Second Basketball Scouting Report: Colgate
Army attempted 26 threes this past weekend against Bucknell, but the Black Knights converted only eight of them. Bucknell carved out a plus-13 scoring margin at the free throw line, which was partly the result of abysmal West Point foul shooting (5-of-13). Against Colgate, Army will encounter a team that does not defend two-point shots very well. Can the Black Knights attack the rim and, when they get fouled, make at least 70 percent of their free throws?
If you recall, an injury to senior guard Pat Moore left this team hamstrung in 2014. Reserves Clayton Graham and Alex Ramon are playing more minutes, but they're just not high-volume producers. This remains a thin team that has to get more from its starting five if it's going to do anything in conference play.
Center – Ethan Jacobs – Junior, 6-11, 235; 2013-14: 11.1 points per game, 4 rebounds per game
Jacobs has been steady over the course of the season, but his steadiness has existed at a level that has not been able to pull the rest of the team with him. Consistency has its place, but it needs to exist at a high(er) level if it is to truly matter.
Forward – Murphy Burnatowski – Senior, 6-7, 230; 2013-14: 14.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 steals per game
Burnatowski has gotten slightly better as a three-point shooter as the season has progressed, and this is a forward, not a pure perimeter player. He remains a versatile performer and a dynamic part of Colgate's offense, though teammate Austin Tillotson (more on him below) delivered a breakout performance this past weekend against Navy and should be seen as the Red Raiders' number one scoring threat at this point in time.
Guard – Luke Roh – Junior, 6-4, 195; 2013-14: 6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.3 assists per game
Roh is still the no-glory guy on this roster, the player with the best rebounding total on the Red Raiders. He's also the number-two assist man. Army has to be able to contain Roh in the non-scoring components of this game.
Guard – Austin Tillotson – Sophomore, 6-0, 175; 2013-14: 13.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.3 apg
Tillotson had not been starting for Colgate in recent weeks, but he re-entered the starting five this past Saturday against Navy and tossed in 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field (4-of-7 from three-point range). He added six foul shots in nine attempts. Tillotson also handed out 4 assists while committing just a single turnover. Army will have to contain him tonight.
Guard – Chad Johnson – Sophomore, 6-0, 175; 2013-14: 2.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg
Johnson has replaced Damon Sherman-Newsome in Colgate's starting five, at least this past Saturday against Navy. However, Johnson's presence in the starting five appears to be little more than that of a placeholder. Sherman-Newsome averages 11 points per game while grabbing 3.2 rebounds per game. Colgate wants and needs him on the floor.
Keys to the Game
1) Take away the three. Colgate still shoots the three at a high level (40 percent), so that remains Army's foremost defensive priority against the Red Raiders. Colgate doesn't commit many turnovers, either, so as long as Army crowds the shooting hands of the Red Raiders' shooters, it should be all right. Trying to turn this team over might be too ambitious.
2) Attack the basket. Colgate allows opponents to hit 50.4 percent of two-point shots. Army's offense will need to relentlessly exploit the Red Raiders' soft defense and see if it can hit the 80-point mark in this contest.
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