Spiders take on Patriots
The Richmond Spiders (13-4, 3-1 A-10) will travel up I-95 to take on the George Mason Patriots (12-5, 1-3 A-10) this afternoon at 2:30 (NBCSN). Richmond is coming off a road victory vs Davidson on Tuesday night, where they defeated the Wildcats without their leading scorer, Blake Francis. Spider fans received some news they did not want to get this week, when it was announced that Francis will be out 4-6 weeks with a fractured sternum. He sustained the injury near the end of the Saint Louis game on 1/11. Andre Gustavson started in Blake’s spot, scoring 8 points in their victory. We can expect the same this afternoon.
What to Watch For
The Patriots started off the year 11-1, but have since cooled off losing 4 out of their last 5. Jordan Miller leads the scoring charge for George Mason, where he is averaging 13.0 ppg. In the Patriots last outing, he contributed 12 points in their loss @ George Washington. AJ Wilson leads the Patriots in rebounding with 8.2 per contest. The Laurel, Maryland product has been scoring well as of late, hitting double figures in their last 3 games (18, 16, & 11). He’s not a threat from deep, but he is a big body to deal with down low. At 6’7″ 210 lbs, he will be outsized by Grant Golden, but should be a primary focus for the Spiders. He has recorded 17 blocks over the last 5 games, including 5 vs George Washington. Javon Greene will be another focus for Richmond, as he comes into today’s contest averaging 12.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, & 2.9 assists per game.
For the Spiders, Jacob Gilyard will be a focal point when it comes to running the offense. Averaging 37.4 minutes per game, he is a key factor in Richmond’s success this season. Even when he isn’t scoring particularly, he is a constant factor on the floor due to his quick hands and stealing ability. He scored 16 vs Davidson and recorded 2 steals as well. Nick Sherod is another player for Mooney’s squad that will be a big factor in the Spiders success as we get deeper into conference play. When he is on, he is tough to stop from deep.
My prediction for today’s contest is that the Spiders will head into EagleBank Arena, and beat the Patriots. The Spiders will continue to shoot well, and we can look for Grant Golden to have a good game down low. Final score prediction is Richmond 78 – George Mason 65. I will be there live covering today’s contest, so as always be sure to follow along on Twitter @AustinDaisey11 & @A10Talk on Twitter, as well as on www.a10talk.com. See you this afternoon Spider Nation!