Previewing Robert Morris

After cruising in its season opener, North Carolina will host Robert Morris on Sunday. Tip-off at the Smith Center is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPNU.

North Carolina (1-0) vs. Robert Morris (0-1)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Dean E. Smith Center
Friday, 8:00 p.m.
ESPNU (Roy Philpott, LaPhonso Ellis)

Quotables

"Obviously, this is not the way we wanted to start our season. We strayed from our plan both offensively and defensively. We let our offense effect how we played on the defense. It doesn't matter if you play zone defense, man or half court. If you don't have the urgency on defense, you're going to get picked apart." – Robert Morris head coach Andrew Toole following his team’s 27-point loss on Friday

PREGAME NOTES

Season to Date: Robert Morris enters Sunday’s contest with a 0-1 record. The Colonials lost their season opener to Lafayette, 77-50, on Friday night at the Charles L. Sewall Center in Coraopolis, Pa. Robert Morris trailed 36-16 at halftime and shot 25.0 percent for the game while allowing the Leopards convert at a 51.0 percent clip. The 27-point loss was Robert Morris’ worst in a home opener since 1996.

2013-14 in Review:The Colonials won the Northeast Conference regular-season title following a 22-14 (14-2 NEC) run. Robert Morris lost in the conference tournament championship game to miss out on a NCAA Tournament bid, but was selected to the NIT. Departed guard Karvel Anderson led the team with 19.7 points per game and shot a staggering 46.3 percent from 3-point range (119-of-257). The Colonials returned three starters and six letterwinners from last season’s squad.

Getting Lucky: Senior forward Lucky Jones was named to the 2014 Preseason All-NEC Team. The 6-foot-6, 210-pounder averaged 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game last season. He scored 10 points on 2-of-14 shooting and grabbed five rebounds in Robert Morris’ loss on Friday.

Veteran Starting Lineup: Not only does Robert Morris return three starters from last season, but a fourth starter (Kavon Stewart) played in 30 games off the bench and averaged 4.9 and 1.9 rebounds at the guard position. The lone new face to the lineup is 6-foot-9, 230-pound junior Lionel Gomis, who transferred from Siena and signed with RMU in April.

Road Weary: Such is the life of a mid-major program. After Friday’s home opener, Robert Morris begins a five-game road trip in Chapel Hill. The Colonials will play 16 of its 30 regular season games away from home.

Strong Run: Robert Morris has won 66.8 percent of its games since the start of the 2007-08 season, including a 79.8 winning percent in conference play.

Series History: Sunday’s contest marks the first meeting between these two programs.

Projected Starters:
4 David Appolon (6-4, 195, Sr.) - 9.0 ppg, 1.0 apg
3 Kavon Stewart (6-0, 190, So.) - 10.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
22 Lucky Jones (6-6, 210, Sr.) - 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
1 Lionel Gomis (6-9, 230, Jr.) - 0.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
45 Stephan Bennett (6-9, 215, Jr.) - 0.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg

Top Reserves:
02 Marcquise Reed (6-3, 180, Fr.) - 10.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
12 Charles Oliver (6-3, 195, Sr.) - 6.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
11 Rodney Pryor (6-5, 205, Jr.) - 5.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
05 Elijah Minnie (6-8, 210, Fr.) - 0.0 ppg, 2.0 bpg

Background
Location: Moon Township, Pa.
Enrollment: 5,359
Conference: NEC
Nickname: Colonials
Colors: Blue, White, Red
Head Coach: Andrew Toole (5th season)
2013-14 Record: 22-14 (14-2)

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(Photos by USA Today Sports)


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