The task of accounting for the loss of last season’s Atlantic 10 Player of the Year in T.J. Cline became a bit more difficult for the Richmond Spiders, as it was announced on Tuesday that redshirt junior guard Khwan Fore has been sidelined due to a stress reaction in his left tibia. According to the school, Fore is expected to miss four to six weeks as he works his way back to full strength.
Fore, who like Cline and ShawnDre’ Jones started all 35 games for the Spiders last season, averaged 11.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as a redshirt sophomore. After appearing in just two games before suffering a season-ending foot injury during the 2014-15 season, Fore had not missed a game for Richmond.
With Tuesday’s announcement, Fore would not return until late November if he’s to be back on the court in four weeks.
With the aforementioned Cline and Jones out of eligibility, Fore’s injury places even more responsibility upon the shoulders of sophomore guard De’Monte Buckingham. As a freshman, Buckingham averaged 10.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game and was named Atlantic-10 Rookie of the Year.
A preseason second-team all-conference selection, Buckingham and fellow sophomore guard Nick Sherod (7.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg) will lead the way for Richmond in Fore’s absence.
While the Atlantic 10 tournament does have some teams looking to improve their standing for the upcoming NCAA tournament, there are other programs looking to make sure they wind up playing in any postseason tournament. One of those team was No. 9 seed Richmond, which entered Thursday’s quarterfinal against No. 8 seed Fordham with an overall record of 15-15 and in need of wins in Brooklyn.
Chris Mooney’s Spiders took that first step, beating the Rams 70-55 behind a balanced offensive effort led by forward T.J. Cline and guard ShawnDre’ Jones.
Cline and Jones scored 17 points apiece for Richmond, which finished the game with four double-digit scorers. Cline, who shot 8-for-15 from the field, also accounted for nine rebounds and three assists. Fellow forward Terry Allen scored ten points and grabbed nine rebounds, with guard Khwan Fore adding ten points of his own along with five rebounds and three assists.
The difference in the game was turnovers, more specifically what the Spiders were able to do with Fordham’s mistakes. Jeff Neubauer’s Rams committed 14 turnovers, which Richmond converted into 21 points on the other end. Richmond was also able to slow down the Atlantic 10’s best freshman in Fordham guard Joseph Chartouny. Chartouny scored a team-high 19 points, but he did so on 6-for-19 shooting from the field.
Next up for Richmond is No. 1 seed Dayton in Friday’s quarterfinals in a game that can be seen on NBCSN with coverage beginning at Noon eastern.