First attempt at a Fanpost, but here is my take on why I think the matchup is favorable for us - first let's look at this page. Pay attention to the losses and the OR% under Defense - notice anything? Pretty much in all of our losses, we were killed on the offensive glass by our opponents. In 8 of the 10 losses, our opponents grabbed at least 36% of their own misses, a very high number. The other two losses came against Tennessee and Kentucky. The Volunteers were average, but we also turned the ball over on 24% of our offensive possessions and shot the ball poorly. Against UK at Rupp Arena, we basically lost a 1 possession game - could have gone either way.
Sure, we've had some wins against teams that have done well on the offensive glass, but we've had to have heroic efforts elsewhere to get the wins - against MSU most recently. That game featured fantastic shooting and an almost complete avoidance of turnovers. Against Bama, it was living at the line, good shooting, and staying even with them in turnovers to produce a very close win. Against UGA at home, it was 30+ FT attemtps in addition to good overall FG defense.
That brings us to Richmond - again lots of credit to Kenpom.com. I'll focus on one particular stat line:
|Off. Reb. %:||28.5 291||32.6 195||32.3|
I see here that Richmond basically avoids offensive rebounds - they may get them occaisionally, but it is not critical to their gameplan. Now this makes sense when we look at what type of offense they run - modified Princeton - and look at their personnel. As many of us remember, when we ran the modified Princeton, we tended to invert our offense, which resulted in a lot of three point shots for Dawid and Matt. When I look at Richmond's starting frontline, I see a 6'-10" player who's a fantastic (and frequent) three point shooter and another 6'-9" player who also likes to hoist up threes. I also see very small offensive rebounding rates for both players, which makes sense, as it is much more difficult to grab offensive rebounds when starting from 20'-6" from the basket.
Now, this is not saying that we will definitely beat Richmond - they shoot 40% from three and can get hot, but our issue this season hasn't been defending the three. Nor has it been scoring the ball. Even turnovers hasn't really been an issue, as we've won games where we've turned the ball over frequently and lost games where we've taken really good care of the ball. Offensive rebounds have been the most detrimental, because not only is it an extra possession, but it is an extra possession near on our side of the court, with the defense out of position, often times very close to the basket.
We'll see how things go, but from this standpoint, we could have done much, much worse in terms of matchups.
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