Catching up on RMU hoops

BY @C_Cappella

Phew! It’s been awhile. Let’s catch up on some RMU hoops stuff:

  1. RMU lacks a clear No. 2

It’s pretty clear that Isaiah Still is the No. 1 option for Robert Morris. He’s averaging 15.2 points per game while shooting 39.5 percent from the floor and 39.7 percent from three. After struggling in the Oakland game, Still bounced back to the tune of 16 points on 5-10 shooting against Virginia, one of the best defensive teams in the country.

But Still’s 15 points a game are just that: 15 points. RMU has scored more than 70 points in a game just twice this season. In their three wins, the Colonials are averaging 64.3 ppg. That means the rest of the team, on average, is responsible for 49 other points just for a chance to win (hooray math!).

And honestly, that’s terrifying, because who exactly can RMU count on for even double figures in a game?

Kavon Stewart is averaging 10 points but is shooting just 35 percent from the floor and 33 percent from three. Clive Allen is a nice-looking, young guard but, like all freshman, is struggling with his consistency. The same goes for Dachon Burke.

Billy Giles is third on the team in scoring, averaging 6.3 ppg. He is – by far – their most effecting shooter on the floor but is also among the least-used. Six guys rank ahead of him in percentage of possessions used.

Perhaps if Giles was used more, his shooting percentage numbers would come down to earth. It still may be worth finding out. The problem is, when RMU faces the likes of Virginia and Oakland who have talented big men, it’s tough to just throw the ball in iso situations and say “Okay Billy, get us a bucket.”

  1. McConnell struggling mightily

This kind of ties into point one. Matty McConnell was one of the most prolific scorers in WPIAL history. He was considered a great get after he announced his commitment to RMU.

After dealing with a shoulder injury for almost all of last season, McConnell has come back his sophomore season and shot worse. He’s at 25/18/67 splits while seeing 20 minutes per game. He’s shot 7-35 from the field in his last five games. He hasn’t made a 3-pointer since a Nov. 25 win against Hampton.

I can see why McConnell still gets 20 minutes per game. He’s a really good rebounder for his size and position. He’s a pretty good defender, too. He has the lowest turnover rate on the team. It’s like he can do everything well except shoot. Unfortunately for Robert Morris, that’s what they lack the most.

In case you were wondering, RMU’s 92.6 points per 100 possessions is 10th-worst in the country.

  1. You Gotta Make Your Free Throws

RMU’s team free throw percentage of 63.1 percent is 310th in the country – and declining. The Colonials went 13-23 from the line at Virginia, 13-20 against Oakland and 9-19 against Duquesne. Getting to the line only has so much benefit if, ya know, you can actually make free throws.

  1. Defensive numbers look good

We should be low-key psyched about how this team is performing defensively. There are shortcomings – namely defensive rebounding and foul rates – but RMU still allowing just 101.8 points per 100 possessions. That’s 116th in the country. It’s also getting it done against some really good teams.

I just love the way these guys compete on this end. If you go up and down the roster, there’s not one guy who seems uninterested at playing defense. I’m not sure RMU had more than two guys who played defense at all last season. It’s nice to see the turnaround. Say what you want about the record, but there’s a completely different vibe surrounding this team. They might be 3-10, but it’s not for a lack of effort.

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