University of Richmond
Conference: Atlantic 10
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Head coach: Chris Mooney, 15th season
2018-19 record: 13-20 (6-12 in Atlantic 10)
Last time in NCAA Tournament: 2011, lost in Sweet 16 to Kansas
Top three returning scorers: Grant Golden, junior, forward, 17.2 ppg; Jacob Gilyard, junior, guard, 16.2 ppg; Nathan Cayo, junior, forward, 12.9 ppg
Key loss: Julius Johnson, guard, 3.4 ppg, 10 games started, graduated
Exciting newcomer: Blake Francis, a transfer guard from Wagner, is eligible to play after sitting out last season. Francis led Wagner to the Northeast Conference regular season title two years ago, while averaging a team-high 17.3 points per game and setting the program record for three pointers in a season.
Date of game: Monday, November 25th, 6 p.m. CT, ESPN2
Location: Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn, New York
Preview: The Badgers would be wise not to overlook Richmond. After starting three sophomores and two freshman last year, the Spiders enter the 2019-20 season with high hopes and project to be one of the better teams in the Atlantic 10. Chris Mooney returns for his 15th season at the helm, despite some pressure from fans and alumni to move on from their longtime head coach.
The Spiders are led by a strong junior class that includes the team’s three leading scorers from a season ago in Golden, Gilyard and Cayo. Golden, the third leading scorer in the A-10 last year, is a 6’10’’ forward with an impressive offensive skill set and could cause problems for a Wisconsin team that will be without Ethan Happ.
Junior guard Nick Sherod, who was forced to redshirt last season after an ACL tear, returns to the Spiders lineup in 2019-20. Sherod started all 32 games for Richmond two seasons ago, averaging 14.2 points per game and shooting 39% from three. His return, coupled with transfer guard Blake Francis add even more talent to an already impressive starting five.
This matchup will be a good early test for the Badgers and could end up being resume-building win if Richmond plays up to their potential in the Atlantic 10.
Prediction: Badgers win 74-70