Tag: Andy Toole

Marcquise Reed, Dallas Moore

Robert Morris freshman guard Marcquise Reed granted release from scholarship

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Late Thursday night it was reported that Robert Morris freshman guard Marcquise Reed’s request to be released from his scholarship had been granted, with multiple outlets confirming the news Friday morning. News of Reed’s request was first reported by Marcus Helton of DMVElite.com.

The loss of Reed came just hours before it was reported by Andy Katz of ESPN.com that the school has agreed with head coach Andy Toole on a two-year contract extension that pushes his deal through the 2019-20 season. Holding onto Toole, who last month led the Colonials to the NCAA tournament and a win over North Florida before falling to No. 1 Duke, is an important move for the Colonials as they look to remain a contender in the Northeast Conference.

But the loss of Reed is a big deal, as he put together a freshman year that led to him being named the NEC’s top rookie.

Reed averaged 15.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game this season, and he followed up a 19-point outing in the Colonials’ First Four win over North Florida with 22 in RMU’s loss to Duke. Reed’s departure means that Robert Morris will lose two of its top three scorers from this year’s NEC tournament champion squad, with senior leader Lucky Jones being the other.

Aaron Pryor, who led the team in scoring at 15.6 points per game, will be a senior next season and point guard Kavon Stewart has eligibility remaining as well.

Andy Toole will remain the head coach at Robert Morris

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Robert Morris head coach Andy Toole, one of the hottest names in the coaching carousel, has decided to remain with the Colonials, the school announced on Friday night.

“We’re thrilled that Andy has decided to remain at RMU,” Robert Morris athletic director Craig Coleman said in a statement. “He has accomplished a great deal with our program, and we have full confidence that he can take our program to even greater heights.”

Toole is 110-66 since taking over the program in 2010. He helped Robert Morris reach the 2015 NCAA Tournament after back-to-back appearances in the NIT the two previous seasons. The Colonials defeated North Florida in the First Four before being eliminated by No. 1 Duke in the Round of 64.

Toole had been in contention for the Fordham vacancy. The Rams parted ways with Tom Pecora after five seasons. Fordham, which hasn’t had a winning record since 2007, actually has some young talent on the roster. However, the Rams’ future took a hit when their top player, Eric Paschall, the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, was granted his release, as he will explore other options.

Second half adjustments push Robert Morris past North Florida

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Less than two minutes into the second half of their First Four game against North Florida, Robert Morris faced a 13-point deficit against a team that seemed to find its rhythm offensively. After turning the ball over ten times in the first 12 minutes of the first half, North Florida took better care of the basketball and found higher quality looks (most notably Beau Beech, who finished with 28 points) against the Robert Morris zone.

In order to close that gap Andy Toole’s team had to change its approach, and in doing so the Colonials were able to turn things around and go on to win 81-77 in Dayton. As a result of this win, Robert Morris’ first NCAA tournament victory since 1983, the Colonials are headed to Charlotte where they’ll take on South Region No. 1 Duke Friday.

One of the changes Robert Morris made was to mix up their defenses, as they used more man-to-man looks despite the fact that they’ve played zone for the majority of their defensive possessions this season. As a result North Florida shot just 3-for-11 from three in the second half, and after building the 13-point lead mentioned above the Ospreys turned the ball over on five of the next seven possessions.

UNF turnovers kept Robert Morris afloat in the first half, and for the game the Ospreys committed 19 turnovers which were converted into 21 points by RMU.

Offensively Robert Morris was much better in the second half, as they did a better job of using dribble penetration to attack a defense that had issues keeping them away from the basket. Lucky Jones (21 points), Rodney Pryor (20) and Marcquise Reed (19), the three offensive leaders throughout the season, combined to score 41 of Robert Morris’ 52 second half points and as a team the Colonials shot 55.2 percent from the field in the second half.

Also of note in the final stanza was the fact that Robert Morris didn’t commit a single turnover, and their ability to take care of the basketball also factored in the outcome.

The next challenge for Robert Morris is a significant one, and that’s going to be the case for any 16-seed. But it’s a challenge they’ll be able to take on, and that wouldn’t have been the case had Toole made some adjustments before the game got out of reach.