Richmond’s biggest weapon vs. Kansas? Anderson

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There’s a formula to beating Kansas. But even if Richmond can’t follow it, it has a second option. Rely on Kevin Anderson.

The Spiders’ senior guard is responsible for setting up the offense, dictating tempo, hitting big shots and anything else they might need. You know, like, everything?

“Against Vanderbilt, when he had the ball and he was calling the plays, it was like whatever he wanted to do, we were going to do and he was going to win the game for us,” said teammate Dan Geriot.

“In the clutch, he wants to shoot the ball, he wants to be the guy and he’s going to make the shot. It’s happened so many times in my career it’s almost like second nature.”

Anderson’s scoring average (16.7) is down from last season (17.8) when he was the A-10 player of the year, but he’s still an above-average player in terms of efficiency. Teammate Justin Harper actually takes a higher percentage of shots and uses nearly as many possessions, but Anderson’s the guy everyone focuses on. Kansas certainly is.

“Offensively they don’t do anything that doesn’t run through (Anderson),” junior Tyshawn Taylor told RealGM.com. “So defensively, for us, it’s kind of one of those things that we know we have to stop. You watch them and you see what he can do and know if you want to beat them that’s where it begins.”

Then again, I’ve always been fond of his defense. His steal percentage is down slightly from last year, but he’s aggressive on the ball and in the passing lanes.

His knack for big shots? Also key.

“People always rave about how many points he scores,” former Richmond coach Dick Tarrant told the AP. “I always say that it’s when he scores them. It seems to me if we’re up eight and the opponent gets two field goals and it’s down to four, then Kevin gets a ‘3’ to make it seven. If the lead is nine and they get a little run and score six, seven points, then Kevin comes through with a three-point play.

“He always scores when it is most important for the team to get more comfortable.”

Kansas can struggle against quick guards with who can create their own shot. That’s Anderson. We’ll see if he can deliver on it.

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