Spider basketball's off to a hot start and the season hasn't even begun

November 10, 2020

Spider Pride

Last year’s historic basketball season was interrupted by COVID-19, but it hasn’t stopped the Spider team from making history. 

Men’s basketball secured the No. 1 spot in the Atlantic-10 preseason poll — for the first time ever — and two scholar-athletes are vying to be named the nation’s top center and point guard. 

Graduate student Grant Golden is one of 20 Division I players named to the national watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, which is given to the top center in the country. Golden’s roommate, senior Jacob Gilyard, is also one of 20 Division I players on the watch list for the Bob Cousy Award, which honors the country’s top point guard. 

“I’ve seen these young men develop into two of the best basketball players in the nation over the last few years and it’s great to see them getting the recognition they’ve earned,” Head Coach Chris Mooney said.

Golden made Richmond history by earning all-conference honors following his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons. He led the team to a 24-7 record last season while earning second team All-Atlantic 10 honors, which he earned again for the 2020-21 season. 

Gilyard has a chance to set the Division I record for career steals with 276 at the start of his senior season. The point guard started all of last season’s games and earned first team All-Atlantic 10 honors, which he also secured this year.

“The watch lists are a testament to the work they’ve done on their own and with our staff since they first stepped onto campus,” Mooney said.

Before the pandemic, the Spider team was in the running for their first NCAA tournament bid since 2011. The public has a chance to participate in the voting process for Golden and Gilyard via www.hoophallawards.com. The winners will be announced in April 2021.