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Robert Morris announces 2015-16 recruiting class

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Five freshman and one junior college transfer sign National Letters of Intent

Moon Township, PA - Robert Morris University head men's basketball coach Andrew Toole announced the program's 2015-16 recruiting class Thursday, which includes five freshman and one junior college transfer.

Joining RMU for the 2015-16 campaign are freshman guards Matty McConnell (Oakdale, Pa. / Chartiers Valley), Jordan Lester (Sammamish, Wash. / Eastlake), Isaiah Still (Rahway, N.J. / Union Catholic) and Steven Whitley (Norfolk, Va. / Fork Union Military Academy), freshman forward Joe Hugley (Gaithersburg, Md. / Magruder)* and junior college forward Billy Giles (Richmond, Va. / Allegany College of Maryland).

"We're excited about our recruiting class, and I'm excited about the potential of this group," Toole said. "We expect they'll come in and work as hard as they can and embrace the success we've had as a program."

McConnell and Still signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) with the Colonials in the early signing period of November of 2014, while Lester, Whitley, Hugley and Giles signed NLI's with Robert Morris in the spring.

"We sat down as a staff and identified some of our weaknesses, and I think we've addressed what our needs are," Toole said. "Backcourt depth was an area we really needed to focus on, and four of our recruits are guards. We're hoping that group comes in and competes for minutes and pushes our returning players."

The recruiting class joins a group of four returning starters and seven letterwinners from a squad that finished with an overall record of 20-15 (.571) in 2014-15, including a mark of 12-6 (.667) in the Northeast Conference.

RMU claimed its eighth NEC Tournament title and subsequent bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2015 by earning a 66-63 victory at St. Francis Brooklyn (3/10/15) in the championship game of the 2015 NEC Tournament.

In the 2015 NCAA Tournament, the Colonials posted an 81-77 win against North Florida (3/18/15) in Dayton, Ohio, as part of the 2015 NCAA First Four before falling to Duke (3/20/15), the eventual 2015 national champion, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte, N.C.

RMU's appearance in the 2015 NCAA Tournament marked the seventh postseason appearance for the Colonials in the last eight years. During that span, the Colonials have appeared in the 2009, 2010 and 2015 NCAA Tournament, the 2008, 2013 and 2014 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT).

Returning as starters for RMU in 2015-16 are guards Rodney Pryor and Kavon Stewart and forwards Elijah Minnie and Aaron Tate.

Pryor paced the Colonials in scoring in 2014-15 by averaging 15.6 points per contest while also grabbing an average of 4.7 rebounds per game. Pryor was named the 2015 NEC Tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) after averaging 14.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in three games.

Minnie averaged 6.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game as a freshman in 2014-15 and established a Robert Morris single-season record for blocks (36) and a freshman mark for field goal percentage (.547). Stewart produced averages of 6.1 points and 4.6 assists per contest, while Tate supplied averages of 3.8 points and 4.4 caroms per game.

RMU enters the 2015-16 campaign with an overall record of 183-96 (.656) over the last eight years, both a school and league record. Over that span, the Colonials rank ninth among mid-major programs in victories.

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