BY CHRIS CAPPELLA
So, Robert Morris fell to 0-3 on the season after losing to Bucknell 75-62.
Here are some things I liked:
-Almost everything defensive related
-Positioning by the big men
-Quality of shots
But here’s the thing, boys and girls, this game is always about getting buckets.
Robert Morris scored 23 points in the first half. Folks, I’m just going to put this out there, I don’t think RMU is going to win a game this season when 23 points in a half. The Colonials shot 42.1 percent as a team and committed 19 turnovers.
Bucknell wasn’t much better but they showed up enough early, hit their free throws late, protected the ball and came away with a win.
-Following his 26 point outburst against DePaul, Isaiah Still scored just eight points on 2-9 shooting. I have to give a lot of credit to Bucknell. They’re a strong, physical defensive team. Still had no room to breathe all night.
-The Bucknell frontcourt started slow but took over as the game went on. Nana Foulland led all scorers with 23 points on 10-14 shooting. He added 10 boards, four of which came on the offensive glass, and five blocks. Forward Zach Thomas added an impressive 19-11-8 stat line.
Even more important than their stats was getting RMU center Braden Burke in foul trouble. Is it a stretch to say Burke looks like one of the three best players on the team? Burke picked up two fouls in the first 1:39 of the game. He picked up his third less than a minute after that, then found a seat next to the managers for a long stretch of action.
I have yet to see a minute breakdown, but with Burke in foul trouble, we saw a lot of Roberto Mantovani. A little too much for my liking…. But it’s not like Andy Toole had a choice. Bucknell runs their offense through skilled big men. Mantovani had to play. To his credit, he did grab six boards, but he’s shown little shooting touch around the rim.
Just one more quick point on the big guys: They do such a good job with their offensive positioning. All of them. It’s just that when it comes to Tate and Mantovani, there’s not a whole lot of trust they’ll find the bottom of the net.
-Here’s a list of guys who committed less than two turnovers for Robert Morris: Billy Giles (0), Aaron Tate (0), Dachon Burke (1), Braden Burke (1), Mantovani (1). That leaves five guys committing at least two or more turnovers.
-Kavon Stewart was one of them. Stewart finished with eight points, four boards, three assists and five turnovers. He also missed the front end of 1-and-1 free throws twice down the stretch. You Got To Make Your Free Throws!
It’s almost like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop with Kavon. Five turnovers is too high, yes, but he plays a lot of minutes and is the primary ball handler. He’s going to turn the ball over. What you would like to see is the assist totals to at least match that.
And then there’s his offensive game as a whole. Kavon took 11 shots tonight. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love the aggressiveness. Honestly, a lot of the shots he did take, especially late, were good looks. The problem is he’s a career 35 percent shooter from the floor. Not great!
-Matty McConnell found his groove tonight. He scored 13 points while going 3-5 from deep. Almost all of his damage came in the second half. RMU cut the deficit to single digits in the second half because he hit some big shots.
-Billy Giles led RMU in scoring with 18 off the bench. Ho-hum. Just another day at the office.
-Bucknell had the type of announcer where if he was for your team you loved him and if he was against your team you wanted to rip his vocal cords out. He was so goofy.
-Dachon Burke had a potential Sportscenter Top 10 play with a chase down block on a layup in the second half. Speaking of Dachon, he’s great. The future is bright with some of these new guys. Clive Allen’s stat line isn’t anything special but he seems in control when he plays.
-I’ll be in Richmond for Sunday’s game. Someone holler at me on Twitter if you’ll be there.