Recon: University of Richmond

Recon: University of Richmond

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Big news yesterday as the Catholic Cabal looks primed to add the Overlords and Horseshoe University to its stable next season. Creighton, according to ESPN, may be in the league’s immediate plans as well:

Joining the Catholic 7 schools — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, and Villanova — in the new “Big East” this fall will be Xavier and Butler, sources said.

Creighton has emerged as the favorite to become the 10th team, and would also join next season, according to sources.

Xavier and Butler have not formally withdrawn from the Atlantic 10. To exit the A-10 with less than a year’s notice would cost each school $2 million, Katz reported.

The Catholic 7’s exit from the Big East is being expedited by Fox Sports Network. The network initially contacted the seven schools and laid the groundwork for them to leave the Big East with the promise of a lucrative media-rights deal, a source said.

Fox Sports Network is expected to announce the addition of the Catholic 7/Big East basketball league Tuesday in New York as part of the network’s news conference announcing the addition of Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 channels.

Fox Sports Network’s deal with the Catholic 7 is expected to be worth at least $3 million annually per school, sources said.

Three million bucks, certainly enough for everyone to get their beaks wet.

What about one of the best universities in all of southwestern Ohio, weren’t they supposed to be included? Maybe, likely. Hopefully.

While Butler, Xavier and, most likely, Creighton are expected to join the new Big East this fall, the Catholic 7 schools are also expected to add Dayton and St. Louis in 2014 for a 12-team league.

Ah…expected. That’s good enough for me.

It all feels so silly, doesn’t it? Worrying about our inclusion in a new league while sitting in thirteenth place in the Atlantic Ten, possibly missing the conference tournament altogether. UD will need a win against Richmond tomorrow to keep pace with the rest of the dregs of the A10.

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Overview

The Spiders are a respectable 17-11 overall, 7-6 in Atlantic Ten play. Here’s a universal truth about Richmond – they’ve beat teams they should have beat and lost to teams they were expected to lose to. That’s the mark of a perfectly mediocre squad. UR has had issues closing A10 teams out on the road, a meager 1-5 coming into tomorrow’s game with UD, its’ lone victory over perennial whipping boy Fordham.

After four straight years of postseason action, Richmond took a step back last season, winning just 16 games and closing the season out with a first-round loss to La Salle in the conference tournament. The team returns three starters; one of the deepest clubs Mooney has fielded (ten players play at least ten minutes a game this season).

The Spiders are one of the league’s better shooting teams, connecting on 38% of their three-point attempts and leads the league in the ever wonky points per weighted shot. Richmond plays a slower pace than most of the teams in the A10, something that seems to play to UD’s advantage.

Defensively is where things get a bit gloomy for Mooney’s club. The Spiders are the worst rebounding team in the league, one of the most turrrrible in the nation. Second-chance points have plagued the Flyers all season, Richmond doesn’t figure to exploit that particular weakness this weekend.

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Meet and Greet

If Kendall Anthony was a chick, you’d say he was a “tight, little package.” You’d be a little creepy, but you wouldn’t be wrong. At 5’8” and 140 pounds, Anthony is one of the tiniest players in D1 basketball. Anthony is the team’s second leading scorer, 12.3 per game, and hits a solid 42% of his three-point attempts.

Darien Brothers led the team in scoring last season and has continued his form this year – currently the team’s highest scorer with just fewer than fifteen points a game. The senior guard can do a little bit of everything offensively. He’s good coming off screens and creating his own shot. Brothers will initiate contact around the rim, Brothers was first in the conference in foul-shooting a year ago and is converting 88% of his attempts this season.

Cedric Lindsay and Greg Robbins round out the A10’s deepest backcourt. Lindsay is Richmond’s primary ball-handler, the squad’s top assist man, and is scoring around eleven points per contest. Robbins does a little bit of everything for the Spiders, capable of getting boards, dishing out assists and putting the ball in the bucket. Sometimes he does all three, which is quite a sight to see.

Up front, Mooney’s team is championed by Derrick Williams and Alonzo Nelson-Ododa. Williams is a big boy who can probably do the Smurf on the dance floor. The agile fatty is scoring twelve points a game and is the team’s best threat on the boards (5.7 rpg). Nelson-Ododa is just fun to say.

Wayne Sparrow, Deion Taylor, Terry Allen and Trey Davis will also garner some court time. They are all very nice fellows, I’m sure.

Numbers Game

“You could put on monkeys jumping up and down and get bigger numbers than MSNBC.”

FireShot Screen Capture #214 - 'Richmond Spiders vs Dayton Flyers - March 02, 2013 - College Basketball - StatSheet_com' - statsheet_com_mcb_games_2013_03_02_2013-03-02_richmond_vs_dayton

Prediction

Given Richmond’s lack of presence on the boards, I actually like UD’s chances in this one. It’s a home game and the team is playing with just enough of a “two fucks” attitude to turn in a decent performance. Flyers win 69-64 and keep their Brooklyn dreams alive.

DDRICHIE

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Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.

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