Written by Noah Goldberg
With the recent announcement that Noah Yates will not receive an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA, the Spiders have two scholarships open heading into the 2019-2020 season.
Richmond’s back court will welcome the addition of Tyler Burton next year, a 6’ 6” SG/SF from Marianapolis Prep. While the athletic guard/forward has great length and athleticism, he’ll likely struggle to find major minutes next year with the return of Nick Sherod, growing role of forward Sal Koureissi, and addition of transfer Blake Francis.
One of the two scholarships open could potentially be filled by the 6’ 4” guard from Cushing Academy, Daman Tate. With Richmond, Gardner-Webb, and Boston University in his final three, he’s said that his decision should be coming out on Monday, April 1. Tate is an athletic guard who can shoot, facilitate very well, and play quality on-ball defense. However, neither he nor Burton are a solution to the Spiders’ achilles heel: rebounding.
As the worst rebounding team in the A10 this season, Richmond was undersized most of the year. Grant Golden had yet another stellar season offensively, however he’s not the most physical player and is working on both his rebounding and interior defense. After him, the only player on Richmond’s roster over the height of 6’ 9” is Matt Grace, who showed improvement towards the end of conference play, but still needs to develop some size and physicality.
A plethora of graduate transfers in Division I this season has given head coach Chris Mooney several options of big men to potentially target to add size, depth, and experience.
One player in particular Mooney could target is Javan White, a 6’ 10” 237 lb forward from Clemson. While White struggled to find minutes playing in the stacked ACC (admittedly, Clemson is not a top team), he dominated on the glass at Oral Roberts in the 2017-2018 season, averaging nine rebounds per game and 10.4 points. His length and size especially could add presence to the Spiders’ interior defense, who will have to compete against Hassan French, Obi Toppin, Luka Brajkovic, and many other talented big men in the conference.
In his third season at Oral Roberts, not only did he get nine boards per game, but 3.5 of those came on the offensive glass, an area Richmond struggled with. He’d be a great defensive presence, rebounder, and a good player for Matt Grace to learn and develop under.
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell announced Thursday that White would be transferring out of the program, per TigerNet. With the announcement coming only days ago, it will be interesting to see whether or not Richmond pursues his services and what other programs might as well.
See White’s Oral Roberts highlights from the 2017-2018 season here: