BREAKING: Quinnipiac’s Rich Kelly transfers to Boston College

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Photos: Liz Flynn

Tom Krosnowski

UPDATE: 3/29/20:

The 2020-21 Bobcats are going to look very different than the team familiar to QU fans over the past three years.

Former Quinnipiac guard Rich Kelly announced Sunday that he will be transferring to Boston College. Kelly broke the news in a video with Andrew and Aaron Robinson of All Facts Media. This comes one day after Kevin Marfo announced his transfer to Texas A&M.

Kelly is an excellent playmaker and a three-level scorer. His elite three-point shooting (career 38.7 percent) and confidence with the ball in his hands will mesh well with the Eagles.

“I went into this process knowing that returning to Quinnipiac was an option, and that only a really good situation would take me away from that,” Kelly said.  “When BC presented itself and coach [Jim] Christian talked to me, I think it just had a great combination of things that appeal to me, being a great school, I’m a New England guy, and it’s in Boston, the ACC has always been my favorite conference, and just the opportunity to come in, help contribute and try to go to the NCAA Tournament.”

Kelly finishes his QU career as one of 42 players in Bobcats history to score over 1,000 points. He is a two-time All-MAAC selection, and is immediately eligible to play for Boston College as a graduate student transfer.

The Bobcats will have to pick up the pieces after losing their two leading scorers in two days. Tyrese Williams, Savion Lewis and Tyree Pickron could see larger roles in Kelly’s absence, but the Bobcats might also look to the transfer portal if they’re looking for a lead guard with more experience.

Our own Will Fowler analyzed Kelly’s seven potential transfer destinations earlier today; here’s what he wrote about Kelly’s proposed fit with Boston College:

“The Eagles found their star this season in freshman guard Jay Heath. The next step is to find the guy to play alongside him. Last year it was Derryck Thornton, who averaged 12.7 points and led the team in assists while averaging 31 minutes per game.

But Thornton has since graduated, leaving coach Jim Christian with a hole in his backcourt. Kelly fits the mold of the type of guard that could find success alongside Heath – he moves the ball well, he knows how to find the open man, and he chews up minutes – and the departures of Thornton and senior guard Jared Hamilton give Kelly a fairly easy lane (pun intended) to the starting job.

Both Julian Rishwain and top-100 prospect Demarr Langford will be looking for meaningful minutes as well, but I have full confidence that Kelly, the only true point guard of the three, would win a positional battle against them if one were to arise. A Kelly and Heath backcourt has the potential to give Boston College back-to-back first round byes in the ACC tournament for the first time since 2006-07. Fit: 7.5/10

*This is a developing story. It will be updated as necessary.*

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ORIGINAL STORY: 3/17/20

Quinnipiac’s basketball season hasn’t even been over for a full week, and after absorbing the loss of leading big man Kevin Marfo and bench scorer Nathan Davis, one of the most dynamic players in program history is taking the opportunity to assess his future.

Two-time All-MAAC selection Rich Kelly is entering the NCAA transfer portal. Kelly will have the chance to seek opportunities with other schools, although he left a return to Quinnipiac open in his statement on Twitter:

Kelly, who finished second in the MAAC in points per game and third in assists per game, finished up his third year with the Bobcats. He has been one of the program’s most prolific scorers and playmakers, notching over 1,000 points as a Bobcat. He earned a large role for Baker Dunleavy’s squad over the years, and became the team’s go-to-guy when it needed a bucket.

Kelly, one of the best three-level scorers in the MAAC, might receive interest from larger conferences. He would reportedly be eligible to play immediately if he transferred, as Kelly will graduate in three years and enter the transfer portal as a graduate student.

It is still uncertain what this means for Quinnipiac. The Bobcats have rising redshirt sophomore Savion Lewis and rising junior Tyree Pickron as ball-handling guards, but would lose their leading scorer and playmaker should Kelly leave. The team has already lost its starting center and a bench forward in the past week, and the potential loss of the team’s primary playmaker would be difficult to replace.

Dunleavy and the Bobcats will hold their breath as Kelly tests the market.

*This is a developing story. It will be updated as necessary.*