On Sunday, Nov. 18, the Gophers take on the University of
Richmond at Williams Arena at 6 p.m. The Spiders are 3-0 so far this year. Gophersports.com basketball beat writer Jeff Fett Spoke with Spiders Assistant Head Coach Kevin McGeehan to
learn more about Richmond and what his concerns are about playing the Gophers.
Gophersports.com: Who's the star of your team---what will make this team succeed this year?
"Our best player is probably is Darien Brothers. He's a good shooter--like 6'2"
or 6'3" strong guard. He really shoots well from three.
"We have a couple of guys who can score from the perimeter--we're a pretty good perimeter team. We have one returning big guy that's a very good player---a strong interior kid--and then a bunch of young kids who are going to be good players."
Gophersports.com: What kind of style does your team play?
"We like to share the ball and move a lot. We do a lot of passing and cutting--keeping the court spread. We try to move a lot and take advantage of space. I think we share the ball pretty well."
Gophersports.com: Are your goals lots of possessions or are you methodical in how you handle the basketball?
"This year we've tried to make an emphasis of getting the ball up quick and trying to score quicker. We feel like we have good wing players that can run and make good decisions and score in transition, so we've kind of made that a point of emphasis."
Gophersports.com: What are your concerns about playing the Gophers?
"I think they are talented at every position. It seems to be that they have good depth right now---a lot of experience back. Anytime you play a Big Ten team in particular, you know there's going to be physicality playing there on the road. You have to be ready for all of that.
"We've played a lot of teams through the years---big teams and in BCS conferences and I think that's one of the things you have to mentally prepare for as you go into a game, where you know all those guys are big and strong and physical and athletic. I think that's no exception with Minnesota being like that."
Gophersports.com: Richmond is taking on some tough teams on the road, like Minnesota, Kansas and Wake Forest. Why do you make your schedule this tough?
"I think the Atlantic 10 is a really good conference, you know arguably better than some of the big BCS conferences pending on the year. So game in and game out in the Atlantic 10 you are facing really good teams. There are very few bad teams and so in order to prepare for league play---and then hopefully we're thinking about the ultimate goal, the NCAA tournament, we're trying to play the best schedule we can. I think the best way to do that is to try to play some teams that are in that mix. Teams who are going to be tournament teams or really good teams in BCS leagues."
Gophersports.com: You are off to a great start at 3-0 on the year. Have their been any surprises you weren't expecting so far this year?
"I wouldn't say surprises. I would say some of the things we've tried to emphasize you know in the off-season. We had a trip to Italy during the summer, which allowed us to practice and compete overseas.
"Some of the things that we started to talk about and try to implement there and in practice have shown up in the games, which is a good sign. The things that are going to be points of emphasis are actually manifesting themselves in the games. I think that's a good thing.
"Surprises, not really at this point. You know we were hoping to come to Minnesota at 3-0 and that's where we are--so this is a really good test for us."
Gophersports.com: Is there anything else you want us to know about the Richmond basketball team or the University of Richmond?
"Richmond has a very rich tradition basketball wise. Two years ago, we were in the Sweet 16. Going back to the 80's and parts of the 90's, Richmond has been really, really good at basketball.
"I think it's a unique place and a special place because its an excellent academic institution where kids are going to class and working hard in the classroom--having to balance academic life and athletics.
"You can concentrate more on basketball here. We're a small school and everything's hard and kids have to show up and go to class all of that stuff. So there's something unique and special about that in our guys representing themselves well in the classroom and on the court."