Chris Mooney is entering his 15th season as head coach of Richmond with a record of 253-215. 8 of his previous 14 years have been winning seasons for the Spiders, with 3 straight 20+ win seasons since 2011. The Spiders won the A-10 Conference Championship, and reached the Sweet 16 in 2011, where they finished the season with a record of 29-8, Mooney’s best since he has been at UofR. Although Richmond hasn’t had a winning season since 2016-2017 when they reached the NIT Quarterfinal where they lost to TCU, Chris Mooney has his squad trending in the right direction. Last season ranks among one of his worst years in Richmond, but this year just feels different (to me at least).
Why does it feel different?
Personally , I feel like the Spiders are being heavily slept on this season, as I can see them winning close to 20 games. I know this is very far-fetched for a lot of Richmond fans, but just hear me out. I really like this starting 5. If the Spiders can stay healthy, I am very optimistic about where Mooney can take his guys. After a 3-0 start, there are still some doubters (this is what 2 OT games will do) but I believe this team isn’t even close to reaching full potential. Blake Francis escaped an injury scare with his knee, so it will be important to try to limit him as much as possible in the games to come for Richmond in order to make a run in the league this year. Jacob Gilyard and Nick Sherod haven’t missed a beat so far, where they are both averaging above 22 ppg. Richmond will need Grant Golden to build off of his double double performance yesterday vs CSUN if they want to be contenders. Nathan Cayo will be another player that will need to get it going if the Spiders want to stay hot.
Three games into this very young college basketball season, I can see why Richmond fans will have a wide variety of opinions. You can’t get any better than 3-0 through 3 games, but there is obviously still room for improvement. The Spiders giving up 98 points to St. Francis (PA) in their opener brought a lot of doubt into fans heads. I am here to try to talk those thoughts down. Chris Mooney will get this squad straight and we will see Richmond make a deep run into the A-10 tournament this season. Non-Conference Prediction: 9-3
Conference Prediction: 11-7
Total Record: 21-10
Conference Tournament: Reach Semi-Finals
Let us know your thoughts!
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