I still think Robert Morris is the best team in the NEC. Does that make them good? That’s still to be determined.
The Colonials fell to 0-6 with a 85-72 loss to Tennessee Tech (3-2). Awful, awful game almost the whole way around. I don’t have anything clever, just a bunch of anger and frustration. More:
-The starting lineups were announced, and Rodney Pryor wasn’t in any of them. It would have been more weird had he started for Tennessee Tech. Not starting for RMU? Shovlin said postgame it was for a violation of team rules. It has begun! Probably not the best leadership quality. Jordan Lester started in his place.
-I’ve always said the season doesn’t begin until there’s a suspension/benching anyway.
-RMU was down 11-0 in about three seconds of play. I was a little preoccupied tweeting at OVC Sports for their stream not working, but live stats tells me it was a lot of one-and-done offensive possessions and turnovers. Sounds familiar!
Pryor entered the game with 15:34 left in the first half. Weird half for him. 14 seconds after coming in, he fought for an offensive rebound and got a layup out of it. Then he traveled twice, committed some fouls, hit a four point play, made a few more jumpers, and overall had the offense moving.
-Remember how the game started 11-0? RMU finished the half on a 38-20 run. Oh, how beautiful things were! Elijah Minnie was great; he battled through contact (to the avail of no whistle, according to color man Jim Duzyk), stayed aggressive, and stretched the floor with some nice three balls.
-Minnie, Billy Giles and STEVEN WHITLEY had it going on in the first half. Giles looks legitimately pretty good. He was always in the right spot on offense, pulled down four offensive rebounds and blocked three shots en route to a 7-9 shooting day. Whitley went 2-3 from the field (1-2 from three) in ten minutes. Only one turnover! Baby steps.
-Everything was one big, hot, nasty garbage fire in the second half. All of the positive characteristics of the first half, namely running at good tempo, rebounding (held a 22-18 first half rebounding margin), offensive involvement, tough defensive possessions… it all went to hell.
Tennessee Tech ended up outrebounding RMU 44-34. They shot a ton of free throws. They forced RMU into the same stupid turnovers that have plagued the Colonials for five games. RMU shot 11-29 (3-12 from three) in the second half.
-Something called an Aleksa Jugovic from the great land of SERBIA dominated tonight. The 6-foot-3, 185 pound SERBIAN finished with 20 points (17 in the second half) on 6-12 shooting, seven boards, six dimes and just one turnover in 3 minutes. The 6-foot-3 freshman finished with more rebounds than everyone but Isaiah Still on RMU.
-50 second half points for Tennessee Tech, in case you needed a reminder.
-The Golden Eagles went 22-25 from the charity stripe. That’s how you win games! RMU went 8-12. Bad, bad.
–Kavon Stewart went 1-4 from the line. I don’t look at plus/minus too often, but Stewart finished -19 in 33 minutes. He has a field goal percentage of 30.8 percent at the rim this season. For as good as Minnie and Pryor are, this team will get going when Kavon Stewart can CONSISTENTLY play at a high level for long stretches. That’s what this season is going to come down too.
-So many sadly predictable things happened in the second half. 7:40 remaining, Stewart dished to Giles for a nice bucket to cut the lead to eight, Tenn. Tech misses a jumper, but somehow come down with an offensive board, and the SERBIAN Jugovic steps into a three. Big swing. Good for you, Aleksa. What a performance.
–Matty McConnell played 17 minutes tonight, which was good. The bad news was he was rather ineffective, finishing with just two points, one assist and one turnover. At least he played.
–Aaron Tate did not play. Please come back soon, Aaron Tate. You are our last hope.
–Andy Toole did NOT come out and talk with the radio guys after the game. It appeared he was having a rather lengthy team meeting after the game. Soul searching after six games? Just get it figured out soon, please. Losing sucks.
That’s all for now. Happy Thanksgiving and such.