Robert Morris Colonials

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Clemson lands commitment from transfer guard

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Clemson got a high-scoring guard on Monday as former Robert Morris guard Marcquise Reed committed to the Tigers. Reed took to Twitter to announce his commitment on Monday.

The 6-foot-1 guard had a big freshman season at Robert Morris, averaging 15.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Reed also shot 49 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point range. After sitting out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Reed will have three years of eligibility remaining and has a chance to see if he can continue to play well at the ACC level.

The freshman had 22 points and played 37 minutes in a loss to Duke in the Round of 64 during the 2015 NCAA Tournament, so he’s at least done it before.

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

The loss of Reed came just hours before it was reported by Andy Katz of 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.

No. 1 seed Duke uses second-half surge to run by No. 16 seed Robert Morris

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For awhile, it looked like No. 1 seed Duke was in for a fight with No. 16 seed Robert Morris. After star freshman center Jahlil Okafor missed an open reverse dunk for the Blue Devils, the Colonials went on a 10-0 run to cut Duke’s lead to 54-44 with 12:22 left.

After that run, the Blue Devils woke up, took control and rolled to an 85-56 win in the South Regional. Senior guard Quinn Cook led Duke with 22 points while Okafor added 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting. Freshman guard Tyus Jones, senior center Marshall Plumlee and junior forward Amile Jefferson all chipped in 10 points each for the Blue Devils.

Duke’s offense did a great job of moving the ball and finding the open man as the Blue Devils had 28 assists on 34 field goals on Friday night. Freshman wing Justise Winslow had a solid floor game with six points, seven assists and 11 rebounds while Jones also contributed seven assists.

Robert Morris did everything they could to stay with Duke but didn’t have the bodies to run with the Blue Devils. Junior forward Rodney Pryor led the Colonials with 23 points while guard Marcquise Reed added 20 points.

The Blue Devils shot 63 percent (34-for-54) from the field and 47 percent (10-for-21) from 3-point range. Duke moves on to face the winner of the St. John’s/San Diego State game in the Round of 32 on Sunday.

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.

Late Night Snacks: No. 7 Gonzaga, three other teams claim automatic bids

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Robert Morris 66, St. Francis-Brooklyn 63

One night after William & Mary fell short of its goal of earning the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament bid, NEC regular season champion St. Francis-Brooklyn met the same fate on their home floor. Rodney Pryor led five Colonials in double figures with 17 points and Elijah Minnie grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to go along with his 14 points. Tyreek Jewell had a chance to tie the game with three free throws with 2.7 seconds remaining, but he missed the first two and missed the third intentionally.


1. No. 7 Gonzaga 91, BYU 75

The Bulldogs avenged their lone WCC loss Tuesday night, and WCC Defensive Player of the Year Gary Bell Jr. was a key reason why. Bell was the primary defender on BYU’s Tyler Haws, who scored 15 points but did so on 6-for-14 shooting. Six Bulldogs finished in double figures, led by Kyle Wiltjer who scored 18 points and grabbed ten rebounds, and BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth led all scorers with 28 points. While Gonzaga will likely be a two-seed, an anxious five-day wait begins for BYU.

2. Valparaiso 54, Green Bay 44

Both teams defended well but the Crusaders were just a bit better on that end, as the limited the Phoenix to 30.2 percent shooting. David Skara scored 12 points off the bench and E.Victor Nickerson added 11 for Valparaiso, whose head coach (Bryce Drew) was on the team that’s responsible for both of the program’s NCAA tournament victories (1998). Keifer Sykes scored 14 points for Green Bay but he shot 5-for-15 from the field, and Carrington Love made just one of his ten shots from the field.

3. North Dakota State 57, South Dakota State 56

Lawrence Alexander scored 25 points, with 16 coming in the second half, to lead North Dakota State to its second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. Both teams were solid defensively, but the Bison holding the Jackrabbits to less than 32 percent from the field gave them the upper hand. Cody Larson led South Dakota State with 19 points.


1. Virginia Tech’s Jalen Hudson

Hudson scored 32 points and made the game-winning shot in the Hokies’ one-point win over Wake Forest.

2. Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan

Like Hudson, Hanlan’s late-game heroics were the difference in a one-point win. Hanlan scored 25 points in a 66-65 win over Georgia Tech.

3. Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer

Wiltjer scored 18 points and grabbed ten rebounds in the Bulldogs’ 91-75 win over BYU.

4. North Dakota State’s Lawrence Alexander

Alexander scored 25 points, shooting 6-for-9 from three, in the Bison’s 57-56 win over South Dakota State.


1. Georgia Tech’s Quinton Stephens

Stephens struggled mightily in the Yellow Jackets’ loss to Boston College, shooting 1-for-12 from the field.

2. Green Bay’s Carrington Love

Love shot 1-for-10 from the field in Green Bay’s 54-44 loss at Valparaiso in the Horizon League title game.

3. South Dakota State’s George Marshall

Marshall scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds, but he shot just 2-for-11 from the field in the Jackrabbits’ loss to North Dakota State.


  • ACC first round: There were two one-point games in Greensboro Tuesday, with Boston College beating Georgia Tech 66-65 on an Olivier Hanlan jumper with 10.9 seconds remaining and Virginia Tech beating Wake Forest 81-80. Jalen Hudson, who scored 32 points, gave the Hokies the win with a shot with 11.7 seconds remaining. Wednesday’s second round: Florida State vs. Clemson, Boston College vs. No. 19 North Carolina, Pittsburgh vs. NC State and Virginia Tech vs. Miami.
  • MEAC first round: Coppin State and South Carolina State were the two winners in Norfolk, with the Eagles holding off Bethune-Cookman 64-60 and the Bulldogs beating North Carolina A&T 63-54. Wednesday’s quarterfinals: Coppin State vs. North Carolina Central, South Carolina State vs. Norfolk State.
  • SWAC first round: Alcorn State won the lone game, beating Grambling State 66-52. Next up for the Hornets is top seed Texas Southern. Wednesday’s quarterfinals: Alcorn State vs. Texas Southern, Mississippi Valley State vs. Alabama State.

– Also, Princeton beat rival Penn 73-52 in what was the final game for Penn head coach Jerome Allen. Princeton’s Hans Brase led all scorers with 18 points.