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Are we anxious about this game? I think so. Although this rag-tag group of players has strung together an impressive season thus far, back-to-back losses could derail the good vibes we’ve been riding the past few weeks. A loss, at home, to a mid-table A10 team would throw some doubt into a season that seems insistent on a correction. Am I hyping this game up for no reason? Even I don’t know. What I do know is this — UD is going to need 12-13 wins in league play to feel comfortable come March. The Flyers can’t afford to lose any game it shouldn’t. You can file this all away in your “no shit” folder.
[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]How We Got Here[/title]
Pretty good breakdown of why we are where we are from the comments section (seriously) after the Davidson Debacle. I included it, in full (no edits), below:
[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Overview[/title]
Had some help this week with the Overview, an alum is intimately familiar with the Richmond program and offered to drop knowledge. Whatever saves me time.
Richmond is coming of a complete dismantling of Davidson. Most telling stat is that they had 26 assists on their 31 field goals, an insane number. Richmond’s strength is defense, which they play well pretty consistently. There was some visiting team — I forget who, but a decent team — that scored just one bucket in the final six minutes of one of the games this season. The X factor is whether they decide to score on a given night. This team is Jekyll & Hyde home and away. They’ve won almost all of their homes games but haven’t won a single away game this season, though they’ve had some very close losses. Hard to think they’ll go through he whole season that way, but that’s where they are now.
What I observe in home games pretty consistently is that they start strong, finish the first half OK, then slump for the first 10 minutes of the second half. The outcome is determined by how strong the early surges and how deep the early second-half slumps are. (Expert analysis, right?)
A few players
• The star is 5’8″ guard Kendall Anthony, who last game set a new Richmond record for career three-pointers. He not only rains from three but has one of the quickest cuts to the basket I’ve ever seen. I saw him to this over and over to a 7-footer earlier this season (Bonnies?), not that he’ll have that problem at Dayton.
• The next most interesting player is TJ Cline, a transfer from somewhere in northern NY (maybe Buffalo, I’m not looking anything up, sorry). He’s worked his way into the starting line-up. Some players move very fluidly and naturally. He’s not one of them; you can see the wheels turning in his head giving instructions to his body for how to move. It would be funny if he wasn’t so good. Has a very quick catch-and-shoot under the basket and is stronger on offense than defense. But the most interesting thing about him is his parents. His mom is women’s bball legend Nancy Lieberman, and his dad played for the Washington Generals (the eternal foe of the Globetrotters; there’s your graphic).
• Complementing them both is sophomore ShawnDre’ Jones (I think I got the caps & accent right, again not looking things up). He and TJ have a sixth sense when it comes to passing, particularly SJ to TJ. SJ is also in the back court to free Kendall up from point guard so he can shoot more.
• Apart from those three, if Richmond has a good game, it will likely come from the hands of Terry Allen and/or Alonzo Nelson-Ododa. TA can disappear or be a double-double threat any night. ANO is the guy TJ Cline knocked out of the line-up, and he’s a hell of a back-up. He’s Richmond’s main big guy and midway through his junior year looks like he’ll graduate as Richmond’s career shot-block leader.
Lastly, the men’s team has started bringing a live spider mascot to home games and just concluded a naming contest for it. It is a tarantula, and a fan vote made the name Tarrant, which happens to be the name of Richmond’s legendary retired coach, Dick Tarrant (UR’s Donoher, I guess you could say). He was the coach who led Richmond to its first Sweet 16.
Quick and steady player, finally a senior.
Richmond’s best wing defender, a much improved perimeter shooter.
Steadily improved each season in a Spider uniform, does a little bit of everything.
One of the league’s best shot blockers, has decent range on offense.
Shot 40% from three his freshman season, 25% last season and is currently hitting just 10% of his three’s this season. Stop shooting, bruh.
Transfer from Niagara, the team’s X-factor. A little Dan Geriot-ish.
[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Numbers Game[/title]
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[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Prediction[/title]
Gentlemen don’t play the No Pass Line and they certainly don’t pick against the Flyers at home. UD wins a tight one, 72-66. Detwon Rogers wears warmups with nothing underneath.