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Q and A with Richmond Superfan Jeff Crook

For this edition of Recon Q and A we chatted with a Richmond Superfan, Jeff Crook. He gives us some insight from the opposing viewpoint. Richmond is coming off a huge road win against George Washington on Thursday night. The Bonnies have obviously had all week to prep for the Spiders.
1.Give Bonnies fans a quick scouting report on Richmond this season. How do they play on both sides of the ball and what/who makes them go most?
Richmond has been very efficient of offense and quite pedestrian on defense this season.  Our motion offense features 3 really good scorers in ShawnDre Jones, TJ Cline and Terry Allen.  Allen is having an All A10 caliber season.
Our match-up zone D has been much less effective this season than it has been historically.
2. How about this stat I dug up. Richmond’s offensive (ranked 22nd) is the best they’ve ever had under Mooney, while their defense (259th) is their worst. What gives? How did the defense get so bad, so fast?
The defense has been poor because we lack a high-level perimeter defender and we don’t have a rim protector.  Alonzo Nelson Ododa had been a terrific interior defender for us but he transferred to Pitt in the off-season.  We also lost Josh Jones, a rising Junior guard, just prior to the season.  Josh was a pretty good defender.
3. It seems like Richmond is destined (this year) to be nothing more than .500-ish team. How disappointing would that be to you, given your expectations in the fall?
Most Richmond fans are pretty disappointed with where we are sitting.  Coming off a deep NIT run last year with a number of solid pieces returning, many Richmond fans expected to be in the conversation on Selection Sunday this year.
4. What’s the “average” UR fans stance on Chris Mooney and the job he’s done. It seems like a lot of fans are growing less patient…no?
There certainly is a segment of our fan-base that has grown pretty impatient with Coach Mooney.  Our Sweet 16 trip in 2011 seems like forever ago.  Everyone likes Coach because he’s a great guy and representative of the University and wants him to be successful.  That said, Richmond invests in the program to the degree that they should not be a regular mid-pack team in the A10.  Coach Mooney does have, arguably, his best recruiting class coming in next fall.  That helps.
5. Aside from Cal, Richmond has lost to every top 100 team they’ve played. Shocking to you or nah?
Since 2011, we haven’t won a ton of big games, so no, it isn’t overly shocking.  We played a high level out of conference schedule and earned wins over Cal, ODU and UNI.  ODU and UNI looked like good wins at the time but haven’t played well since they started their conference play.  We played West Virginia very close on Thanksgiving and West Virginia is in the Top 10 in the country.  I think that contributes to the present frustration.
6. Richmond is at their best when:
We find a 4th scorer.  Jones, Cline and Allen cannot score all the points.
7. Richmond is at their worst when:
We play a physical team that dominates us on the boards.
8. What Richmond player is most vital to their success in this game?
Probably T.J. Cline.  T.J. can be streaky from the perimeter.  When his 3’s are falling, we are very dangerous offensively.
9. Honestly speaking, how much do you hate VCU?
Since I have a number of VCU alumni and supporters as clients, I don’t feel comfortable answering that question honestly in a public forum. 🙂
10. Prediction? 
The Spiders aren’t playing well and haven’t had a ton of success in the Reilly Center. I’ll take the Bonnies.
Bona 74
Richmond 70
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A member of the class of 2008, Nolan spent four years as a student assistant with the program. He has written professionally for such outlets as espn.com/insider, Athlon Sports Magazines, Cox Sports Online and Blue Ribbon Previews. Ian was named one of the “140 Personalities to Follow in College Basketball” on twitter by The Sporting News.