The County Game a Big One

By Steve DiMiceli

Robert Morris looks good in this young season. Velton Jones and Coron Williams are averaging a combined 30 points per game and the rest of their players who I saw largely as role players over the summer are doing just that, playing their role. I've heard this Robert Morris team described as a physically tough team. I've them described as highly motivated. One thing I won't describe them as is an easy win.

Robert Morris has given substantial minutes to 9 players so far this year. Everyone who has played has contributed. Both of their top players stood out  in the Pro - Am. Jones is a bulldog and Williams can score.  However, no one else did and I apologize when I say that I don't know much about anybody else on this team. Overall, Robert Morris is not a big team. They run 3 forwards at 6'7'', 6'6'' and 6'5'' They can all get after it on the boards and in spite of their lack of size, the Colonials are 49th in rebounding margin. However, Robert Morris' size is worth noting because the Dukes could feel comfortable going small. Of course, they could also play Andre Marhold and Martins Abele at the same time and hold a nice size advantage that the Colonials would not be able to counter. I'll file this under pipe dreams since Ron Everhart has shown no desire to do anything of the sort.

All in all, this is not a game to take lightly. It's also not a game that the Dukes will roll over for either. Robert Morris are not always very responsible with the basketball and have been prone to turnovers the last couple of games. Velton Jones is also known to make some bad decisions. He'll force some shots. He'll draw some fouls (he'll give some too). He's an excellent FT shooter.I see Jones as Eric Evans with the green light to do whatever the hell he wants. Talent wise, I don't think there is a ton of difference but he is a year younger than E.

The Dukes best decision might be to get Robert Morris into foul trouble early to take advantage of them being overly aggressive. I know this sounds strange from our perspective but I think it will be important for the Dukes to weather the storm for the first 10 minutes and not be the aggressor. Robert Morris is really going to bring pressure and I think the Dukes might implode if they try to counter them by pressing with the ball. If the Dukes can limit the turnovers, it might really frustrate them. The Dukes are also going to have to finish their opportunities better when they have them something they have not been particularly good at of late.

I think the Dukes win his one after going to overtime.