Having found a few highlights of Colgate’s basketball games this season let it be said one more time, the Raiders can shoot the three.
Most of the stories about this morning’s game between Colgate and the University of Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament has been about senior Jordan Burns and his range.
Burns deserves the praise. He’s really good, but the truth is, and Eric Musselman and thus his team, are well aware that Burns is not the team’s best three-point shooter.
The Hogs won’t be deceived, and they’ll be on No. 13 like a tick on a fat dog when he comes into the game.
Jack Ferguson, also a senior, has made 35 of 69 from beyond the arc. That’s an amazing 50.7%. Burns is 27-65, a very healthy 41.5%.
He doesn’t start but averages almost 21 minutes a game and is the team’s second leading scorer.
The Hogs don’t want to foul Ferguson, who has hit 90% of his free throws, or Burns who shoots 89% from the free-throw line.
As far as the three ball goes, it doesn’t stop with those two. Tucker Richardson has made 26 of 69 threes (37.7%) and Nelly Cummings has hit 24 of 65 (36.9%).
As a team, the Raiders attempt an average of almost 23 threes per game and make 9 for a team percentage of 39.1.
So, Burns is the leading scorer, but he’s not the only scorer.
The Raiders are No. 2 in scoring in the nation, only behind No. 1 seed and No. 1 ranked Gonzaga.
Their 86.3 points per game average is why some talking heads on CBS and ESPN have predicted a Colgate upset today.
If the Razorbacks are looking ahead to a possible game with Texas Tech, or they simply don’t take the Raiders seriously, then they are ripe to become a victim of another NCAA Cinderella story.
There is absolutely no doubt the Raiders will take the court with the idea they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
They will be confident and have a bit of a swagger.
However, yours truly never hesitated to pick Arkansas when filling out a bracket.
The Razorbacks are No. 7 in the nation with an 82.4 points-per-game average.
How many points would the Hogs have averaged if they had played in the Patriot League instead of the SEC, and how many points would the Raiders have scored against SEC opponents.
Colgate gives up just an average of 68.6 points per game.
Arkansas gives up just 70.7, and that is in 28 games, not 15 like the Raiders played.
The Razorbacks played nine teams that made the NCAA Tournament and their 8-6 record against those teams is deceiving because they should have beaten Tennessee and Oklahoma State.
The Raiders’ record against teams in the Big Dance is 0-0.
In fact, because of covid-19, Colgate played a Patriot League schedule only, but only against five teams, none of which has a winning record and only one with a .500 record.
These are facts, not opinion.
The Raiders are a well-coached basketball team that starts a senior, two juniors and two sophomores. It is most likely they won’t beat themselves.
They will take the court believing they can win.
They love to run, but can they run with the big Hogs?
On a rare occasion the Razorbacks run too fast but mostly when they kick it they score.
The talent edge goes to the Hogs.
Colgate doesn’t get freshmen like Moses Moody and Devo Davis.
They are not a national team.
In two seasons, Musselman has taken the Razorbacks from the depths of the SEC standings to second place and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
At 11:45 this morning they play No. 14 seed Colgate in what will be a fun game to watch, but in the end, the Razorbacks will win and advance.