MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Richmond looks for its first 4-0 start in 27 years when it plays at Minnesota Sunday at 7 p.m. ET in a game televised nationally on The Big Ten Network.
The Golden Gophers (3-0) are receiving votes in both Top-25 Polls and have not trailed. The Spiders are also 3-0 and have trailed for just one minute and 20 seconds through those three victories.
- The Spiders player their first road game of the season when they make their second trip to Minnesota's Williams Arena. Richmond defeated the Golden Gophers in Williams Arena 67-66 on March 18, 2002 in the NIT. Current Michigan coach John Beilein picked up his 100th victory with the Spiders. Richmond lost to Syracuse at home in the NIT quarterfinals two days later and Beilein left for West Virginia that spring. Mike Skrocki led the Spiders with a career-high 28 points in the win.
- The Spiders are 3-0 for the first time since 2006-07 and the 21st time in 100 season of Richmond Basketball. Richmond is looking for its first 4-0 start since the 1985-86 team started 8-0 and its 13th 4-0 start all-time.
- The Spiders won their opener over Liberty by 42 points and the second game against UNCW by 43 points, matching the 1955-56 team for the largest margin of victory (42.5) through 2 games in 100 seasons of Richmond basketball. The Spiders have the second largest margin of victory through three games at +31.7.
- Richmond has held its first three opponents under 60 points and the Spiders are giving up just 52.7 points per game, along with holding the opposition to 32.9 percent shooting and 22.9 percent from 3. Richmond is forcing 19.7 turnovers per game and scoring 28.7 ppg off turnovers.
- Richmond senior Darien Brothers ended last season with back-to-back 30-point games and has picked up where he left off, averaging 19.7 points per game through the first three contests. The third-year starter is shooting 59.4 percent from the field (19-32) and 53.3 percent from 3 (8-15). Brothers has 129 career three pointers, needing 19 to crack Richmond's career top-10 list.
- The is Richmond's third-straight season playing a Big Ten team. The Spiders controlled the game from start to finish in handling No. 8 ranked Purdue 65-54 to win the Chicago Invitational Challenge on Nov. 27, 2010. The Spiders lost to Illinois 70-61 in the Cancun Challenge last November.
- 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 9 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).
- 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.
Chris Mooney is one win shy of 150 Division I coaching victories...the Spiders have trailed for just 1:20 this season...the Spiders have held the opposition to 60 points or less 102 times in 234 games under Chris Mooney, including all three this season...Bleacher Report rated Richmond's non-conference schedule the 10th toughest in the nation...this year's senior class needs 13 wins to tie the 2011 and 2012 classes as the winningest in Richmond basketball history...Darien Brothers ranked 15th in the nation in free throw pct. last season at 89.1 percent...Richmond is 81-38 (.681) in its last 119 games.
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 ppg in 2011-12. Junior Cedrick Lindsay, who averaged 11.2 ppg last season, is in his second year as a starter and was a key reserve on the 2011 A-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 2nd on the team at 13.0 points per game. Also look for sophomore guard Wayne Sparrow to have a breakout year.
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 in 2010-11. 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 9 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.
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 A-10 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.
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 28 times under Mooney and have held teams to 60 points or less 101 times. Richmond has allowed more than 80 or more points in regulation just 17 times in 233 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 12-1 in regular-season tournament play over the past 4 seasons and 18-4 in tournament play, including the last two NCAA Tourneys.
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.
100 Years Of Spider Basketball
This is the 100th season of Spider basketball and the season long celebration kicked 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 had a banner raised to the rafters for his generosity in bringing Spider basketball back to campus with the opening of the state-of-the-art Robins Center in 1972. On Tuesday the 2004 team's win at No. 10 ranked Kansas was featured with former Spider star Mike Skrocki being honored at halftime. Skrocki scored 23 points as the Spiders snapped the Jayhawks' 52-game winning streak against unranked non-conference opponents. Tony Dobbins' last-second jumper gave the Spiders a 69-68 victory at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. For more on the 100th Season Celebration visit SpiderBasketball100.com.