Samurai Snippets: Richmond

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Rollin' Ronin returns to recap arguably both one of the best and one of the worst games of the Bzdelik era, but the important part is that it ended as the former, largely thanks to Codi Miller-McIntyre and timely contributions all around.

The Good

Codi Miller-McIntyre. The sophomore standout went 7-16 from the field, 2-3 from three, and an absolutely tremendous 10-13 from the line, including a pair of cold-blooded free throws with 7.4 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime, where the Deacss were able to dominate and put the game away.

Rebounding. +29 rebounding margin.  PLUS TWENTY-NINE.  That's nuts.  That includes a career high 19 rebounds from Devin Thomas, who had a rough night shooting but had a dominating night on the glass, pulling down a career-high 19 rebounds to go with 11 points.

3 Point Defense. We held Richmond to 5-21 shooting beyond the arc, or 23.8%.  I'll take that any night.

No Quit Whatsoever. We went down double digits in the second half, including being down seven points with under two minutes left.  It was amazing, and while Codi really took over, it was a team effort.  Travis McKie, Tyler Cavanaugh, and Coron Williams in particular made huge contributions, but the fact is literally every player on the squad contributed positively.  Every player had a rebound.  Madison Jones had 2 assists.  Andre Washington had 2 blocks.  Aaron Rountree was incredibly disruptive with defensive pressure.  There wasn't a single guy on the team that didn't make an impact on the game.

The Bad

Turnovers. Seriously, 21 turnovers.  31 points for Richmond off of said turnovers.  Nearly half of Richmond's points came off of Deacon turnovers.  With the rebounding margin being what it was, without those turnovers (which admittedly are part of Richmond's game plan), it wouldn't have even been close.

Questionable Decision Making. At times, the Deacs made questionable decisions with shot selection and other aspects of the game.  One example was having Tyler Cavanaugh handle the ball up 8 points in overtime in a situation where the Deacs just had to run clock.  Cav, who had an otherwise tremendous game, turned the ball over and gave Richmond new life.  After Devin missed a layup and Codi got an offensive rebound, Codi tried to force the shot back up instead of working the ball back out to get a better shot.  Little things like that could quickly become big things once conference play rolls around.

Some Baffling Rebounding Issues. As great as the rebounding margin was, there were a handful of offensive rebounds that Richmond had no business getting.  I'd argue the rebounding in this game was fairly close to perfect, but stuff like that cannot happen, straight up.

The Bottom Line

Amazing game, amazing team effort, amazing comeback.  If we can handle St. Bonaventure and UNC-Greensboro at home in our next two games (which we have no business not doing), we'll have an opportunity to go into conference play 10-3 at worst, 11-2 if we can steal a win on the road against Xavier.  I know it's been a soft schedule, but Richmond is not a soft squad, and we handled them in a game that was tougher statistically than probably a few of the bottom rung ACC squads this year.  The non-conference slate is almost over, and frankly it's gone almost as well as I possibly could've hoped, the Tennessee game really being the only exception.  Super proud of this team.  Go Deacs.

--SF

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