TEMPLE (11-4, 1-1 A-10) AT RICHMOND (10-7, 1-1 A-10)
Time/TV: 7 p.m./CBS Sports Network
Location: Robins Center
RPI Ratings: Temple 16 (No. 1 Atlantic 10); Richmond 112 (No. 11 Atlantic 10).
Line: Temple +1
Temple Players to Watch: G Ramone Moore, 6-4 Sr. (17 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.4 apg); G Khalif Wyatt, 6-4 Jr. (16.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 43.5% 3s); F Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, 6-6 Jr. (9.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 62.6% FG). Wyatt was incredible in the Owls’ big 72-67 A-10 road win over Saint Louis with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. He made all three of his 3-point attempts, had three steals, two rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
Richmond Players to Watch: G Darien Brothers, 6-3 Jr. (14.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 48.9% 3s); G Kendall Anthony, 5-8 Fr. (13.5 ppg, 1.8 apg, 40.9% 3s); F/C Darrius Garrett, 6-9 Sr. (5.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.8 bpg). Anthony came off the bench for 13 points – on 5-of-8 shooting, including 3-for-4 from the 3-point line – and six assists (to one turnover) in the Spiders’ A-10 win over Rhode Island a week ago.
Storylines: After a home loss to Dayton to open A-10 play, Temple went on the road and upset Saint Louis to improve to 1-1 in the league. Richmond also lost its opener at Charlotte before responding with a 70-53 road win at Rhode Island a week ago.
What You Should Know: Temple really has one significant weakness. That’s interior defense and rebounding, but the Spiders don’t have the tools to take advantage of those weaknesses. Anthony Lee and Hollis-Jefferson have a rare opportunity to dominate a game. If they do so, Temple should bury Richmond early. Moore’s and Wyatt’s size and strength will give the Spiders some difficulty, but Brothers’ and Anthony’s athleticism could give Richmond an edge. If the game comes down to free throw shooting, the Spiders have a big advantage. They’re one of the nation’s top free throw shooting team at 75.5 percent.
The Bottom Line: Despite its experience, Temple struggled on the road in early-season losses to Bowling Green and Texas, but the Owls showed toughness at Saint Louis. The Owls should get it done in back-to-back road games.
The Pick: Temple 70, Richmond 63.