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Get To Know Your Local Colonial

I asked AJ over at Colonials Corner a few questions to help get us all up to speed on RMU and here's what he had to say:

TNIAAM: Can you sum up the entire season in a few sentences? What was great? What sucked?

CC: This season was about development. We knew that Robert Morris was going to be good, because Mark Schmidt left so much talent, but we didn't know what the new philosophy of the coaching staff would be and how it would mesh with the returning players. The most thrilling moment had to be the win over Boston College, even though the Eagles have slumped this year. That's the biggest win ever for this program. The season ending loss sucked the most. We had all believed we'd at least get to the championship game.

TNIAAM: If someone told you before the season started that RMU would be an 8-seed in the NIT, you would have been... (disappointed? excited? shocked? thinking that sounds right?)

CC: I'd have thought: "Well, at least they did well enough to get something." But, of course, expectations change over the course of the season, and by late January, anything less than an NCAA Tournament appearance was going to leave a bad taste in our mouths here in Colonials Nation.

TNIAAM: How disappointing was the Mount St. Mary's loss? Was the campus ready to celebrate before that happened? And what was the mood afterwards?

CC: If there is one team RMU fans hate, it is Mount St. Mary's. The two teams have played nine times in three years, far more than anyone else on their schedule. They play similar styles. RMU hasn't won a championship since 1992, so the campus was ready to pop, even on spring break. And then, our hated rival knocks us out in the semifinals. It was incredibly disappointing, and the arena was like a funeral afterwards.

TNIAAM: Mike what you've seen so far?

CC: There is one bad thing about Mike Rice...he won't be here all that long. The man has been a revelation and a heck of a hire for this University. He interacts well with all of the big-wigs, but when he walks onto the court, he owns it. His leadership and intensity are never questioned, but he's beyond willing to teach and help his players and to help us little people out as well. His passion is so intense that it's a joy to watch him coach, and the effort he's gotten out of some of these players that would take plays off in years past has been astounding. It's been fantastic watching Coach Rice, and he'll be with a major team within five years.

TNIAAM: Robert Morris is going to beat Syracuse because...

CC: They're ticked off because off of the loss, and nothing's fueled this team like anger this season. Also, the Colonials up-tempo play will wear on the Orange's depth with speed, physicality, and foul trouble. RMU plays like the little brother of a Big East team , the scrappy guy that wants to be the most talented player but really isn't. In the NEC, they were. But they need to play like they did against Boston College - tight, fast, frustrating defense and an opportunistic offense.

TNIAAM: Syracuse is going to beat Robert Morris because...

CC: They're bigger, faster, more talented and they've been through this before. While the Orange thought they were going to sneak in to the tournament, they know from their South Alabama experience last year that a little team will come up to the Carrier Dome and try and end things early for the 'Cuse. I don't think Boeheim and company will let that happen again.

Thanks to AJ for the quick response and good luck tomorrow.