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Preview of UCLA vs. Richmond Spiders

Lest anyone forgets, the Richmond Spiders went further in the NCAA Tournement last year than the Bruins. This is not UC Chump I or Davis we are playing tonight. However, this is not the same team as last year. This is a harder game than Davis or UCI but still one the Bruins should win.

Richmond is 7-5 this year (same as the Bruins) and about as good as their record indicates. Interesting the Bruins should be able to continue winning the rebounding wars as Richmond ranks #323 in the nation in rebounds per game and is being out rebounded by their opponents by almost 5 rebounds a game. Here's to hoping Josh Smith and David Wear get double doubles.

Richmond just ended a three game losing streak with an OT win over Old Dominion. In that game Junior Guard Darien Brothers scored 38 points, a career high. Brothers is shooting 51% from three (46% overall) and will likely be guarded by the much improved and now pain free Tyler Lamb when the Spiders go three guards. Lamb has done a much better job since get his hip drained of fluid but this will be more of a test for him then the last couple games.

Richmond leading scorer is not Brothers, however. Actually like UCLA they bring a freshman spark plug off the bench. However, their spark plug, is really a plug, 5'8" Kendall Anthony, last year's runner up for Mr. Tennessee basketball. Anthony plays like a freshman and has as many TOs as assists and is not the PG but the backup PG and shooting guard.

More after the jump.

The starting PG is 6'1" Sophomore Cedrick Lindsay. Lindsay was the sixth man on last year's Sweet 16 team and has stepped up into a bigger leadership role this year, leading Richmond in minutes played. Lindsay can shot the three but does not do so as much as Anthony or Brothers. Brothers looks for the three first, Anthony likes to shoot from anywhere.

Senior Francis "Ninja" Martel is a player who started for Richmond his Sophomore year but went to the bench last year and is back in the starting lineup. Martel is "Nicknamed ‘The Ninja' by his teammates for his ability to do things on the court that don't seem possible." Hey I am just quoting. Really Martel is a kind of glue guy that does nothing particularly well but gives the Spiders a traditional small forward to start games. Look for them to play three guards a fair amount as well.

Inside the Spiders have Derrick Williams. Williams is a decent athlete for his size and can step out and hit the open three. However, he is a relatively short (listed as 6'6") thick body that can also post up pretty good. It will be interesting to see how the Wears deal with him inside. Smith may see him on defense.

The starting Center Darrius Garrett is a career backup starting for the first time his Senior year. More of an inside player he may try to take Josh outside but that is not is strength. Garrett is just not a good offense player but is a decent rebounder and a good shot blocker. He blocked 8 against Old Dominion and has 5 or more blocks 5 times this year already. He is skinny, so Richmond may try Williams on Smith and give up height for weight.

The backup Center is Josh Dunker who is a 6'11 body.

The reality is the Spiders are an okay team basically starting the 6,7,8 men from an NCAA Tourney Sweet 16 team. They are in a bit of a down year after being ranked in the top 25 the last two years. They have a good young Coach in Chris Mooney who played under Pete Carril at Princeton.

This is a great game for UCLA to go in and out. It is also a good game for UCLA to continue to work on its defense and rebounding.

Go Bruins.