Spiders get Nelson-Ododa back; Rams get minds right

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Richmond Spiders’ Junior Forward Alonzo Nelson-Ododa participated in his first practice since breaking bones around his eye against Rhode Island in February.

Wearing thick, dark-rimmed goggles, Nelson-Ododa gave hope that he will return to play in the Atlantic Ten Tournament, which begins Wednesday in Brooklyn. The Spiders do not play until Friday.

Richmond Coach Chris Mooney said Nelson-Ododa could play, though how much is tough to say. Nelson-Ododa has missed all or part of nine games since the injury and the resulting surgery.

Across town, VCU Head Coach Shaka Smart said the team’s 27-point loss at Davidson was a one-off.

“If you coach long enough, you’ll probably have one of those games,” Smart said.

The Rams recovered to beat George Mason at the Siegel Center the following Saturday.

Asked which VCU team would show up, Smart said there’s only one.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of which team’s going to show up. VCU is going to show up. I think for our guys it’s a matter of playing with confidence and being extremely aggressive no matter who the opponent is.”

VCU’s first Atlantic 10 Tournament game is Thursday at 2:30 against the winner of George Mason and Fordham. The Patriots and (Fordham) Rams will play Wednesday at 3:00 PM.

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