Malcolm Regisford provides Colgate needed versatility at center

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 7, 2015 at 9:22 pm Contact Jack: [email protected] When a pair of Colgate centers left the team this offseason for unknown reasons, it left the Raiders depleted of a true center. But to head coach Matt Langel, there’s no such thing.“The way the game of basketball is being played,” Langel said, “there aren’t necessarily defined positions anymore … while we don’t have an old fashioned 7-foot, back to the basket center, we try to recruit guys who can be versatile.”Rising juniors Jack Fleming, John Fenton and Wyatt Hagerty are no longer with the team. Fleming transferred after the season to Rollins College, while Fenton and Hagerty left the team for personal reasons. All big men, Colgate is left with two freshmen that play the five.Of the 10 players from last year’s team that aren’t on the 2015-16 roster, three of them were centers and eight were taller than 6-foot-4. Colgate brought in a six-man freshman class that didn’t include a player that played the center position in high school. Heading into Tuesday’s matchup with Syracuse (6-2) in the Carrier Dome, the Raiders (2-5) will rely on versatility to fill the void of a natural center.“It’s going to be a big task for us,” senior Austin Tillotson said. “If we can control the boards, we have a pretty good chance. You never know.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSix-foot-eight freshman Malcolm Regisford is leading Colgate in rebounds, averaging nearly seven per game. Because he signed his commitment to Colgate late in the process, he was aware of the players who wouldn’t be returning to the team and his opportunity to play big minutes for the Raiders opened up.“I was just ready to work hard,” Regisford said. “I was ready to play wherever the coaches needed me to be for us to be successful.”The freshman, who is listed as both a forward and a center on the Colgate website, didn’t play the role of a true center in high school. He spent a lot of time close to the basket as one of the bigger players on the team, filling the role of a “big,” he said.Regisford fills the vacancy of Colgate’s lack of a true five. He’s as close as the Raiders will get to having someone who can match up against the likes of SU’s Dajuan Coleman and Tyler Lydon.“He can move like 6’11’’ guys,” Tillotson said. “The way he uses his low center of gravity, he should definitely be considered a true center.”Tillotson knows Regisford can improve, but is adapting well to being thrown into the fire in his first season.Tillotson works with Regisford on developing a jump shot, saying that he will continue to improve with experience. Tillotson also mentioned that Regisford is pushed by fellow freshman Dana Batt.Batt, who has only accumulated four points and 16 rebounds in limited minutes this season, is a 6-foot-9 center who provides intermittent depth when Regisford isn’t on the court.Even without experience or height at center, the Raiders have held their ground on the boards for the most part this year and have been outrebounded by less than four boards per game.The Orange has been outrebounded by a margin of just over three per game, dealing with similar issues with a lack of depth at center.SU plays two centers. Chinonso Obokoh has played limited minutes in four of Syracuse’s eight games this season and Dajuan Coleman has started every game for the Orange. Coleman is still shaking off the rust from a two-year absence.And just like the Orange, Colgate is working with youth at the position to make up for a lack of depth. It may put the Raiders further behind than they already are, but it’s the only thing at its disposal.“We’re a young team,” Regisford said, “working hard, trying to get better everyday.” Commentslast_img read more