Robert Morris at Bryant: Time for a test

Robert Morris (5-15, 3-4) at Bryant (7-13, 4-3)
When: Today, 4:00 PM
Where: Chace Athletic Center, Smithfield, Rhode Island
KenPom: RMU 298, Bryant 325
KenPom Line: Bryant -1
Link: NECFrontRow.com, ESPN3
Storyline: Robert Morris stays on the road as they visit Bryant this afternoon. While snow has effected many of the games across the east coast, it appears the Colonials will tip as scheduled this afternoon.

Robert Morris has won two games in a row for the first time this season as they are coming off a win over FDU at home, and a relatively easy win at CCSU on Thursday despite missing a coup of key players.

Aaron Tate will likely be out (as reported a few days ago, he may miss the whole season). RMU could get Rodney Pryor and Andre Frederick back from concussions. Both are game time decisions.

Elijah Minnie –who was suspended for the first half against CCSU– responded well in the second half, pouring in 15 points and collecting nine rebounds in only 17 minutes of action. He’ll need to stay aggressive again today.

Bryant sits at 4-3 in the NEC, but is coming off a tough home loss to St. Francis PA in which they blew a 17 point halftime lead against the Red Flash. They have now lost two in a row after a 4-1 start in league play that included a win at Mount St. Mary’s.

Defensively, the Bulldogs have struggled all season. They are outside of the top 300 nationally in defensive efficiency, giving up 111.5 points-per-100 possessions. In the NEC play only, they sit at seventh. They are not nearly as good as they have been in past years on the offensive end as they have had to replace some of the programs best players.

Dan Garvin and Hunter Ware lead the way. RMU will have to keep them in check.

An interesting fact….despite Bryant becoming one of the top teams in the NEC the past few seasons, the Bulldogs have yet to beat RMU on their home floor. They have won two games in Moon, but have yet to breakthrough in Smithfield against the Colonials. RMU is 10-2 all time vs Bryant.

For Robert Morris, this is a very intriguing game. In their last three games, they’ve went 2-1 without a few players, and have won their last two. One of those wins was over CCSU, who may be the worst team in D1 basketball, making it hard to make any conclusions. This game will be telling.

If Pryor plays, it will be key to incorporate his offense into what the team has done so well the last few days. They are playing strong defense, protecting the ball, and playing with a ton of energy.

Elijah Minnie has been a monster these past few days. He needs to continue that level of play. I’d also like to see Isaiah Still and Matty McConnell play a bit more consistent. RMU could really use a solid game from both of they if they want to get back to 4-4 in league play.

–Lee Kunkel
–@Kunkel5

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