Colby preseason comments with updated preview:
Feb. 2: COLBY (7-17, 1-9)
Details: Saturday, 2:00 pm (at Colby)
Last year: Middlebury 72-53
After losing leading-scorer Ben Foreman, Colby is likely to spend another season at the bottom of the NESCAC. They are touting their freshman class on their website, sort of like an MLB cellar-dweller that shows promotions of its farm system because there aren’t any stars in the majors. Colby will have a tough time putting up more than 50 points and Middlebury should head home from Maine with two wins in the books.
February 2 Addendum: Colby (6-14, 2-5) is one of three teams in a tie for seventh place in the conference, so they are battling for a chance to make the tournament, and almost completed a huge upset Friday night when they lost to Williams 64-61. Colby’s most intriguing player is 6’8″ freshman Chris Hudnut, who leads the team in scoring (12.3 ppg), and has range as well (44/36/75 shooting). He is complemented by a batch of fellow underclassmen, as the top eight scorers for the Mules are either freshmen or sophomores. Notable among them are starters Patrick Stewart (6’6,” 6.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 47% FG) and Shane Rogers (5’11,” 5.2 ppg, 4.1 apg). Though this group shows signs of promise, they are lacking the experience and dynamic scoring ability to knock off Middlebury. They almost beat Williams by shooting above average from three (37%, vs. 26% on the season), and outscoring them from the bench (26-10). The former category isn’t the type to carry over to another game, although it should be a point of emphasis simply because Colby attempts so many threes per game (22.4, second in the NESCAC), and the latter category is unlikely against a Middlebury team that boasts two of the top reserves in the league in James Jensen and Hunter Merryman. Expect Middlebury to win by double digits.
Injury watch: Both Joey Kizel (ankle) and Peter Lynch (ankle) started yesterday, but Middlebury’s lack of backcourt depth (Brierley and Bulluck still out) showed again as no reserve guards entered the game, and the rotation only went 8-deep. Henry Pendergast and/or Albert Nascimento will probably get minutes today.
Livestream?: There is no link to a video stream on the Colby website, which is surprising and disappointing. If anyone knows how to follow the game other than via Live Stats, please share.