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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

June 28th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

Robert Morris Colonials

Overall Rank: #133

Conference Rank: #1 NEC

 

2005-06: 15-14, 10-8, 5th  

2005-06 postseason: none

 

Don’t let the fifth place finish last year fool you.  Six of Robert Morris’ eight conference losses were by six points or less.  The Colonials also lost starting center Freddie Harris after five games due to an injury and were forced to go small.  With Harris back, Mark Schmidt’s squad is ready to bring success back to Moon Township, Pennsylvania.

 

Who’s Out: While RMU has no graduating seniors, four players are not returning to the program.  Cori Boston started 20 games on the wing last year and is the most significant loss.  Boston averaged 8.8 points and 3.3 rebounds as a sophomore.  Guard Steve Lancaster saw action in 26 games, averaging 3.5 points per game.  Seldom used Donnie Palmer and Jonathan Clark have also opted not to play for RMU next season.

 

Who’s In: Big men Aaron Agnew and Bas Rozendaal highlight a solid group of newcomers for RMU.  Agnew, a former player at Iowa State, will bring a big 6-10, 350 pound body to Moon Township.  Agnew saw very limited playing time in Ames and transferred to Highland College in Illinois prior to last season.  This season Agnew should see his fair share of minutes for the Colonials.  I’m not sure if flying would be the best way to describe this Dutchmen, but at 7-0, Rozendaal doesn’t even need to jump to make a big impact in the NEC.  Rozendaal has a solid mid-range game and is a decent passer for a big man.  He doesn’t have the presence of an Edgar Davids (that’s bad and an aged soccer reference) or the finishing ability of Dennis Bergkamp (also bad), but with a little work Rozendaal will develop his skills and become a better rebounder.  Until then, he is still a nice option off the bench who can push away opposing shots just like Edwin Van Der Sar (that’s good).  Guard Jimmy Langhurst found a nice fit with Robert Morris’ up-tempo style of play.  The 5-10 point guard averaged 32.3 points and 4.5 assists as a senior at Willard High School in Ohio.  Redshirt freshman Kelvin Bright will see his first action for the Colonials and add more depth to the backcourt.  The Colonials picked up Dallas Green, a 6-8 forward with a nice outside shot, late in the process and are still planning to add one more newcomer before the 2006-2007 campaign kicks off. 

 

Who to Watch: The backcourt is solid with Derek Coleman, Tony Lee and Jeremy Chappell.  Coleman, the point guard, averaged 11.9 points and 4.7 assists.  He has the experience and the talent to lead RMU to the NCAAs.  I say it a lot, but Lee might actually be the best rebounding guard in the nation.  The 6-footer averaged an incredible 7.1 boards per game.  He’s no slouch on the scoring end either, averaging 12.6.  Chappell tacked on 14.1 points and 5.7 boards as a freshman.  The Cincinatti, Ohio native should continue to improve and become a star in the NEC. 

 

Final Projection: Despite all the talent in the backcourt, the frontcourt shouldn’t be overlooked.  Alongside Harris stands A.J. Jackson, the team leader in points and rebounds last season.  Jackson, who transferred from East Tennessee State two years ago, averaged 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds last season.  The numbers might not be that lofty this season, due to the return of Harris and the plethora of other scoring options, but his importance to the team remains the same.  Monmouth, Central Connecticut State and Fairleigh Dickinson aren’t too far behind, but look for Robert Morris to make the NCAAs for the first time since 1992.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA

 

Projected Starting Five:

Derek Coleman, Senior, Guard, 11.9 points per game

Tony Lee, Junior, Guard, 12.6 points per game

Jeremy Chappell, Sophomore, Guard, 14.1 points per game

A.J. Jackson, Senior, Forward, 17.0 points per game

Freddie Harris, Junior, Center, 6.2 points per game

#134 Iowa State » Complete List » #132 UWGB

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