Robert Morris grows taller thanks to '12 recruits
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Robert Morris officially announced its 2012 basketball recruiting class Thursday, adding three players to a roster that will include most of the key players who took part in the run to the NEC championship game last season.
Freshman forward Stephan Hawkins (6 feet 9, 205 pounds), junior forward Vaughn Morgan (6-6, 235) and junior guard Karvel Anderson (6-2, 190) will join the Colonial. Morgan and Anderson are junior-college transfers but eligible to play immediately.
Morgan averaged 16.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game at Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas, last year. The Perry Traditional Academy graduate was the '09 City League player of the year, leading the Commodores to the title. He is the Colonials' first City League alumnus since Schenley graduate Chaz McCrommon in '05.
Hawkins, a Gary, Ind., native, averaged 11.8 points and 7.6 rebounds as a senior. Toole said that after Hawkins added some strength, he would be ready to compete for playing time as a freshman.
"He's got incredible length he's got a really good feel for the game," Toole said.
The two forwards will be expected to give Robert Morris more frontcourt depth to compete with two-time conference champion Long Island. The Colonials fell to the Blackbirds in each of the past two NEC championship games, thanks largely to Long Island's twin towers of 6-7 forwards Julian Boyd and Jamal Olasawere, both of whom will return.
Toole said he looked for players that could help the Colonials beat NEC powers like Long Island, Wagner and Quinnipiac.
"I think anytime you look at what you did the previous season and where you fell a little bit short, you want to address those needs in recruiting," he said. "That's how we constructed this class a little bit."
Toole hopes that Anderson will provide the Colonials with an additional scoring threat to complement returning guards Velton Jones and Coron Williams.
The two were the only Colonials to average in double figure scoring last season.
Anderson averaged 24.9 points per game at Glen Oaks Community College in Centreville, Mich., last season.
"[Scoring] is something that he's done at every level he's been at," Toole said. "You look at the percentage that he shot, and he's doing it at an extremely efficient rate."
The Colonials have one scholarship left for the coming season. Toole said that, for now, he plans on saving it for the next recruiting class, but didn't rule out a late addition.
Last year, Lucky Jones, who made the 2011-12 NEC All-Rookie team, didn't sign until September.
First Published June 1, 2012 12:00 am