The #19 Richmond Spiders will host the Wofford Terriers of the Southern Conference at the Robins Center this afternoon at 2:00 (ESPN+). After a short pause due to a positive case within the program, Richmond was on their toes and got a game in for today. There were talks over the weekend with a potential visit to play UConn, but health officials could not agree, therefore the game did not surface. With Wofford being 5.5 hours away, it was a solid schedule for both parties. At this point of the young season, the Wofford Terriers are 2-0, with both wins coming against non-division I opponents. Richmond is 3-0 all-time against the Terriers, with the last victory coming in 2012.
Looking at Wofford
Wofford is ranked 142nd in the KenPom rankings, with a projected record of 14-9. They are led by 6’0″ senior guard, Storm Murphy, who has 35 points through two contests. Tray Hollowell isn’t afraid to shoot the deep ball, as he is 7-16 so far, with 29 total points. When it comes to rebounding, Wofford relies on 6’6″ sophomore, Messiah Jones. He leads the Terriers with 17 rebounds, including a double-double in their opener. The Terriers are coached by Jay McAuley, who is in his 2nd year with the squad.
Keys for the Spiders
Playing their first game with their national ranking, Richmond will look to build on their big win in Lexington, which was the last game they played. With contests with Charleston and Furman canceled, Richmond will still be playing a team from a Carolina tonight. One thing that I think all Spider fans will be looking for will be Nate Cayo’s dominance. Proving his worth on a national scale vs Kentucky, it will be huge for Cayo to come back out and have another dominant performance. Blake Francis will also play a key role in this game as well. It would be very beneficial if he can find his rhythm from deep not only for this matchup, but also for their Northern Iowa game on Wednesday night. Richmond is currently 14-49 from deep through two games this season.
One thing to keep an eye on will be for the possible return of Connor Crabtree. This layoff that lasted over a week was a real benefit for him as he is still getting back to full health. Curious to see if he suits up for this one. This is something that is said all the time, but Jacob Gilyard does Jacob Gilyard things night in and night out. He was a huge reason why Richmond was able to defeat Kentucky due to his constant irritation to opposing offenses. Averaging 4.0 steals per contest so far, we can expect the same from him this afternoon as well. Something else to keep an eye on will be if Andre Weir dresses for this one. He has not suited up yet as a Spider and with a layoff of over a week, it will be interesting to see if Mooney gives him the nod.
This will be a very well rested Richmond team that will go into this one and continue to dominate in all areas of the game. My final score prediction is Richmond 82 – Wofford 68. Richmond’s experience and talent will help them prevail, as well as the depth on the bench. As always, you can follow along live on Twitter at @AustinDaisey11 & @A10Talk this afternoon. We will see you later today Spider Nation!