After defeating fellow Atlantic 10 juggernaut, the No. 16 University of Dayton Flyers, 69-64 in a clash for the top of the conference standings Jan. 27., the University of Richmond men’s basketball team failed to make the Associated Press’ top 25 poll.
The poll, released Jan. 27, left the Spiders out of the country’s highest rankings, but UR did garner four votes — the same number as larger programs like Gonzaga University and the University of Virginia.
“We’re just honored to get the respect that we deserve,” graduate guard Jordan King said. “We’ve been working in here since the beginning of May last summer. All the guys that come in every day and accepting the challenge that Coach Mooney presents to us. And we’re just happy to get recognized by such a large scale.”
The last time the Spiders appeared in the top 25 was for two consecutive weeks back in 2020 when UR was ranked 19th in the county. The NCAA Tournament that was to be held just months earlier in March of that year was ultimately canceled, ending the Spiders’ hopes of what appeared to be an at-large bid coming their way.
Following the game against Dayton, UR Head Coach Chris Mooney said the Spiders’ win was a great accomplishment, being that the program does not get many opportunities to play ranked teams.
“So this year we played Colorado and a good game in Florida and then we played Dayton,” Mooney said. “And so you don’t get many opportunities. You certainly don’t get many opportunities at home. And so to take advantage of that and to win those games.”
Although they did not make the top-25, on a positive note for the Spiders, graduate guard Jordan King was named A-10 Player of the Week for his efforts against The George Washington University and Dayton.
“It just really shows that all the hard work I’ve been putting in is paying off and I would not be able to get that award unless we won the games this week, so it’s all about the team,” King said. “It’s a team effort. I gotta thank the guys for getting me in the right spots, hitting me in the right spots, so I’m just really appreciative that I got recognized for that.”
Against George Washington, King scored 32 points, and against the Flyers, he scored 17, playing a part in leading the Spiders to victory in both contests and keeping an undefeated record in conference play.
“[King’s] special,” Neal Quinn said in a postgame press conference following the Dayton game. “He’s unreal. I mean even though he shot what, 5-for-14, it just felt like he was out there the whole game, and just clutch shots after clutch shots. Clutch free throws after clutch free throws. I mean, all credit to him. He’s a phenomenal player.”
Through 20 games this season, King is averaging 19 points per game and shooting 42% from 3-point range. This is the second time this season King has garnered A-10 Player of the Week honors. He was named Co-A-10 Player of the Week Jan. 15, sharing the award with Dayton junior forward DaRon Holmes II.
With 11 games remaining in the regular season, the Spiders’ record sits at 15-5. UR is undefeated at home and has won 10 straight games. The Spiders were originally projected to finish 11th in the A-10 according to the conference’s preseason rankings.
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King said the Spiders are still playing like they are the underdogs.
“And we just keep that chip on our shoulder every day,” King said. “We know that our rank could be cut down short of what we’re at right now very soon, so we just gotta keep working, keep level-headed and stay true to ourselves, and just keep playing our style of play.”
UR’s next game is against Fordham University at 7 p.m. Jan. 31.
Contact sports editor Jimmy James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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