Robert Morris (1-6) at Youngstown State (3-4)
Where: The Beeghly Center, Youngstown, Ohio
When: Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 7:00 p.m.
KenPom: RMU 257, YSU 255
KenPom line: YSU -4
Storyline: Exactly one year ago, Youngstown State came into the Sewall Center and put up an easy 89 points in an eight point win against the Colonials. Now, Robert Morris will look to do the same and grab a winnable game in Ohio.
Getting to know the Penguins: Robert Morris will look to put behind a forgettable November and start December fresh. In the way of that is an offensively talented Youngstown State team that has struggled to stop teams from scoring. The season is still young, but it’s not that young. Robert Morris has to put behind the excuses and execute.
Youngstown State is led by center Bobby Hain, who tore up RMU for 24 points, 12 rebounds and an assault of quick passing from the high post that led to great looks. Hain is leading the team in points, rebounds and assists through seven games. He’s going to be a handful for RMU forwards offensively and defensively. I wrote about him in a little more detail here.
Hain is a large part of the team, but he has a nice supporting cast around him. It’s one of the reasons YSU is averaging 101.3 points-per-100-possessions, ranking them in the top-third in offensive efficiency in the country.
Shooting guard Cameron Morse is averaging 15.7 points on 43.9/83.9/40.0 shooting splits. The sophomore is also 26th in the country in steal percentage, which could spell trouble for a Robert Morris offense that can’t stop turning the ball over.
Morse did not play in their last game Saturday against Niagra, so if he can’t go again, that might be a nice break for RMU. Even without him, YSU put up 88 points. if Morse can’t play, look for more freshman guard Latin Davis to see the floor a little more.
Any frontcourt that has Hain in it is a good one, but there are other role players who do a good job for them. 7-foot junior center Jorden Kaufman had 14 & 7 in their last game. Obviously, any team with size is going to pose a challenge for a small Colonials team. Power forwards Sidney Umede and Matt Donald, both listed at 6-foot-7, are pretty good rebounders who are shooting over 40 percent from the floor.
YSU isn’t without their weaknesses. They’re an awful defensive team, giving up 107.9 points-per-100-possessions. That’s 309th in the country. They haven’t held a Division I team to under 70 points this season. RMU, who actually isn’t a bad offensive rebounding team, could benefit from extra possessions in this one.
Outlook: RMU should feel good about this one. They should be able to put the ball in the basket. If they bring some sort of urgency defensively and play with consistency, I think they’ll come away with win number two.
Which team shows up tonight? if it’s the one that played against new Mexico State, it should be enough.
Point guard Kavon Stewart, who logged just five minutes Saturday after being bothered by an ankle injury, should be good to go.
Prediction: RMU 77, YSU 75.