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Posts from the ‘men’s basketball’ Category

"We’re the only ones who gave ourselves a chance."

During a recent conversation with RMU men’s basketball coach Andy Toole, I learned that the RMU Gameday Exclusive videos, available at our YouTube channel, have been a hit on the recruiting trail. One of Andy’s most recently landed recuits and the recruit’s father were particularly impressed by the emotionally raw videos that documented the Colonials’ up-and-down 2010-11 season. The season ended with an overtime loss in the NEC championship game, which was chronicled in the final Gameday Exclusive installment:

According to Andy, coaches of rival teams have praised the videos, and few offer anything similar. Kudos go to the talent behind Gameday Exclusive, 2010 RMU graduate Nazari Dorosh and senior RMU student Justin Downs.

— Jonathan Potts

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RMU Sports Figures Inducted into Hall of Fame

Did you know that two members of the Robert Morris University family are members of the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame‘s (BCSHOF) Class of 2010?

Myron Walker ’08 and Sig Brauch were honored at the organization’s annual banquet back in April.

Walker is the all-time leading scorer in RMU basketball history, with 1,965 career points. A native of Aliquippa, he also holds the Colonials’ single-season scoring record with 614 points during the 1991-92 campaign.

Brauch, who’s originally from Friedrichshafen, Germany, was Robert Morris’s first soccer coach. In 1983, he started Beaver Area High School’s soccer program, which he led for 25 years before stepping down in 2008. And now, in another first, Brauch has become the first individual involved with soccer to be inducted into the BCSHOF.

Walker and Brauch join other Beaver County sports greats inducted into the hall, such as Mike Ditka ’77, Tony Dorsett ’94, Joe Namath ’82, and RMU’s Head Football Coach Joe Walton ’77.

Tooting the pep band’s horn

The following letter was received by RMU band director Betsy Charles. It is reprinted here with the author’s permission:

Dear Robert Morris Pep Band,
I am the Public Relations Chair in the Creighton University Pep Band, and I wanted to congratulate you, on behalf of our Pep Band, on your performance today in the NCAA Tournament.

First of all, you sounded and looked great on TV. You are one of the few bands we’ve seen that totally pull off the hockey-sweater look.

More importantly though, congratulations on the Colonials’ gutsy performance in Providence today. It is certainly no consolation for the heartbreaking loss you endured today. Everything we’ve seen on Twitter says your band was completely into the game, and responsible for a lot of the noise from the RMU side of the arena. I assure you, the Creighton Pep Band can relate to the anguish you must feel after the emotional loss, and we applaud you for the spirit you showed today, in the face of adversity.

We appreciate pep bands who, like us, get involved in the game for reasons other than extended travel. We appreciate the mid-major pep bands who, like us, put in innumerable hours of work, and make do with limited resources. Thank you for showing the nation today what great pep bands do. Keep up the good work!

Go Bluejays, and go Colonials,

Patrick Murray
Public Relations Chair
Creighton University Pep Band
“Our Might to the Fight We Will Lend”

The Colonial Army invades Rhode Island

It was like we lived a movie. As the final shot fell to the floor, an audible gasp and sigh came from the entire crowd at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center. This sigh was followed by a few seconds of silence, then a passionate ovation from every single person in attendance. This was more than polite applause; it was a reaction of respect and admiration. It was like the end or Rudy, or when the Soviets began to cheer for Rocky Balboa. It was the kind of powerful moment that will stay with me, for the rest of my life…

During the American Revolution, the Colonial Army protected Providence, and it was never occupied by the British.

On March 18, 2010… the Colonial Army invaded Providence.

When 155 RMU students boarded their buses 16 hours before tipoff, each of them knew what it meant to be a 15 seed in the NCAA basketball tournament. There’s no chance of winning. In the long history of March Madness, it has happened 4 times. There is more likely chance of embarrassment. It was highly probable that 24 total hours on a bus would result in a 40 point blowout… and we all knew it. But, The Colonial Army, from a small insignificant school stood up to the mighty Villanova Wildcats.

A Brief Vocabulary lesson:
A Wildcat is an undomesticated north American feline, such as a Lynx, Puma or Bobcat.
A Colonial is a revolutionary freedom fighter, who stood up against King George and his Mighty British Army, and pulled off the greatest “upset” in history… the American Revolution.

We were very much “Upset Minded.” As the bus rolled out of campus, my bus chose to play the movie “The Karate Kid. We watched as Daniel-San learned the how courage, balance and preparation, can defy any odds. If all “Big Schools” are the Kobra Kai, then to us, Villanova was Johnny Lawrence. We believed that RMU was Daniel Larusso, ready to unleash the Crane Kick.
That is exactly what happened. (Except in the Karate Kid, the referees were competent, and made the correct call in the “Sweep the Leg” incident… but I digress.)

It’s a great feeling to think of the entire country, clutching their brackets with sweaty palms, tweeting, googleing, and chatting about “RMU.” I like to think that President Obama (who picked Nova to be in his Final Four) was glued to the TV set, shouting “That was a Jump Ball! These Refs are horrible.” I like to believe that the entire country was cheering along with the Colonial Army “Rob-ert Mor-ris Clap-Clap-ClapClapClap.” For a few hours , we were the best around… and every RMU student felt that power.

In the end, this movie was more like Rocky 1. The insignificant underdog, who never had a chance, went the distance with Apollo Creed. In the end, there was no victory… just a passionate ovation and the respect of the entire country. Do you remember the end of Rocky 2? There will be a sequel, and we will win a game in the tournament.

I learned a lot about our student population on Thursday, from both the students in Rhode Island, and in Moon Township. We are a Wildly Passionate, Upset-Minded, Odds-Defying, Loud and Crazy bunch of original revolutionaries… who have faith in their team and their school… and faith will be rewarded.

I thank you Coach Rice, and all players and staff of the RMU Basketball Team. You delivered one of the greatest moments in the history of Robert Morris University, and have given the Colonial Army more reasons to believe.

–John Locke, assistant director of student life

Who Was Gus Krop?

University’s are always bragging about their shiny new, state-of-the-art facilities—and rightly so. When RMU built Joe Walton Stadium in 2005, for example, it was yet another example of how the university was growing and continuing to enhance the overall experience of its students.

But as we celebrate the new, it’s also important to revere the old.

As you walk into John Jay Center, the first door on your left leads into the Gus Krop Gym. This is a special place. Wooden rafters support the large domed ceiling – a feature not seen in many modern gyms – and old-fashioned bleachers sit on just one side of the court, recalling the days when the university was much smaller. It a warm, cozy place that reminds me of the small-town gymnasiums in “Hoosiers,” the 1986 basketball classic staring Gene Hackman.

Gus Krop (1917-2005) is known as the founder of RMU basketball. From 1963 to 1976, he led the Colonials to an impressive record of 287-58. Krop coached nine All-Americans at then Robert Morris College, and, in 1969, he took the Colonials to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) title game. It was the success of Krop’s teams in the mid to late 1960s that really helped market Robert Morris and put it on the map, so to speak.

After retiring from coaching in 1976, Krop became the university’s director of security until he retired altogether in 1997.

Today, the men’s and women’s basketball teams play over in Sewell Center Arena, and the Gus Krop Gym is mainly used for RMU’s indoor intramural activities. But hopefully this little gym that holds the ghosts of teams past will always serve as a tribute to one of RMU’s greatest coaches.

— Valentine J. Brkich

Sibling rivalry

Here’s a nice story about a family torn asunder by conflicting loyalties in tonight’s match-up between RMU and Michigan State. (Though we don’t appreciate being called “tiny.”)