|NIT Season Tip-Off Highlights 2012-13 Slate|
Moon Township, Pa. - Non-conference home games against Ohio and Duquesne, the program's inaugural appearance in the NIT Season Tip-Off and a full slate of Northeast Conference (NEC) games highlights the 2012-13 Robert Morris University men's basketball schedule, third-year head coach Andrew Toole announced Tuesday.
The Colonials will kick off their season with an exhibition contest against St. Vincent Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7:00 p.m. at the Charles L. Sewall Center.
RMU will open its 37th season of Division I basketball and its 2012-13 regular season Friday, Nov. 9, with a 7:00 p.m. tilt at Rider in Lawrenceville, N.J. It marks the first time the Colonials have opened the season away from home since opening their 2009-10 campaign at Syracuse as part of the 2K Sports Classic, benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.
All-time Robert Morris owns a record of 19-17 (.528) in season openers.
"Once again, finalizing a schedule has become the toughest task for our program," Toole said. "However, we feel we've created another schedule that will test the level of our program, provide opportunities to increase notoriety and give our student-athletes the chance to challenge themselves in some tough environments. Most importantly, our schedule helps us prepare for another exciting season against quality Northeast Conference opponents."
Following its season opener against the Broncs, RMU will make its first appearance in school history in the NIT Season Tip-Off Monday, Nov. 12, as part of the East Regional. The Colonials will square off against Patriot League foe Lehigh at the Petersen Events Center on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Tip time is 8:30 p.m.
"Our staff could not think of a better way to start our season than playing in one of college basketball's oldest and most respected tournaments," Toole said. "Playing in the NIT Season Tip-Off is a credit to what our program has accomplished over the last five years as well as to our players, both past and present. To be selected to play in this prestigious event is an honor, and we are extremely excited for the challenge."
Robert Morris, which enters the tournament as the No. 6 seed, will square off with either the host Panthers or Fordham in the second round Tuesday, Nov. 13, with a tip of either 6:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center.
The winner of the 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off East Regional will advance to the semifinals, which will be held Wednesday, Nov. 21, at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. The remaining teams will play third- and fourth-round doubleheaders Monday, Nov. 19, and Tuesday, Nov. 20, on the campuses of the three highest remaining seeds.
The 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off will be carried by the ESPN family of networks, televising games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. All game broadcasts will also be available on WatchESPN.
Also on the non-conference slate for Robert Morris in 2012-13 are road games at Xavier (Nov. 17), Savannah State (Nov. 26), Campbell (Dec. 4), Hampton (Dec. 8), Louisiana-Lafayette (Dec. 18) and Arkansas (Dec. 20) and home tilts against Ohio (Dec. 1) and Duquesne (Dec. 15).
The Colonials open NEC play with a pair of home games, hosting Bryant (Jan. 3) and Central Connecticut State (Jan. 5) at the Sewall Center. Those two contests begin a stretch of 18 consecutive games against league foes.
Robert Morris enters the 2012-13 campaign having posted an overall record of 117-56 (.676) since the beginning of the 2007-08 campaign, with the 117 victories a school and NEC record for a five-year span. The Colonials are also tied with Kent State for the ninth most wins among mid-major programs over the last five years.
RMU returns four starters from a 2011-12 squad that posted an overall record of 26-11 (.703), extending a program record with its seventh straight winning season. The Colonials, who tied a school record for victories last year, also finished 13-5 (.722) in the NEC to finish third in league and advanced to their fourth straight NEC Tournament championship game before falling at LIU Brooklyn.
Despite the loss to the Blackbirds, RMU accepted a bid to the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), the program's fourth postseason appearance in the last five years. In the CIT, Robert Morris advanced to the quarterfinals thanks to road wins at Indiana State and Toledo, the program's first victories in a national postseason tournament since 1983.
Redshirt senior Velton Jones (Philadelphia, Pa. / Northeast Catholic) highlights RMU's returning group, as the 6'0", 170-pound point guard averaged 16.0 points per game last season while leading the Colonials in both assists (167) and steals (68). Tabbed to the 2012 All-NEC First Team, Jones became the 20th member of the Robert Morris 1,000-point club last year and owns both single-season (207) and career (397) records for free throws entering his final season of eligibility in 2012-13.