Shelton’s Rich Kelly commits to Boston College as a grad transfer

Photo of David Borges
Shelton’s Rich Kelly recently committed to Boston College without taking a true ‘virtual visit’ with the Eagles.

Shelton’s Rich Kelly recently committed to Boston College without taking a true ‘virtual visit’ with the Eagles.

Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticut Media

To say Shelton’s Rich Kelly is a basketball junkie might be an understatement.

Moments after announcing his decision on where he’ll play basketball for his final year in college, Kelly was back out in the driveway, shooting hoops with his younger brother.

As for that life-altering decision made moments earlier: Kelly will be taking his talents to Boston College for his final season of college basketball.

Kelly, a junior who will graduate from Quinnipiac this spring, committed to the Eagles on Suday afternoon on the @AllFactsMedia Twitter feed.

“(Boston College) has a great combination of things,” Kelly told Hearst Connecticut Media. “First off, it’s a great school, I’ll be getting my MBA there. Coach (Jim) Christian seems like a genuine guy that seems like someone that tells you how it is and that you can trust. Being able to stay close to home, play in the ACC, one of the highest levels there is. All of that coming together, having the opportunity to come in and compete to try to help them win some games.”

Like all current transfers, Kelly makes his decision without making an official visit to the BC campus. All in-person recruiting has been suspended until at least April 15, and coaches can only contact recruits via phone, text, etc.

Kelly has never been to the BC campus, but has several friends who went there and gave him good feedback on it. But Kelly’s decision transcended all that.

“It’s more than just next year for me,” he said. “I hope that I enjoy it off the court, enjoy the city of Boston, hope it’s nice. But it’s really more of a life decision, trying to put myself in the best position after next year, as well.”

UConn was one of several schools to reach out to Kelly, via assistant coach Tom Moore.

“(My decision) wasn’t about the hometown school, it was more about the best fit, basketball-wise,” Kelly noted. “(UConn) just didn’t fit as well as some of the other schools.”

Kelly’s final list of schools was narrowed down to BC, Ohio State, Wake Forest, BYU, George Washington, Tulane and Santa Clara.

Kelly averaged 16.7 points and 4.5 assists per game this season and was named to the All-MAAC Second Team for the second season in a row. The former Fairfield Prep and Cheshire Academy standout made the league’s All-Rookie Team as a freshman. He was named Hearst Connecticut Media’s Boys Basketball MVP in 2016.

Kelly is a junior but will graduate in May with a degree in finance, so he will be a grad transfer eligible to play one season right away. He said Christian told him, “What I bring to the table, they need. If I’m able to replicate that, I’ll have opportunities to compete for time.”

Kelly’s decision is a double-whammy for Quinnipiac. Kevin Marfo, the Bobcats’ second-leading scorer and the leading rebounder in the nation (13.3 per game) this season, announced on Saturday night that he is transferring to Texas A&M. Marfo is also a grad transfer.

“It’s never anything personal,” Baker Dunleavy, who just finished his third year as Quinnipiac’s head coach, told Hearst Connecticut Media recently. “Guys are gonna take advantage of their freedoms to be mobile and try new things. That’s kind of how this current generation of basketball operates. As coaches, we have to adapt or die.”

The Bobcats, who finished 15-15 overall and 10-10 (fifth place) in the MAAC this season, will bring in Tymu Chenery, a versatile, athletic, 6-foot-5 wing from Alexandria, Va. next season, as well as Jamil Riggins, a 6-6 forward who red-shirted as a freshman this season. The Bobcats also have Savion Lewis, the 2018 Mr. Basketball in New York who broke his foot eight games into this season and took a medical redshirt, ready to step in for Kelly at point guard.