I mean ... I guess I'll keep this up, even though the search is clearly over...
Chris Mooney, Richmond Head Coach
Career Record: 130-99. Six seasons at Richmond: 112-87 (last three: 75-33). One season at Air Force: 18-12.
Accomplishments: After two dreadful seasons at the start of his tenure (Richmond went a combined 21-39), Monney has built a very strong Atlantic 10 program. His A10 finishes have gone from 11th and 12th, to fourth and fifth, to third twice (the Spiders went 13-3 in conference each of the last two years). He has made two straight NCAA tournaments, and this season, after winning the A10 tournament, the Spiders advanced to the Sweet 16.
Before He Was a Head Coach: It did not take Mooney long at all to advance in this profession despite the lack of a Duke-type of pedigree. He graduated from Princeton in 1994, coached Lansdale Catholic (PA) High School for three seasons, moved on to Beaver College (real place) for three seasons, then ended up Joe Scott's top assistant at Air Force. When Scott moved on to Princeton, Mooney led the Falcons for one year, then ended up at Richmond.
Ties to the Midwest: Do either Pennsylvania or Colorado count as the midwest? If so, he has ties to the midwest.
Ties to Missouri: None that I can find.
Does He See Mizzou As a Destination Job? Like others, Mooney's alma mater is not a threat to pull him away from Missouri if he were to end up here, nor is the place where he racked up the most years as an assistant. That said, he's not even remotely from the area, so who knows what he considers his true "destination"...
Can He Recruit? Not like Chris Mack or some of the other mid-majors we've profiled. He's more like Gregg Marshall or Randy Bennett. Clearly he knows how to develop talent, but the players he's brought to Richmond were not immediately well-regarded. In the last five years, he's brought in 17 players -- six were unrated in Rivals.com's database, six were 2-star recruits, five were 3-stars. So as with Marshall, Bennett, etc. ... we don't know that he can't recruit (won't know that till he gets here), but we don't know that he can.
This Year's Recruits (i.e. Players Who Might or Might Not Come With Him): PG Kendall Anthony (NR, 5'9, 150, Jackson, TN), SG Trey Davis (NR, 6'4, Richmond, VA), PF Alonzo Nelson-Ododa (***, 6'8, 205, Winder, GA), C Luke Piotrowski (NR, 6'11, 225, Egg Harbor Township, NJ).
RIchmond's Ken Pomeroy Stats
RU's Four-Year Average
Ken Pom Rankings
|RU Offense||RU Defense|
|Off. Reb. %||309.8
Statistical Tendencies: I was unsure how far to go back with Richmond's averages here because they have improved by leaps and bounds in, basically, each of the last four years. If I were to just look at the last two years, then suddenly their average offensive efficiency rank is 56th, defense 45th. They have done a brilliant job of taking good shots and forcing bad shots in the last two years, but their four-year averages do not necessarily reflect that. In some ways, Richmond has mirrored Missouri -- only, they were playing at 33 1/3 speed while Missouri was a 45 -- in that one of their biggest strengths is ball control and their biggest weakness is rebounding/fouls. Inserting more zone into the equation, Mooney improved RU's foul situation quite a bit this year (they were 29th in Def. FTA/FGA after ranking 141st or worse each year previously), which is proof that he has no problems adjusting his philosophy as needed.
Would He Come Here? I think Mooney fits into the "I have no idea, but probably" category. Richmond is a reasonably successful mid-major program (they've certainly figured out how to make noise in the tourney a few times), but they're not as well-established as a Xavier, and he's not from Virginia, so he would probably leave if offered. Would he stay? No idea.
Thoughts: When you think of the characteristics toward which Mike Alden tends to lean in coaching searches, Mooney seems to have quite a few of them. He's more experienced than the Shaka Smarts and Josh Pastners (and Cuonzo Martins), and he's shown that he can strip a program down and build it back up. He wouldn't be a "flavor of the month" type of hire, even though his stock is clearly higher now than it has ever been. In all, I think he would make a very solid backup option if or when the Matt Painter home run swing comes up empty. If Alden values experience, then he might be above even Martin on the list, but we'll see. Not my first choice, but as I've said about most coaches so far, I won't complain if he gets the job.