Two Colonials earn honors with tourney on horizon
The up and down 2022-23 regular season came to an abrupt end last Thursday after the Colonials took another head-scratching loss coming off, well, a head-scratching win.
RMU would welcome would-be league champs Youngstown State last Tuesday to the UPMC Events Center and left their mark with an eye-popping 83-64 win and would then, in true Robert Morris fashion this year, follow it up with a six-point loss to IUPUI. RMU showed this season that they can not only beat anyone in the league, but also lose to anyone in the league, which sets the stage for an exciting Horizon League Tournament.
The Colonials finishing the season at 10-10 is just poetic justice for how they competed this year. At times, as an RMU fan, you felt they could beat anyone, but like they say about the weather in some places, give it five minutes and it will change. Robert Morris showed spurts where you wondered if they would ever score, and then would follow it up with a 5-7 minute flurry making you wonder who the heck you were watching.
RMU was able to garner a home game in the first round and drew a familiar foes in IUPUI who they split with this season. Coming off the regular season finale where the Colonials let IUPUI steal one from them, Robert Morris will really need to be dominant from the jump on Tuesday.
The Colonials were driven this season by Kahliel Spear and Enoch Cheeks, who both garnered some all league honors on Monday. Spear, arguably the best big man in the league, was honored with All Horizon League second team and defensive team, followed by Cheeks and his third-team honors. Spear owns a team high 41 blocks this season, averaging 1.22 per game, and became the 15th player in RMU history to tally 1,000 points. Spear, one could also call him “Mr. Reliable,” played in 81 consecutive games and started in 68 games ( per rmucolonials.com).
Cheeks as the Robin to Spears’ Batman this season, leading the team with a 16ppg average. Cheeks would record double digits in his first 17 games this season and would also lead Robert Morris in steals, second in blocks and assists. You can see that these two, in large part, are generally the main reason RMU has any success, if they both play to their highest ability, Robert Morris is still going to need more from others.
The “see-saw” season carries on Tuesday night, in round one of the Horizon League Tournament. It is now win or go home, everyone has their back against the wall, at times this season that was when RMU seemed at their best. We know Batman and Robin will show up, the question is, who besides those two will care to do the same?