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Beginning Monday, June 21st, 2004 CHN began unveiling 144 Team previews in 144 Days. CHN ranked the nations top 144 teams, and is unveiling one per day leading up until the opening day of the 2004-05 Season.


Bookmark the 144 Teams in 144 Days home page, and check back each day to see which team is previewed next.


#70 Richmond Spiders

Atlantic 10

 2003-04: 20-13, 10-6, 5th  

2003-04 postseason: NCAA


By Joel Welser


The Spiders only lost two games last year to teams that didn’t make the NCAA Tournament.  They managed to beat Temple, Kansas, Xavier and George Washington in consecutive games, the first three coming on the road.  Last year’s team was better then their recorded indicated. They lose a lot, but bring in a great class of newcomers.  Head coach Jerry Wainwright will have the squad ready to play once again.


Who’s Out: Mike Skrocki led the team with 16 points per contest.  The 6-6 swingman was an all around scorer and that scoring ability will be missed.  Tony Dobbins was one of the most exciting players to watch in the conference.  At 6-4, his rebounding and defense were incredible.  He led the team with 7.5 boards per game and truly was one of the best rebounding guards in the nation.  On the defensive end he could steal (2.6 per game) and block (0.8 per game).  Dobbins wasn’t a shabby scorer either, racking up 10.9 per contest.  Injuries hindered Reggie Brown’s senior season but he still managed to 7.4 points per game in 31 appearances.  Eric Zwayer and Stacy Tutt both saw limited minutes their last season for the Spiders.


Who’s In: There is a balance of lost players between the frontcourt and the backcourt.  Richmond has enough players with experience to step in and start.  These newcomers will compete for some starting time and quality minutes off the bench.  A.D. Vassallo is the cream of the crop.  The 6-6 swingman should replace Mike Skrocki in the starting lineup.  He has a great stroke from behind the arc and has some quality experience for a freshman, playing on the Puerto Rican junior national team.  Power forwards Jarhon Giddings, Drew Crank and Monty Sanders will add more depth to the frontcourt.  Giddings plays like a swingman and has great ball-handling skills for a 6-8, 210 pound forward.  Point guard Courtney Nelson should share some minutes with Daon Merritt running the show as a freshman.  Nelson is a consistent scorer and may end up starting at the point by the end of the year if Merritt can’t keep his turnovers down.  T.J. Paterick, who is transferring from Washington State, might be added to that point guard mix once he is eligible in January.


Who to Watch: Gaston Moliva might be a little rough around the edges and undersized for a power forward but he can play.  He’s a bruiser under the basket and can rebound with anybody in the conference.  He played in all 33 games last season, starting five, but only averaged 18.7 minutes per game. He’s not really a scorer, with just 5.3 points per game last year, but he’ll score some by cleaning up under the basket for easy points.  It’s Moliva’s defense that is key.  He averaged 1.4 blocks per game and even has the some quick hands for the occasional steal.  Moliva will have some help under the basket with returning players Jermaine Bucknor, Kevin Steenberge, Jamaal Scott and Patrick O’Malley but he still needs to learn how to play without fouling.


Projected Conference Rank: In a conference that won’t be quite as good as last year, the Spiders could manage another ten win conference season.  That could be good enough for 4th place in the A-10, but not good enough for another trip to the big dance. 


Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT


« Team #71 , Team #69   »


Email Joel Welser: jwelser_chn@ameritech.net

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