The Robert Morris men's basketball team will play a Big East team and one from the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, but the Big East game isn't against Pitt, which the Colonials have never defeated.
The 31-game regular-season schedule Robert Morris released yesterday doesn't include Pitt because new Robert Morris coach Mike Rice was a Pitt assistant last year and Panthers coach Jamie Dixon didn't feel comfortable going against Rice.
The Colonials play at the Big East's Seton Hall (Nov. 18) and at the ACC's Boston College (Jan. 7).
at Seton Hall#
vs. Loyola, Md/Howard#
at Florida International
ST. FRANCIS, PA.*
at Youngstown State
at Boston College
at Fairleigh Dickinson
at St. Francis, Pa.*
CENTRAL CONN. STATE*
St. Francis, N.Y.*
at Mount St. Mary's*
at Central Conn. State*
at St. Francis, N.Y.*
MOUNT ST. MARY'S*
at Sacred Heart*
at Long Island*
# - Philadelphia Classic
*- Northeast Conference
Robert Morris also will play in the famed Palestra in Philadelphia Nov. 23-24 as part of the Philadelphia Classic, and play at Rice's alma mater, Fordham, Dec. 2.
It will be the first time the Colonials have played Boston College and Fordham, and they will meet Lafayette (Dec. 30) for the first time.
"We feel we've put together a non-conference schedule that is competitive and one of the best that we've had here at Robert Morris in the past few years," Rice said. "It's a schedule that gets RMU exposure to such historical places like the Palestra and allows [senior guard] Tony Lee a chance to go to Boston and play in front of his family and friends."
The Colonials' first action under Rice will be an exhibition game against Division II Shippensburg Oct. 31 at the Sewall Center.
Robert Morris opens the season at home against Iona at 7 p.m. Nov. 10. It then plays six consecutive games away from home before meeting Central Michigan Dec. 5 at the Sewall Center.
The Colonials begin Northeast Conference play Dec. 8 against Saint Francis, Pa., at home. They will travel to play Duquesne Dec. 28.
Rice also announced the hiring of assistant coach Levi Franklin, which completes his first staff. Franklin arrives from Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Va. He also coached at Crossland High School in Temple Hills, Md.
Franklin's areas of emphasis will be coaching Robert Morris post players and recruiting the Mid-Atlantic region.