Noteworthy Hamilton stats:
- Hold an overall record of 24-4
- Started the season on a 15 game win streak.
- Led the NESCAC in points per-game (86.2) this season.
- Led the NESCAC in steals per-game (8.8) this season.
Hamilton’s Best Wins:
- Jan. 12, No. 14 Wesleyan, 76-70
- Feb. 9, No. 5 Middlebury, 102-83
- Mar. 3, No. 11 York College of Pennsylvania, 69-66
Springfield head coach Charlie Brock’s thoughts on Hamilton:
“Really good team. Very deep. They play 11 to 12 guys at significant time periods. Their forwards are very mobile, which presents some matchup problems (for us). They shoot the ball well, and above all, they are very very aggressive in all facets of the game. They are aggressive on the boards. They play defensively very aggressively, and they go right at you offensively with very good players. They’re a very good team who was No.1 in New England at one point. It will be a good test for us.”
Players to Watch
#24 Kena Gilmour
Gilmour is arguably Hamilton’s best player. Last season, he was named NESCAC Rookie of the Year after averaging 12 points per-game. In his sophomore season, he has led the team in points with 17.8 per-game and rebounds with 7.3 per-game. He has scored at least 20 points in six out of Hamilton’s last seven games. He gets most of his points in the paint and at mid-range. It’s a tough task, but the Pride are going to have to box out and contain Gilmour on the perimeter if they want to make it to the Elite 8.
#30 Peter Hoffman
Hoffman is Hamilton’s go-to scorer in the paint. He is averaging 13.9 points per-game. Springfield will need big play from the likes of Eckles, Post, and Durkin down low during the game. The Pride could find ways of minimizing Hoffman’s effect by fouling him if they have to. Hoffman is shooting 48.9 percent from the free throw line this season.
Keys to the game for Springfield
Anybody that has watched a half of Springfield men’s basketball in the last month knows that Cam Earle can stroke it from three. He is averaging 4.2 three-pointers per-game in the Pride’s last five games. But it’s going to take more than just Earle making his threes to get past Hamilton. The team tied the program record for made three-pointers in their victory over Cabrini with 16, and the game was still close with a minute to go. It’s going to be hard to sustain, but Springfield needs to find a way to stay hot from the perimeter to move on in the tournament.
As Brock said, Hamilton likes to get after it on the offensive boards. The Pride are not only going to need a big day from Heath Post, but other players like Ben Diamond and Cam Earle are going to need to get a scrappy offensive rebound or two to give Springfield extra possessions down the stretch.
Arguably the Pride’s biggest area of concern for this matchup. Turnovers.
Especially since Hamilton led the NESCAC during the regular season in steals and Springfield is coming off a game where they had their second highest amount of turnovers all year (19). Ball security is going to be huge in the game. If the Pride can keep their turnovers to under 11, they have a good shot of winning.
(Featured photo courtesy of the NCAA. Headshots courtesy of Hamilton College Athletics)