With the offseason now in full swing, we’ll start hearing of various new opponents the Kentucky Wildcats will face next season.
One of them will be the Richmond Spiders, according to CBS reporter Jon Rothstein.
Sources: Kentucky will host Richmond as part of its 20-21 non-conference schedule.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 31, 2020
This is a quality non-conference opponent that Kentucky’s schedule has been lacking, as John Calipari tends to schedule the cupcakes of non-Power 5 leagues. Richmond will be no such pushover, as the Spiders are coming off a 24-7 season and 14-4 mark in conference play.
They were behind only Dayton, who finished the season as a top-five team behind Player of the Year Obbi Toppin. However, the Spiders haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2011 when they made a run to the Sweet 16.
An interesting coincidence here is that Kentucky was recently linked to Spiders big man Grant Golden as a potential grad transfer. Golden has not announced he will transfer from the program, but if he does, he’d be one of the top transfers on the market. But if not, he’ll be one of the better big men Kentucky faces next season.
Regardless, this is the kind of opponent Kentucky needs more of on its schedule moving forward. Yes, the risk of losing a non-conference home game increases, but Calipari needs to start scheduling more quality mid-major opponents to get his team more ready for what’s normally a brutal December schedule, as well as SEC play.