#111 Towson Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Towson Tigers

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #111
Conference Rank: #4 CAA

Towson Team Page#111 Towson Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Towson Basketball Tickets

Two years ago Towson won just a single game. A 1-31 overall record does not sit well. The Tigers did not have much to play for last season since they were ineligible for the postseason, but they still had a huge turnaround, winning 18 games and tying for second in the Colonial Athletic Association. Last year probably would have ended with a postseason tournament berth of some sort, but the Tigers were building for the future and it is already here.

2012-13 Record: 18-13, 13-5
2012-13 Postseason: None
Coach: Pat Skerry
Coach Record: 19-44 at Towson, 19-44 overall

Who’s Out:
Coach Pat Skerry did an amazing job during 2012-2013, yet he did not have a very deep bench so even though just two players are gone, it could have big ramifications. Most notably the absence of Bilal Dixon could force the Tigers to play smaller than they did last year due to a lack of frontcourt depth. Dixon, a 6-9, 245 pound center who spent some time with Providence, averaged 6.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks during his senior season. Dixon helped turn the Tigers into a dominating force on the glass and that could go away with Dixon’s eligibility running out. Kris Walden spent his sophomore season coming in off of the bench. He was a decent ballhandler for the Tigers, but never found his shooting touch.

Who’s In:
Most of the newcomers will add talent to the wings. The lone exception is 6-8, 230 pound center Walter Foster. If Coach Skerry wants to play big, Foster will have to be ready to see some quality minutes off of the bench. The new talent on the perimeter may be too good to keep on the bench though. Thus, playing smaller could be the smart move anyway. Marquis Marshall and John Davis should have time to develop their games. Meanwhile, Four McGlynn, a transfer from Vermont, will make a big splash right away. As a freshman with the Catamounts two years ago, McGlynn led a very good team with 12.0 points per game. He knocked down 38.0 percent of his attempts from long range and did a fine job using his 6-2 frame to attack the basket. He is a dynamic scoring threat who is more than talented enough to move right into the starting five.

Who to Watch:
The star of this team is still Jerrelle Benimon. The 6-8 senior averaged 17.1 points, 11.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks during his junior campaign. He even dished out 2.5 assists. Benimon can step outside and knock down the long ball or battle in the paint with the best of them. There is not much he cannot do. Not having Dixon doing the dirty work in the paint could make everything more difficult for Benimon. He will be extremely productive without Dixon yet the numbers could dip a little bit. Marcus Damas will again join Benimon in the frontcourt after averaging 11.4 points and 5.3 rebounds as a starter last year. They both could have to slide up to the four and five spots instead of the three and four spots unless Timajh Parker-Rivera, Jamel Flash and Barrington Alston are ready for larger roles. Parker-Rivera had a great freshman campaign and is a very capable rebounder. Flash and Alston bring more size, yet barely played last season. Alston is an interesting prospect, but the 6-8 sophomore did not show much as a freshman. He will get the chance again.

Final Projection:
Jerome Hairston is developing into a star. As a freshman last year the point guard averaged 9.9 points, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals. He was not very efficient either shooting or distributing, but he was just a freshman. Hairston is a good shooter and, at 6-3, has the size and speed to get to the basket and finish or find one of his teammates. He is only getting better. Mike Burwell spent most of last season at the shooting guard spot, but the former South Florida player is the guy who would move to small forward when Towson has to play small. That means he needs to get tougher on the glass. Rafriel Guthrie has the toughness to play at small forward too. Both Burwell and Guthrie were inconsistent shooting the ball last season, but McGlynn can help with that little problem. If Towson is going to have another good season, they will either have to keep up their domination on the glass or cut down on the turnovers. The defense is good, but not good enough to give the opposition too many extra possessions and still expect to win.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Jerome Hairston, Sophomore, Guard, 9.9 points per game
Four McGlynn, Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season
Mike Burwell, Senior, Guard, 9.0 points per game
Jerrelle Benimon, Senior, Forward, 17.1 points per game
Marcus Damas, Senior, Forward, 11.4 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.5 (145th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.6 (174, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.9 (131, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.6 (42, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.4 (249, 6)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.1 (239, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.4 (290, 9)
Rebound Margin: 6.6 (15, 1)
Assists Per Game: 10.2 (317, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.8 (286, 12)


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