Point guard Cedrick Lindsay leads Richmond into Rose Hill in search of first Atlantic 10 win of 2013-14. (Photo courtesy of the University of Richmond)
Now 0-1 in Atlantic 10 play after a road loss to Duquesne, Fordham returns home with a .500 record for their second conference game, coming against a Richmond team that is also 0-1 on their league ledger after an 84-70 loss to St. Bonaventure Wednesday night.
The Rams and their four-guard offense led by freshman sensation Jon Severe and senior floor general Branden Frazier should have opportunities to attack the backboards against Chris Mooney and the Spiders, whose Princeton offense contributes to their lower rebounding total. However, Richmond possesses a pair of forwards in Alonzo Nelson-Ododa and Terry Allen that can change the game with their interior presence, a commodity Fordham will have a difficult time matching due to their limited front line.
For more information on Richmond, a team led by underrated point guard Cedrick Lindsay, who averages over four assists per game, we welcome John O'Connor in for our pregame Q&A. John covers the Spiders for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and was considerate enough to give us a little preview of what to expect from the visiting team tomorrow night.
Jaden Daly: How much has the Spiders' strong nonconference schedule prepared them for A-10 play, and what has been the brightest spot on this team?
John O'Connor: Richmond traditionally plays three or four BCS schools, and I believe it's of great value to all Richmond players, but the younger ones in particular. They learn the speed, strength and the teamwork of elite Division I players. Defense, the matchup that Richmond plays, has clearly been the highlight so far.
JD: In your opinion, is Richmond hurt by having to play their first two conference games on the road before coming back home for Dayton one week from Saturday? How strong was the effort against St. Bonaventure?
JOC: Starting the season with two road games is difficult, but St. Bonaventure and Fordham are projected to be among the A-10's least-competitive teams. If you have to play two on the road, those would seem to be the right spots.
JD: Despite the loss of Darien Brothers, how would you rate the backcourt this season, and on that note, what will be the key for Cedrick Lindsay on Saturday as he goes up against Branden Frazier?
JOC: Richmond's backcourt is good, but small. Cedrick Lindsay is 6-1. Kendall Anthony is 5-8. Lindsay is a driver. Anthony is a shooter. They make Richmond small in the backcourt, and that occasionally hurts the Spiders. They have to be on the court because they are the team's only double-figure scorers. Lindsay will try to penetrate and score, and penetrate and pass, vs. Fordham.
JD: Both Alonzo Nelson-Ododa and Terry Allen had big games against Fordham last year at Rose Hill Gym. Do you see more of the same from them this time around given the lack of size on Fordham's front line?
JOC: Those are two talented sophomores who are still feeling their way offensively. Richmond is looking for both to take significant steps in January.
JD: Will rebounding be a concern for the Spiders based on their Princeton offense and Fordham's tendency to attack the offensive glass? Where can Richmond make up ground if they were to lose the battle of the boards?
JOC: Richmond hasn't been a quality rebounding team in Chris Mooney's nine seasons as coach, but the Spiders typically hit a good percentage of 3-pointers and limit turnovers to compensate. 3-point shooting has been a problem so far this season.
JD: Finally, with the Atlantic 10 being much more up for grabs with UMass and Dayton having emerged as strong contenders alongside VCU and Saint Louis after nonconference play, how much will the door be open for Richmond to make a similar run as the season continues on?
JOC: Richmond is a riddle because the Spiders were pretty good last season, and went 1-7 on the road in league games. Better road performance is the key. Richmond rarely loses at home.