RMU needs toughness, intensity to outlast Duquesne

Robert Morris will travel down I-376 Saturday afternoon to take on rival Duquesne. The Colonials haven’t lost to the Dukes since Dec. 12, 2009…

These are different times now. RMU might be the winners of the last five, but Duquesne is back on the map. Former LIU coach Jim Ferry seems to be done with the transition phase, having his team play prime “Ferry ball”. They run, and run, and run some more, then kill you with the three ball. It’s reflected in their 9-2 record.

KenPom has Duquesne favored by 12 points.

This is the most polished Duquesne team Robert Morris has probably seen in the Andy Toole era. To get a win, the Colonials are going to have to play with a toughness and intensity that we haven’t watched for a full 40 minutes this season. All the little things will have to add up.

“Some of those loose balls, some of those 50/50 plays, I think we have to get some more of those. I think we are getting more but still not enough to my liking,” Toole said after Thursday’s two-point win over Lehigh.

This is a rivalry game. The fan base loves it, the players love it and it’s just good for the city. With that being said, rivalry games take on a whole new intensity. You have to play your guts out and leave it all on the floor for a win. RMU has shown that in stretches, but not consistently, this season.

There’s also a mental toughness that comes with rivalry games. The Colonials are working on that aspect, too.

“Part of the thing that we’re trying to learn is how to stay even-keeled. If there’s a possession or two that doesn’t go well, you still have to go out and try and defend and execute the next possession. We have too much carryover from end to end ,” Toole said.

“Usually stuff doesn’t work perfectly and you just have to figure it out.”

If RMU doesn’t figure it out today, it’ll be a tough L to take.

–Chris Cappella


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