Men’s basketball dominates Patriot League regular season – The Colgate Maroon-News
Men’s basketball coach Matt Langel has once again pitched to Hamilton for the 2021-22 season. For the third time in the past four years, Colgate Men’s Basketball finishes as the Patriot League Regular Season Champion. Colgate posted an outstanding conference record of 16-2 and totaled an overall record of 22-11 – with its most notable victory against the Syracuse University Orange in November. Now the Raiders move into the single-seeded Patriot League tournament with feasible hopes of returning to NCAA March Madness.
The team managed to keep most of their players from last year, allowing the pre-existing chemistry to carry over into the recent season. However, losing exemplary guard Jordan Burns until graduation presented a challenge for the team to overcome. After a successful college career at Colgate, Burns is now seeking an opportunity in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) official minor league.
In the wake of Burns’ absence, many players have moved into new roles, adapting to find success again. One of those players is junior guard Ryan Moffat, who nearly doubled his points per game this season from 5.3 to 10.2. Impressively, Moffat shot 45.6% from the three-point line and helped carry the burden of Burns’ departure. Moffat noted that after an initial adjustment period, the team found their groove.
“Obviously we lost Jordan Burns and David Maynard at graduation, which were key losses, but we’ve had a number of guys who have risen to their new roles this year. We’ve regained almost all of our guys from last season, which I think is a big part of the team’s success.
Moffat added that once the season started, the team made progress in working and succeeding as a unit.
“It took us a while to really click as a unit, but once the Patriot League season started we really started playing a lot better. We finished the regular season on a 12 streak. consecutive victories before the Patriot League tournament and won the regular season title by four games.
Moffat is one of five players to average double-digit points per game for Colgate during the regular season this year. Main guard Nelly Cummings (14.7), main guard Tucker Richardson (12.5) and returning main guard Jack Ferguson (12.4) were also reliable scorers for raiders. In fact, all three players have eclipsed the 1,000 point mark this season, marking an incredible achievement for themselves and for the team.
With these four on the list, Colgate posed an immense long-term threat that outplayed its Patriot League opponents. The Raiders led the Patriot League with 76.1 points per game, shooting 40.2 percent from behind the three-point arc.
“Our first goal of the year to be regular season champions has been achieved, which is important to get home court advantage until we lose in the playoffs. But now the whole focus is bet on winning the conference tournament for the second straight year and returning to the NCAA tournament,” Moffat said.
Junior forward Keegan Records also continues to be an offensive and defensive threat around the rim, averaging 10.2 points per game and leading the team in rebounds with 202. Paired with emerging sophomore center Jeff Woodward , Colgate led the Patriot League with 906 defensive rebounds.
Despite early struggles, the Raiders bounced back to confidently secure the Patriot League regular season. Colgate entered the Patriot League season with a 4-9 non-conference record against tough opponents after suffering COVID-19-related injuries and setbacks.
Also, in their first Patriot League game of the season, Colgate lost a tough fight to Lehigh University 85-81. As second-year forward Sam Thompson recounted, the early losses only fueled the fire.
“We suffered a tough loss to Lehigh – our first regular season game of the year – which set the tone for the rest of the year. Another tough loss [Boston University] helped us focus on goals for the year, ultimately winning basketball games.
Certainly, Colgate stepped up their game for the rest of the Patriot League regular season, ending with a 12-game winning streak. The raiders are now in a prime position, with all of their remaining playoff games to be played at Cotterell Court at home after winning the first seed. As Colgate looks to make another run for the Patriot League championship, the team will continue the momentum of the season with hopes of reaching great heights.
“Our goal in the playoffs: Win the Patriot League tournament,” added Thompson. “Always, the goal is to win as many games as possible in the playoffs. It was great to play at home in front of our super crowd, and we look forward to building on our momentum for the next few games.”