Furman’s Matt Rafferty ’19 has landed on Sports Illustrated’s list of the top 50 male NCAA Division I players in 2018-19.
In a story headlined “The Top 50 Players in College Basketball This Season” that was posted on March 14, Rafferty came in at No. 34 – just ahead of Villanova’s Eric Paschall. SI notes that Rafferty, a senior from Hinsdale, Illinois, “led the nation by a healthy margin with 8.3 total win shares, filling up every part of the stat sheet for a Furman team that cracked the top 25 for the first time in program history.”
Win shares is a metric that calculates the number of wins a player produces for his team. Furman has set a school record for single-season wins with a 25-7 record. Rafferty had 15 points and 17 rebounds in Furman’s 76-68 overtime upset of No. 8 Villanova, the defending national champion, on Nov. 17.
Rafferty leads the Paladins in virtually every statistical category this season, averaging 17.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.5 steals. His 79 steals are a school record, and his 61.7% field goal shooting is the second-best performance by a Furman player ever.
A business administration major, Rafferty ranks third in Furman history in career steals and is also eighth in rebounds, 12th in assists and 23rd in scoring.
The Paladins will found out their postseason fate on Sunday when the NCAA announces the 68-team field for the men’s Division I Tournament.