One of only three non-Power Five teams on Kentucky’s 2020-21 basketball schedule is one of the best non-Power Five teams in college basketball.
On Tuesday the Richmond Spiders were selected by the media as the preseason favorites to win the Atlantic 10 Conference. Richmond returns all five starters from a 24-7 team (14-4 in A-10 play) that finished second in the A-10 in 2019-20, trailing only Obi Toppin’s Dayton club that was well on its way to a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament until the coronavirus pandemic had other plans.
Three members of Chris Mooney’s team were preseason all-conference selections — Blake Francis, 6-foot-10 forward Grant Golden and Jacob Gilyard. The latter was the only first team selection. Gilyard, a 5-foot-9 guard, averaged 12.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game last season while shooting 46.6% from the field and 36.7% from behind the three-point line.
Of all the things I learned about Richmond today, the most important fact is that they have a mascot named WebstUR. Instead of spinning webs, this spider spits out nets. Incredible.
All joking aside, this game against Richmond smells like the trappingest trap game in the history of trap games.
The third game of the Kentucky Showcase that will be played over the course of six days, the sleepy Sunday afternoon date with the Spiders at Rupp Arena is also just two days before the Champions Classic matchup with Kansas. If the shaky early-season legs don’t slow down Kentucky, the young Wildcats could easily fall victim to an upset without a crowd to keep them engaged and a date with a top ten team looming.
ATLANTIC 10 PRESEASON POLL
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