We have already taken a deep dive into the team stats for Wisconsin and Colgate, given you an overview on how the Raiders played this season and Tyler dropped a podcast previewing the game as well.
Now let’s take a look at three specific players to watch for Colgate so you know who to shout at when you’re watching the game on Friday night.
Keegan Records, 6-foot-10, 250 pounds, junior, No. 14
- Records has started 32 of the 33 games he has played this year and is the best rebounder on the team. He averages 6.1 boards per game, scores an even 10 points per game and blocks 1.6 shots per game. He blocks 7.2% of the shots taken when he’s on the court, which is good for No. 71 in the country. He is not a shooter, almost all of his field goal attempts are at the rim, and he isn’t good at making free throws either.
Jack Ferguson, 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, senior, No. 13
- Ferguson has started all 33 games he has played and is a deadeye shooter. He has attempted the most threes on the team (209) and nailed 41.6% of them. It doesn’t really matter what kind of three he is attempting, from the corner, off the dribble, catch and shoot, he will probably make it. He averaged 12.7 points per game and chips in 4.4 rebounds per game too. He’s a good free throw shooter and a decent passer, but he’s not Magic Johnson or anything.
Nelly Cummings, 6-foot, 180 pounds, senior, No. 0
- Cumming has played in 30 games and started all of them. He has the highest usage and takes the most shots of anyone on the team. He leads the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game and is second with 3.4 assists per game. He’s the best free throw shooter on the team (81.5% from the line) and, like most players on the Raiders, is good from deep (36.2% on 163 attempts). He is prone to turnovers, but nothing outrageous, and struggles to finish at the rim. The Raiders run a lot of ball screens for Cummings, like the third most of any player in the tournament, but he scores at a below average rate on those plays.
Bonus player to watch: Senior guard Oliver Lynch-Daniels who shoots 53.7% (44-of-82) from deep off the bench. Gotta know where this guy is at all times when he’s on the floor. He turns the ball over at an alarming rate for a player whose usage is so low, so making him dribble, and not shoot, is key. (Bonus within the bonus: junior wing Ryan Moffatt has the No. 4 ORtg and No. 18 eFG% in the country.)
The main takeaway here is that this Colgate team can shoot and is pretty efficient on offense. However, their defense isn’t that good and Wisconsin is the best team they’ve played all season (especially on defense). It the Raiders are having an off shooting night they’ll likely struggle to score in other ways and they also won’t be able to rely on their below average defense to keep them in the game.
Wisconsin is favored by 7.5 points according to our pals at DraftKings. That’s the closest odds of any 3-seed in the tournament, as all of the other 3-seeds are favored by double digits, but the Badgers have proven to be able to win close games all season so why should March be any different?