Top 68 Team Previews: #54 Richmond Spiders
Cedrick Lindsay (left) will replace Kevin Anderson as Richmond's starting point guard. (Icon SMI)
By Robb Jacobson
Friday, July 29, 2011
Last Season: 29-8 (13-3)
Key Losses: Justin Harper, Kevin Anderson, Dan Geriot, Kevin Smith
Head Coach: Chris Mooney
Projected Starting Lineup:
PG: Cedrick Lindsay 6-1 So.
SG: Darien Brothers 6-3 Jr.
SF: Francis-Cedric Martel 6-6 Sr.
PF: Darrius Garrett 6-9 Sr.
C: Josh Duinker 6-11 Sr.
Key Reserves: Luke Piotrowski 6-11 Fr. PF, Derrick Williams 6-6 So. SF, Greg Robbins 6-5 Jr. PG
With 19 seconds left, Kevin Anderson made the jumper to push the Richmond Spiders past Vanderbilt in the second round of the NCAA tournament. In the third round, Morehead State would suffer a crushing defeat at the hand of the Spiders, but against Kansas it was Richmond who was given a paddling.
The Sweet 16 is an achievement that Richmond might have to savor, because this year it will be considerably more difficult to reach the same height.
The top three scorers for the Spiders have parted ways as graduates, each taking with them a 3-point percentage greater than 40 and an average of over 14 points per game. The departures of Justin Harper, Dan Geriot and Kevin Anderson will prove a difficult obstacle to overcome as some of their replacements have very little playing experience to speak of.
The best of Chris Mooney's recruits, 6-foot-11, 210-pound Luke Piotrowski, is a gigantic force capable of finding the high percentage shots and scoring with his back to the basket. He needs to gain strength physically and become more aggressive if he's going to make the transition successfully from high school to college.
He, Derrick Williams and Greg Robbins will be expected to bring points from the bench and gain experience enough to solidify a worthy rotation of talent.
Darien Brothers saw the most playing time last year of anyone still on the team. Part of the reason the Spiders were able to make it to the Sweet 16 last year was their 3-point capabilities. With the ‘big three' leaving, Brothers holds the highest percentage of 3-pointers on the team. He handles the pass well and can get shots off in a hurry if he needs to. Brothers will be the center building block for which this team will build around.
Cedrick Lindsay is the speed of the team, able to get to the rim from any starting point along the arc. The adjustment will be the significant rise in playing time, but he is conditioned enough to be able to handle the load. He will make an excellent leader and play-caller.
Another key backcourt member will be Francis-Cedric Martel. The 6-foot-6senior is a solid rebounder, shooter and scorer. He easily has the skills to switch between guard and forward and help out all over the court.
Darrius Garrett and Josh Duinker complement each other with size and power. Each can play the other's position and hold a strong presence close to the basket. Together, they have big shoes to fill, but neither is going to be intimidated.
This starting lineup has work to do, but they could be able to bridge the gap if a few things go their way, the most important being the new chemistry between the starting lineup and the backcourt and frontcourt rotation. Take inexperience, add considerable playing time, throw in a few new faces, subtract depth on the bench; you have one daunting task to match the righteous success of the 2010-11 Spiders.