South Kingstown's Keegan Records, back in town with Colgate, reflects on his RI journey
Colgate's Keegan Records speaks after beating Brown on Thursday night
The South Kingstown native was in Providence on Nov. 10 when his Colgate Raiders topped Brown.
Bill Koch, The Providence Journal
PROVIDENCE — Keegan Records has played on bigger college basketball stages than this one, but something about coming home gave him a different type of butterflies.
South Kingstown natives dotted the Pizzitola Center crowd Thursday night to welcome back one of their own. Colgate’s senior forward put on a show while driving his club to victory against Brown.
Records totaled a double-double with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds. He finished 11-for-13 from the field and was generally unstoppable near the rim. The Raiders used a late run to knock out the Bears, 77-68, and delight the strong gathering behind the visitor’s bench.
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“I had a lot of people here – close to 40, 50 people here,” Records said. “It’s pretty awesome. First game in front of my parents this season.”
The two-time Patriot League champions could have a developing star in their midst. Records carved out a role as a shot-blocker and a rebounder on a team that reached the last two NCAA Tournaments. Now he looks set to be a go-to scorer at times against undersized opposing frontcourts.
“Freshman year I didn’t get a lot of shots, but you keep going through those same motions and keep practicing those same shots,” Records said. “You know eventually it will come.”
Records was a gangly frontcourt player who led the Rebels to the Interscholastic League state tournament in his final season. He opted for a postgrad year at St. Andrew’s under Mike Hart and saw his coordination start to catch up with what is now a 6-foot-10 frame. Colgate and Binghamton extended scholarship offers and Records opted to join the Raiders for the 2019-20 season.
“Obviously it’s taken a lot,” Records said. “One of those steps was going to St. Andrew’s. I was just talking to coach (Mike) Hart down there – he had some of his current postgrads here.
“I told them how it’s obviously worth it. It helped me get here.”
Records played in 32.1% of available minutes during his freshman year – that number jumped to 56.3% and 57.5% in the last two seasons, respectively. He’s grabbed at least 12.1% of available offensive rebounds in each of his last two years – that's a top-80 national mark. Records is also a career 63.1% shooter from the field – just five of his attempts in 86 games have come from 3-point range.
“Just great player development,” Records said. “Same thing at St. Andrew’s with coach (John) O’Shea and coach Hart. A lot of great coaches have helped me get here.”
Records netted the first eight points for Colgate in this one. The Raiders made a concerted effort to jam the ball inside after an opening loss to Buffalo, and it helped the visitors control the pace. The Raiders enjoyed a 46-34 advantage in the paint largely thanks to Records, 6-foot-11 center Jeff Woodward and 6-foot-9 wing Sam Thomson.
“We drew up a play the first play of the game just to get it down low,” Records said. “We knew we had the size advantage. Once you score a couple you keep taking advantage of it.”
Colgate has dropped just seven conference games with Records on the roster and punched a pair of tickets to March Madness. The Raiders had Arkansas in trouble early before falling in their 2020-21 opener. They pushed Wisconsin to the stretch last season before suffering a 67-60 elimination in the first round.
“Try to tell the younger guys what it’s like and how much it means to get there and play on that big stage,” Records said. “That’s something we try to talk about at the beginning of the year. Obviously, once the year starts, we try to take it game by game.”
Highlight road games with Syracuse and Auburn await, along with a home showdown against America East favorite Vermont on Dec. 10. The Raiders host a conference title game rematch with Navy on Jan. 5 and close the regular season with a road date against the Midshipmen on Feb. 25. Records will likely note each of those games on his calendar – this one was marked down first.
“Obviously you have a couple games on the schedule every year you circle and say, ‘This game means a lot,’” Records said. “Whether it’s a rivalry or coming back home for some guys – playoffs is the most important. You only get one shot.”
On Twitter: @BillKoch25