Senior Andre Gustavson, a guard for the University of Richmond’s men’s basketball team, announced March 31 on Instagram that he would be returning for a fifth season with the Spiders.
Under the post, the caption read: “The Goose is Loose #year5.” “Goose,” is a play on his last name, and is popular among many students across UR’s campus.
The Finnish guard’s decision comes off the heels of an outstanding postseason run by the Spiders. While their regular season record and conference play appeared to be shaky at times, when the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament rolled around on March 10, UR proved to be a force to reckon with. The team went on to receive an Atlantic 10 championship trophy and secure an appearance in the NCAA March Madness tournament for the first time since 2011.
Gustavson said winning the championship was his favorite part of this past season, and the feat is something he hoped the team would replicate in the future.
“It’s repeating the same thing,” he said. “Winning the A-10 championship — we want to win the A-10 regular season too, and just the dancing. Winning the NCAA tournament: always the goal.”
Gustavson has confidence in himself and his teammates, despite the fact that the Spiders will lose quite a few members this offseason to expired eligibility, the transfer portal and possibly the NBA draft, as junior forward Tyler Burton declared for the draft on April 6.
Regardless of the pending changes being made this offseason, Gustavson still has love for the program.
“It means a lot to me,” he said. “I would say the last four years have kind of made me — I know it sounds cringy, but I’ve grown a lot with these guys.
“I’ve had them on our team and there’s a lot I’ve learned from them. I feel like in that way, I’ve learned a lot.”
Gustavson began this season coming off the bench, but he found himself in the starting lineup when the Spiders took on Fordham University on Jan. 18. After that, the team never looked back — once he became a starter, the senior made an immediate impact. In just that first game as a starter, Gustavson scored 11 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Head coach Chris Mooney praised Gustavson’s defensive ability in a postgame press conference back on February 7 when UR took on George Mason University noting that he had the ability to guard any player. And that proved to be true, as Gustavson played a significant part in the Spiders’ journey to the Big Dance last month.
Now that super seniors like Grant Golden, Jacob Gilyard, Nathan Cayo and Nick Sherod will no longer be suiting up for the Spiders, Gustavson’s role will change and he will likely act as one of the primary leaders for the team.
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Andrew Aguilera, ‘18, a co-host of a podcast dedicated to Spiders basketball called “Frontline Fanatics,” said Gustavson would definitely have a bigger role in terms of the team’s scoring.
“He has the capability to be a really solid shooter from deep and has shown flashes of aggressiveness in getting to the rim,” Aguilera said. “Once the transfer portal madness gets settled, we’ll have a better idea of exactly what his defined role is going to be.”
Gustavson’s longevity with the team will help him step into that leadership role, Aguilera said.
“Also helps to have his veteran voice in the locker room, especially after getting a taste of the postseason this year,” he said.
The Spiders have already begun their offseason training for the 2022-2023 season, which is set to start in November. The roster will look more than a little different this coming season, but many Spider fans are excited knowing they will be able to continue cheering on Goose for one more season.
Contact sports writer Jimmy James at email@example.com.
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