Six non-conference home games, matchups with North Carolina and Georgetown as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis and a full slate of Northeast Conference contests highlight the 2014-15 Robert Morris University men’s basketball schedule.
The Colonials open their 39th season of Division I basketball and the 2014-15 regular season Friday, Nov. 14, with a 7:00 p.m. tilt against Lafayette at the Charles L. Sewall Center. All-time in season openers, RMU has posted a record of 20-18 (.526), including a mark of 16-2 (.889) in season-opening games at home.
Following its season opener with the Leopards, Robert Morris travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., for its first road game of the year against North Carolina at the Dean Smith Center. The contest against the Tar Heels also opens play for the Colonials in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Also on the schedule for RMU as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis is a Noon tip at Georgetown Saturday, Nov. 22, as well as two games at McKenzie Arena on the campus of the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Wednesday, Nov. 26, and Thursday, Nov. 27. Joining RMU and the host Mocs at the site are Coastal Carolina and Louisiana-Monroe.
Following the Battle 4 Atlantis, Robert Morris opens a four-game homestand at the Sewall Center with a 7:00 p.m. tip Tuesday, Dec. 2, against Youngstown State. The Colonials will also face Oakland (Dec. 4), Buffalo (Dec. 7) and Duquesne (Dec. 13) during the homestand.
The four consecutive non-conference games at home marks the longest homestand for the Colonials against non-league opponents since opening the 1980-81 campaign with four consecutive home games at John Jay Center. In four seasons under head coach Andrew Toole, RMU owns a record of 12-2 (.857) in non-conference games at the Sewall Center.
Also on the non-conference slate for Robert Morris in 2014-15 are road games at Bradley (Nov. 19), Toledo (Dec. 17) and Clemson (Dec. 30) as well as a home contest against Delaware (Dec. 22).
RMU opens NEC play Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015, with a 7:00 p.m. tilt against Mount St. Mary’s at the Sewall Center before traveling to Loretto, Pa., Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 to take on Saint Francis U. at DeGol Arena.
Led by Toole, who enters his fifth season at the helm of the program in 2014-15, Robert Morris returns three starters and six letterwinners from a squad that finished with an overall record of 22-14 (.611) in 2013-14 and earned its second straight and 11th NEC regular-season championship overall with a mark of 14-2 (.875) in league play.
Returning as starters for the Colonials are forwards Lucky Jones (Newark, N.J. / St. Anthony) and Stephan Hawkins (Gary, Ind. / Bowman Academy) and guard David Appolon (Philadelphia, Pa. / Imhotep Charter).
Jones, a 2014 All-NEC Second Team selection, enters his final season of eligibility and senior season next year as RMU’s active leader in both points (1,190) and rebounds (662). One of just 13 players in school history to eclipse career totals of 1,000 points and 500 caroms, Jones ranks 16th all-time at RMU in career points and sixth in career boards. He enters next year 90 rebounds shy of becoming the program’s all-time leading rebounder.
Robert Morris enters the 2014-15 season with an overall record of 163-81 (.668) over the last seasons, both a school and league record for wins over a seven-year span. During that time period, the Colonials rank seventh among mid-major programs in victories, tied with Akron.