Coming off of a monster senior season for Colgate Men’s Basketball, in which he averaged over 12 points and just shy of five rebounds per game, Jack Ferguson is returning to Colgate for the 2021-22 season. He, along with every student athlete competing this Spring, has been granted an extra year of eligibility as part of COVID-19 protocols. The sharpshooter is coming off of a season in which he helped lead the Raiders to a Patriot League Tournament championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Ferguson did so shooting a scorching 50.7% from three-point range, ranking fifth in the nation, on over four three-point attempts per game. His return will be massive for a Raiders team that is losing a Colgate legend and the Patriot League Player of the Year in senior point guard Jordan Burns.
“What motivates me [heading into next season] is to get the feeling of winning a championship again. There’s nothing like it. And I love to win,” Ferguson said.
The shooting guard is excited to rejoin a squad that will have a bunch of veteran pieces in pursuit of back-to-back Patriot League titles. The squad will be returning Ferguson, junior guard Nelly Cummings and junior forward Tucker Richardson, along with several other key players. They have firepower, and they’ll be hungry for another deep postseason run next season.
Of course, the squad will be losing their most important asset in Burns. “JB,” as he’s affectionately known around campus, leaves Hamilton as the program’s all-time assist leader with 171 dimes. Along with his smooth passing, Burns saved his best scoring and three-point shooting season for last, as he scored about 17 points per game and averaged a clip of over 42% from deep. Not to mention, he was a vocal leader for the Raiders, serving as one of the team’s captains for the 2020-21 season. There just isn’t a replacement for someone like that. However, while Ferguson admitted how difficult it would be to fill Burns’ void, he was also optimistic.
“Everyone will have to step up,” Ferguson said. “Losing the player of the year isn’t easy, but we have the talent and work ethic to make up for it.”
Ferguson sees the job as a team effort, and believes the guys going to battle with him next season have what it takes.
When asked about potential under-the-radar players who may break-out next season, Ferguson said that he “look[s] forward to seeing Malcolm Bailey. Hopefully he can get healthy because he could be a defensive player of the year at some point.” Bailey is a 6’10” sophomore forward from Stratford in Ontario, Canada. Ferguson hopes Bailey’s defensive presence can be a formidable weapon for the Raiders next year.
Now, you may be thinking, what else can someone in this senior class that has won so much for Colgate do next season?
“The ultimate goal is the same every year. To win the patriot league championship and make it to March Madness. But we’ve done that twice now, so now I want to win a March Madness game,” he said.
We’ve seen our Raiders dominate the Patriot League and hear their names called on Selection Sunday, but we haven’t seen them get a victory on college basketball’s biggest stage. We’ve seen heroic performances, like the Burns 30-piece against Tennessee, or the squad’s monster first-half eruption against Arkansas, but we haven’t seen our guys ahead when the clock strikes zero. Will all of that change next March?