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Richmond vs Rhode Island – Preview

Spiders head to Rhode Island

The Richmond Spiders (11-3, 1-0) will head to Kingston where they will take on the Rams of Rhode Island (8-4, 0-0) this afternoon at 12:00.  The Spiders are coming off of a dominant conference opener, where they defeated the Saint Joseph’s Hawks, 84-52.  Rhode Island is coming off a loss on the road to Brown of the Ivy League on Thursday night.

Who to Watch:

The Rams are coming off their loss to Brown, so they will be eager to get back to the Ryan Center.  Coming into today’s contest, Rhode Island is led by Fatts Russell who is averaging 20.3 ppg, 5.8 apg, & 3.0 steals per game.  This is a matchup that A-10 fans should be excited for, as this could very well be the best 2 guards in the conference duking it out in Gilyard and Russell.  Cyril Langevine is a force down low for the Rams.  He’s currently averaging a double-double for Rhode Island, at 10.9 ppg & 10.8 rpg.  Expect him and Grant Golden to be key factors for both teams in this one.  The Rams are currently ranked 261st in 3-point % at 30.8%, compared to Richmond’s 38% from deep.  For the Spiders, we can expect Jacob Gilyard & Blake Francis to hit double figures once again.  This game could very well end up being a battle on the boards, so it is important for Grant Golden to have a strong game down low.  Jake Wojcik and Matt Grace have been providing some solid play for Richmond off the bench lately.  If the Spiders can get more good bench play, they should fare well over the span of conference play.

The Grind of Conference Play

This is a quick turnaround for the Spiders, but Chris Mooney believes they are well prepared for it. All five starters for Richmond registered fewer minutes than their averages on Thursday.  Rest can be very important once conference play really gets going.  When asked about having his starters getting rest vs Saint Joseph’s, Mooney said,  “Not only are they able to be on the bench, but when Jordan Gaitley scores, and those guys are playing well, there’s some energy there.  I feel that was really important for us and a bit of a bonus, and hopefully that can show up on Sunday”.  Travel always throws a bit of a curve for any team, so any advantage that Richmond can get, Mooney is all for it.

Prediction:

Using the momentum gained with the victory over Saint Joseph’s, Richmond will head to Rhode Island and pick up another victory, putting them at 2-0 in the young A-10 season.  Grant Golden will have a solid game down low leading to a Richmond victory.  My score prediction is Richmond 82-Rhode Island 76.  Be sure to follow along for live updates on @AustinDaisey11 & @A10Talk on Twitter, as well as on our forum at www.a10talk.com.  See you this afternoon Spider Nation!