Men’s Basketball: Patriot League Power Rankings — Week 7

Featured image courtesy of Loyola MD Athletics.

The men’s conference hierarchy was looking fairly set in stone before Sunday night’s thriller between Colgate, the Patriot League’s best squad, and Loyola Maryland, who most would consider far from the top. The Greyhounds topped the Raiders after building an early lead, and the 84-80 final score makes the contest seem much closer than it really was. Now that the Greyhounds have Santi Aldama back on the court, the conference playoff picture may shift once again. 

For this week’s edition of the Power Rankings, Ethan Fuller and Hannah Yoshinaga crunched the numbers and found some interesting stats to consider with only two weeks left in the regular season (Note: these rankings and statistics do not include Bucknell’s 69-48 win over Holy Cross yesterday). 

1. Colgate University (20-6, 11-3 PL) 

Previous ranking: 1

Stat to know: 30.8 opposing three-point percentage (in conference)

Colgate’s prowess from behind the arc is well-documented. But the Raiders also boast the lowest opponent 3PT rate in the Patriot League — only further accentuating the benefits of making so many triples. Colgate has made 31 more threes in conference than their opponents, which equates to over six points in their favor per game. Right now, only Lafayette and Santi Aldama have been able to overcome the two-way perimeter dominance. — Ethan Fuller

This week: February 19 vs. Lehigh, February 23 vs. Holy Cross 

2. American University (13-12, 9-5 PL) 

Previous ranking: 2

Stat to know:  6-1 conference home record, 3-4 road record

The Eagles hang onto second in this week’s rankings despite a close loss to Bucknell. The road and home splits are telling; American’s one home loss came against Colgate, but they struggle immensely on the road. This makes Saturday’s Case Gym showdown with BU even more of a must-win for the Eagles if they want to guarantee a home semifinal.  — Ethan Fuller

This week: February 19 vs. Navy, February 23 at BU 

3. Boston University (16-11, 10-4 PL) 

Previous ranking: 3

Stat to know: +5.8 rebounding margin (in conference)

BU holds the best rebounding differential in the Patriot League, which has helped give their rising offense more opportunities to score. The Terriers have one of the most productive rebounders in Max Mahoney, but he’s not the only player contributing to their proficiency on the glass. While Mahoney ranks second in the conference with eight boards per game, Walter Whyte slides right behind him with 7.9 per contest. Between those two and Sukhmail Mathon (4.9 off the bench), BU finds plenty of second chances. — Ethan Fuller

This week: February 19 at Lafayette, February 23 vs. American 

4. Army West Point (13-12, 8-6 PL) 

Previous ranking: 5

Stat to know: 1.5 Assist/Turnover Ratio  

The Black Knights have only the sixth-best offense in the Patriot League, but they are experts at sharing the ball. Tommy Funk, Matt Wilson, and Lonnie Grayson are all top-of-the-line shooters, and Funk’s court vision and passing skills help to maximize the scoring potential of all three. Army’s stars also know how to limit turnovers, which has been key to their success thus far. — Hannah Yoshinaga

This week: February 19 at Loyola MD, February 22 vs. Navy 

5. Naval Academy (13-12, 7-7 PL) 

Previous ranking: 4

Stat to know: Four straight games with 60 or fewer points

Navy is 1-4 in its last five, and the last four have seen the Midshipmen fail to surpass 60 points in a game. They are on the precipice of a tumble in our rankings because they cannot find any semblance of consistent offense. Navy is the worst shooting team in the Patriot League, and when leading scorer Cam Davis cannot get going, the gears seem to grind to a halt. Only lockdown defense has kept the team in the top five. — Ethan Fuller

This week: February 19 at American, February 22 at Army  

6. Lafayette College (16-9, 8-6 PL) 

Previous ranking: 6

Stat to know: 366 three-point attempts in conference (second in PL)

The Leopards are in many ways a Colgate-lite: they move the ball a lot, shoot a lot of threes, and have a diverse array of scorers. But they are “lite” in the sense that the Leopards are almost five percentage points worse from deep than the Raiders. Lafayette cannot assuredly outshoot opponents, and the trigger-happy Leopards may actually be hurting themselves by taking so many triples. — Ethan Fuller

This week: February 19 vs. BU, February 23 vs. Loyola MD

7. Bucknell University (10-17, 6-8 PL) 

Previous ranking: 7

Stat to know: 13.6 turnovers per game  

Bucknell has looked strong at various points, but they have struggled to put it all together for an extended stretch of time. Sloppy turnovers have doomed the Bison; Holy Cross is the only team in the Patriot League that gives the ball away more. Jimmy Sotos has turned the ball over almost twice as many times as his teammates, which needs to change as the Bison prepare for a potential postseason run. — Hannah Yoshinaga

This week: February 17 at Holy Cross, February 23 at Lehigh 

8. Loyola University Maryland (12-14, 5-9 PL) 

Previous ranking: 8

Stat to know: .471 field goal percentage  

The Greyhounds may have one of the worst records in the conference, but they have shown flashes of brilliance on offense. Although Andrew Kostecka provides most of the power, the return of Santi Aldama has worked wonders for Loyola. Behind Aldama, the Greyhounds were able to beat top-ranked Colgate at home on Sunday.  — Hannah Yoshinaga

This week: February 19 vs. Army, February 23 at Lafayette 

9. Lehigh University (7-19, 4-10 PL) 

Previous ranking: 9

Stat to know: .746 free-throw percentage  

The Mountain Hawks have been fairly disappointing all season long, but they do one thing well–make their free throws. Lehigh ranks second in the conference in free throw shooting percentage. Jordan Cohen is a major reason for that, and he ranks third in the Patriot League with an .863 free throw shooting mark. — Hannah Yoshinaga

This week: February 19 at Colgate, February 23 vs. Bucknell 

10. College of the Holy Cross (3-24, 2-12 PL) 

Previous ranking: 10

Stat to know: 79.9 opponent points per game   

Holy Cross has had all kinds of problems this season, but defense has been arguably the biggest issue. Opposing teams are shooting almost 50% from inside the arc and 37% from deep. The Crusaders often struggle to do the little things right; they rank last in the league in defensive rebounds and ninth in steals. — Hannah Yoshinaga

This week: February 17 vs. Bucknell, February 23 at Colgate

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