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Richmond vs VCU – Preview

Spiders Head to Siegel Center

The Richmond Spiders (15-5, 5-2 A-10) take on bitter rival VCU (15-5, 5-2 A-10) on Broad Street tomorrow night (7:00/CBSSN).  Needless to say, this one has major implications on the conference standings.  Both teams have identical records, but it is safe to say that Richmond has the easier schedule as we head towards the end of the conference schedule.  Richmond holds the head-to-head tiebreaker on Rhode Island (6-1), which makes this matchup even bigger.  If the Spiders can knock off the Rams, it really helps their chances at securing a double bye in Brooklyn.  The Rams have won 14 of the last 20 meetings vs Richmond, but lets not forget that the Spiders swept the season series in 2017-2018.

Who to Watch for

VCU —

The Rams are led by 6’7″ junior Marcus Santos-Silva.  The Massachusetts native is leading the team in scoring at 13.2 ppg & rebounding with 9.2 rpg.  In VCU’s last outing vs La Salle, he contributed 16 points and 9 rebounds in the Rams victory.  De’Riante Jenkins will be another player that the Spiders will have to focus on.  The 6’5″ senior guard comes into this contest averaging 10.6 ppg, but what sticks out to me is that he is sitting at 2.0 steals per game.  This game could turn into a steal fest between Jacob Gilyard & De’Riante Jenkins.  Dating back to VCU’s loss to Rhode Island, the senior has picked up 8 steals in 5 games.  Jacob Gilyard has picked up 14 steals over his last 5 contests, and is averaging 3.2 on the year.  Marcus Evans is a player that is capable of finding the bottom of the net as well.  He tends to be streaky, as his game log is all over the place.  He has scored as many as 16 and a slow as just 4 this season.  Slowing him down would be good for the Spiders, as he plays about 24 minutes per game.

Richmond —

Needless to say, the Spiders are going to have to get some shots to fall.  In the Dayton loss, the team shot just 39.1% from the field as they went 27-69 on the night.  Jacob Gilyard and Nick Sherod had career nights, as they each scored 20+ for Richmond.  Grant Golden will be looking to bounce back from a rough outing vs the Flyers.  Grant shot 3-12 and finished with 7 points.  One thing that needs to be said about him vs Dayton, is his passing.  He contributed 7 assists, and they were all spectacular.  If he can get back to his scoring ways, the Spiders are in good shape.  Nathan Cayo also had a solid game, scoring 15 points despite missing pre-game shootaround due to him traveling back from a funeral in Boston.  Tyler Burton is a guy that the Spiders have been relying on off the bench, but didn’t have his best outing against the #7 team in the nation.  I’m fully expecting him to get back to how he played vs George Mason & La Salle.  With Blake Francis out, it is important that Richmond can get some quality bench production.

Prediction

This is a game that just always seems to be a little different.  We can expect to see each teams best effort as well as a rowdy crowd on hand.  Using their experience earned in the Dayton game, Richmond will bounce back in a big way tomorrow night.  The Spiders will come out on top of the Rams, and my score prediction is Richmond 82 – VCU 75.  I will be there live covering this one, so be sure to follow along on Twitter at @AustinDaisey11 & @A10Talk.  Also, don’t be shy on our forum page!  We will see you tomorrow night Spider Nation!

Featured image via Richmond Athletics