The Richmond Spiders play host to the Davidson Wildcats on Friday night from the Robbins Center in a crucial Atlantic 10 matchup. Davidson is one of the hottest teams in the country and has found a way to string together 12 wins in a row heading into this one, including three-straight wins against A10 opponents. The non-conference slate saw Davidson play an impressive slate of games and the talent should be on display. For Richmond, they were able to grab a win the last time out against UMASS to snap a two-game losing streak. Richmond has had an up-and-down season and it'll be interesting to see which version of the Spiders show up on Friday night.
Richmond has won three in a row in the series and won the lone meeting between the two teams last year, grabbing the road win. Over the last ten meetings, the Spiders have seven wins in total in the series, while Davidson looks to right the ship against their Atlantic 10 rival.
Davidson Finds Themselves As A10 FavoritesDavidson has turned quite a few heads in the early going this season and a win against Alabama has certainly set the tone that this team could be one to keep an eye on come March. Davidson has one of the longest winning streaks in the country, at 12 games, but they haven't always made it look easy. Each of their last two A10 games has come by ten powers or less, while the win against Alabama was by a point. Being in tight games is nothing new to this group though and they'll be ready to perform on the road.
One piece of good news for Davidson this year has been their ability to stay healthy. They come in with nobody out or questionable and that consistency in their rotation has been instrumental to building up confidence and momentum over the last month.
Final frames🤩📸 pic.twitter.com/vVrCWdIrps— Davidson Basketball (@DavidsonMBB) January 8, 2022
Davidson's offense has led the way this season, establishing themselves as one of the most efficient groups in the country. They rank 53rd nationally in scoring and are top 10 in field-goal percentage and top five in three-point percentage. Their offensive production continues to put pressure on opponents to keep pace and despite the Wildcats playing at a modest pace, teams continue to speed up to try to match their output.
The Wildcats have four double-digit scorers, with Hyunjun Lee (17.4 ppg) leading the way. As one of the most efficient players in the A10, Lee is shooting over 50 percent from the field, over 42 percent from three-point range, and nearly 80 percent from the free-throw line, making him a tough defensive assignment for any team. The supporting cast of Foster Loyer (15.9 ppg), Luka Brajkovic (13.2 ppg), and Michael Jones (12.3 ppg), means that Richmond will have their hands full on the defensive side.
Defensively, the Wildcats have seen a slight drop-ff from their offensive efficiency, but still remain one of the better groups in the conference. They rank 111th nationally in scoring defense and their key advantage is their ability to rebound. The Wildcats pride themselves on keeping their opponents off the glass and limiting second-chance opportunities, which will be crucial to coming away with the road win.
Richmond Looking To Spring UpsetThe Spiders have struggled to turn a corner despite some quality wins and quality players on the roster over the last few years but they at least have had Davidson's number. This could be their toughest matchup against Davidson to date but a win last time out against UMASS has at least set the tone of the path to victory. Prior to the Spiders' two-game losing streak to kick off the A10 slate, they had strung together six wins in a row and a loss in overtime to Mississippi State had helped to invoke some confidence as well. Heading into Friday night, they've been strong at home, going 7-1, and are hoping that trend continues.
Much like their opponents on Friday night, the Spiders are also fully healthy coming into this one. The experience and consistency should prove to be beneficial, especially being at home.
Richmond comes in struggling to get much going on offense despite the talent. They rank only 139th in scoring but have really struggled to generate any second chance opportunities. While Davidson has made a living this year off of their efficient offense, Richmond will have their hands full trying to match the expected scoring output.
The Spiders have three double-digit scorers, with Tyler Burton (18.2 ppg) leading the way. The x-factor remains Jacob Gilyard though, one of the most experienced point guards in the country. He's averaging 10.5 ppg but also 6.5 apg and his ability to lead the offense will always give them a chance at victory at home.
Defensively, Gilyard is sure to have an impact as well. He is one of the nation's top perimeter defenders, averaging 3.5 steals per game. The biggest concern is that beyond Gilyard, the Spiders seem to lack much intensity on the defensive side of the ball. They rank 244th in scoring defense and their biggest struggle will come against defending the three-point line, as Davidson comes in with that as on of their main advantages.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Davidson is one of the hottest teams in the country heading into Friday night and while this will certainly be a tough game going on the road, there's little doubt that the Wildcats will be able to grab the win. Davidson has four double-digit scorers and their elite offense, which is one of the most efficient in the country, will not have any issues establishing its dominance early on in this one. Expect Davidson to control the game throughout and even though Richmond will be at home, they'll struggle to dictate the tempo and style of the game, as they come up short at home. Additionally, according to covers.com, Richmond is 1-5 ATS in their last six games as a home favorite and is 1-5 ATS in their last six home games overall.
Full-Game Total Pick
Given that Davidson has one of the best offenses in college basketball, it shouldn't come as a surprise that they'll be expected to find quite a bit of success on Friday night. They come in ranked 52nd in scoring and considering Richmond ranks in the bottom half of Division 1 in nearly every defensive category, the Wildcats will be fully expected to have a big night on the offensive side. That should put the pressure and up the tempo a little more for Richmond as well and their trio of double-digit scorers. Additionally, according to covers.com, for Davidson, the over is 5-0 in their last five road games, is 4-0-1 in their last five games against a team with a winning straight-up record, and is 4-0 in their last four games against a team with a winning percentage above .600. For Richmond, the over is 4-0 in their last four games against a team with a winning straight-up record.