Marcquise Reed

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.

NEC Rookie of the Year expects to announce new school Monday

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After a successful freshman season at Robert Morris in which he averaged 15.1 points, 2.5 redbounds¬†and 2.1 assists assists per game and was a unanimous choice for NEC Rookie of the Year, Marcquise Reed made the decision to leave Robert Morris. In the aftermath the 6-foot-3 guard became one of the more sought-after guards on the transfer “market,” with four schools ultimately doing enough to host Reed on an official visit.

Having already visited UMass, Tulsa and USC, Reed visited Clemson this weekend. And according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Reed expects to announce his decision on Monday with his relationship with the coaching staff being a key factor.

Reed will take Sunday to ponder his decision and will announce it sometime Monday via Twitter. He said there’s no favorite Saturday night and he’s wide open to the four schools on his list. He has been touch with coaches from the other schools and all four are still in the running. He will consider several factors in making his decision.

“Basically how I feel about the coaches, my relationship with the coaches,” Reed said. “How I feel about the players. And where I’m going to play, the style of play that fits me the best.”

Reed will have three seasons of eligibility after sitting out the 2015-16 season, and the season on the sidelines can be beneficial when it comes to getting acclimated to a new system. And each of the remaining four teams would benefit from adding Reed to the fold. Clemson has just one senior in its current backcourt rotation in Jordan Roper, but having Reed and Vanderbilt transfer Shelton Mitchell waiting in the wings would definitely make up for that departure.

As for UMass the Minutemen will lose both Jabarie Hinds and Tre Davis at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season, and while Reed spent the majority of his time at RMU off the ball he has the ability to be a playmaker on the ball as well. Tulsa, which just missed out on an NCAA tournament berth, has a senior-laden backcourt that will need to make some additions with an eye towards 2016-17.

And while USC doesn’t have a senior in its backcourt, the Trojans can definitely use a guard who scores as efficiently as Reed did as a freshman. Reed can help any of these teams moving forward, beginning with practices during the 2015-16 campaign.

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.

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.