Connect with us

Coach Breakdown

Richmond Undefeated in A10 Behind Talented Two-Year Transfer Class

Published

on

Over the past two offseasons, Richmond head coach Chris Mooney and his staff have done an exceptional job of recruiting the transfer portal to maintain the program’s high level of production within the Atlantic 10 Conference. 

After garnering a bid to the 2022 NCAA Tournament and making a run to the second round, the Spiders dealt with the departure of several key veterans by bringing in Lafayette transfer Neal Quinn, former Wofford standout Isaiah Bigelow, and Jason Roche from The Citadel.

To round out that foundational core after a 15-18 finish in 2022-23, two-time transfer Jordan King, Wagner transfer Delonnie Hunt, and former Western Carolina wing Tyler Harris all joined the program this offseason.

“[Recruiting through the portal] has been everything,” said Mooney. “I would say [Richmond] would be on the lower end before the transfer portal became such a major thing, in terms of taking transfers and losing transfers. However it is, you have to make that adjustment and try to get the best players you can who fit Richmond and I think these guys definitely do.”

Despite being selected 11th in the A10’s preseason poll, Richmond is off to an undefeated 8-0 start in conference play with a 16-5 overall record after wins over UNLV, Charlotte, and more recently, No. 16 Dayton.

Leading the Spiders throughout the early season has been King, averaging a career-high 19.4 PPG and 4.2 RPG as the top scorer in the A10 alongside DaRon Holmes II.

In addition, Hunt, who returned from injury early into the conference slate, has been pacing the backcourt while shooting a career-best 44% from the field and 43% from three-point range.

For Mooney, strong guard play has been a staple of his long tenure in Richmond and the emergence of two veterans from the transfer portal has made all the difference early this season.

“[King and Hunt], they’re so critical,” he said. “We’ve had great guards [at Richmond] and I think right away it’s not hard to recognize that they’re great players and that they’re tough, competitive, and good teammates. We were really fortunate that we were able to identify and find those guys.”

To lead the Spiders to the program’s 11th consecutive win on Wednesday night, King contributed a game-high 29 points to pull away from Fordham late into the second half for an 83-69 final.

While Hunt added 12 points, two boards, and an assist on 5-for-7 shooting with some clutch stepback 3-pointers that Rams head coach Keith Urgo couldn’t help but acknowledge post-game.

“We did a good job [defensively] but [Richmond] hit some big time shots,” said Urgo. “A couple of guys who maybe aren’t traditional three-point shooters like Hunt, he makes a stepback contested three on us.”

However, in a conference that’s become well known for its physicality, the Spiders anticipated a tough matchup against a scrappy Fordham defense which allowed Mooney to showcase the skill and depth of his lineup.

On the interior, Quinn was able to add 10 points, four rebounds, and six assists, helping to circulate the Richmond offense through the top of the key. While Bigelow managed just two points, he was a dominant presence on the boards all evening with nine rebounds to his total.

 “If you have skillful guys and can have a decently long possession, it’s much harder to chase [defensively] for long periods of time,” said Mooney. “I thought that showed up for us as the game wore on and we had drives, cuts, and baskets when the clock was at five or four [minutes]. That’s because we have good enough talent to keep the ball throughout a possession.

Following Richmond’s 8-0 start, Mooney and Co. will face a big time matchup on the road with a visit to local rivals VCU in round one of this season’s Capital City Classic on Saturday.

With another opportunity to continue this undefeated run in the A10, Richmond’s hard work in the transfer portal is paying off and has set the Spiders on pace for the program’s best season since 2010-11.



Be the First To Know

Subscribe to The Portal Report now to get breaking transfer portal news delivered directly to your inbox.

Be the first to know.

Subscribe to TPR to get all the latest breaking NCAA football and basketball transfer portal news sent directly to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.