No, that's no reflection on Robert Morris. To be honest, this weekend has just sucked the life out of me.
Trying to not only keep up with Pitt on vacation (and, you know, actually have a vacation), but actually pay attention enough to cobble together some musings on the team has been a train wreck. Compound that with the fact that my being able to even watch the games has been spotty and ... you get the point. Thank God for Greg, who's been around and able to help out with the site.
Pitt takes on Robert Morris on Sunday and in a nutshell, of course it's not a game they should lose. The two teams have played three common opponents so far, both beating La Salle and Rider. The Colonials lost a close game to Penn, while Pitt managed to beat them, though.
Robert Morris has one guy to look out for. Okay, I'm sure they've got more, but the main culprit is Velton Jones, a junior guard who averages about 20 points a game. Last year, the Panthers beat RMU by 21, though the Colonials didn't have their best player, Karon Abraham.
There's actually one important thing to watch for, though.Last year, Pitt was able to win the rebounding battle by 14. This year, rebounding has been a huge problem area. Lots of theories abound - Pitt doesn't have someone with the physicality of a Gary McGhee-type player, the desire isn't there, Pitt is a lot younger. For whatever reason, the Panthers haven't been able to dominate the glass.
Even in a 20-point win against Penn on Friday, that same issue arose as Pitt only won the rebounding battle by one.
Robert Morris has no regular that gets any time of significant time over 6'7". Pitt should really have no problem outmanning the Colonials on the boards in this one. If they do, it could be an indication of a serious problem.
Lamar Patterson will miss this one serving the second game of a two-game suspension for the ominous, but entirely vague 'disciplinary reasons.' And who knows if Dante Taylor will be back after a bout with migranes caused him to miss the Penn game.
Regardless, J.J. Moore and Khem Birch were entirely capable against Penn and even though absences by Taylor and Patterson would greatly shorten Pitt's depth, if guys stay out of foul trouble, it shouldn't be a huge issue. Probably just more of Talib Zanna, Cameron Wright, and John Johnson, as we saw in the last game.