Previewing 2017-18 Men’s Basketball: Richmond

A four-game winning streak and an undefeated record at home is on the line Saturday when Boston College men’s basketball welcomes Richmond to Conte Forum. The Spiders (2-9) have limped out of the gate with a youthful roster, struggling after a 22-win season a year ago. The Eagles (9-3), meanwhile, have flourished since upsetting then-No. 1 Duke. They’ve yet to lose in December and have gained plenty of momentum entering the brutal months of ACC play. With No. 13 Virginia looming, BC will look to avoid stumbling against a lesser foe before hitting the road.

Who is BC playing?

Richmond

When is BC playing?

Saturday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to Watch:

The game will be broadcasted on ACC Network Extra and live streamed on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) The Eagles have already tied last season’s win total—nine—with 20 games left to play. The current four-game win streak is their longest since 2015-16, while a five-game streak hasn’t been achieved since 2012-13.

2) BC has yet to lose in Conte Forum, posting a spotless 7-0 record at home.

3) Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman are currently the highest-scoring backcourt in the ACC, as the two have averaged a combined 33.4 points per game this season. The duo is a full 1.3 points ahead of Wake Forest’s Keyshawn Woods and Bryant Crawford (32.1).

Richmond:

1) The Spiders struggle to lock down shooters, ranking in the bottom-50 of the country in three of the four main defensive field goal shooting categories, including fourth-to-last in opposing field goal percentage (50 percent).

2) Richmond went 22-13 a year ago, but lost both its leading scorers to graduation and is currently leaning on three-star freshman recruit Grant Golden (15 points per game) to carry the team.

3) The offense has been a newfound weakness as well: it ranked 74th in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency in 2016-17 but has plummeted to 248th this season.

Last Meeting:

The two teams met last season for the first time since 1954, with the Spiders cruising to a 13-point win in the Barclays Center Classic. Jerome Robinson dropped 27 points, but the Eagles squandered a 33-25 halftime lead. Richmond’s T.J. Cline, the A-10 Player of the Year, had 23 points as BC struggled to provide any other scoring to backup Robinson.

BC Wins if…

It scores 80-plus points. The Eagles have cleared the 80-point barrier in each of their last three games (and are 7-0 when surpassing that mark) and clearly have the offensive firepower to overwhelm Richmond. The Spiders enter averaging 12 less points per game than BC, and the trio of Jordan Chatman, Bowman, and Robinson should be too much to overcome. Over the course of the current win streak, they’re shooting 48 percent from the field and 45 percent from deep. That’s too much for most teams to combat.

BC Loses if…

Its shooters go cold—the same caveat that has haunted the Eagles for much of this season. Errant 3-point shooting and inconsistent numbers at the line could quickly turn this into anyone’s game. Chatman has hit three or more 3-pointers in each of the last three games, BC is shooting almost 80 percent from the charity stripe as a team, and the list could go on. All signs point to potential regression, and a low-scoring defensive affair looks like the only way Richmond could escape Conte Forum with a win.

Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Staff

Bradley Smart
About Bradley Smart 181 Articles
Bradley is the associate sports editor for The Heights. He believes that America does truly run on Dunkin, March is the best month, baseball teams should always wear stirrups, and being down 3-1, in anything, is never cause for concern. You can follow him on Twitter @bradleysmart15.