A SAYING of Richmond basketball that is passed down from class to class is to be an everyday guy. It’s a saying of head coach Chris Mooney that is still quoted by former players like Dan Geriot who won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers last season as a video coordinator.
“Coach Mooney always preached to us to be everyday guys. We showed up to get better with the same mindset every day. We didn’t let victory make us overconfident, or defeat get us down. We had to be true to each other and our own hard work no matter what happened every day.”
The 3-0 Richmond Spiders are living out all sorts of narratives and buzzwords over the last week.
Youth. Energy. Grit. Undersized. Undermanned. Synergy.
And yet perhaps the thing that ties all of those pieces together is that every man from the head coach to the staff to the players and managers, strive to be an everyday guy.
When Grant Golden went down with a terrifying heart incident during the game against Texas Tech, the players were shaken and for good reason. But the first priority after the game, despite suffering a home loss, was to go see Grant in the hospital. Stay together. Focus on what is grounding.
From that day onward, the Spiders carried an iPad with them to FaceTime with Grant when he wasn’t at meals on the road.
Marshall Wood contracted mono over the Holiday Break. He didn’t want to stay away even though doctors made him. He wanted to be with his friends and his teammates, and when he was cleared to be in the building for the Fordham game, Wood came up and gave everyone hugs.
Relationships matter. Maintain them. Be everyday guys.
This particular group of Spiders express themselves a little differently. UR now has a portable speaker at shootarounds and practices on the roads. The liveliness hit a fever pitch in Tulsa, Oklahoma before Christmas.
And that is important. Because even though Richmond didn’t play well enough or hit enough shots to win that game, the Spiders didn’t let the result eat them up.
They didn’t trash the speaker or their personalities. They didn’t abandon each other. They didn’t get down.
They just turned the volume up even louder.
Energy matters. Hustle matters. You can’t just do it when it’s easy. You have to produce it every day.
Ask any player on this team, and they’ll say ‘Sure. 3-0 matters. It feels great. But it only guarantees that we’ll win three conference games.’
Be accountable. Have high energy. Care about one another. Play with passion and purpose.
These Spiders are doing it all. Every day.
Written by Will Bryan, Associate Director of Athletic Public Relations