Richmond basketball N.I.T. preview!

#58 R.P.I. Richmond @ #92 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s hoops is in! Vs. an O.G. So.Co. (Southern Conference) rival for the 1o9th time ever, no less.

The Hokies are logged into the 2o24 menz National Invitation Tournament. The Godfather of all tourneys and the O.G. freer of Red White and Blue basketballs everywhere. From its onset and at least into the mid-1950s, the NIT was regarded as the most prestigious showcase for college basketball everywhere. Held/finished up at the mecca of hoops or Madison Square Garden. 1995 and 1973 and me mum’s game-winning call being good N.I.T. years among ’em. This year we face down against localized and in-state geo’ rival Richmond. The Spiders enter the fray at: 23 up against 9 down and a regular season 1st place finish in the Atlantic-X. As prior to getting unceremoniously A-1o Tourney bounced by a mere two shots, UofR had only been beaten three, that’s only (3) times since early December! This is a quality team men. Make no misQ’s about that. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, reads on… to finds, out!

the () of always are not interested in the () of never.

Richmond Head Coach: Christopher Scott Mooney: age=51, 390–3o6 (.56o) overall, and 348–267 (.566) at Richmond.
Has a rep’ for:
$2.68 million

Baby Mooney was born and raised in a working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia, spending his high school years at Archbishop Ryan High School as the child of a single father after his mother died from breast cancer when he was 13 years old. (St.Xenia of Rome bless!) Mooney’s father was a Greyhound bus driver.

Harsh story on getting to this conceptualized picture point… Godspeed!

In 199o, 6′7″, 2oo lb., Mooney enrolled at Princeton University, majoring in English, and playing basketball for legendary coach Pete Carril. Mooney was a four-year starter at Princeton, starting all 107 games in his career and amassing 1,o71 points, good for 20th place in program history. He finished second for Rookie of the Year in the Ivy League as a freshman and received honorable mention all-conference honors as a sophomore, First Team All-Ivy League honors as a junior, and Second Team All-Ivy League honors (S/F) in his senior year, ~14 ppg and 5 rpg is not ½ S.A.T. Bowl, bad.

“Whistling” Mooney began his coaching career fresh out of college at Lansdale Catholic High School in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. In 1998, Mooney took the helm of the program at Beaver College, now known as Arcadia University. After two years at Beaver, Mooney took an assistant coaching position under Joe Scott at the United States Air Force Academy. When Scott left to take the head coaching position at Princeton University in 2004, Mooney was elevated to the head position at Air Force. Prior to taking the helm of the Spiders basketball program, he was the head coach at Air Force. In his only year there, he led the Falcons to their second-best record in school history (18–12).

9 post-season appearances for 1.7 decades is none too shabby; considering where Richmond tiers both nationally and in-state alike.

So, while I am not sure if this is a great hoops coach? I am sure you could do worse as a hoops coach. In particular when you grade hm roundball resources pro rata. As his three A-1o titles, this year’s (2o24) A-1o Coach of the Year Award, and his 4-games north of .5oo Tournament career maker would all seem to, agry.

While at Beaver College, Mooney only coached part-time, spending much of his time as an event coordinator. He helped plan weddings and events while also serving as the team manager.

Poppa-bear Mooney is married to the former Lia Chomat, a Princeton graduate who also has a doctorate in psychology from Penn. The couple has two sons, Danny, and Ryan.

UofR at a glance:

  • 4th fewest Turnovers/game!!! (wow, the anti-us).
  • 15th best in FG-percentage D allowed!!!
  • (tho’) 16th fewest personal fouls ‘whistled’ against!!! (wow! Dood can work Refs to be sure).
  • 29th best in defensive ppg allowed!! (points will be at a premium here).
  • 3oth best in Turnover Margin!!
  • 4oth best in 3-point percentage O!! (same)!
  • 4oth best in 3-point percentage D!! (no typo)!
  • 7oth best in FG-percentage O overall.
  • 316th most in FTA’s/game. (wimminz species bane… not a penetration-based big-O).
  • 320th best in Rebounding Margin!!! Dead, last in O-backboard. R.I.P. 2nd-chances.

Returning Starters=one*.

Pete Carril Princeton offense: Tutorial:

Mo/less… The Princeton offense is a set of offensive basketball plays that can improve scoring options through passing, cutting, and screens. Coach Mooney runs it a bit mo’ from the high post. (see: pic) (Where the Center or 5 is). Kinda using his C1 (Quinn) as a Point-C or a Sabonis bonus who does lead UofR in assisting.

Still, yet, tons of passing, ball-movement(s), give-n-goes, and back-doors. Cuts, cuts, cuts; death by 1K cuts. You had better not fall asleep here. And this is a tough set to sim’ on just 44 odd hours give/take!

Richmond Strengths:

Readers Note: this is not (actually) a one-trick pony… mo’ like 2.9 tricks or so. However, Quinn and King lead them in a mind-numbing 23 of 26 individual categories that I track and I’ve never ever seen that kinda twin-headed hydra b4.

  • 100% SENIOR starters or 1’s work here! You won’t see a mo’ experience curved set of right-tailed top-V all year. 23 years’worth if you are keeping score @home.
  • This is also a SIZEY little man downstairs in the low post!
    What with nearly everyone in the rotation checking in at: 6′5″ or northward bound…
  • One #2, or: Jordan King: your G1 -and quite possibly the best baller on the court- is a 6′, 2oo lb. lead-Guard1. And he leads them in all kinda thing(S) quite plural. Among ’em would be… scoring (18.7 ppg), stealing (1.4 spg), turning overing (1.6 tpg, which is quite good, actually; considering…). The 45.8% floor with 82.1% free and 42.1% three are all 2nd-best. 2.5 apg; tho’ assisting or setting up is not his M.O. (Motion O if you will). He’s a fun-looking kid upon breaking… who actually elevates his 5′12″ game out on the road with a bonus ~+6% netting from three-ball range. Kinda has a tall elongated near yesteryear set-shot (1-handed) release point. 5th-year grad-student. From: Siena and from E.T.S.U. after that. Has improved his scoring each and every single season; by +391% in Σ (total). However, has been mired in an unfortunate slump since March began. Trapped between 11.1% and 31.1% ever since. Yikes! Now you know why(s) they got A-1o eight-ten, split. 3rd-stringer So.Co. wise. Has 2 MAAC championship blings prior to dat. 24.1 points/game in H.S. terms at a private academy school. Was very dinged/dented last year over in the Tri-Cities and that may have scared some portaling types off. Goes by: “j.King”. Does not look like his listed (height) metric to little ole me. Says “If I was stuck on a deserted island and could bring only one thing, it would be: A Sword”. That counts, tho’ his recruiting discounts. No rankings Eye could see/find. The campfire whispers say… King to be a: Tireless worker and fierce competitor who is a true gym rat. That counts too. He is also said to be a perimeter threat provides instant offense and excels off the dribble. Film-study would concur. 5′8″ outta H.S. Says he is into Athletic training and could pursue the same as a career. Only keeps B.M.W. 95i wheels. Could be an overseas pro’ to me.

    Reminds of: (always) Palming Nick Van Exel, doesn’t he?
  • Lindy’s 2nd-string all-A-1o: 7′, 266 lb., bruising and contusing Neal Quinn is your true-(passing)-C1. Or basically a Ragsdale Giles. Co. football famed facilitating Qb1 or Pivot1. A big ole carrot-topped, and canelo goateed C1 at that. A 2nd-best 12.7 ppg with a 1st-best 5.4 rpg and a 1st-best 3.9 apg later and you all-’round sees what Eye means. 1.3 bpg married to: 53.8% FG’s with 72.9% FT’s and 35.7% 3’s is not bad second-option work if you can get it. As Quinn gets it as hoops I.Q.’s goes. ex-of-Layfette. Lindy’s calls Neal a: “heady distributor who shoots one of the highest percentages among D-1 big-men.” That counts. The ~16 ppg and ~8 rpg at Layfette tells you he could be doing mo’ elsewhere. Irish National Team in the FIBA last year tells you he has done mo’ elsewhere. Pretty big portal miss by our latent-looking Young to boot. Apexed as a: Second Team All-Patriot League selection b4 Richmond. Where this Five was only one of three Division I players to average 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game. Snap. 2.94 Ast-TO ratio led Patriot league and only ranked 14th in all of D-1 ‘ball. As said… this is a 15-15 or Chuck Yeagermeister eagle-eyed facilitator who makes the UofR O go. Father, (William) was a star golfer at St. John’s University. Momma-bear is Chinese. Wild. As you cannot see it… You will see him finish with both hands; ambidextrous post 1o1. Has a nice jump hook too. In-shape, T-bone cut guy. Plays, taller/longer than he even looks. Prolly a fringe export pro’.

    Happy St.Pat’s ’24!!!
  • * 6′7″, 2o5 lb., med’-red-Sr., and double-grad’-year; (2 diplomas already!): Isaiah Bigelow F. Bigelow is averaging 1.6 made 3-pointers over the last 10 games. This is not too bad from your leading boardroom man and your 3rd-option on O: 11.1 ppg with a gold-medal 6.4 rpg and 0.9 spg. The shooting all checkmarks out… 44.5% overall with 80.2% charity-stripe and a useful-looking 38.5% is just a solid all-’round roundball kid. Ex-of-Mike Young’s old-school (Wofford). Putting up near career years in every stat Eye looked up. Good on him. Prolly not much headroom remains— would that we all could say the sames. Lindy’s says… “plays hard, plays smart, and hits the glass as if his life depends on it.” Tall praise there… ‘nother mag’ called big’s a: “…puzzle piece player.” None of that sucks. Sweaty, gym-rat guys never need (trapping) d-CON. Glue-guy 1o1.
    apply. Which is no less imperative what with runnin’ ‘ball on one blown A.c.l. (St.Culbreth help) and a series of Walton-esque foot-sprains (St.Sebastian blesses). Dang… fielded nice H.S. digits; tho’ jus’ nice. Does still have some measure of hops to his really south of the equator beat-up game; makes you wonder where Bigelow is on 2 good knees and 2 good, feets?
  • Dji Bailey: G3, 6′5″, 195 lb., Got a single-A N.C. state bling. 1o ppg with 4.5 rpg and 2.3 dimes on 58.8% as your fourth-place offensive option is pretty efficacious.  First name is pronounced jai (rhymes with fly). Has a history of ankle turns to boot; (St.Philip help). Was expected to caddy or back up off the bench. So, starting is a strong indicator here. 473rd Rivals guy… which is about as good as Richmond (mostly) can get. More of a Combo-G than anything else. A Jack of all trades kinda leveled game.
  • DeLonnie Hunt: Qb1 or Pt.Guard1: 6′, 175 lb. …this (“D-lo'”) kid has not been bad… tho’ he has not been the Dickens of a baller some transferring Great Expectations had hoped/predicted, either. 9.5 ppg with 2.9 rpg and 1.8 apg on 37.7% from downtown. Wagner portaler… said to be: ‘tough-minded’, leader, does court the Predator d’locks look. VERY good/tight-in-your-shirt on-the-ball pressure defender. Kinda DET Piston lyte of bad-boy fame if you will. We shall see how Sean handles (foreshadowing intended), that? Grad’-student. wise there. Has a history of fractured left wrist; (St.Julia help). “Vocal” guy. Was named: Third Team All-NEC selection for Wagner last year. NEC Rookie of the Year two years behind that too. Mo’ may have been expected here. Tho’ this kid is not the kid you want to check you next year at your local Y.M.C.A. Put it that way…
  • UofR also netted two surprise, prize recruits last year… Trevor Smith (homegrown Newport News, Va.) and Collin Tanner (Nc. get). Which turned my pre-season magazine(s) head(s). Maybe they are on the come, now???

Richmond Weaknesses:

  • Kra-kra as this will reads… there was a bucu roster churn here last off-season. As five kids graduated and three most went baby and headed out. Lottsa production: ~54 ppg and 21 rpg all kicked gonzo rocks.
  • Jason Roche: (OUT). Knee. (right-meniscus, dang…) Roche suffered a knee injury and will sit out the rest of the season. St.Nikon help. 6′5″, 2oo lb. Citadel transfer baller. ~14/game and nearly 5 rebounds all done. As, as good as Richmond IS… they were better if/when this Roche had not got ’24 smoked. As 91% free throws and 39% 3’s are a lot to miss. Southern Conference Rookie of the Year; pure spot-up textbook clinical shooter on film. Cousin Christine Cleary played basketball at Wisconsin. Cousin Joe Cleary was on the track team at Wisconsin. Won the Division III California Co-Championship in 2o2o. So, this injury hurts to be sure. Godspeed @Jason.

Spiders Web: (depth=5) 329th most in pine ppg.

A handful of scorer’s table check-in, tho’ only one nets ≥13 mpg. They do just enuff P.T. wise to let the true-blue 1’s not get too blue in the face.

However, this is close to a legit 2nd-string One through Five traditional home-position speaking… they just do not generate a whole lot of -if any- superlatives. Lottsa size lives here, and some three-point splashing too… what with 4 of their 5-bench sub’s dropping between 31-55% of their 3’s in relief!

Mikkel Tyne: 5′1o″, 18o lb., nugget or debut year Toronto, Canada native Pt.Guard2, ‘eh’. Lowercase kid… said to be a good system-fit kid FWIW. Represented Canada at FIBA U18 Americas Championship and FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup in 2o22; does have international experience and possible betterment for it. 4 ppg with 2.2 rpg and 0.9 apg. Though only dropping 31.8% overall and 26.3% from long-range tell you he has not fully ranged his N.A.F.T.A. game in, just yet.

6′7″, 195 lb., bean-pole looking Swing2: Aidan Noyes. Kinda a S/F or Three kid. Sophomoric. 2.9  ppg with 2.5 rpg on 36% 3-balls. Was actually a smaller/leaner… took his r-shirt year to nutrition center and weight-room develop. Said to be freaky athletic. Lindy’s said him to be an A-X breakout guy this year. Not quite… tho’ a big metrics/testing “wow” kind ‘potential guy. Broke his left hand (last year, St.Julia help) in: dunk contest preparation… Time=tel….

6′11″, 255 lb., Soph., Mike Walz: C2. 2.8 ppg with 2.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, and a swat on ~31% deep. Kinda/sorta your Qb2 of sorts as the initiator of the high-post on the O.G. Princeton O.

5th year: 6′7″, 2o5 lb. Tyler Harris. ‘nother ‘tweener or S/F flavored guy. Tho’ a dead-eye ringer in “H, O, R, S, E!” 2.5 ppg with 1.9 rpg on a sizzling 55% behind the arc in relief does not suck. Versatile Western Carolina transfer kid. Had nearly tripled higher numbers at W.C.U. Has accepted a lessor role for: UofR.

The key to picking this N.I.T. one here is to pick.... what(s)???

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Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Spiders who could creep @Tech=five at least...

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is

not to be too taken with the Point-Spread here. (VeeTee favored by a 6’er).

As in… some would say the ‘rong team {sic: the homies} are favored here.

And… some would say to take the points here.

Eye would say… that -IF I were a betting man, and I am- I would wager that Mike and Staff would agree with me… in that we are surely mucho better off getting these Arachnophobias inside our very own Cassell than we would be in getting them 217-miles East-by-Nor-East @Away.

And some would say this is NOT a good N.I.T. opening round get.

As this is a pretty dang lengthy mid-major in mo’ ways than sum.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a single shot solo data point {sic: Boston College} +12-point Tech Triumph here. Although, that is not technically discouraging… we know the Forum Guide provides superior guidance off of a handful of populous itself. Or, the mo’ the merrier and therefore, the mo’ Forum Guide Spike Lee better. So, we shall see off this one-offer itself?

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… Richmond is weaving its way up ~+6% in shooting percentage margin (less a tenth this was a pure defensive reverse victory; as these two near shoot the very dame and yet only one of them knows how to halt); with Richmond, up ~+4% in 3-point percentage margin (three-quarters of which was via being better in 3-D terms, tho’ just a scosche better on 3-O additionally), and yet VeeTee is up ~+4 carroms corralled in rebounding margin for the year-to-date. (All of which is a hollow point or |absolute value| victory due to Richmond being in a backboarding hole here. VeeTee is right at equilibrium and UofR is trading underwater.

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… Richmond is now up a noticeable ~5% in shooting percentage margin (here: VT is shooting pretty decently, tho’ these Spiders are snipers and have gone downright hawkish in their floor-D overall of late. Whereas we have lightened a stopping mite); with the Spiders now up a nearly keen looking +8% in 3-point percentage margin (per: being a bit better at 3-O netting and yet mo’ than a bit biting on 3-D halting. UofR on the triune tight of late at both ends), and yet the F’n Gobblers backdoored another |absolute value| reverse triumph here, now up +4 misses collected in rebounding margin in the last fortnight of play. (due to: Richmond is just not that epic here, and VeeTee is only bricky breaking even. Then Eye saw this curious little bonus metric… Richmond is the A-1o leader with 26.3 defensive rebounds per game led by Isaiah Bigelow averaging 5.7. So, maybe they are not as awful as all this ‘glass cutting seems to say? Maybe…???)

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

Hemmingway Hoops: “To have and to have not…”

Readers Note: they/UofR do not play as many franchise D-1 P5’s as we do… so, do keeps that contemplative, and weightingly mathematically in mind here…

  • vs. no-names? +213❗️ So, a couple of lessons are in order here… as several trends emerged. Among them… UofR -to their credit- suffered a shiny 11-game win streak then another 7-game victory gaunt. That skews (some) things (some) what here. They also opened up by opening up several cans of whoop-azz on several pee-wees to J.V. begin ’23. Jerry West says that is one of two surefire signs of a great team Traveling All-Stars camp recall. UofR also went a stellar 5-o or five-dash-nill in single-shot contests this year! That does showcase some measure of mettle; n’est-ce pas? However, the Spiders only tallied 4’ish blowouts in league play. Some might have me call that…. “finding their level”. (i.e., maybe they are not on *that* high of a level itself? Maybe…)
  • vs. Surnames? 19-points❗️ So, this one has a negative tilt to it as things went downhill when U.of.R. tried to Rise (over) Run and make their way up the slope this year. What with one single solitary name-win, (1); outta 5 ‘namely’ schools. .2oo is not a good look on a percentage basis; is it? However, 3 of those 4 L’s were ≤3-shot contests that were pretty fairly contested. And no one of those 4 L’s punked Richmond whatsoever. So, although not quite moral victories; nobody bullied or stampeded these Spiders here.

LAST 10 GAMES: Hokies: 5-5, averaging 76.5 points, 3o.6 rebounds, 14.3 assists, 5.o steals, and 2.1 blocks per game while shooting 46.7% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 75.1 points per game.

LAST 10 GAMES: Spiders: 7-3, averaging 72.1 points, 3o.6 rebounds, 13.8 assists, 6.2 steals, and 3.o blocks per game while shooting 47.6% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 68.4 points.

VeeTee is a healthy .875 host; whereas UofR is a respectable.583 as a guest.
V.P.I. is up a nice +6% at the charity stripe for the year.
VeeTee is up +2 in R&R.

The Call...

No.6o Net Ranking  Richmond @ no.73 Net Ranking Vah.Tech:



The VerdicT:

Hmmmmmm… this one is just like my steaks.

9 PM kick and shown on: ESPN+.

A well-done, match-up one in G.P.S. terms pitting U.of.R @v.P.i.

Granted… the N.I.T. committee does enjoyable neighborly cartography baiting work here.

Though it is not as easy of one as some (obvious or oblivious) A-1o @A.c.c. ones might have you: posit, connote, or aver.

As Richmond will be all over us here from the jump. As do recall… they were only slotted to finish 8th at most to 11th at least in the 15 team A-1o back in September. So, getting a Marching on go at us is a gravy-train typea deal for pre-season them.

We are their Stanely Cup and Association finals all rolled into a Slusher Beach spring-break one.
However, this is what makes campus hosting gaming fun!

The digits:

🕷 E.L.O. #65 @ #8o E.L.O. 🦃

So, this one is a mixed-measure one…

…though I for one can tell you the following: I would pick UofR in their own backyard. After that, it is a bit of a mixed-up mixed-motive to naysay on the ixnay. At least to me.

As U.of.R wins a lotta defending checkmarks. Recency Effect checkmarks. And just how motivated will we R.A.T.T. little ole U.of.R., be? However, the Spiders were not so webby once they hit their harder in-conference phase(s) of play. And they did not finish up playing all that well, either.

Ergo, therefore, to Whit… if you ask me -and you did via reading these very words- I have two words for each and every one of you:

  1. “Jordan”,
  2. “King”.

If this King abdicates or even plays like a queen?
VeeTee courts the home-court win here.

IF this King pops-clean and Princess Kate’s?
U.of.R crowns our Cassell here.

As this King is your very own in-game; (or: season-ending) barometer over in a chilling back out New River Valley all by his ownself.
Jordan’s MB’s of Mercury is thy calculus here. He is thy very own game of… “moans“.








(55% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=73, Richmond=66

please support the VT F.C.A.!






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