Diji Bailey, Richmond Spiders

The Richmond Spiders reload after losing four of their starting five, adding valuable experience from the transfer portal.

A down year last year for the Richmond Spiders added insult to injury as they lost two starters to the transfer portal, and two starters to graduation. However, the Spiders have an excellent group of returners, adding in a few transfers and first-year students. Plus, this team is not alone in losing starters. After finishing 12th in the Atlantic 10, the Richmond Spiders and head coach Chris Mooney hope a robust non-conference schedule will help build a better team ahead of A-10 play.

This season looks like a bounce-back for the Richmond Spiders. Their most significant competitor will likely be St. Bonaventure or Duquesne, battling for the third spot in the A-10. However, these teams maintained the talent levels and lost minimal players. The Spiders have the right pieces, and if they can mesh and the players find their fit of roles, they will be dangerous.

Click here to learn more about our preseason top 100 teams heading into the 2023-24 college basketball season.

Head coach:  Chris Mooney (20th season, 19th at Richmond)

2022-23 record: 15-18 (7-11)

2023 postseason finish: N/A

Notable departures: Tyler Burton (Transfer to Villanova), Jason Nelson (Transfer to VCU), Matt Grace (Graduated), Andre Gustavson (Graduated)

Notable nonconference games: at Wichita State (Nov. 29), vs. Florida (Dec. 9)

Projected Rotation

PG: Jordan King (6-0, 175, Sr.)

2022-23 stats: 15.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.1 SPG (Transfer from ETSU)

SG: Delonnie Hunt (6-0, 160,  Sr.)

2022-23 stats: 11.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.2 SPG (Transfer from Wagner)

SF: Isaiah Bigelow (6-7, 185, Sr.)

2022-23 stats: 8.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 0.9 APG

PF: Tyler Harris (6-7, 195, Sr.)

2022-23 stats: 5.2 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 0.9 APG (Transfer from Western Carolina)

C: Neal Quinn (7-0, 280, Sr.)

2022-23 stats: 9.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.9 APG

6: Jason Roche (6-5, 195, So.)

2022-23 stats: 6.5 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.2 APG, 37.5 3P%

7: Dji Bailey (6-5, 170, Sr.)

2022-23 stats: 3.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.2 APG

8: Aidan Noyes (6-7, 185, Rs.-So.)

2022-23 stats: 2.0 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.0 APG (Maryland)

9: Jack Graham (6-4, 180, Fr.)

Unranked recruit

10: Ryan Soulis (6-10, 215, Fr.)

Unranked recruit

Richmond Spiders MVP: Jordon King

In the Southern Conference, Jordan King put up some solid numbers. He was fifth in 3-pointers made per game (2.2), sixth in points per game (15.6), ninth in assists per game (3.1), and eleventh in steals per game (1.1). He is not a standout, but his ability to create for himself and others will make him a vital part of this team. Taking over for Andre Gustavson, King will be thrust into this role. His ability to score will be leaned upon.

The Spiders expect the guards to step up with all the points being vacated from the starting line-up. King can create and do so for his team. Last year, this team’s standout statistic was a 3-point rate. King can shoot and make 3-pointers. If this rate is another leading for statistics, the Spiders could be one of the higher-scoring teams. A bigger surprise is that the incoming players have been dropping in 3-point percentage.

Richmond Spiders make-or-break player: Neal Quinn

Last year was Neal Quinn’s first year with the Richmond Spiders after stepping away from the Patriot League and Lafayette. Quinn was able to transition into this more difficult and physical league. With the year of growth, Quinn will be expected to become a dominant force in the paint. His talent and skillset are set up perfectly for it. With the change from Lafayette to Richmond, Quinn could maintain, if not improve, his field goal percentage. Making 54.2% of his shots, he can be a force for the Spiders.

Quinn stepped it up in conference play as he had his best games in this period. The first was against UMass, where he showed his scoring ability putting up 19 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. However, it was against VCU that Quinn scored 21 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and had 2 blocks. He found his body and movement again for Richmond in stride toward the end of the season. While these were impressive, his most efficient game was in the A-1o Tournament loss to George Mason, where Quinn showed his experience. Quinn scored 17 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. He did so, shooting 8-for-10 from the field and 1-for-2 from the free throw line.

Quinn will be considered a leader this year in a leadership role and the expectations of Coach Mooney. He must be an example and someone the guards can lean on if they get caught overdriving as a dump-off option. Quinn has to become a shot blocker and scare his opponents to go inside. He has the ability but will need to show it for the Spiders. More importantly, Quinn will need to find a nose for the ball, as his size should make put-backs and easy offensive buckets.

Key analytic: Offensive Rebounding

While being impressive with defensive rebounding, the Richmond Spiders ranked in the top 54 in defensive rebounding. However, on the other end of the floor, this team struggled. Finding themselves ranked 347th in offensive team rebounding. This should be a team focus. Coach Mooney will hopefully bring this up with the incoming bunch of players. With Burton leaving the team, they can expand their shooting and become a well-rounded scoring team. Having these second-chance opportunities, the Spiders could be a difficult matchup.

Part of the issue for the Spiders, the team was ranked 31st in 3-point rate. If the guards become active rebounders, the Spiders could quickly move up the offensive metrics where they was ranked in the middle.

Richmond Spiders 2023-24 projections

Projected conference finish: 3rd in Atlantic-10 Conference

Projected postseason ceiling: NCAA Tournament – Round of 64

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