RICHMOND SPIDERS (9-2)
at KANSAS JAYHAWKS (8-1)
Allen Fieldhouse – Lawrence, KS
Tip-off: Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. ET
Line: Kansas -15.5, Total: 135
Richmond will get its first major test against a ranked opponent as No. 9 Kansas hosts them at Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.
Bill Self’s Jayhawks have yet to be challenged since their early season loss in the Champions Classic to Michigan State, winning seven straight games, six by more than a dozen points. They feature one of the nation’s top freshmen in Ben McLemore (16.1 PPG), but the Spiders own a capable defense that has held six of their nine opponents to 60 points or less on the season. Containing the Jayhawks at home is always difficult however, as Kansas looks to extend the nation’s second longest home winning streak (27 games) in this contest.
Can Richmond keep the final margin relatively close on Tuesday? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The StatFox experts have been sizzling in the past four days, going a collective 21-7 ATS (75%) from Friday through Monday. StatFox Dave is 8-1 ATS and StatFox Scott is 6-1 ATS over this stretch. The experts now have a collective 53.4% ATS mark (135-118-6) in college basketball Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Gary, who is 57.4% ATS (27-20) for the season, while Dave is at 56% ATS (50-40-2) on the year. StatFox Brian's 4-1 ATS run put him at 51% ATS (30-29-2) for the season.
The Spiders attack is led by two scorers who average 14.8 PPG in Darien Brothers and Derrick Williams. Brothers (1.2 SPG) has shot phenomenally to start the year at 50% FG and an even better 52% clip from long range, hitting 2.5 treys per game. Williams, a post player, leads the team with 7.2 RPG and has also been efficient from the field, making 60% of his shots. The tiny 5-foot-8 Kendall Anthony (13.9 PPG) is also an effective scorer, hitting 1.7 threes per game while Cedric Lindsay runs the offense with 10.7 PPG and 4.4 APG while only turning it over 1.6 times per contest. Senior forward Greg Robbins (7.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG) is the other guy to watch out for on this Spiders squad—even though his numbers don’t pop off the page. He can shoot when called upon and is perfectly capable of guarding the perimeter, averaging 1.2 SPG. Richmond averages 8.8 SPG on the season.
McLemore is the early favorite for national freshman of the year honors and is only getting better with 20.7 PPG in his past three contests. But the rock of this Kansas squad is its true center Jeff Withey (13.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG) who has developed into more of a scorer this season, even though he is typically known for his defensive prowess. And he is the premier post defender in the nation with a staggering 5.6 BPG. Travis Releford (13.2 PPG) has been a key presence as the team’s third and final double-digit scorer while Elijah Johnson (9.8 PPG, 43.8% FG) has struggled shooting the ball, but has succeeded passing the rock with 5.1 APG. Senior forward Kevin Young has also been a key veteran presence on the squad, putting up 6.5 PPG and 6.4 RPG in just 18.3 MPG.