The Richmond Spiders have one of the most marketable young coaches in the country in 38-year-old Chris Mooney.
The Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch newspaper on Monday wondered whether Mooney might emerge as a candidate for openings at such schools as Georgia Tech, North Carolina State and/or Providence.
“After six seasons of developing the UR program, Mooney seems highly likely to draw interest from at least one of those schools (Georgia Tech seems the best fit for the Princeton graduate),” the Times-Dispatch staff wrote in a non-bylined notes item.
“Last year, Mooney was contacted by Seton Hall and interviewed at Boston College before signing a new contract at UR that runs through 2016-17. The Spiders, who won the Atlantic 10 Conference championship after earning an NCAA at-large bid last season, lose four senior starters, including two 1,000-point scorers (Justin Harper and Dan Geriot) and a 2,000-point scorer (Kevin Anderson), from this season’s team. It’s a logical time for a young, successful coach to move to a job that would double what he makes at UR (his Spiders’ compensation is climbing near $700,000 a year),” the paper reported.
Richmond coach Mooney, who played college ball at Princeton, runs his variation of the Princeton offense. Apparently it’s not as methodical as the Princeton style of the past.
“I don’t think we run the traditional Princeton offense. There’s a lot of different things that we do,” senior guard Kevin Anderson told the Times-Dispatch. “We run a lot of ball screens within that Princeton offense. The guys that are on the court are so talented that the Princeton offense, it’s just really a name. But it helps us out, gets us moving, gives us an extra advantage over different teams. I mean, that takes difficulty in trying to guard a fast-paced offense like the Princeton offense.”
No. 12 seed Richmond, which defeated No. 5 Vanderbilt, wasn’t the only upset winner in Denver last weekend. No. 13 Morehead State beat No. 4 Louisville and No. 11 Gonzaga stopped No. 6 St. John’s.
“There’s so much parity in college basketball now,” Mooney told the Times-Dispatch. “There’s a fine line between how good a high-major program can be and how good a really good Atlantic 10 team can be.”
Of his team, Mooney told the Times-Dispatch: “You know, this is the NCAA Tournament. That’s what it’s all about. I see a very determined team. I think the guys are determined to keep playing as well as we possibly can.”
Anderson, a 6-0 guard from Atlanta, is second on Richmond’s career scoring list with 2,152 points. John Newman (1983-86) is career leader with 2,383 points. ... VCU is located in Richmond, meaning the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 has two teams from the same city for the first time since UCLA and USC in 2007.