BlogRichmond

2020-2021 Richmond Spiders Preview

High Pre-Season Hopes

Less than two weeks away from their first game of the season, the Richmond Spiders have some high hopes with some hype to back it up.  Predicted to finish first in the Atlantic 10 for the first time since joining the conference in 2001, fans have a reason to be excited to see what is in store for Richmond this season.  When asked about being voted to finish first in the conference on A10 Virtual Media Day, Richmond head coach Chris Mooney said, “It’s a nice honor and something for us to feel good about briefly. But we need to play.”  I feel that this is something that all Richmond fans can appreciate hearing, especially in a loaded conference such as the A-10 this season.

We found out on Saturday that there will be no fans at the Robins Center to start the season, due to Governor Northam’s tightened Covid-19 regulations.  The initial thought was that there could be up to 1,000 people, with friends and family being at the top of the list.  With a cap of 250 people, Richmond announced that the home opener’s for both the men and women would be limited to coach and student-athlete guests.  With or without fans in attendance, this Richmond team is locked and loaded for a great run, and fans should start to sense the excitement building around the program.

Dealing with Sherod’s Injury

Losing Nick Sherod for the season was definitely a big blow to the squad, as he led the team in 3-point shooting last season (43.8%).  I had the chance to ask Mooney what his current thoughts were with the incoming freshman class, as well as the current status of the team as a whole.  His answer could be summed up in one word: Depth.  “We have really good depth. During the course of the season, that’s going to be very important for teams to have quality depth. Our freshmen group is a very talented group. They’re going to have a chance to play and compete because of their ability”.  Tyler Burton will more than likely be the X-factor for Richmond this season as he builds off of an impressive freshman campaign.  Averaging 14.1 minutes per game as a freshman, we can certainly expect that to go up this year.  ESPN Richmond’s Noah Goldberg was at a Spiders practice not too long ago and said that Burton’s 3 point shooting “looked locked in”.  This is a great sign as the sophomore will need to fill a big role this season.

Depth

As previously stated, depth is going to be the theme this season.  Jacob Gilyard was named to the All-Conference First Team, as well as the All-Conference Defensive Team.  Grant Golden and Blake Francis were named to the All-Conference Second Team.  With a projected starting lineup of four seniors and one sophomore, it is very impressive that this team still has some depth on the bench.  If Burton gets the starting job, we will have the benefit of having Gustavson, Koureissi, and Connor Crabtree, if healthy, coming in to spell Tyler.  Not to mention, Isaiah Wilson, Djimon Bailey, Andre Weir, & Quentin Southall learning from this experienced team.

Prediction

My prediction for the Richmond Spiders this season:  22-5 (15-3).  Last season, I said that Richmond would go 21-10, so go ahead and chalk this up as being just about spot on.

vs Detroit Mercy: W
vs Morehead State: W
vs Kentucky: L
@ Charleston: W
vs Furman: W
vs Northern Iowa: W
@ West Virginia: L
@ Vanderbilt: W
vs Duquesne: W
vs Hofstra: W
@ Davidson: W
vs St. Bonaventure: W
vs Rhode Island: W
@ George Mason: W
vs VCU: W
@ St. Bonaventure: L
vs La Salle: W
@ Saint Joseph’s: W
vs Saint Louis: W
vs George Mason: W
@ Dayton: L
vs George Washington: W
@ VCU: W
@ La Salle: W
vs Fordham: W
@ Saint Louis
: L
@ UMass: W

As always, stay up to date on all things Richmond Basketball on A10Talk.com, as well as on Twitter at @A10Talk & @AustinDaisey11.  See you soon Spider Nation!