Colgate has opened conference play with two straight road wins, and tonight they’ll be back in their home arena taking on the Navy Midshipmen. We’ll preview the game before reviewing how I’ll be betting on it.
Navy enters tonight with an 8-6 record but fresh off losing their first and only conference game of the season to Holy Cross. The Midshipmen have been one of the better shooting teams in college basketball this season, currently boasting the fifth-best three-point shooting percentage in the country at 40.2%, along with an effective field goal percentage of 53.6%.
Senior and leading scorer Tyler Nelson is averaging 13.6 points per game this season, and over his last ten games, he’s been able to shoot 50% from three-point range on an average of five attempts per game. The Navy offense generates a lot of ball movement that leads to their quality shooting percentage, as they are averaging 14.8 assists per game.
Their defense is the biggest thing that has held this Midshipmen team back this season. Navy currently has a defensive efficiency rating of 106.2 on KenPom, ranked 269th in the country. This lack of defense could become a real problem tonight against a Colgate team that has produced better shooting numbers than the Midshipmen.
The Raiders currently have the number one three-point shooting percentage (42%) and effective field goal percentage (59.3%) in the country, which has led to them averaging 79.6 points per game. When it comes to mid-major basketball, the Raiders may have the most high-powered offense, as they currently have an offensive efficiency rating of 111.5 on KenPom, which is 26th in the country.
Despite the high-powered offense, the Raiders have suffered from some of the same issues that Navy has this season. Colgate is 268th in the country in defensive efficiency rating on KenPom and has allowed opponents to put up an effective field goal percentage of 55.2%.
The point total is currently set at 142, and I’ll be taking the over as my best bet. The over is a combined 20-7 between the two teams this season, and their styles of basketball both favor the over again in this one.
Neither team is in the top 100 in three points attempts per game, but they are both in the top 30 for three-pointers made per game, showing the efficiency at which they’ve been able to shoot this season. Both teams should benefit from their opponents' lackluster defense since both teams have allowed their opponents to produce stellar shooting numbers all season.
Colgate has allowed their opponents to shoot 37.4% from three this season, and Navy has allowed opponents to shoot 34.9% from three, both percentages ranking both teams in the bottom third of college basketball this season for that category. These two Patriot League teams struggle to stop what their strength is on the offensive end of the floor, which will lead to a big scoring night for both sides.
Both teams have also struggled to force turnovers, so both sides should be able to run their offense the way they usually do without feeling immense defensive pressure.