The Collegian
Monday, April 15, 2024

Men's basketball enjoys early season, home court success

The University of Richmond men's basketball team is off to its seventh-best start in school history, with a record of 14-6 on the season and 9-1 at home.

The Spiders are 3-2 in conference play, which began Jan. 6 with a win over Duquesne University and will continue for the rest of the regular season. Richmond is ranked third in the Atlantic 10.

Senior guards David Gonzalvez and Ryan Butler attributed the early success to the team's experience and maturity.

"We've all played a lot of minutes," Gonzalvez said.

Earlier in the season, the Spiders lost a few games they were expected to win, he said.

"It's easy to get in a slump and feel sorry for yourself," he said, "but we have to forget about the last game, whether we won or lost, and focus all our energy on the next game."

Head coach Chris Mooney said the team knew more about itself now than at the start of the season. He said the Spiders' offense had become faster and more explosive and that the team had been able to score in a variety of ways.

"As we've gotten better and better players, the opportunities [to shoot] have shown up more quickly," he said. "We've been able to take advantage of our offense much more, and at a faster pace."

The team's camaraderie, confidence and overall experience have played a major role in this, Mooney said.

Looking ahead, Butler said it would be important for the Spiders to continue their success at the Robins Center.

"The team that's going to win the conference is going to win most of their home games," he said. "And we want to try to steal a couple on the road, too."

Among the toughest teams the Spiders will face are the University of Dayton and Xavier University, Gonzalvez said. Butler said the Dayton and Temple University games would be the most exciting because they would draw big crowds to the Robins Center.

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"It's going to be a really interesting fight for the top," Gonzalvez said.

The Spiders travel to Washington, D.C. at 2 p.m. Saturday to take on George Washington University.

Contact staff writer Anna Kuta at anna.kuta@richmond.edu

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