February 13, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Aaron Roussell, Richmond Spiders aim to conquer Atlantic 10

'If we didn't have as many experienced kids as we have, we couldn't do some of the things that we're doing'

On today’s episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, Richmond Spiders head coach Aaron Roussell joins host Howard Megdal to talk about the Spiders’ rise through the Atlantic 10. Currently sitting at 20–4, Richmond have achieved their best record since Roussell took over in 2018, as well as their best as a team since 2011.

Continue reading with a subscription to The Next

Get unlimited access to women’s basketball coverage and help support our hardworking staff of writers, editors, and photographers by subscribing today.

Join today

Roussell and Megdal first discussed how the current season came to be, and the work Roussell and his staff did behind the scenes to orchestrate the team’s rebuild:

“I don’t know what our ceiling is, I still think we can get better. The record’s great, but you have to be happy with where we are,” Roussell said. “[We] have to be happy with where we are. I did believe that we could get to this point without question. I love the players that we have, I love the pieces and how it all meshes together. But you know, there’s some close games that could have gone either way. And so you do have to have that leap of faith but [I’m] very, very proud of of what’s happened with this program over the last five years.”

Add Locked On Women’s Basketball to your daily routine

Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

They then touched on Roussell’s background, coming up through Division I and coaching at University of Chicago, before moving on to Bucknell in the Patriot League and eventually landing the Richmond head coaching spot.

“I [got] the [Chicago job], I think two weeks before practice started,” Roussell said. “That was a whirlwind, right. And so that was really learning as you go … [I had] another young assistant with me, and being the youngest head coach in all of the NCAA at that point, that was a baptism by fire.”

“We really were built on defense back in the day, man like that really, really was [us], we’re gonna be tougher, we’re gonna really, really defend. I’d like to think that we still do that, and maybe recently a little bit better. I think I hate to say we’re more of an offensive team, because that would be a slight to our defense, but I think the game has adapted too,” Roussell added.

Richmond’s top players, leading scorer and rebounder Maggie Doogan, assist leader Grace Townsend, and three-point sharp-shooter Siobhan Ryan, have all played exclusively with the Spiders. As Roussell explains, this isn’t an accident, nor is it something he takes for granted:

The Next and The Equalizer are teaming up

The Next is partnering with The Equalizer to bring more women’s sports stories to your inbox. Subscribe to The Next now and receive 50% off your subscription to The Equalizer for 24/7 coverage of women’s soccer.

“You look at how we play … we have some good freshmen right now, we have some good sophomores right now. But it just takes time, you know,” Roussell said. “If we didn’t have as many experienced kids as we have, we couldn’t do some of the things that we’re doing. Some of the stuff that just happens organically in the game, sometimes it makes us look really smart. These are just kids that have been taught, [developed], they worked hard … I know that we are the only team in the conference that isn’t starting a transfer … We’ve got a couple of grad transfers that have been key for us, I don’t want to make it seem like we’re anti-transfer portal. But yeah, man, the stability, the getting to know each other, and [playing] off of each other is something that I’m very grateful for knowing that’s not always gonna happen, but I think very grateful for right now.”

For more coverage of the A-10 and the Richmond Spiders, check in with beat writer Natalie Heavren. Make sure to subscribe to the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the WNBA, women’s college basketball, basketball history and much more!

Written by The Next

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.