Karvel Anderson’s time as secret for Robert Morris runs out
January 15, 2014 8:57 PM
Robert Morris' Karvel Anderson passes under tight defense from Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein during the first round of the NIT last year.
By Craig Meyer / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Twitter handles sometimes provide a glimpse of how athletes view themselves.
Take Karvel Anderson for an example. This Robert Morris senior guard has the online moniker of “ThaBestKeptScrt,” something that was developed after years of what he saw as being overlooked, slighted and second-guessed. It might not be that way for much longer.
After a breakout junior season, his first with the Colonials, Anderson, a junior-college transfer, has emerged as the most productive and consistent offensive option. That had been evident in Robert Morris’ first 15 games this season, but it became more obvious in the Colonials’ first two Northeast Conference games.
“There’s an increased comfort, a continued confidence in his ability and there’s also an increase in his role,” Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said, summing up the reasons behind Anderson’s 68-point total in those first two NEC games.
Matchup: Robert Morris (7-10, 2-0 Northeast Conference) vs. Saint Francis (3-12, 1-1), 7 p.m., Sewall Center.
Robert Morris: Coming off 71-67 victory Saturday at Bryant. ... A win against Saint Francis would give the Colonials a season-high three-game win streak. ... G Karvel Anderson has shot 62.5 percent from the field and 54.9 percent from 3-point range in the past four games.
Saint Francis: Coming off 75-67 victory Saturday at Central Connecticut State that ended a stretch in which it lost 11 of 12 games. ... F Earl Brown is averaging 14.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, making him the only player in NEC who averages a double-double. ... Has lost its past 11 games against Robert Morris.
Hidden stat: In the Colonials' first eight games, point guard Anthony Myers-Pate had 32 assists, 18 turnovers. In their past nine, he has 48 assists, 11 turnovers.
“Last year, obviously we wanted him to shoot when he was open, but we had other guys who were making plays and making shots.
“As he’s become more comfortable with things, as he’s understanding the speed of the game here quicker and understanding where he can get his looks, all of those things kind of combine for some of the success he’s had.”
Anderson’s 32 points against Bryant and 36 against Sacred Heart (including a 15-for-19 shooting performance), has spearheaded the Colonials’ 2-0 start in NEC play after being 5-10 in non-conference games. He is the first Robert Morris player to score at least 30 points in consecutive games since 2000.
Not only were those performances impressive, they were indicative of a player who has grown in nearly every facet of the game this season — even ones in which he already was exceptional.
His scoring is up nearly seven points per game — from 12.5 a season ago to 19.3 — but more remarkable is this:, even with increased minutes and shots, Anderson has become a more efficient player.
He is making over half of his field-goal attempts (52.8 percent) and his 3-point percentage, a team-best .439 a season ago, has risen to .477, second-highest mark for a Division I player with more than three attempts per game.
Anderson’s ascension was sparked by the departures of shooters Velton Jones and Coron Williams. But it also has occurred because, for the first time in recent seasons, he is healthy.
Over the summer, he had surgery on a scaphoid bone injury in his wrist that plagued him much of last season. The wrist procedure was his third in as many years, Now that the pain is gone, his game has improved.
“It’s given me a lot of confidence, a lot of comfort,” Anderson said. “My right hand is something I use a lot.”
Craig Meyer: email@example.com and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG.
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