It’s a battle of Atlantic 10 foes from the Old Dominion on the college hardwood. The Richmond Spiders are on the road as they make the in-state trip to face the George Mason Patriots Saturday afternoon. Richmond comes in off a 70-64 road win over Davidson in their last contest Tuesday night. George Mason was knocked off 73-67 by George Washington on the road Wednesday night in their latest contest. The Spiders own a 37-26 advantage in the all-time series between the teams but it was the Patriots prevailing 77-63 at home in the most recent matchup on February 27, 2019.
Richmond Spiders Look to Keep RollingRichmond has as many wins this season in their first 17 games this season as they had all of last year. The Spiders are 3-1 in conference play and they have played some tough competition to this point in the season. Richmond beat Wisconsin on a neutral floor along with road wins over Rhode Island and Davidson. The Spiders don’t have any major losses on the books so far this year as they were beaten by Auburn on a neutral floor, Alabama on the road and Saint Louis at home. Richmond’s worst loss was a neutral floor defeat to Radford, which isn’t a terrible defeat.
The Spiders are putting up an average of 74.9 points per contest this season, which puts them 113th in the nation in scoring offense. Richmond grabs 33.6 rebounds per game and dishes out 15.8 assists a night. The Spiders are 143rd in the nation in scoring defense as they allow 67.5 points a night. Blake Francis leads the team with 17.6 points per game on the season. Jacob Gilyard (13.9 points, 5.4 assists), Nick Sherod (13.2 points, 5.3 rebounds) and Grant Golden (11.7 points, 8.5 rebounds) are all averaging in double figures. The Spiders rely heavily on their starters as after Nathan Cayo (8.4 points, 4.5 rebounds), no one averages more than 4.1 points a game. Richmond is shooting 46.1 percent from the field as a team this season. The Spiders average 8.9 three-pointers a night while shooting 37.3 percent from beyond the arc. Richmond is tremendous at the free throw line as they cash in a fantastic 81.4 percent of their attempts this season. Francis is out four to six weeks with a fractured sternum that he suffered against Saint Louis on January 10.
Richmond is 55th in the nation in offensive efficiency and 98th in defensive efficiency this season according to KenPom.com at this point. The Spiders are 34th in the nation in effective field goal percentage (53.5 percent), 11th in turnover percentage (15.6 percent) and second in free throw percentage this season. In addition, Richmond is 33rd in three-point percentage and 81st in two-point field goal percentage (51.8 percent) this season. The Spiders are just 236th in the nation in tempo as they average 67.7 possessions per game this year.
George Mason Patriots Trying to RegroupGeorge Mason started the year hot but things have gone downhill of late. The Patriots started the year 5-0 before getting whipped by Maryland. George Mason then regrouped with six straight victories to improve to 11-1 on the year. Things haven’t gone well for the Patriots of late as they have dropped four of their last five games coming into this contest. The best win that George Mason has on the ledger was a win on a neutral floor against New Mexico State. The Patriots haven’t scored more than 67 points in their last five games, which is something that they have to improve on to have success.
The Patriots are tied for 298th in scoring offense with 68 points per game on the season. George Mason is 128th in rebounding by pulling down 37.8 boards a night while they hand out 11.2 assists per contest. The Patriots are 91st in scoring defense as they allow 65.6 points per contest on the year. Jordan Miller is leading the team with 13 points plus 4.5 rebounds per contest. Jamal Hartwell II (10.4 points), Javon Greene (12.4 points, 5.9 rebounds) and AJ Wilson (11.2 points, 8.2 rebounds) are solid offensive options. Xavier Johnson, Josh Oduro and Goanar Mar are important pieces of the rotation for the Patriots. George Mason is shooting 41.8 percent from the floor this season. The Patriots knock down 6.4 three-pointers a night while hitting 32 percent from beyond the arc. George Mason is scuffling at the free throw line as they cash in only 70.9 percent of their chances on the year.
The Patriots are effective on the defensive end according to KenPom.com’s statistics. George Mason is 137th in defensive efficiency, 88th in effective field goal percentage (46.7 percent), 88th in three-point field goal percentage defense (31.1 percent) and 16th in block percentage (15.1 percent) on the year. The Patriots have to find a way to be better on the offensive end of the floor as they are just 251st in effective field goal percentage (47.4 percent) this season. George Mason is good on the offensive glass, ranking 62nd in the nation at 32.1 percent on the year. The Patriots are a deliberate offensive team, ranking 262nd in tempo with 67 possessions per game.
The top trends for this contest according to Covers.com:
- Spiders are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- Spiders are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Patriots are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- Patriots are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games as a home underdog
- Patriots are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600