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Wake Forest vs. Richmond Preview

How do the Deacs match up against the Spiders?

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will travel to Richmond to take on the Richmond Spiders today at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. Wake Forest holds the series lead at 39-12, but has lost three of its last four. Prior to that stretch, Wake Forest had a 17-game win streak against Richmond, which dated back to the 1990-91 season.

These coaches have differing philosophies when it comes to tempo. Wake Forest wants to play fast; they average 69.1 possessions per game, which is the 51st fastest in the country. Richmond, however, wants to play at a much slower rate. They average just 60.5 possessions per game, which makes them one of the 10 slowest-paced teams in the country. Now that we've touched on how each team wants to play, let's take a look at the tempo-free statistics.

Wake Forest Offense Ken Pom Statistic Richmond Defense
96.6 Rating 96.4
46.5% eFG% 46.3%
22.1% TO% 21.4%
36.4% Reb% 65.6%
51.1% FTA/FGA 28.2%

The numbers above suggest that each side should have an "average" performance in most of the four factors. The teams have very similar numbers for offensive/defensive rating, effective field goal percentage, turnover percentage, and offensive/defensive rebounding percentage.

Wake does have an advantage in free throw rate, and must take advantage of this opportunity. Wake's eFG% is so low that they must get to the line to compensate. The team shoots under 65% on the season, however, and that will not get it done. Darius Leonard and Codi Miller-McIntyre have shot the ball well from deep lately, and that trend would be very welcomed by Danny Manning and all Wake Forest fans.

Richmond Offense Ken Pom Statistic Wake Forest Defense
103.1 Rating 93.9
52.3% eFG% 48.6%
17.8% TO% 21.6%
24.9% Reb% 77.1%
32.9% FTA/FGA 39.2%

Richmond has a slow and deliberate pace, but they are effective. Point guard Kendall Anthony is the Spiders' leader on the court. He averages nearly 36 minutes per game, while shooting more than 40% from beyond the arc. He also rarely turns the ball over and has an offensive rating of 110. Richmond also has a pair of 6'8" forwards who are both capable of spacing the floor and finishing around the basket. T.J. Cline has made 65% of his two point field goal attempts, and has made 8 of 22 from beyond the arc. Junior Terry Allen is making 55% of his two point field goal attempts and is 7 for 18 from beyond the arc.

The Spiders do struggle at crashing the offensive glass, and this is an aspect Wake Forest must dominate if they are going to be successful. I fully expect Devin Thomas to haul in a lot of rebounds, but the Greek Deac must also help out Devin. I believe that Wake's previous road experiences at Arkansas and Florida will be helpful come Sunday afternoon.

Ken Pom Projection:

Wake Forest 57 (25% win probability)

Richmond 63 (75% win probability)

My Projection:

Wake Forest 52

Richmond 62