TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

New-look Robert Morris a work in progress

College Football Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, 10:30 p.m.
 

Robert Morris men's basketball coach Andy Toole has a new contract and a new office. Also, half of his 12 scholarship players are new, which helps explain why Toole lauded the NCAA's decision to add 10 extra days of preseason practices.

“I'm very thankful for the early practice start because we needed as much time as we could possibly get,” he said. “We're kind of going through a learning process.”

If practice started in mid-October as usual, “we'd be in real trouble,” he said last week.

On Monday, Toole got a first glimpse of his squad in a more competitive environment. The Colonials beat Division II Cal (Pa.), 64-58, in a closely contested exhibition game at Sewall Center. RMU's lead at the end was its largest. Toole offered a mixed review.

“This will be an invaluable amount of film we can watch, and hopefully continue to grab guys' attention about what you have to do to be successful at the Division I level,” he said. “With six new guys, I thought some of them did well; some of them didn't do as well. There are certain things I liked that we did and a lot we have to get better at.”

A sparse crowd attended, nothing remotely like the Colonials' last home appearance. That was in March, a memorable 59-57 win over Kentucky in the first round of the NIT inside a deafening, overstuffed gym.

That game is now chiseled into university lore, a nationally televised, court-storming upset of a hallowed program. The Colonials embraced the spotlight and their role as appealing underdogs, earning considerable attention.

In May, after flirting with a coaching vacancy at Siena, Toole got a three-year contract extension through 2018. Just last week, he and his staff moved into a more stylish office.

But there are more immediate concerns for Toole, whose teams are 68-36 since he took over for Mike Rice in 2010. One is replacing point guard Velton Jones, the school career leader in starts and games, and No. 2 in assists. Senior Anthony Myers-Pate, who started eight games at the position last year, will take over. He was steady, if unspectacular, against Cal.

“I felt OK,” he said. “I felt like I've got to do more.”

One of the newcomers, freshman Kavon Stewart, shared the point with Myers-Pate and scored 10 points in 19 minutes. Guard Desjuan Newton, a junior college transfer, had 10 points, and freshman forward Jeremiah Worthem grabbed 10 rebounds.

But there was consensus that attention to detail and communication needs considerable work.

“More on defense,” said senior forward Mike McFadden, who scored 18 points. “I don't think the new guys understand how important it is to communicate on every situation.”

Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bcohn@tribweb.com or via Twitter@BCohn_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Penguins trade Sutter to Canucks, sign free agent center Fehr
  2. Le’Veon Bell’s suspension cut by one game
  3. Pitt’s Blair faces court date on DUI charge
  4. Five Baldwin men face trial in beating of black man
  5. Videos spur dozens to protest outside Pittsburgh Planned Parenthood
  6. Brady’s suspension upheld by Goodell
  7. Judge lets New Kensington Ten Commandments monument stand
  8. Indiana County hazmat crews treat nearly two dozen workers for cadmium exposure at Homer City plant
  9. Le’Veon Bell’s suspension cut by one game
  10. Remains of 4 early colonial leaders discovered at Jamestown
  11. Inside the Steelers: Ventrone suffers right ankle injury