After Long Offseason, Robert Morris Set to Commence 2022-23 Season


Head coach Andy Toole enters his 13th season at Robert Morris, and third season in the Horizon League Photo credit: Malena Kaniuff

Ethan Morrison

On the eve of the college basketball season commencing, Robert Morris will set out to Columbus, Ohio, Sunday evening as they get their season started Monday night when they take Ohio State at 7 p.m.

Before the team gets set to take on the Buckeyes in their opening game of the season, let’s take a look into this new look Colonial team this season looking to improve upon an 8-24 season, posting just five wins in conference play and making it to the Horizon League quarterfinals.



As Andy Toole enters his 13th season at the helm and 15th season overall with the program, there were some minor shakeups in the staff in June as former Director of Basketball Operations Jimmy Langhurst announced that he would be accepting a job with Stonehill College. Langhurst was an assistant coach on the staff who most recently made the jump to the DI level to compete in the Northeast conference.

Toole then promoted video coordinator Matthew Sweet to the vacant position and named Martino Vincenzo Pepe, the team’s new video coordinator. Previously, Vincenzo Pepe spent time as an Assistant Coach and Director of Player Development at Mt. Zion Preparatory Academy.


This year’s recruiting class was much more traditional than we have seen out of Toole compared to the past several years, where we saw a heavy influx of transfers.

But this year, Toole and his staff brought in three true freshmen in TJ Wainwright, Stephaun Walker, and Ben Krystkowiak.

Along with those true freshmen, five transfer students enter the mix as other options in the rotation. Trey James, Josh Corbin, Chris Ford, Kevin Martina and Jackson Last all look to inject fire into the Colonial lineup.

To round out the newcomer Tanner O’Grady, Cyril Arvanitis, and Nathan Frascone enter the program as preferred walk-ons.

When Colonial Sports Network caught up with Toole at a practice at the end of October, he discussed how the newcomers have come out of the gates and have made an impact on the floor,

“Each has had its moments,” coach Toole said. “There have been several guys that have started to separate themselves a little bit to create what the rotation will be at the start of the season. I think some of the things that we envisioned what guys have been able to do when we recruited them, we have seen them so far show those abilities to do just that, so we have to make sure that continues.”

With the newcomers coming into a program with a productive core from last season, it will be interesting to see how Toole constructs his lineup out of the gates Monday night.


(left to right) Jackson Last, Matt Mayers, Josh Corbin and Enoch Cheeks huddle against Alliance (Photo by Malena Kaniuff)

One of the significant struggles that Toole has had to deal with over the past several years, not only in the Horizon League but also in the Northeast Conference, was that the team would lose a solidified starting rotation piece to the

transfer portal after seasons end.

But this year was different as Kahliel Spear, Enoch Cheeks, Michael Green III and Matt Mayers all return to Moon Township this season after being mainstays in the starting rotation last season.

Tristian Jeffries also returns for his sophomore season this year after getting limited action in his freshman season.

Returning the core is something to be celebrated for Toole as the culture can be continued to be built up after losing all but four players last season to graduation or the transfer portal.


Many components go into preparing a team for the season, but one of those main components is trying to incorporate the new pieces of the puzzle or, in this case, the new pieces of the roster.

Toole was very pleased with all facets of the roster throughout the first couple weeks of practice.

“It has been very competitive,” Toole said. “That’s one of the main things that you want because a lot of the guys came in with very good mindsets and they have been competing hard and that is one of the best ways that you can improve as a team. The game can teach you a lot when it comes to being successful and unsuccessful in drills. We have guys that have come in here and going against each other and making each other better, so that has allowed us to have productive practices.”

Since the beginning of October, Robert Morris has been practicing against themselves. Still, they had the opportunity to get out and compete against another team on Oct. 29 when they hosted Alliance at the UPMC Events Center.

The Colonials defeated Alliance 88-59 in the exhibition but what was more telling was the assist totals in the game, as RMU racked up 25 assists by being able to spread the ball on all areas of the floor.

Junior guard Josh Corbin, a transfer from Winthrop, led all scorers in the game with 27 points while having a sweet stroke from beyond the arc.


Corbin is arguably one of the top players in Toole’s 2022 recruiting class based on his ability to score and shoot at a high percentage clip.

One area that the Colonials have lacked over the past several seasons was the ability to have a scorer hit three-point shots at a consistent clip and it looks as if Toole has found his tool in Corbin.

In his time with the Eagles, Corbin was lethal from three-point range as he knocked down 81 career three-pointers and has also shot the ball at a 35 percent clip from deep.

The other major new piece to the Colonials roster is TJ Wainwright, who is one of Toole’s highest-rated recruits in his 13 seasons. Wainwright is a playmaker who can facilitate the offense and has the ability to convert shots at a high percentage.

Before committing to Robert Morris, he spent time at Monteverde Academy for his post-graduate season, where he helped his team win the prep national championship.

Kahliel Spear is one of the returners to look out for this season as he led the Colonials in scoring with 14 points per game and also rebounds, where he grabbed seven boards per contest.

Spear also scored in double figures 27 times this past season while scoring over 20 points in eight contests. He looks to continue his dominance in his final year of eligibility.

The stage is set for the college basketball season as the Colonials face a tough test in Ohio State before heading back home to kick off a two-game homestead against Pitt Greensburg on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m.