Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#673 Richmond -2 vs.
#674 George Mason 134.5
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 2:30pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#673 University of Richmond
#674 George Mason University
13-4
12-5
9-8
9-8
5-12
9-8
74
67
67
65

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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 Rolling

Richmond 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 Regroup

George 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.

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George Mason, in addition to losing to George Washington, took another blow with Justin Kier going down again. He missed the first six games with a stress fracture in his foot and was injured again in the loss to George Washington. Kier was slated to undergo surgery on Friday and could be out for the rest of the year. Richmond is dealing with injury issues of their own with the injury to Francis but they have capable scoring options to work around. The Spiders are going to have come up with some scoring depth but in this one, their offensive attack is enough to deliver the win here.

Prediction: Richmond Spiders

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It's going to be a test for the Patriots to try and get their offense going in this contest as they face Richmond. George Mason is just 270th in the nation in field goal percentage and 246th in three-point percentage this season. Richmond's defense is stout as they are 57th in three-point field goal percentage defense at 29.8 percent this season. The Spiders are going to miss Francis in the short term, which means that Golden and Sherod have to pick up some of the slack. For right now, it's going to take some work to get things to fall into place. This one falls under the number.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.