UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - Richmond opens its 100th season of basketball on Friday hosting Liberty at 7 p.m. in the Robins Center.
The game is the second of a doubleheader with the women's team hosting Longwood at 4 p.m.
All home games will be streamed live on SpiderTV at RichmondSpiders.com. Bob Black and Greg Beckwith will also have the call on ESPN Radio 950AM, 93.1 THE WOLF FM and on RichmondSpiders.com and the Spider Mobile App on your Smart Phone.
- The 2012-13 season will be the 100th year of basketball at the University of Richmond. Tonight's featured moment will be the E. Claiborne Robins and his family, and their generosity to the University and basketball program.
- The Spiders are 61-38 in the previous 99 season openers, including 53-11 when the season opener is at home. Richmond has won 12 straight season openers and 15 of the last 17.
- Richmond is 40-8 in its last 48 home games and 27-4 in its last 31 home games against non-conference opponents.
- After back-to-back NCAA Tournament and Top-25 finishes in 2010 and 2011, the Spiders graduated the most career points in the nation (5,737). After winning 26 and 29 games, an inexperienced Spider squad went 16-16 last season. Richmond did pick up some good wins, defeating Temple and Dayton at home and gutting out a road win late in the year at preseason favorite Saint Joseph's.
- The Spiders return 4 of their top-5 scorers, including one of the best backcourts in the league in Darien Brothers, Cedrick Lindsay and 2012 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year Kendall Anthony. Look for sophomore Wayne Sparrow, who was coming on strong to start conference play before missing the last 10 games with a broken hand, to also see significant time in the backcourt.
- Richmond's frontcourt is short on experience, but showed in an August trip to Italy that they have talent. Joining man-child Derrick Williams and Greg Robbins are a group of forwards with zero collegiate experience, but plenty of length, athleticism and scoring ability. The Spiders were led in scoring by a freshman frontcourt player in two of their three games in Italy.
- Senior Darien Brothers has made 121 career three-pointers, needing 27 treys to crack Richmond's top-10 career list. He made 68 three-pointers last season, which was just outside the Spiders' top-10 single-season list for threes.
- Brothers set Richmond's single-season record for free throw percentage last winter at 89.1 percent. He is currently second on Richmond's career list for free throw percentage at 82.6.
- With Kendall Anthony earning Rookie of the Year last season, the Spiders received plenty of production from the freshman class, but Anthony was the only freshman that played in a game. The other three freshmen who arrived at Richmond with Anthony decided it was in their best interests to redshirt the season. Alonzo Nelson-Ododa, Trey Davis and Luke Piotrowski will make their debuts for Richmond this season.
- The Spiders will make a 15-day foreign trip to Italy in August. Richmond will get 10 days of practice to prepare for the tour, and for the first time incoming freshmen will be able to join the trip.
SCOUTING LIBERTY: The Flames return 3 of the top 5 scorers from last year's team that went 14-18 and finished fifth in the Big South. With the return of John Caleb Sanders (11.6 ppg), Antwan Burrus (11.2 ppg) and Tavaras Speaks (10.2 ppg) Liberty was picked to finish fourth in the Big South this season. Sanders led the Flames in a intrasquad scrimmage with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
This year's senior class needs 17 wins to become the winningest class in Richmond basketball history...Darien Brothers ranked 15th in the nation in free throw percentage last season at 89.1 percent...Richmond is 78-37 (.678) in its last 115 games.
100 Years Of Spider Basketball
This is the 100th season of Spider basketball and the season long celebration kicks off at the season opener Friday with Richmond sporting retro uniforms and the first of some of Richmond's greatest basketball moments being honored. E. Claiborne Robins and his family will be honored at halftime for their generosity in bringing Spider basketball back to campus with the opening of the state-of-the-art Robins Center in 1972. E. Claiborne Robins Jr. travelled to other venues and was instrumental in the design of what remains today,
Ragni In Italy
The Spiders took a two-week trip to Italy and Switzerland in August. The team bonding experience helped the Spiders off the court and gave the freshmen a chance to gain game experience on it. Freshman Terry Allen averaged 12.0 points per game, including a game-high 21 points in the finale. Freshman Deion Taylor averaged 10.0 points per game, including a game-high 17 in the second game. Redshirt Freshman Alozono Nelson-Ododa averaged 12.0 points per game with 20 points in the finale and redshirt freshman Trey Davis grabbed 11 rebounds in the opener. The trip was featured in a TV Show on Richmond Basketball that aired on Comcast SportsNet last week.
Mooney Making An Impact Off The Court
Chris Mooney was the subject of an extremely well written article by ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil in October. The story, which was only known by program insiders for the last few years, was about how Mooney went out of his way to help former student manager Robyn Jacobs Sordelett when her father passed away. Mooney flew with Jacobs home to Connecticut, attended the funeral and then he and his wife Lia allowed Robyn to stay in their home when she returned to school the following semester. In September, Mooney walked Robyn down the aisle when she married her Dustin Sordelett. Robyn sat down for an interview for the Richmond Basketball TV Show that aired on Comcast SportsNet.
Easy As A (Anthony)-B (Brothers)-C (Ced)
Richmond has boasted one of the best backcourts in the Atlantic 10 over the last few years and that will be the case again this winter. The Spiders return three guards that averaged double-figures in points last season, two of which were keys to the 2011 Sweet 16 run and the third coming off winning the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year award last season. Senior Darien Brothers is in his third season as a starter, having led the Spiders in scoring at 14.6 points per game in 2011-12. Junior Cedrick Lindsay, who averaged 11.2 points per game last season, is in his second year as a starter and was a key reserve on the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship and Sweet 16 team. Sophomore Kendall Anthony, the 2012 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, will come off the bench again this season after finishing second on the team at 13.0 points per game. Look for sophomore guard Wayne Sparrow to have a breakout year. Sparrow was coming into his own in conference play last season, before breaking his hand and missing the last 10 games.
Like Father, Like Son
Redshirt freshman Trey Davis follows in his father's footsteps with the Spiders. Trey's father John Davis was a Hall of Fame forward for Dick Tarrant from 1982-86, helping the Spiders to two NCAA Tournaments and an NIT. This is the third father-son duo to play for the Spiders, joining Jeff Butler (1975-77) and Ryan Butler (2005-10) and Tony DiServio (1945-47) and Pat DiServio (1981-83).
Atop The A-10
Chris Mooney has the Spiders in the top-3 in the league in wins over the previous 5 years (2007-08 through 2011-12). Xavier has 65 wins, Temple has 63, Richmond has 51, Saint Louis has 44 and Dayton has 43. Richmond is 35-15 in its last 50 Atlantic 10 regular-season games and 40-16 in its last 56 games vs. A-10 teams, including a 5-2 mark the last three A-10 Tournaments. The Spiders have played in two of the last three A-10 title games, winning the championship in 2011.
Giant Killers To Giants
Richmond earned a reputation for being Giant Killers with its NCAA Tournament victories in the 1980s and 90s, but the Spiders' victories over so-called Giants have become the norm. Richmond won 5 of 7 games against BCS conference teams last season, the most in school history. The Spiders are 11-6 in their last 17 games against BCS conference teams and Chris Mooney has 16 wins over BCS conference teams in 8 years as a D-I head coach, including 14 in 8 seasons at Richmond. The Spiders have defeated a team from all 6 BCS conferences in Mooney's tenure, including multiple wins against the Big East (5), SEC (3) and ACC (3). Richmond is 7-3 in the last 10 games against ranked teams and has won 8 of its last 13 games against ranked teams. The Spiders finished the 2009-10 season ranked No. 24 in the nation and 2011-12 ranked No. 21.
Richmond has not allowed more than 68.2 points per game in a season during Mooney's tenure, including holding teams to 62.7 ppg in 2009-10 and 62.0 points per game in 2010-11. The Spiders have held opponents to 50 points or less 27 times under Mooney and have held teams to 60 points or less 99 times. Richmond has allowed more than 80 or more points in regulation just 17 times in over 230 games under Mooney.
The Champs Are Here
The Spiders have won three tournaments in the last three seasons. Richmond won won the 2011 Atlantic 10 Tournament, the 2010 Chicago Invitational Challenge in November, defeating No. 8 Purdue in the title game, and the 2009 South Padre Island Invitational, defeating defending SEC Champion Mississippi State in the semifinals and defending Big 12 Champion Missouri in the title game. The Spiders are 11-1 in regular-season tournament play over the past 3 seasons and 17-4 in tournament play, including the last two NCAA Tournaments. Richmond also defeated No. 13 ranked Florida in the 2009 Orange Bowl Classic.
The Wedding Planner
Richmond head coach Chris Mooney started his collegiate coaching career as a part time head coach at Beaver College (now Arcadia College) in 1997. Mooney's full-time job was as the school's coordinator of events and as part of that job he had to book weddings at a castle that was on the Glenside, Pa. campus. He showed the castle to newly engaged couples and helped them to decide where the band should play and how tables should be arranged. "I was 25 years old and I'd never even had people over to dinner," Mooney says. "And here I am helping brides prepare for weddings." With no team managers, Mooney washed the uniforms, swept the court and filled water coolers. The team had just six players on the roster during most of Mooney's first season, so when the captains met with the referees before games, the other players had to stop warm-ups and wait.