Recon: Richmond Spiders, Round 2


Richmond tries to sweep the Bonnies just as Dayton did last weekend. But, this game isn’t in VA and that matters a lot…

The Opponent:  The 13-12, 6-6 Richmond Spiders. Richmond hammered the Bonnies by nineteen in their first meeting. SBU did not make a single three pointer and the Spiders embarrassed the Bonnies holding them to 41 points.

The Rundown on Richmond: Chris Mooney’s club has been simply up and down as well as disappointing this year. Picked to finish right near the top of the league Richmond is fighting to stay .500 just like our Bonnies. After beating VCU on the road and stunning the A10 they’ve lost three of four including in overtime setback vs. George Mason last time out. Richmond is simply a different team on the road and they’ve not been able to solve their road woes (aside from that VCU win which is still stunning). They do a superb job taking care of the ball, they play sound defense but rebounding and scoring do not come easily. Richmond is a team that has struggled in the past at the RC and the Bonnies need this home win in the worst of ways after back to back losses to UMass and Dayton. Additionally, with both these teams sitting in the middle of the table there’s a good chance they could finish tied. Dropping both games to UR could be an issue come seeding time in  a few weeks. This is a big game with A10 seeding implications.

Foes’ Starting Five:

Bigs: Terry Allen (12.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 80% FT guy), Deion Taylor (starting with Alonzo Nelson-Ododa out, horrible shooting numbers everywhere), T.J. Cline (10.9 points, 37% from 3PT, a decent stretch four man, could be trouble).

Quicks: Kendall Anthony (16.8 points, 38% 3PT, UR’s all time leading 3PT shooter, will likely be a major problem), Trey Davis (4.4 points, 4.6 boards, horrible shooter from the line and deep, could be in for a career game?)

Their Strength: Taking care of the ball. Richmond is one of the best team’s in the nation in terms of valuing the basketball and limiting their giveaways helps them stay in, and win lots of games they probably shouldn’t.  Davidson turns it over only 9.8 times a game (best in the A10) and is second in TO margin at +3.24. When they do this it offsets their poor shooting nights and nights when they get mauled on the glass. This is a quality I REALLY wish SBU had as it helps mask so many other things.

Their glaring weaknesses: Rebounding. Richmond has always struggled rebounding under Mooney (well pretty much always) and this year is no different. Richmond is dead last in rebounding margin at -5.3 per game. That didn’t stop them from hammering SBU the first time out though since they basically put a lid on the basket for forty minutes. SBU needs to keep Ndoye on the floor this time out and expose their lack of true big man. Getting Dion and Youssou going early is a major key.

Since we Last Met: Basically doing the same as SBU: winning and losing at an equal clip. Getting their fans all jacked up after beating a ranked VCU team then losing their next two and three of their next four. Richmond has talent and can beat anyone in this league (much like SBU save Dayton) but simply isn’t consistent enough to go anywhere of note in 2015.

Their best player(s): Kendall Anthony, the pint sized guard who can go off at any time vs. any team. Anthony’s three point shooting is a major X factor for Richmond. If SBU can limit his scoring output they’ll be in decent shape to win this game at home. Anthony was 3-15 for only 10 points in UR’s lost to Mason. He’s their answer to Marcus Posley: a guard who shoots it around 17 times a night; they hope he cans 3-4 trifectas a game. Forcing their supporting characters to carry the scoring load would be wise. T.J. Cline will also have to be watched out on the perimeter as he has shown himself to be a capable three point shooting big.

Reason to be Pessimistic:  Well, any time a team beat you by nearly twenty a few weeks earlier and held you to 41 points has to be concerning. Sure, you could chalk it up to a really, really bad game for the Bonnies (which I mostly do) but maybe there’s something else to it. Richmond’s ability to take care of the ball, play solid defense and clamp down on our big time scorers the first time out is concerning. Posley was 3-12. Jay Adams (out of course) was 1-7. Dion had just eight points. Ndoye got in foul trouble but finished 2-6 with just four boards. Andell Cumberbatch (10 points, 4-11 shooting) led the Bonnies in scoring and that’s not a good thing…no offense to the senior. Richmond’s match-up zone could also give new point guard Iakeem Alston issues given that he’s green as all hell to starting and logged just 12 minutes vs. UR last time. Richmond is a tough team to play because they seem to always turn these games into close, low scoring affairs. SBU needs to get a win no matter how ugly it is.

Reason to be Optimistic: I’m going to keep this short and sweet. This season has gone in ebbs and flows and after losing two in a row it’s time to win a game or two. There’s that and then there’s this tweet which I kinda-already-knew but this makes it official….Richmond sucks away from the Robbins Center. Also, Alonzo Nelson Ododa being out is no small deal. He killed SBU off the pine last game for 10 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks playing solid defense on Ndoye. That’s a help no doubt….This is a game I think SBU wins and for the first time in a while I’m pretty confident about it.


More Notes from game preview……

The Starting Five Notes:
1. Entering the final, six-game stretch of the season, St. Bonaventure hosts Richmond in the second  meeting between the schools this season. The teams enter the week tied for seventh place in the A-10 at 6-6. In the first meeting between these teams on Jan. 11 in Richmond, the Spiders prevailed 60-41.

2. Junior Iakeem Alston is expected to make his second start in place of freshman Jay Adams, who is out indefinitely due to a fracture/dislocation of the ring finger on his right hand. Alston scored a career high 11 points with three assists in 30 minutes of action last Saturday at Dayton.

3. St. Bonaventure’s anchor in the middle, 7-foot senior center Youssou Ndoye, is second in the A-10 in both rebounding (10.5) and blocked shots (2.8/game). Five of his eight double-doubles this season have been against Atlantic 10 opponents, most recently 16 points and 12 rebounds at Dayton.

4. Marcus Posley is the fifth-leading scorer in the Atlantic 10 at 16.7 points per game. He hopes to shake off a cold spell where he went 1-17 from three-point range the last two games.

4. Dion Wright has scored in double figures seven of the last eight games. Over that span, he went 53-87 (61%) from the field and averaged 13.3 points and 6.0 rebounds. In the win over VCU, Wright played one of the best all-around games of his career with 19 points and eight rebounds.

Wright ranks 12th in the A-10 in scoring and 11th in rebounding, and he has a .573 field goal percentage in conference games.

St. Bonaventure vs. Richmond: The First Meeting This Year: Jan. 11, 2015 at Robins Center — Richmond 60, St. Bonaventure 41
Despite playing all but one minute of the first half without Youssou Ndoye, who had picked up two early fouls, St. Bonaventure trailed by only two points at halftime (25-23). It was a 36-31 game when Richmond scored eight unanswered points to open its largest lead of the game to that point at 44-31 with 8:52 remaining. From that point, the Bonnies could not come any closer than 11 points. In the second half, St. Bonaventure went cold and made only seven of its 28 shots (25 percent). Richmond wound up shooting 14-25 (56 percent) over the final 20 minutes. The Bonnies’ 41 points were a season low.

Series Notes
This will be the 21st meeting in a series that Richmond leads 15-5; the Spiders have won three of the last five meetings. Last season, each team won on its home court. The first meeting in the series was in 2002.

Richmond Notes
• Richmond enters this game after losing three of its last four games, most recently a 71-67 overtime decision at George Mason on Saturday afternoon. The Spiders recently lost center Alonzo Nelson-Odouda for an indefinite time due to a facial injury; he was the team’s top shot-blocker and second leading rebounder and also was averaging 9.6 points per game. Richmond is 1-9 on the road this season.
• Even though the stands just 5-8, Kendall Anthony is Richmond’s engine. He leads the Spiders in scoring at 16.8 points per game, shooting 44 percent from the field (38 percent from three-point range) and 81 percent at the free throw line.
• The Spiders have two other capable guards who compliment Anthony, junior Trey Davis and sophomore ShawnDre Jones. Power forward Terry Allen is the second-leading scorer at 12.3 points per game and leads the Spiders in rebounding at 5.7 per game.


Categories: Editorial

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