Monday, October 24, 2016

Richmond Spiders will be Mountaineers first true test


Despite being predicted to finish 6th in the Atlantic 10 conference this season the Richmond Spiders are off to a fast start. After losing their season opener to James Madison 87-75 the Spiders have won three in a row.

Comparing the Spiders to the Mountaineers is fairly easy at this point in the season as both teams already have common opponents. The Spiders also have victories over Stetson (108-85) and Bethune-Cookman (89-64).

Led by 6’8 senior forward, Terry Allen, the Spiders are averaging 90.8 points per game while shooting 52.2% from the floor. Comparatively the Mountaineers are averaging 98.3 points per game and shooting 50.4% from the floor.

Where the two teams differ is from beyond the arch where the Spiders are shooting better by overĀ 11%. Richmond’s 3 point average is 40.2% while West Virginia is sitting at 29.1%.

Both teams like to press defensively as the Spiders are averaging 8 steals per game compared to the Mountaineers 13.5 per game.

Where the Spiders will struggle in this game is in depth. Richmond relies on 7 players for the majority of their scoring, 4 of which are averaging over 10 points per game. The problem is that of those 7 players the top four scores are averaging over 27 minutes playing time per game. Against the Mountaineer press and a bench that is easily 6 players deep the Spiders will have to rely on a solid shooting performance to stay in the game.

Luckily for Richmond their top three scorers; Terry Allen (19.8 ppg) TJ Cline (18.3) ShawnDre’ Jones (15.3) are all shooting over 52% from the floor.

The matchup to watch in this game will be between the teams leading scorers in the Mountaineer Devin Williams and the Spiders TJ Cline. There will be no height advantage as both are listed at 6’9. However Cline will give size to Williams who weighs 20 lbs more.

The game tips off at 5 PM EST and will be televised on FS1.

featured image credit USA Today Sports



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