The Opponent: The Richmond Spiders, 8-7 and 1-1 in A10 play. Richmond is fresh off a ten point win over George Mason.
The Rundown: When the season began back in November Richmond was a team that some people thought was an NCAA contender…shit, I was one of them. They have a very solid scoring guard in Kendall Anthony, a coach I really like in Chris Mooney and they generally seem to out kick their coverage. Well, they aren’t making the NCAAs anymore. At 8-7 it would take a minor miracle for the Spiders to make the tournament and the bottom line is they are just an average team….kind of like the Bonnies. They’ll beat people they shouldn’t, and lose games they should probably win.They win close, low scoring games and usually help teams beat themselves. They have been in the past a team that beats the Bonnies in Richmond but struggle in Olean…the game of course is in Virginia.
Vegas Says: Richmond -4.0
Their best player(s): Scoring guard, senior Kendall Anthony. Anthony is a pre-season all league player who did a number on the Bonnies last season in their meeting. Averaging 15.7 points a game, he shoots 37% from three point land and will be firing away from deep whenever he’s got a look….esp. against the Bonnies’ poor defense out there. Anthony’s 3-4 shooting from three was a big reason why the Spiders downed Mason last time out. I’d say he needs to be guarded closely but that’s a given. The Bonnies know they need to focus on him; whether or not they accomplish the goal is a different story. Richmond isn’t a good perimeter shooting team, but we know the Bonnies can make anyone look good from long range over 40 minutes.
Their glaring weaknesses: They suck, and I mean suck at rebounding. UR ranks 339th in offensive rebounds (if they get four in a game they’d be thrilled) and are 347th in overall rebounding meaning their basically the worst board team in the nation. Richmond ranks 290th in the nation in scoring offense at just under 63 a game…they really struggle to win games play at a higher pace; if you hit shots, they struggle to keep up. If the Bonnies can force misses on the defensive end and play an aggressive style on the other end this is a game they can, and honestly should win. They aren’t Dayton in that their going to throw some really tough to defend offense at you…they are just an average team. I’d even venture to say SBU has a better starting five top to bottom.
Their strength: Richmond does do some things well. First, they can shoot it. 46% from the field is a top 70 shooting team…not bad. Their two point shooting is 19th best in the nation, so they excel when getting off those shots. They don’t send their opponents to the line often at all(20th least in the nation) and are 18th in the nation in steal percentage. Like I said, they are a team with positives…probably even more than we have. But their glaring weaknesses in rebounding and scoring the ball are tough to get past.
What I Fear: I fear Richmond winning this game by a score of say 61-54 after forcing the Bonnies into 16 turnovers and holding us to a low shooting percentage. Richmond wins these type of ugly rock-throwing games year after year. They force our guards into dumb turnovers late in the game and win on the backs of some bullshit foul calls…we’ve seen that play out before down there.
How the Bonnies get to 2-1: I don’t want to claim to be some basketball genius (I’m not) but going into UMass I hit the nail on the head in terms of keys to victory. Against Dayton I said they needed to do two things: Defend the three point line and get Ndoye touches. They did neither to any extent and got embarrassed on national T.V. Lets see if I can go three for three with this one. For me, this game is simple. The Bonnies need to fucking dominate the glass, limit their turnovers against a team that is good at controlling the tempo and make some outside shots…why? Because I don’t think Richmond can win a game in the mid 70s. In fact, in their wins Richmond scores 66 points a game. If the Bonnies can get to say 71 points I think that’s a potential magic number. The challenge will be scoring 70 points against a decent defensive team. SBU will have a really hard time winning shooting the three like they did against (like Dayton). They’re going to need their guards to step up in terms of scoring an decision making. While it’s clear Ndoye can have big games against anyone the Bonnies need to refrain from forcing it inside to him like they did vs. Dayton. They had to have turned it over five times just trying to feed Ndoye when he wasn’t in position to catch the pass. Jay Adams specifically needs to do a better job of recognizing when things are there and when they aren’t.
Three keys to victory:
1. Knock down shots to get to 71 points.
2. No more than 12 turnovers.
3. Defend the three point line- Hold Richmond to 33% shooting. (Bonnies season average is 38.6%- 317th worst)