CAA Preview: Towson Tigers

Last Season: 10–22 (6–12, ninth in CAA); lost in CAA first round

Head Coach: Pat Skerry (ninth season)

CAA Preseason Poll Finish: Sixth

Losses

  • G Quinton Drayton
  • G Jordan McNeil
  • C Alex Thomas

Additions

  • G Demetrius Mims
  • G Nigel Haughton
  • G Jason Gibson
  • F Charles Thompson

By Mack Krell

Sporting an almost entirely new squad in 2018–19, coach Pat Skerry and the Towson Tigers struggled to a 10–22 record (6–12 CAA). The Tigers finished the season with five straight CAA losses, ending with a 74–73 loss to James Madison in the first round of the CAA tournament.

But Skerry has a few reasons to be optimistic this season. His returning players are more experienced, his newcomers more exciting, and his schedule more advantageous.

Unlike last season when 11 new players joined the club, this year’s Tigers return 90 percent of their scoring and 86 percent of their rebounding from last year. Their leader is 6’5” senior guard Brian Fobbs, who averaged 18 points and six rebounds per game last year and made the All-CAA second team.

Also returning is leading rebounder Dennis Tunstall. The 6’9” senior forward supplied the Tigers with 7.7 rpg last year, including 2.9 offensive rebounds per game. The Tigers will rely on Fobbs and Tunstall to lead an otherwise young team. If these seniors can continue to perform, the Tigers could outperform last season’s ninth-place finish.

Two incoming freshman — 6’7” forward Charles Thompson and 6’1” guard Jason Gibson — both won 2019 Winter All-Met honors and are cause for optimism.

The Tigers benefit from a favorable early schedule. Their first three games are at home, providing the young team a chance to find a groove before November games against fourth-ranked Florida and 20th-ranked Xavier. Both games should test the mettle and chemistry of a team whose biggest asset — like Northeastern last year — is year-to-year roster consistency.

The Tigers also wield the early home game advantage in conference play; five of their first seven CAA games are in their building.

Bottom Line: Towson is coming off a disappointing season. However, they return their three leading scorers and rebounders and a roster of players used to playing together. Taking advantage of this familiarity could allow them to move out of the CAA cellar into the middle of the pack. However, if Towson relies purely Fobbs’ scoring and can’t reduce last year’s 12 turnovers per game average, they will find themselves back at the bottom.

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