Richmond beats high-majors for recruit

Richmond, like most of the teams in the Atlantic-10, is not a program you'd expect to recruit with the big boys. The Spiders are solid, no doubt; last year Richmond went 26-9 in a tough A-10 and got a bid to the NCAA tournament, where they ran into a hot St. Mary's team in the first round. Still: Despite recent success, Richmond is Richmond. It's not exactly a recruiting powerhouse.

Just don't tell that to Alonzo Nelson-Ododa. Mr. Nelson-Ododa gave the Spiders a rather large recruiting win yesterday, committing to coach Chris Mooney's staff despite offers from California, Wake Forest, and NC State. Why the love for the little guy? Relationships:

The 6-foot-8 Nelson-Ododa had built a relationship with Richmond before his stock soared over the summer at camps. “The Richmond staff had been recruiting me the longest and hardest and I thought that showed their commitment to making me a better player and helping me reach my goals,” [Nelson-Ododa said].

Nelson-Ododa isn't an elite-level recruit, sure. ESPNU's recruiting analysts don't have a ton of data about him, but the Winder, Ga. native is considered a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and other recruiting services. Still, any three-star get is a major win for Richmond. When that player happens to have been coveted by a handful of teams from the big six conferences, it means even more.