#127 Robert Morris Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Robert Morris Colonials

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #127
Conference Rank: #1 NEC

Robert Morris Team Page#127 Robert Morris Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Robert Morris Basketball Tickets

Robert Morris completed another 20 win season. The Colonials were upset in the NEC tournament at the hands of Mount St. Mary’s, but they did record an epic home win against Kentucky in the NIT. Rarely does an NIT win garner any sort of national attention, but Robert Morris found it with the win over the Wildcats. This time around the NIT is not the goal as Robert Morris eyes another successful season and trip to the NCAA Tournament.

2012-13 Record: 24-11, 14-4
2012-13 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Andrew Toole
Coach Record: 68-36 at Robert Morris, 68-36 overall

Who’s Out:
Yet, there is quite a bit of rebuilding to do. Velton Jones was an amazing floor general who averaged 10.6 points and 5.1 assists during his senior season. Versatile forward Russell Johnson, who averaged 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals, has also run out of eligibility. Those two alone would leave a couple big holes in the Robert Morris lineup, but the unexpected departure of shooting guard Coron Williams makes matters even worse. Williams was one of the many prolific outside shooters on the team and he will take his scoring prowess away from Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Vaugh Morgan and Keith Armstrong are the other departures. Neither made much of an impact last season.

Who’s In:
In order to counteract the loss of three starters, especially one who was a surprise, Coach Andrew Toole hit the junior college ranks hard. He ended up with Charles Oliver, Desjuan Newton and Aaron Tate. Oliver is a pure shooter who will help replace Williams at the shooting guard spot. Newton brings some more athleticism to the team. He is a slasher who can finish around the basket with ease. On a team with a bunch of shooters, Newton should be able to find plenty of space to operate. Tate may only be 6-5, but he has the toughness and rebounding ability to play at power forward. When RMU needs to play bigger, he is one of the options to slide down to the small forward position to add another tough rebounder to the team. Because of the experience added from the junior college ranks, the three incoming freshmen will have time to develop. Kavon Stewart is a quick pure point guard who could be the backup point guard from day one. Britton Lee is another option to run the point, but he has enough scoring punch to play off of the ball as well. Jeremiah Worthem rounds out the group of newcomers. The 6-6 forward has a nice touch on his shot and will be a versatile inside-outside scoring threat once he adds some more strength.

Who to Watch:
Karvel Anderson, Lucky Jones and Mike McFadden form an experienced trio to build around. Anderson, a 6-2 senior, spent most of last season coming in off of the bench, but that did not stop him from scoring a team high 12.5 points per game. Anderson is mostly a shooter and he connected on 43.9 percent of his attempts from long range last season. He may again be utilized as an offensive spark off of the bench, but Anderson will likely need to begin the year in the starting five and it would be helpful if he started attacking the basket more effectively. Jones is the big man who can stretch out the defense with his outside shooting ability. After averaging 11.6 points and a team high 6.0 rebounds as a sophomore, Jones could turn into the go-to-player for the Colonials. McFadden has been an extremely consistent big man. The 6-8 forward may not put up big numbers, but he is a scoring threat in the paint and a fine defender. With those three leading the way, Robert Morris has plenty of scoring options and some quality defenders too.

Final Projection:
Anderson, Jones and McFadden are a great group to build around, but the play of everybody else will determine how successful this team can be. Anthony Myers-Pate spent most of last season backing up Jones at the point. Now he will need to emerge as the leader of the team. The 5-11 senior is a very effective passer who dished out 2.8 assists per game and turned the ball over just 1.5 times per game as a junior. Myers-Pate should be ready to run the team, but he would have a much easier time finding space to operate if he turned into a threat to shoot. David Appolon is another experienced guard who will add some depth to the perimeter. The Colonials will find even more depth in the paint this year since Lijah Thompson is back to join Jones, McFadden and Stephan Hawkins in the frontcourt. Thompson, a 6-7 center, missed all of last season with an injury. Two years ago he started 14 games and averaged 7.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 block. Thompson will compete for a starting job and could even unseat McFadden. No matter who starts, Robert Morris has a host of experienced depth in the frontcourt and that could make all of the difference.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Anthony Myers-Pate, Senior, Guard, 5.9 points per game
Karvel Anderson, Senior, Guard, 12.5 points per game
Desjuan Newton, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Lucky Jones, Junior, Forward, 11.6 points per game
Mike McFadden, Senior, Forward, 8.5 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.9 (84th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.7 (149, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.1 (182, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.9 (269, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.6 (8, 1)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.1 (25, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.9 (23, 1)
Rebound Margin: -2.0 (256, 7)
Assists Per Game: 14.0 (90, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (136, 4)


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