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Spiders Set to Open Season Once Again

Richmond vs Morehead State Preview

After a cancellation on Wednesday night due to positive tests within the Detroit Mercy program, the Spiders are set to begin their 2020-2021 campaign against the Morehead State Eagles tonight at 6:00 on the Richmond Spiders YouTube channel.  The Eagles are coming off a 81-45 loss to Kentucky on Wednesday night.  The Spiders are 12-3 in season openers during the Chris Mooney era.  Richmond has not had a date with the Eagles of Morehead State since a game very familiar to Spider fans back in the 2nd round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.  Here’s how the Eagles lineup.

Morehead State

The Eagles are coached by Preston Spradlin, who is in his fourth full season at the helm of Morehead State.  Coming off of a 13-19 season last year, the Eagles are predicted to finish 8th in the Ohio Valley Conference this season.  Morehead State shot 17-50 (34%) against Kentucky the other night, while only shooting 14.3% (3-21) from deep.  They were led by 6’10” freshman Johni Broome & Julius Dixon, who both came off the bench for a team high 11 points each.  One thing to keep an eye is their handling of the ball.  The Eagles turned the ball over 20 times, and when playing against Jacob Gilyard who led the entire nation in steals a year ago, could be a recipe for disaster for Morehead State.

Richmond

In a season where the ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances will be key, this senior heavy squad is one of, if not the most experienced team in all of the land.  Having to switch focus from Detroit Mercy to Morehead State in a matter of hours, the Spiders will rely on solid scouting from their assistants, as well as the energy and confidence of this roster.  Voted to finish first in the Atlantic 10 for the first time in school history, Richmond is more than ready to get their 2020-2021 season underway.  We can expect a starting five of Gilyard, Francis, Burton, Cayo, & Golden to start the season, but don’t be surprised if we see a lot of guys get minutes in this one.  If Richmond can find themselves pulling away, it will be very beneficial to get the freshman some playing time, especially early on in the season.  One thing that we should be waiting to see is who will fill the Nick Sherod gap?  Will it be Tyler Burton, who as reported by ESPN Richmond’s Noah Goldberg, looked to be locked in from 3 point range during a practice?  Will it be Andre Gustavson coming off the bench providing that spark for the Spiders?  Chris Mooney has plenty of options on the bench, as this one of the deepest Richmond teams in recent history.

Prediction

This is a game that I can see this experienced Richmond team rolling in.  My final score prediction will be Richmond 83 – Morehead State 60.  We could get a chance to see some of the new look Spiders, as well as giving the starting 5 some rest before a big matchup with Kentucky on Sunday.  We will see you tonight Spider Nation!