GREENSBORO, N.C. — Olivier Hanlan's season-high was 26 points. So the notion of the Boston College freshman scoring 26 more than Erick Green on Thursday bordered on preposterous.
Green, after all, leads the nation in scoring. He is the ACC player of the year.
But this is college basketball, and this is March.
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So there was Hanlan shredding Georgia Tech for 41 historic points in the opening round of the ACC tournament. And there was Green ending his Virginia Tech career and an indelible season with a 15-point, four-turnover clunker against North Carolina State.
Hanlan's outburst is an ACC freshman record. Not just for the tournament, mind you. For any game. No ACC rookie has ever scored as many points.
And certainly none ever shot the ball like Hanlan. After missing four of his first six attempts, Hanlan made his last 12, eight from beyond the 3-point arc.
Think about that. He scored 32 points on his last dozen shots. When's the last time anyone, at any level, did that? Get Elias Sports Bureau on that nugget.
"My last 12 shots were not really tough," Hanlan said with a straight face. "But my teammates were finding me in (good) spots, and I was trying to move around the wing because they were guarding me well."
Well, Georgia Tech most assuredly did not defend Hanlan well. But open or not, making eight consecutive threes is not easy.
Hanlan's final jumper, a left-wing 3-pointer that rolled around the rim and off the glass before falling symbolized his day.
"He was putting on a show," teammate Joe Rahon said. "As a player on the court, you're trying not to get caught up in it."
With Boston College cruising to an 84-64 victory, this after trailing 15-0, coach Steve Donahue lifted Hanlan with 2:13 remaining. Otherwise, he might have bested the tournament's overall scoring record 45, established by North Carolina's Lennie Rosenbluth in 1957.
As is, Hanlan's 41 are the most at the tournament since Carolina's Charlie Scott scored 41 against Virginia in 1970.
The ACC rookie of the year, Hanlan hails from Quebec, and according to Rivals.com attracted scholarship offers only from BC, Virginia Tech, Texas Christian, Dayton and Rice. Donahue stumbled upon him thanks to friend Dave Smart, who's coached Carleton University to nine Canadian national championships.
"I think he got under-recruited a little bit," Donahue understated. "He's not a freaky type athlete, necessarily, but he's a very good athlete."
Green, too, arrived on campus absent the fanfare that accompanies many recruits. But after a beyond modest freshman season, he developed into a second-team all-conference talent by his junior year.
But no one, not even Green, anticipated such a memorable senior season. His player-of-the-year accolades bothered some who obsessed over Virginia Tech's poor record, but those folks overlooked his unselfishness and efficiency.
Alas, Green exited by missing 14-of-19 shots in an 80-63 loss to N.C. State. The Wolfpack's Lorenzo Brown stifled Green at most every turn, and when he didn't, Green lacked Hanlan's good fortune, as several jumpers just rimmed out.
"I think he's one of the best players in the nation, hands down," Brown said of Green. "It was tough. I was tired. I'm still kind of tired."
Green refused to use a sore right knee as an out and insisted he wasn't playing hurt.
"You have to give all credit to N.C. State," he said. "They had a great defensive plan. … Even in transition I was seeing two or three people back there just waiting for me."
But Robert Brown, Green's teammate and roommate, said Green was hurting.
"He's just been really humble about all his accomplishments and the way he's been playing," Brown added. "Just to see how he works and to see him go out there every night and perform … it's been a really nice thing to be around."
For all of Green's struggles Thursday, let the record show that on his final two possessions as a college player he scored on a floater in the lane and assisted on a Christian Beyer layup.
With 1:05 remaining, coach James Johnson sent walk-on Joey Racer into the game to replace Green, the lone highlight of the Hokies' 13-19 season. The Greensboro Coliseum crowd offered its appreciation.
"I'm going to miss college basketball," Green said.
The feeling is mutual.