just have to put it together,”Scanlon said.
Boston University (4-4) hosts Canisius College (3-5) Wednesday night at Case Gym. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30.