#30 Richmond Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Richmond Spiders
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #30
Conference Rank: #2 A-10
 Richmond Logo
Last season in the A-10 was all about Dayton. This year could belong to Richmond. The Spiders are coming off a 24-7 season and return their top seven scorers. That is all seven players who averaged over a dozen minutes per game. Last season Coach Chris Mooney took a team that was supposed to finish towards the middle of the pack in the conference and made them the clear second team in the A-10. With five senior starters, Spider fans are not just looking for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011, but to replicate that Sweet Sixteen run too.
2019-20 Record: 24-7, 14-4
Coach: Chris Mooney
Coach Record: 274-222 at Richmond, 316-261 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jake Wojcik, Guard, 3.0 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Blake Francis, Senior, Guard, 17.7 ppg
Grant Golden, Senior, Forward, 13.4 ppg
Jacob Gilyard, Senior, Guard, 12.7 ppg
Nick Sherod, Senior, Guard, 12.7 ppg
Nathan Cayo, Senior, Forward, 8.9 ppg
Tyler Burton, Sophomore, Forward, 4.6 ppg
Andre Gustavson, Junior, Guard, 4.4 ppg
Souleymane Koureissi, Junior, Forward, 1.4 ppg
Matt Grace, Junior, Forward, 0.9 ppg
Key New Players:
Dji Bqailey, Freshman, Guard
Connor Crabtree, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Tulane
Quentin Southall, Freshman, Guard
Andre Weir, Freshman, Forward
Isaiah Wilson, Freshman, Guard
Blake Francis, Jacob Gilyard and Nick Sherod will again lead this team from the backcourt. Francis averaged 17.7 points per game during his junior year and is a great scorer from anywhere on the floor. Gilyard can shoot the ball effectively too, but he is also the best playmaker on the team and dished out 5.7 assists per game with just 1.9 turnovers. Gilyard also led all of Division I with 3.2 steals per game. Sherod is the other shooter on the team and he knocked down a team high 78 three-pointers at a 43.8 percent clip. Nathan Cayo is a slasher who averaged 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds last year. Those are four very experienced players who know how to play in Coach Mooney’s system. The big man in the middle of it all is Grant Golden. The 6-10 senior ranked second on the Spiders with 13.4 points and 3.4 assists and led the squad with 6.9 rebounds and 0.8 blocks. Tyler Burton and Andre Gustavson will take on their roles coming in off the bench for one more season, but there could be more depth now too. Connor Crabtree was a starter at Tulane by the end of his freshman campaign and incoming freshman Isaiah Wilson has the talent to back up Gilyard at the point. In an off-season where some teams could struggle to put together new pieces of the team, Richmond will not have to worry about such things. That should result in a team that is ready to go from day one and that will remain consistent throughout the year.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.3 (66th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.8 (106, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.6 (39, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.5 (90, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.0 (92, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.2 (44, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 77.6 (11, 1)
Rebound Margin: -0.8 (219, 9)
Assists Per Game: 15.5 (20, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.9 (21, 1)