A primer

Who was Robert Morris, exactly?

The Revolutionary War-era merchant signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.

Morris, who was born in England but moved to Maryland at 13, is known as the "Financier of the American Revolution" because of his success in raising money to fund George Washington's army to fight the British. He served as the U.S. superintendent of finance from 1781 to 1784. He refused a treasury secretary post, instead serving as a Pennsylvania senator from 1789 to 1795.

RMU, a private school in Moon Township, Pa., near Pittsburgh, was founded in 1912.

It is one of the few - 10 by our count - Division I-A basketball schools named after a person's full name. Can you name the rest?

Our list of famous names: George Washington, Sam Houston, Oral Roberts, Stephen F. Austin, Fairleigh Dickinson, Austin Peay, Brigham Young, James Madison and George Mason.


RMU brought its president and a few local alums to the game.

One of the most recognizable, at least for Tucsonans, was KVOA sports director Ryan Recker, class of 2001.

After RMU alums organized a trip to Tucson, Recker helped select a restaurant near McKale Center to hold a 20-person cocktail hour. The group, which included Rob Brakel, the Arizona Cardinals video director and a RMU graduate, sat behind the Colonials bench.

Recker, who did not work Wednesday night, hadn't seen a game since graduation. He told his television audience about his alma mater Tuesday.

He said it was easy to be proud of his school, which was mostly a commuter campus while he was there.

"A lot of people don't know about it," he said. "So it's pretty cool."

Quiet moment

Wildcats fans observed a moment of silence before the singing of the national anthem.

While a color guard stood at midcourt, McKale Center fell silent in memory of Brian Terry, a Border Patrol agent who was shot and killed last week.

It marked the second such moment at a UA game this year. Last month, fans observed a moment in memory of Roger Sedlmayr, the former McKale Center announcer who died of pulmonary fibrosis.

Great crowd

No students? No problem.

The Wildcats' Holiday Pack brought out - dare we say? - more fans than the Zona Zoo has provided this season. The end zone seating seemed populated all the way to the top row, something we can't remember happening this year.

Attendance totaled 13,982, the most this season. It was far and above the UA average of 12,619 in seven previous home games.

UA athletic director Greg Byrne said earlier this year he wouldn't reconsider Zona Zoo's ticket distribution policy this season. One wonders how the Holiday Pack's success could influence him.

Road trip

From Nov. 20 to Jan. 12, the Colonials will have played 11 road contests - and just one home game.

The team played at home against Duquesne on Nov. 19, then took off to play Pitt, Cleveland State, Long Island, St. Francis (N.Y.) and West Virginia in the next three-plus weeks.

The Colonials returned to the Charles L. Sewall Center to play Youngstown State on Dec. 11, then left for Appalachian State and Arizona. RMU is bound for Ohio, Wagner and Mount St. Mary's before finally returning to Pittsburgh for a Jan. 13 game against Fairleigh Dickinson.

The big number


Combined years of Div. I-A experience by RMU players entering the season. Eastern Washington (4) has the fewest.

The list

The five youngest NCAA Div. I-A men's basketball coaches as of RMU coach Andrew Toole's hiring date of May 11:

• Andrew Toole, RMU - 29 years 8 months

• Jason Capel, Appalachian State - 30 years 3 months 26 days

• Brian Wardle, Wisconsin-Green Bay - 30 years 7 months 2 days

• Dane Fife, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne - 30 years 9 months 15 days

• Josh Pastner, Memphis - 32 years 8 months 15 days

Patrick Finley