Spiders Host #7 Dayton
The Richmond Spiders (15-4, 5-1 A-10) welcome the Dayton Flyers (17-2, 6-0 A-10) tomorrow night at the Robins Center (6:00/ESPN+). Richmond will be coming off a victory over La Salle on Wednesday night, where they limited the Explorers leading scorer, Isiah Deas, to just 3 points. The story of this one could very well be limiting the damage from Dayton’s scoring threats. Let’s take a look into how they might be able to accomplish that.
Slowing Dayton Down
If you’ve watched college basketball this year, you know that Dayton is one of the top teams in the country. Led by phenom forward Obi Toppin, who leads the Flyers with 19.5 ppg, as well as in rebounds with 7.7 rpg. The tricky thing about this Dayton squad is that they don’t just rely on Obi. They have a squad full of playmakers, and none of them can be left alone. Jalen Crutcher is averaging 14.2 ppg so far, and is a tough matchup for anybody in the country. Ibi Watson is another guy that the Spiders really need to hone in on. The transfer from Michigan is averaging 11.8 ppg, and is shooting 46.8% from deep for Dayton. Grant Golden is going to be extremely physical in this one. A positive about him getting into foul trouble vs La Salle, was that he only played 16 minutes, his shortest game of the year. With Dayton & VCU on deck for the Spiders, it could be an advantage to have Grant a little bit more rested than normal.
What the Spiders Need to do to Win
If we want to see Richmond knock off the #7 team in the country, there are obviously a lot of things that need to happen. Let’s break them down:
- Grant Golden needs to have a big game down low. He scored 25 vs George Mason which showed the fans what he is capable of. If he can have a solid performance in the paint, and at least limit Obi Toppin’s success, that’s a crucial step.
- Spiders need to continue to shoot well. The past 2 games, Richmond has shot 67% and 60% from the field. They will need another hot shooting night to knock off the Flyers.
- Jacob Gilyard needs to have a Jacob Gilyard game. The leader in steals nationally, we need to see Gilyard do what he’s done all year long, which is be a thief on defense. Limiting Dayton’s possessions will be critical for a victory.
- Tyler Burton will see some extended playing time once again (we would imagine), so if he can keep up his level of play and grab some solid boards for Richmond, that will be one step closer to victory.
This will be Richmond’s toughest task of the season in my opinion. The big positive is that they drew Dayton for a home game this season, where the Spiders are 9-1 in 2019-2020. In a game where just about everything will have to go right, playing in front of your home crowd is huge. I really am expecting this one to be a tight one throughout, and I am going to say that the Spiders will boost their tournament resume even further, as they will shock the Dayton Flyers. I’m going to go with Richmond 80 – Dayton 78. A bit bold, I know. You can credit my confidence to the Spiders play lately. We will see you Saturday night Spider Nation!
Featured Image via richmondspiders.com