Patriot League

Getty Images

Tennessee survives scare from No. 15-seed Colgate

Leave a comment

Tennessee survived a scare from No. 15 seed Colgate as the Volunteers claimed a 77-70 win on Friday afternoon in a South Region NCAA tournament first-round game in Columbus.

The Volunteers led by 12 at the half and by as many as 14 points in the second half before Colgate responded with a furious push to take a 52-50 lead with under 12 minutes left. But Tennessee responded with scoring from a variety of sources to regain the advantage and close out the game.

Admiral Schofield (19 points) buried back-to-back three-pointers when it was a one-possession game to put this game out of reach for Tennessee. Jordan Bone (16 points), Jordan Bowden (14 points) and Lamonte Turner (13 points) also finished in double-figures while All-American Grant Williams (nine points, eight rebounds) had a quiet game.

Playing most of Friday without leading scorer and Patriot League Player of the Year Rapolas Ivanauskas (vision issues; 0 points, 0-for-4 shooting), Colgate (24-11) gave Tennessee a legitimate scare during its first NCAA tournament appearance in 23 years. Conference tournament title-game hero Jordan Burns had another great day shooting from the perimeter as he finished with 32 points on 8-for-13 three-point shooting.

Colgate was 15-for-29 from distance as a team on Friday as treys kept them in the game. Junior forward Will Rayman (10 points) and freshman guard Tucker Richardson (10 points) also finished in double-figures for the Raiders.

Tennessee advances to face No. 10 seed Iowa on Sunday in a second-round matchup in Columbus. The Vols will need to play much better in order to get past Iowa as the Hawkeyes used hot second-half shooting to get past No. 7 seed Cincinnati.

Williams had an off-day and wasn’t putting up his normal production, but it’s a positive sign for Tennessee that its guards all stepped up to contribute double-figures.

Introducing Cinderella: Colgate makes NCAA tournament for first time in 23 years

Getty Images
1 Comment

Colgate is heading to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 23 years after defeating Bucknell for a 94-80 home win. The program’s first NCAA trip since back-to-back appearances in 1995 and 1996, the Raiders will enter the NCAA tournament riding an impressive 11-game winning streak.

On Wednesday night, sophomore Jordan Burns was the hero for Colgate as he finished with a career-high 35 points on a blistering 6-for-9 performance from three-point range. With Patriot League Player of the Year Rapolas Ivanauskas (14 points, eight rebounds) battling foul trouble, Burns and junior forward Will Rayman (18 points, seven rebounds) stepped up to put the game away after Bucknell made an early second-half run.

CONFERENCE: Patriot League

COACH: Matt Langel

RECORD: 24-10, 13-5 in the Patriot League

RATINGS:

  • KENPOM: 133
  • NET: 135

PROJECTED SEED: Colgate projects as a No. 15 seed in our latest NBC Sports bracket. Although the Raiders are riding a recent winning streak, they don’t have great metrics nor any notable wins.

NAMES YOU NEED TO KNOW: Patriot League Player of the Year Rapolas Ivanauskas (16.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg) is a double-double threat who can also extend the floor with 43 percent three-point shooting. The former Northwestern transfer has been a revelation at Colgate as the junior is finally healthy after two years of shoulder issues. Sophomore Jordan Burns (15.1 ppg, 5.8 apg, 3.2 rpg) is another notable threat at lead guard while junior forward Will Rayman (13.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.5 apg) is the team’s third double-figure scorer.

BIG WINS, BAD LOSSES: Going 0-4 against Q1 and Q2 teams this season, Colgate’s two best wins of the season are home wins over Bucknell. The Raiders lost to Syracuse, Penn State, USF and Pitt — all by double-digits. With three Q4 losses to Boston (228), Loyola-Maryland (280) and Navy (281) the Raiders are also susceptible to some duds against bad teams.

STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW: One of the hotter teams entering the 2019 NCAA tournament, Colgate has won 11 straight games. Three-point shooting will be the key for the Raiders to stay with a top seed as they’re a very good 38.6 percent as a team on the season (19th in the nation). Defensively, Colgate is No. 203 in KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency, so the Raiders will almost assuredly need a hot-shooting night to win in the tournament.

HOW DO I KNOW YOU?: Colgate doesn’t have a lot of men’s basketball notoriety but the program did produce NBA veteran big man Adonal Foyle — as he helped the Raiders to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 1995 and ’96. U.S. Congressman Antonio Delgado (New York’s 19th congressional district) is also a men’s basketball alum of Colgate who played from 1995 through 1999.

FINAL THOUGHT: This is what Championship Week and March Madness is all about. Even though Colgate is likely to get bounced in the opening round, seeing the Raiders make their first NCAA tournament appearance in 23 years is a really fun storyline. And with Ivanauskas, Burns and Rayman all retaining eligibility after this season, this could be a nice building-block for Colgate heading into what could be another great year next season.

Patriot League Preview: Can anyone challenge Bucknell?

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Beginning in September and running up through November 10th, the first day of the regular season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2017-2018 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package.

Today, we are previewing the Patriot League.

The 2016-17 season in the Patriot League was one dominated by the Bucknell Bison, with Nathan Davis’ team winning the regular season title for the sixth time in the last seven years. Led by Patriot League Player and Defensive Player of the Year Nana Foulland, the Bison were the best team in the league with regards to both offensive and defensive efficiency and won the regular season title by three games. After winning 26 games and reaching the NCAA tournament as a 13-seed, the question for Bucknell entering the 2017-18 season is what can this group do for an encore.

The good news for Bucknell is that all four double-digit scorers from last season, led by Foulland and forward Zach Thomas, are back on campus. Foulland averaged 15.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game last season, with the versatile Thomas leading the Bison in scoring with an average of 15.9 points per contest. Add in guards Stephen Brown and Kimbal Mackenzie, and Bucknell has a rotation that won’t lack for talent or experience.

Given Bucknell’s recent track record and their returning contributors, there’s a simple question for the rest of the Patriot League: which team is best equipped to make a run at the Bison? One could argue that up to four teams are in the conversation, with there not being much to separate them on paper.

Despite losing an outstanding front court presence in Tim Kempton and another productive senior on guard Austin Price, Lehigh is one of those teams. Head coach Dr. Brett Reed will call upon an experienced backcourt to lead the way, with junior Kyle Leufroy averaging nearly 12 points per game last season and senior Kahron Ross leading the league in assists last season. The Mountain Hawks also add one of the Patriot League’s top newcomers in guard Lance Tejada, who sat out last season as a transfer after playing the first two seasons of his college career at East Carolina. With regard to the front court, the progression of sophomore forward Pat Andree will be key if Lehigh is to threaten Bucknell.

Also in the mix is Colgate, with head coach Matt Langel welcoming back six players who made at least 14 starts a season ago. At the top of that list are sophomore forward Will Rayman and senior guard Sean O’Brien, with Rayman being the Patriot League’s top freshman last season. In Rayman, O’Brien and Jordan Swopshire the Raiders return three double-digit scorers, and if Colgate can become a more efficient team on both ends of the floor look out.

MOREThe Enigma of Miles Bridges | NBC Sports Preseason All-American Team

Navy and Boston University should also be heard from in the Patriot League conversation, with the Midshipmen being led by senior guard Shawn Anderson. Ed DeChellis’ team won’t lack for depth, with the team’s top five scorers from a season ago back in Annapolis. As for the Terriers, Boston University has to account for the loss of two of the Patriot League’s best players in Eric Fanning and Justin Alston but the cupboard isn’t bare. Guards Cedric Hankerson and Cheddi Mosely return, as does all-rookie team forward Tyler Scanlon, which should make for a good foundation on which to build a possible contender.

Loyola (MD), Lafayette and Army West Point will look to fight their way into the upper half of the Patriot League standings, with the Greyhounds returning one of the Patriot League’s best guards in senior Andre Walker. Lafayette returns three of its top four scorers, led by the Patriot League’s top returning scorer in senior forward Matt Klinewski. And in his second season as the head coach at Army West Point, Jimmy Allen will look to make strides with a team that won 13 games in 2016-17. Guard Jordan Fox is back for his junior season, and in total five of Army’s top six scorers are back.

American, which won just eight games last season, returns its top two scorers in sophomores Sa’eed Nelson and Mark Gasperini. However, the Eagles do have to account for the loss of one of the top defenders in the Patriot League in wing Charlie Jones. Holy Cross, which won 15 games last season, will have to account for the loss of its top two scorers in Robert Champion and Malachi Alexander. Head coach Bill Carmody will look to juniors Karl Charles and Pat Benzan to step forward, but with no seniors on this season’s roster it will take the Crusaders some time to develop into a Patriot League contender.

MORE: 2017-18 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule

PRESEASON PATRIOT LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Nana Foulland, Bucknell

Not only was Foulland the Patriot League’s best player in 2016-17, but he was also its best defender. Foulland averaged 15.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game as a junior, shooting 63.0 percent from the field.

THE REST OF THE PRESEASON ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE TEAM

  • Kahron Ross, Lehigh: Ross led the Patriot League in assists (5.3 apg) last season while also scoring nearly ten points per game. With Tim Kempton gone, Ross will have more opportunities to score within the Lehigh offense.
  • Andre Walker, Loyola (MD): Walker averaged 14.6 points, 3.9 assists and 3.6 rebounds per night for the Greyhounds last season, and he also shot 38.0 percent from three.
  • Shawn Anderson, Navy: The 6-foot-4 senior guard saw his field goal percentage dip as a junior (41.8 percent after shooting nearly 50 percent as a sophomore), but he still averaged 12.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per night.
  • Zach Thomas, Bucknell: Thomas led the Bison in scoring (15.9 ppg) last season, while also averaging 6.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per night. His ability to score both inside and out will be key for Bucknell.

ONE TWITTER FEED TO FOLLOW: @PL_MBB

PREDICTED FINISH

1. Bucknell
2. Lehigh
3. Colgate
4. Navy
5. Boston University
6. Loyola (MD)
7. Lafayette
8. Army West Point
9. American
10. Holy Cross

Four conferences sign on to basketball officiating alliance

Leave a comment

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Four more Division I conferences will join a men’s basketball officiating alliance formed last year by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, the Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association.

The Big South, the Ivy League, the Northeast and the Patriot League are joining ahead of the 2017-18 season, according to announcements from the leagues Thursday. The alliance launched last summer for conferences to work together on officiating matters and enhance training, development, recruitment, retention and feedback for officials.

John Cahill, the Big East’s supervisor of officials, and Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, will continue to lead the alliance operations.

ACC commissioner John Swofford says the new additions to the alliance “provide an even greater opportunity to build chemistry and quality” across the officiating ranks.

Bucknell announces hiring of former assistant Nathan Davis as head coach

Leave a comment

Bucknell has found its replacement for Dave Paulsen, who left the program last month to become the head coach at George Mason. Sunday evening the school announced the hiring of Nathan Davis, who makes his return to Bucknell after serving as the head coach at Randolph Macon for the last six seasons.

Prior to taking his first head coaching job Davis was an assistant at Bucknell from 2003-08, and during that period the program won NCAA tournament games in 2005 (vs. No. 3 Kansas) and 2006 (vs. No. 8 Arkansas) and also achieved its first ever Top 25 ranking during the 2005-06 season. With Davis returning, Bucknell will look to remain a major player in the Patriot League.

“I am extremely excited to be coming back to Bucknell,” Davis said in the release. “Having worked there for five years, I know what a special place Bucknell is. It is an ideal place to coach, because you have student-athletes who are committed to excellence on and off the court.

“I have remained a huge fan of the Bison and followed the team closely, and I hope to continue to build on the success that Dave Paulsen and his staff have achieved over the last seven years.”

Davis, who will be formally introduced by the school Tuesday afternoon, won more than 78 percent of his games as head coach at Randolph Macon. And with the talent expected to return next season, his debut campaign at Bucknell sets up to be a successful one as well.

The Bison’s top six scorers, led by rising senior guard Chris Hass (16.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and rising sophomore center Nana Foulland (10.2, 5.4), return after winning the Patriot League regular season title (13-5 record; 19-15 overall) in 2014-15.

Reports: Holy Cross to name Bill Carmody head coach Thursday

Leave a comment

A little less than two weeks after deciding to relieve Milan Brown of his head coaching duties, it’s been reported by multiple outlets that Holy Cross has found his replacement.

According to reports from Andy Katz of ESPN.com and Jennifer Tolland of the Worcester Telegran and Gazette, the Patriot League school will announce Bill Carmody as its new hire on Thursday. Carmody, who has been a Division I head coach at Princeton and Northwestern, was named special assistant to Fairfield head coach Sydney Johnson in late January.

In his 17 seasons as a head coach Carmody has led his teams to two NCAA (both at Princeton) and six NIT (four at Northwestern) appearances. Carmody was relieved of his duties at Northwestern at the end of the 2012-13 season, ending a 13-year run at the Big Ten school.

In five seasons under Brown’s leadership the Crusaders made just one postseason appearance, as they played in the CIT last season.

Ralph Willard, who served as head coach at Holy Cross from 1999-2009, led his alma mater to four NCAA tournaments and one Postseason NIT. The hope is that Carmody is the man who can push Holy Cross basketball back in that direction. Holy Cross loses its top two scorers from this past season’s team, as Malcolm Miller and Justin Burrell are both out of eligibility.