CAA Preview: Towson Tigers

By: Mack Krell (@MackKrell)

towsontigersHead Coach: Pat Skerry

Last Season: 20-13 (11-7 CAA)

Departures:

  • G Byron Hawkins (13.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg)
  • G Josh Ivory 
  • F Timajh Parker-Rivera (6.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg)

Newcomers:

  • G Brian Starr (Colby Community College/Kansas City, MO)
  • G Deshaun Morman (Cincinatti/Richmond, VA)
  • G Zane Martin (Neumann-Goretti/Philadelphia, PA)
  • F Justin Gorham (Calvert Hall/Baltimore, MD)
  • F J.J. Matthews (Millwood School, Richmond, VA)
  • F Dennis Tunstall (Life Center Academy, Willingboro, NJ)

After a regular season of exceeding expectations by finishing 3rd in the CAA, Towson ended the 2015-16 season with a loss to UNC-Wilmington in the regular season finale, a loss to Northeastern in the CAA Tournament, and a loss to Oakland in the Vegas 16 Tournament. Following this disappointing end to the campaign, the Tigers look to bounce back this season behind the leadership of senior forward Arnaud William Adala Moto.

Adala Moto is the clear leader of the Tigers team. The 6-foot-7 forward from Cameroon looks to grow on his contribution from last season when he was the team’s  leading scorer and rebounder. Last season he averaged 13.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG, and shot over 44 percent from the field. His ability to stretch the floor as a forward could cause trouble for defenses across the CAA.

In order for Towson to succeed however, Adala Moto will have to look for help from fellow experienced teammates. Junior John Davis will most likely join Adala Moto as a starter in the frontcourt. He could cause trouble for defenses because of his ability to attack the basket while still shooting a high percentage from behind the 3-point arc (38%). Also returning in the front court for the Tigers is senior Walter Foster. After coming off the bench last season, Foster looks to take on a bigger role for the Tigers this season. Lastly, the Tigers will look from help from returning guard Mike Morsell, a player who was an x-factor late in the season. Morsell averaged 13 ppg for the season, including a 34 point outburst in a late season upset of William & Mary.

The returners will have some newcomers coming in to help rebound from the disappointing end to last season. They will be joined by transfer Brian Starr from Colby Community College in Kansas. Starr will most likely run the Tigers offense from the point guard position. While not a great shooter, Starr is very good at finding his teammates in dangerous position and will make everyone around him better.

Last season Towson was hurt by their inability to consistently make 3-point shots. In their last 3 losses of the season, Towson shot just 31, 26, and 19 percent from behind the 3-point line.  Combined with the fact that Towson lose their most prolific shooter in Byron Hawkins, Towson had to try to fix this through their recruiting class. Their incoming freshman, Zane Martin from Philadelphia, PA, could add a threat from the perimeter when he comes off the bench.
Bottom Line: Pat Skerry is one of the best coaches in the conference, and you can always expect his teams to defend and rebound well. If Towson can find consistency from behind the 3-point line from players like Martin and Foster, they could make a run in the CAA this year. In combination with Adala Moto’s prowess in the paint, a consistent perimeter game could make Towson dangerous.

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