Early to rise for RMU for Tuesday’s ESPN game | TribLIVE.com
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Paul Schofield

Robert Morris senior Gary Wallace is used to getting up early for class.

“I have a couple 8 a.m. classes,” he said. “So, playing a basketball game at that time will be a little different.”

Robert Morris (1-0) will visit Kent State (2-1) at 8 a.m. Tuesday during ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Wallace said he doesn’t foresee a problem playing so early.

“I’ve played some AAU games at that time,” Wallace said. “We’ll be ready to play.”

Robert Morris coach Andrew Toole said he’s still working out the final details of a schedule for his players. He talked to Saint Peter’s coach John Dunne before Saturday’s game; Saint Peter’s played at 6 a.m. last year.

“I told our players to be at the gym by 4:45 a.m.,” Dunne said. “When I got there at 4:15, the players were already in the locker room and dressed to play. They were dancing around, full of energy.

“This is more than a game. It’s an event, and the players knew it. The game wasn’t the problem — the two games after that were. We were sluggish.”

Toole said he plans to get his team up at 5:15, give them some bagels and fruit and get to the gym by 6:30.

“I think we’ll be fine,” he said. “Once we get there, we want them to start to get loose and move around. We want them to get their body ready and wake up.”

The Colonials’ Karon Abraham, Velton Jones and Russell Johnson said they can’t wait for the game.

“We won’t have a problem getting up and getting ready for the game,” Abraham said. “We’ve already held a few practices in the morning.”

The Colonials’ defense was outstanding against Saint Peter’s, holding the Peacocks to 30 points and forcing 21 turnovers. Saint Peter’s made six field goals. Toole said he doesn’t anticipate another defensive effort like that, but Jones and Abraham said they can play even better.

“We still have the entire season to play,” Jones said. “There are things we have to work on.”

Added Abraham: “We have to continue to work hard. We have to play good defense and rebound.”

But Saturday’s victory — Toole’s first at Robert Morris — set an awfully high standard.

“Now I have to back this up,” he said. “What do we do next• Hold a team to 20.”

Additional Information:

Tuesday’s game

 

Robert Morris (1-0) at Kent State (2-1)

8 a.m. Tuesday, Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center, Kent, Ohio

TV/radio: ESPN/WPIT-AM (730)

Series: Kent State leads, 4-2

Last meeting: 2009, Kent State, 71-57

Outlook: This game is part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Robert Morris opened with a 55-30 victory against Saint Peter’s on Saturday, giving coach Andrew Toole his first victory. The Colonials limited the visiting Peacocks to six field goals. Kent State, which will be playing its fourth game in five days, had a successful weekend in the World Vision Classic at Cleveland State; it defeated Iona, 73-72, and Bryant, 90-49, before falling to Cleveland State, 69-66, on Sunday.

Probable starters

ROBERT MORRIS

Coach: Andrew Toole, first year (1-0)

Pos.NameHt.Yr.PPG

GKaron Abraham5-9So.14.0

GVelton Jones6-0So.9.0

GGary Wallace6-3Sr.4.0

FRussell Johnson6-6So.12.0

FYann Charles6-5Fr.10.0

KENT STATE

Coach: Geno Ford, third year at Kent State (45-26, 96-58 overall)

Pos.NameHt.Yr.PPG

GCarlton Guyton6-4Jr.14.3

GRodriguez Sherman6-3Sr.10.0

GMichael Porrini6-2Jr.7.0

FJustin Greene6-8Jr.18.3

CJustin Manns6-11Jr.6.0

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