The 2016-2017 season tipped off with plenty of fresh faces on the floor, but also with a new man at the helm on the sideline. Coach Pete Hamilton, one of the first men's basketball players to take the floor at Randolph College in 2007, returned to his alma mater with hopes of building on the successes of the young program. After coaching stints at Averett University and fellow ODAC schools Guilford College and Washington & Lee University, Coach Hamilton brought a wealth of knowledge of what it takes to be successful in the ODAC and what kind of players could help Randolph achieve its goals. After bringing in 8 new faces and returning 7 players from the previous season, Randolph was ready for a new era.
Randolph vs. Maryville (TN)
Randolph vs. Bridgewater
In the first conference match of the season, Randolph hosted Bridgewater College in a down-to-the-wire battle. After losing PG's Reid Jacoby and Colton Lee at the beginning of the week, the opportunity for young guys to step up was there for the taking. Drew Hayden and Chase VanHorn stepped up, scoring 16 and 11 points respectively, while Nick Goble went 6-7 from the floor for 12 points. The game featured 15 lead changes and came down to Bridgewater making a contested layup with 16 seconds remaining to go up one. Randolph had a chance to take the lead, but came up just short, ending in a 63-60 defeat.
Randolph vs. Ferrum
To start December, Randolph won 2 out of their 3 next games, starting with an offensive turnaround against Ferrum College. After a back-and-forth first half, the WildCats picked things up in the 2nd half, outscoring Ferrum 45-23. Randolph had four players end up scoring in double digits, led by Reid Jacoby who had 24 points, shooting 4-8 from 3 point range. However, it was the WildCats' always formidable defense, which forced 8 turnovers and held Ferrum to 36% shooting in the 2nd half, that ultimately closed out the game.
Randolph vs. Shenandoah
Randolph picked up its first conference victory on the road at Shenandoah University on December 10th winning 60-57. Randolph picked up 11 offensive rebounds and out-rebounded the Hornets 40-34. This dominance on the glass helped them take 14 more shots than Shenandoah. In the end, Captain Ryan Fields sunk two key free throws with 2 seconds left to seal the victory as Shenandoah's half court heave missed the mark.
Rotary of Frederick Holiday Classic at Hood College
Randolph back from Winter Break
Randolph returned from Winter Break ready to get back to work and started off on the right note with an 88-69 victory over visiting Penn State Mont Alto. The 'Cats were paced by an explosive 30 point night from Ryan Fields, 11 assists from Reid Jacoby, and 11 rebounds from Nick Goble. The team also had seven players with 7+ points in the game.
In addition to returning with a victory, the team took some well-earned relaxation in the form of the 1st Annual Winter Break 2K Tournament. The players and coaches gathered at Coach Hamilton's to kick up their feet, eat some Buffalo Wild Wings, and see who could earn the title of team champion. The competitive juices were flowing and the trash talk was endless as Coach Hamilton and Coach Loeffler were summarily demolished in the first round and freshman Brian Smith eventually took the crown in a not so climactic championship game.
Randolph vs. Washington & Lee
After a tough conference stretch at the beginning of 2017, Randolph turned it around on the road against Washington & Lee University. Despite a tough first half where they found themselves down 33-21, Randolph came out firing. The WildCats shot a blistering 69% from the field in the second half while holding W&L to 35%, doubling their opponents' tally 52-26 for the second stanza. The effort would lead to a 73-59 victory and would be the first out of 3 wins in the next 4 games.
Randolph vs. Eastern Mennonite
The WildCats would carry their offensive production from the W&L game into their home matchup with Eastern Mennonite University. After a tight first half that would see them down 3, Randolph came out with a re-energized pace and full confidence as they lit up the visitors for 56 points in the second half. The team was led by Ryan Fields, who would tie the school record for most points in a single game with 36. The team shot 55% from the floor and withstood a late comeback effort to defeat the Royals 90-82.
Randolph vs. Hampden-Sydney
This year's team made history on January 25th by becoming the first team in Randolph College men's basketball history to beat Hampden-Sydney College on the road. It was a down-to-the-wire game that left the crowd on the edge of their seats. After Sydney scored a layup to tie the game with 14 seconds left, Captain Reid Jacoby caught the defense running backwards and hit a floater with 7 seconds remaining to go up 2. After a foul was committed with 0.4 seconds left, Sydney made the first, but missed the second free throw, which Randolph would secure as the clock expired. The team was led by Jacoby, who had 19 of his 22 points in the second half. Jeremiah Davis also contributed 12 points and 7 rebounds as a spark off the bench in his first return to his hometown.
Ending the Season
Randolph ended the season with a few more unfortunate close calls. The 'Cats would lose two separate games on buzzer beaters to Shenandoah University and Washington and Lee University. This would set the WildCats up for a first round matchup in the ODAC Tournament against Roanoke College.
ODAC 1st Round: Randolph at Roanoke
The first round matchup with Roanoke was a fight until the end, with neither side ready for their season to end. The game remained close the entire first half and Randolph would cut Roanoke's lead to 2 points with 13 minutes left in the second half. However, Roanoke would then go on a 12-2 run that allowed them to keep the separation for the rest of the game. Despite a 28 point effort from Reid Jacoby and a double-double from Ryan Fields, the WildCats would fall in the end to finish the 2016-2017 campaign.
- Randolph recorded its first ever win at Hampden Sydney College on 1/25
- The team broke the single game program record for rebounds in a game (56) at Christendom College
- Jr Ryan Fields was named Third Team All-ODAC and was also named ODAC Player of the Week on 1/23
- Jr Ryan Fields tied the single game program record for points (36) and broke the single game record for most FG made (14)
- Jr Reid Jacoby led the ODAC in assists (150) and assists per game (6), both of which broke program records at Randolph as well
- Jr Reid Jacoby set single game program record for assists (11) twice vs. Washington & Lee and Penn State Mont Alto
The 2016-2017 Randolph College Men's Basketball Team made strides in the right direction; but we believe our climb is far from over. Players and coaches are hungry for more and will not rest in the pursuit to accomplish our highest goals. We are in the fortunate position of being a young team without any seniors graduating this year. The experience our young players gained this season will be invaluable going forward. Our returners will build on the lessons learned while also imparting experiences on a new group of young 'Cats. The climb forward is long and arduous, but with the support of all of our families, alumni, and the Randolph Community, we are certain that we will continue the climb, stronger than ever.
Assist the WildCats
We hope you enjoyed the first release of the Randolph Men’s Basketball WildCat Report. Be on the lookout as we will continue to release updates through the WildCat Report throughout the year. Our aim is to help all of you become more familiar with us both on and off the court.
We would also like to extend an invitation to all of those invested in our program the chance to support our players through a donation. We aim to provide our players with a first-class student-athlete experience; this experience is in part made possible through the support of fundraising efforts and donations. We hope you will consider dishing out an assist to our Men’s Basketball Fund at the following link:
To direct your donation to our program, simply select “Men’s Basketball” from the dropdown menu. We would like to thank all of you who continue to support our program in various ways. We look forward to continuing our program’s journey with all of you along for the ride. Go ‘Cats!
**While considering a donation, Randolph hopes you will also consider a gift to The Annual Fund at Randolph College. The Annual Fund can be accessed at the following link: