The Eagles will look to get revenge on the Spiders
After nearly a week off after their game against CCSU, Boston College will close out (sort of) its non-conference slate with a home match-up against the Richmond Spiders.
A familiar opponent for the Eagles, Richmond embarrassed BC last year in Barclays Center and Jim Christian will be searching for revenge.
Richmond-Dec. 23 (Saturday)-Conte Forum
16-17 Record: 22-13 (13-5 in A-10)
Postseason: Lost in Semifinals of A-10 Tournament. Quarterfinals in NIT
Biggest Win: Defeated Rhode Island (25-10) 73-62 Jan. 25
Worst Loss: Lost to Oral Roberts (8-22) 87-72 Dec. 23
Power Five Record: 1-2 (Defeated Boston College. Lost to Wake Forest, Maryland)
Top Returning Scorer: Khwan Fore, Jr., PG, 11.2 ppg
Biggest Departure: TJ Cline, F, 18.5 ppg (Graduated)
New Arrival: Jacob Gilyard, 5-10, PG, The Barstow School (MO)
Chris Mooney will be entering his 13th season at the helm of the Spiders--and hasn’t posted a losing season since 2006-07. After an average 11-8 start last season, Richmond won 11 of its last 16 games, losing in the Semifinals of the A-10 Tournament to VCU and the Quarterfinals of the NIT to TCU.
Boston College, however, will be familiar with this Richmond squad as the Spiders embarrassed the Eagles 67-54 in Barclays Center last season. The lone bright spot for BC in that game was Jerome Robinson, who finished with a career-high 27 points on 10-20 shooting. Unfortunately, the rest of the Eagles shot an abysmal 10-36 from the field and BC couldn’t hold on to its 33-25 halftime lead--getting doubled up 42-21 in the second half.
On the positive side, BC held Richmond to a season-low in first half points, but alas the offense couldn’t keep up with the defense as Chatman, Owens, and Tava shot a combined 2-13.
Heading into this season, the Spiders will be losing their two highest scorers in TJ Cline (18.5 ppg) and ShawnDre’ Jones (16.8 ppg) and will be looking to Khwan Fore and De’Monte Buckingham to lead the offense. Fore, a "6-2" junior, scored 15+ points eight times last season, including a 9-14, 24 point performance against George Washington on February 4th. A shorter version of Ky Bowman, Fore is the ultimate hustle guard, attacking the basket and crashing the boards. Although he is listed at 6-2, Fore is probably more like 6-0, but in eight games last season he grabbed at least two offensive rebounds. Buckingham, a freshman last season, played 30 minutes a game and averaged 10.5 ppg. The best defensive player on this Spider squad, expect Buckingham to be dogging Jerome Robinson all night.
Rounding out the Richmond front-court are sophomore Grant Golden and graduate transfer Jordan Madrid-Andrews. Golden, 6-9, is the tallest player on this Spider team, and Chris Mooney will be expecting him to crack the rotation--he appeared in just nine games last season. Madrid-Andrews, who is attending his fifth college in six years (I wonder if his credits transferred), provides some experience and size to a thin front-court, but it’s unclear how successful he will be against elite competition.
To put it simply, the Spiders' weakness lies in their front-court--they’re expecting big contributions from players who have never contributed before. Chris Mooney is known for playing with a short bench, but when six of your top seven players are 6-4 or shorter, you have some problems.
Expect this Richmond squad to take a step back in 2017-18, as there are simply not enough sure-things on this roster. That being said, the Eagles will still have their talons full with Richmond on December 23rd and this is definitely a toss-up.
The Spiders have experience and explosiveness in their backcourt but are weak up front--a lot like this BC team. However, the superior depth and size of the Eagles should give them the edge in this one. The last non-conference game before true ACC play begins, a win against the Spiders would be a confidence booster, and a loss would be a confidence wrecker.
Let us hope for the former.