The Matchups: Xavier vs Richmond

Before every game MusketeerReport breaks down the position by position matchups with Xavier's opponent. This edition focuses on Saturday night's home game against Richmond

Tu Holloway Sr (6-0, 190) vs Cedrick Lindsay So (6-1, 190)

Lindsay is a playmaking point guard that can sometimes be the difference in the game for the Spiders, while at other times costing them the game. He's third on the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game, and he isn't shy to pull the trigger from three where he shoots a respectable 35.4 percent. He's displayed the ability to lead the team in scoring, but he can also make plays for others averaging 3.9 assists. Lindsay seems to struggle when he gets a little out of control and tries to do too much, resulting in turnovers and poor shot selection.  While the backcourt tandem of Lindsay and Brothers has proven to be reliable scoring options, they've had a hard time slowing down the league's top guards on the defensive end. Holloway should be able to score, but he'll have to rely on his teammates a little more than he did at UMass, as Richmond's switching defense is hard to beat off drives with little ball movement. Also, keep an eye on Holloway's minutes, as Coach Mack mentioned that he was playing him too many minutes after the overtime game against Dayton and then the UMass game on Tuesday. We might see more of Lyons at the point if they try to get Holloway some rest, or even to take some pressure off of him and play him off the ball. 

Moderate Edge Xavier

Mark Lyons Jr (6-1, 188) vs Darien Brothers Jr (6-3, 200)

Brothers is the leading scorer on the Spiders roster at 13.5 points per game. He shoots 37 percent from beyond the arc, but he's streaky and will hit four or five in a game when he's hot. He's also an 89 percent free-throw shooter, that will really add to his point total if you allow him to get to the charity stripe. Over the last eight games, Brotbers has been in a little bit of a shooting slump, connecting on just 5-of-38 attempts from 3-point range. Richmond's offense forces the opponent to really work on the defensive end and guard, and it also seems to free their guys up for a lot of open shots on the perimeter. Xavier will have to make sure their defensive rotations are sound, especially when it comes to finding Brothers on the perimeter. Lyons gave a pretty good effort against UMass, even though he didn't shoot the ball all that well, he still finished with 15 points, six rebounds five assists and two steals. As mentioned with Holloway, the Spiders backcourt have had trouble stopping most of the top guards in the conference. Lyons' speed is going to give them trouble, so look for him to try and push the pace when he gets out in transition.

Slight Edge Xavier

Dezmine Wells Fr (6-5, 215) vs Francis-Cedric Martel Sr (6-6, 205)

Martel is a bigger wing that lacks the athleticism that guy like Wells has, but he is fairly skilled on the offensive end. He shoots at a 35 percent clip from 3-point range. While just a decent rebounder at 3.4 per game, he does have the ability to grab a few offensive boards from time to time with his length coming from the wing. With Wells' tendency to miss block-outs, that could be something to watch that could make Martel more of a factor. Other than that, he scores just 5.3 a game and should be relatively easy for Xavier to handle. Wells tied his career-high for points against UMass with 19, and had the best shooting night of his career going 4-of-5 from three. However, he did contribute to Xavier's turnover issues at the beginning of the game with six himself. Xavier needs to play faster on the offensive end the way they did against Dayton, and for them to do that, Wells has to make plays in transition and on the defensive end to create turnovers and fast breaks.

Moderate Edge Xavier

Travis Taylor Jr (6-7, 215) vs Derrick Williams So (6-6, 270)

Williams is one of the more unique players in the conference. At 6-6, you would think Williams was a little undersized in the post, but his width (270 pounds) and his length (7-foot-1 wingspan) more than make up for it. He's the most efficient player on the Spiders' roster, and averages 11.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 26 minutes per game. Williams also does a great job defending the post without fouling. Xavier can't really seem to find any consistency at the post spots. Taylor played just 12 minutes against UMass and had more fouls (3) than points (2). He did have five boards though in those limited minutes. He could potentially have a really difficult matchup with a guy as strong as Williams inside. The overall length of the Spiders could also be an issue for Taylor when it comes to scoring inside - something that hasn't come easy for him this season.

Moderate Edge Richmond

Andre Walker Sr (6-8, 225) vs Darrius Garrett Sr (6-9, 210)

Garrett holds just about every shot-blocking record in Richmond's program. He's never really bulked up a whole lot and become a strong inside presence on the block, but he's very long (7-foot-2 wingspan) and can alter shots and rebound at a very high level. On offense, his game never evolved much and lacks any real go-to scoring moves, but he's capable of making an open shot or finishing a put-back. Walker struggled at UMass as well, playing just 15 minutes and failing to score. He had four rebounds, but no points, assists or steals and two turnovers. Xavier needs the player that played 40 minutes against Dayton and scored seven points while grabbing eight boards and helping handle the basketball. With Walker's skill-set, they might try and have him bring the ball up more to pull Garrett away from the rim to free up driving lanes for other players.

Moderate Edge Richmond

Xavier Bench vs Richmond Bench

Richmond's bench is led by freshman Kendall Anthony, who might as well be a starter with his 25.4 minutes per game. At just 5-8, Anthony has proven to be a big-time scoring threat, averaging 13.2 points per contest and already reaching third on Richmond's freshman scoring list. You have to be prepared when Anthony comes into the game and corral him in the open court, as the momentum of the game can shift really quickly when he enters and gives them a spark. They also have a backup center in 6-11 senior Josh Duinker who averages 3.7 points per game and two rebounds in 11.4 minutes. Greg Robbins is a 6-5 junior forward who can knockdown jump shots and averages 3.2 points per game in 16.2 minutes of action. Xavier might use Kenny Frease and Jeff Robinson a little bit more than usual against Richmond's length in the post. Justin Martin worked his way back into the rotation for the UMass game, as he found 11 minutes of action and scored two points, grabbed three boards and dished out a pair of assists in his limited time on the court.

Slight Edge Richmond


After playing Saint Louis very tough at Saint Louis, this Richmond team has won two straight against Charlotte and at Saint Joseph's. Their switching man-to-man defense has steadily improved and has allowed them to win the last two games, while scoring in the 50s. They'll likely try to make this game against Xavier the same way, by executing in the half court while looking for open threes and hustling back on defense to limit Xavier's transition opportunities. The Spiders' overall record is not impressive, but they've fared well against the top of the conference, including an 11 point win over Temple in January. The switching defense will make things interesting for Xavier on the offensive end. Per usual with this team though, the key will come down to ball-movement. On the defensive end, Xavier has to make sure that they rotate efficiently, not allowing the Spiders to get open set-shot threes. Xavier seems to be ok when playing at home as of late, it's been the road that's giving them trouble, so expect the Muskies to pick up the needed W to keep their hopes of dancing alive.

Score Prediction: Xavier 64 Richmond 60

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