Toole questions effort following loss to YSU


Kyle Gorcey

Rodney Pryor scored 14 points for RMU Tuesday night, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Youngstown State.

Nick Buzzelli, Editor-in-Chief

Andy Toole was puzzled following Robert Morris’ eight point loss to Youngstown State.

After watching his team exert effort in small doses for short periods of time, the 34 year old had one question for the 12 players donning an RMU uniform Tuesday night.

The only thing the fifth year head coach wanted to know was why his squad wasn’t thrilled to take the court.

“You get to do it 30 times a year. 335 days a year you get to sit and do whatever you want to do. 30 times a year you get to play a basketball game. During the course of your career you might get 120, maybe 125 [games] if you’re lucky. That’s it in your life,” he said during the post-game press conference. “And it’s not new guys or old guys, it’s everybody. … I don’t understand how you don’t get excited to compete.”

Despite going 31-61 from the floor, RMU was unable to contain Marcus Keene and Bobby Hain, who combined for 48 of YSU’s 89 points, and as a result, fall to the Penguins for the second straight season.

Youngstown State jumped out to an early 10 point advantage less than five minutes in courtesy of a Jalon Plummer layup, but the Colonials began chipping away at their opponent’s lead.

Freshman Elijah Minnie scored all seven of his points in a 1:08 span late in the first half, cutting the deficit to one.

On the ensuing possession, Lucky Jones stole the ball and drained a shot from beyond the arc, giving Robert Morris a two point lead at halftime.

RMU continued to surge during the opening minutes of the second half. A three pointer by Jones, who finished with 21 tallies, put the Colonials ahead by four with 14:47 remaining.

From that point forward, Robert Morris was unable to sustain energy, leading to its third loss in the last four contests.

“I know we didn’t execute when we needed to, but that’s not the reason why we lost,” said Jones, who came off the bench during the first media timeout. “It’s because we didn’t play hard for 40 minutes and when we start playing hard for 40 minutes that’s when we’re going to start winning.”

In a season in which the program is 2-5 over its first seven games – the worst start since the 2004-05 campaign – Toole is baffled at the fact that his players are more concerned with personal stats than wins and losses.

“I don’t understand that. I was never raised that way, I was never taught to think that way and I don’t understand how that is now the norm versus the exception,” he said. “… I don’t know how to get [them] excited to play a basketball game.”

The Colonials return to the Charles L. Sewall Center to take on college basketball great Bobby Hurley and his Buffalo Bulls Sunday at 4:00 p.m. before playing cross-town rival Duquesne.