PointGuard

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  1. Nov. 14, 2021: Towson Tigers (0-0) @ NC-Central Eagles (0-0) 2nd Assistant Coach Michael Snoddy Although we jumped out to a small lead, we looked ragged in the first half. Poor execution and a general lack of cohesiveness. But we were able to build a 36-28 advantage halftime advantage. In the locker room Coach Aura challenged the team to step up the level of their play in the 2nd half. The team responded and opened a solid lead early in the 2nd half. Some good passing led to a lot of open shots. We ended up hitting 54% of our FG’s and 48% of our 3’s and we held a 17-10 turnover advantage. We resoundingly whipped the Eagles 85-65. SG Billy Thomas had the best game of his career here. Hehit 9 of 13 FG’s including 7 of 9 three pointers and finished with 27 points. PF Deon Penn scored 19 points in his first game for the Tigers and SF Wayne Burrough added 11.
  2. Who’s Starting: Coach Frederick Aura Practice in October and early November went extremely smoothly. Our starting lineup is exactly what we figured it would be before practice began: PG Adrian Brown, 6-0 senior, 9.5 ppg and 3.5 apg last season SG Bill Thomas, 6-1 senior, 9.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, and 2.5 apg last season SF Wayne Burrough, 6-6 sophomore, 10.5 ppg and 5.3 rpg last season PF Deon Penn, 6-6 junior, JC player last season where he averaged 17.4 ppg and 8.5 rpg C Melvin Steele, 6-7 senior, 8.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg last season Primary subs: PG Mateen Carroll, 6-1 senior, 5.1 ppg and 2.9 apg last season SG Ryan Taylor, 6-1 junior, 6.7 ppg and 1.6 rpg last season SF Ross Davis, 6-3 sophomore, 3.2 ppg and 1.6 rpg last season SF Keiron Stone, 6-7 sophomore, 3.0 ppg and 0.3 rpg last season PF Jason Vickers, 6-7 junior, 8.1 ppg and 3.5 rpg last season C Jason Miner, 6-6 junior, 7.1 ppg and 4.0 rpg last season Walk-ons: PG Alex Haywood, 6-2 junior, 0.8 ppg and 0.6 apg last season SF Matt Heard, 6-6 senior, 0.7 ppg and 0.7 rpg last season Ineligible transfer players: Dominick Collins, 6-0 sophomore, transferred from Southern California (3.5 ppg and 1.5 apg as freshman) Donny Flint, 6-9 sophomore, transferred from Butler (13.2 ppg and 9.9 rpg as freshman, Big East Freshman of the Year and Big East All-Conference 1st Team) While we’re still not a strong team, I think our overall player talent level and depth are gradually improving. I’m looking forward to the upcoming season. Hopefully we won’t have any serious injuries this year like we’ve had the past 2 seasons. This season 5 of our 11 pre-conference games are at home, so that’s a scheduling improvement as well.
  3. Recruiting 1st Assistant Coach Omar McDade We only purchased the basic scouting report for the Atlantic East and will only attend the Big Apple Showcase in order to conserve recruiting funds this year. We have 4 scholarships to fill and would like to land 2 PG’s and a big man and take the best available regardless of position for the final scholarship. Our efforts to land two strong performers during the transfer period together with what we spent on the scouting report and the upcoming recruiting camp have reduced our remaining recruiting budget to $39,800. That’s better than last year (when we spent a lot on scouting reports and attending camps) but we have twice as many scholarships to fill this year than we did last year. We’re focusing on recruits within our region this year rather than doing the shot-gun approach for the entire country we employed last year so that will help conserve our funds. When the recruiting season actually began we made slow progress in getting recruits to be interested in Towson. But we had a reason number showing some interest, but few showing a lot of interest, when September rolled around and we began offering scholarships. We lost out on several since we were shooting pretty high. But in late September we got our first verbal commitment from Copley Dwiggins, a 6-1 SG, who is beginning his senior year at Winters Mill High School in Westminster, MD. Dwiggins is presently ranked the #281 best recruit, but he has been substantially higher ranked earlier this year. He’s a great outside shooter and scorer but needs to work on the aspects of his game. His high school coach says he isn’t a leader but doesn’t cause problems. He averaged 18.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.4 bpg, and 0.7 spg last season. We’re hoping he matures and develops well in his last season of high school ball so that he can contribute as soon as he arrives at Towson. Then in late October, Matt Faust, a 6-1 PG who is at a junior college in Gainesville, Georgia, gave us a verbal commitment. Faust is the 337th ranked recruit, but also has been ranked higher earlier this year. He’s a good shooter from outside and is an adept passer and ball handler. He also is strong defensively. Last season he averaged 14.1 ppg, 3.0 apg, 3.4 rpg, 0.5 bpg, and 1.4 spg in his first season at the JC. Since we’re losing both of our PG’s to graduation after this season, hopefully Matt can step right in to direct our team. Still 2 scholarships to fill. We’re working hard on two guys and have a bunch of others still on our list, but really don’t expect any scholarship acceptance until the spring.
  4. 2021-2022 SEASON Perry Winkle, Athletic Director: SF Bart Rose has decided to transfer. Coach Aura says he was pretty much a loner so hadn’t fit in well with the players or coaches. His playing time had been very limited in the two seasons he had been here, so I imagine he also is looking to get picked up by a program that can offer him more. Coach Aura says that means they may try to pick up two rather than one transfer player in June. TRANSFERS Coach Frederick Aura: We aggressively pursued transfer players in June. We were focused totally on trying to pick up high quality players. We were more successful than I had expected. While we missed out on one high flyer, we landed two very talented guys: C Donny Flint, 6-9, Soph, who as a freshman at Butler, averaged 13.2 ppg and 9.9 rpg. He was the Big East Freshman Player of the Year and made their All-Conference 1st Team. He’s very talented and is a great scorer and rebounder and an excellent defender who gets a lot of blocks and steals. He’s got the skills to really be a huge force for us. We were able to snag him because we’ve heard that he can be a disruptive force within the team so others may have been afraid to take a chance on him. Hopefully we can keep that in check. Otherwise, he may leave us after a single season of play. We plan to work to improve Flint’s GPA during this coming year while he’s unable to play for us. He’s from Aurora, Indiana. SG Dominick Collins, 6-0 Soph, who as a freshman at USC came in off the bench to average 3.5 ppg, 1.5 apg, and 1.4 rpg. He’s still developing but has outstanding potential as an outside scorer with excellent ball handling and passing skillspaly so he may PG rather than SG for us. For his size he’s a great rebounder. His defensive instincts and abilities are strong although still developing. He’s from Battle Creek, Michigan. FYI: Bart Rose transferred to Western Carolina. I called and congratulated Bart and also called Javon Thompson, the head coach for the Catamounts, to provide praise about Bart.
  5. Coach Frederick Aura: I met with Perry Winkle, our AD. He wasn’t happy about our overall performance and particularly how we did in the conference tournament. But he said he’s still in my corner. So much so I guess that his 2 goals for next season were so easy to accomplish that it’s not even worth repeating them here. But I know that in his heart he’s hoping for a big improvement this coming season. Well, so am I! He said he knew that some colleges were interested in my taking their head coaching jobs and said that while he would never block me from looking, he hoped I would be staying here at Towson. I told him I haven’t achieved the improvement in the Tigers that I had set for myself, so had no intention of leaving. I told him we intend to go after a transfer player and that if we are able to get a strong player that way it could have a big impact on our upward development even though it won’t be for 2 years from now. I told him that we are likely to narrow our scope for recruiting this coming season. Last season we had thought maybe we could get a high school player from outside the region. I now think that while that is still possible, it’s unlikely so we’ll focus on Maryland and the region around us since a lot of recruits want to play somewhat near home. That will help conserve our limited recruiting budget and that will be even more important this coming season when we will have 4 openings, rather than the 2 we had this previous year. We discussed my staffing and he thought maybe it was time to look for an upgrade in my assistant coaches. But when I mentioned that the board had turned down my request for a budget increase, he had to admit that we probably just need to stick with whom we presently have. Sure as hell can’t get anyone better for the low salaries we’re paying. Anyway, our less that stellar season wasn’t the fault of my assistant coaches. We’re going to be in trouble after next season though, since this is the last remaining year on all their contracts. If we want them to stay, they’re going to want more money, of which we are in short supply. Perry’s had a tough year. He and his wife separated a few months ago and while they haven’t filed for divorce, it seems as though they are pulling further and further apart. His uncle also came down with Covid19 a month ago and is in the ICU at a hospital in another state so he’s very concerned about whether his uncle will recover. As this season ends, I’m hoping for a better year for Perry. I’m also hoping for a better year for our team. It’s time to take an upward step in our progression.
  6. Omar McDade We just finally got the SAT results for Werner Kaempfer, the German recruit we had offered the scholarship to. He didn’t have a high enough SAT to qualify for our college. So we quickly withdrew our offer. We had been able to visit C Darrick Thorne who is from Hammond, Indiana and he was very enthusiastic about us. So we issued our scholarship offer to him in late March. We didn’t have sufficient remaining funds to do anything but continue to call him, but hoped he’d decide to accept our offer. In early April, Thorne accepted a scholarship offer from North Carolina. We made a last gasp offer to a slick point guard from Arizona. Due to our budgetary shortage this year, Coach Aura petitioned the board for more money in upcoming years, but his request was denied. We were unable to gain enough traction with the final recruit to whom we had offered a scholarship so the year will end with one unfilled scholarship. We’ll have 4 seniors with scholarships on next season’s roster, so rather than having a 5th scholarship to offer during recruiting season, Coach Aura wants to try to land a transfer player this summer. Our lone new incoming recruit will be PF Deon Penn. He averaged 17.4 ppg, 3.8 apg, 8.5 rpg, 2.0 bpg, and 3.1 spg in his final season at West Linn CC in Linn, Oregon. He’s the 41st highest ranked recruit in the country. He’s a great scorer, particularly inside. He’s also a very strong rebounder and has good passing skills. He’s a ball hawk. I think he will be able to make an impact for us immediately.
  7. Post Season Tournaments NCAA: Hofstra (17-15) plays Northwestern State (17-14) for a #16 seed to take on #1 seed Memphis in the West Region. Hofstra defeated Northwestern State 76-67 with bench players David Perine scoring 16 points and SG Landry Townes adding 14 points to lead them on to the first round of the Big Dance. Hofstra was trounced 77-56 by Memphis. C Colin Leith scored 12 points for the Pride. Syracuse beat Ohio State for the National Championship. CBI: Northeastern (21-11) is the #1 seed in the West Region and will play #8 seed Belmont (17-13). Northeastern cruised to a 91-70 spanking of Belmont. SF Mike Clyburn dropped in 21 points to lead the Huskies to their victory. In the second round Northeastern took on Oregon State. The Huskies had no trouble and rocked the Beavers by a score of 79-56. SF Mike Clyburn had an awesome game, scoring 38 points and getting 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks and 2 steals. In Round 3 Northeastern was matched up against Iowa. The first half ended with Iowa on top 29-27. Iowa opened an 11 point lead in the 2nd half but then Northeastern came back. But the Huskies came up just short, losing 74-70. C Jimmy Roberts was Northeastern’s top scorer with 12 points.
  8. Omar McDade We have nursed what little is left of our recruiting budget throughout the entire winter. Last week we finally offered our last remaining scholarship to SG Werner Kaempfer from Germany. He looks to be a solid performer. From what we’ve seen on game films, he has a sweet outside shot and can also score well inside. We’ve recruited him on the cheap…just a whole series of phone calls since we don’t have the bucks to do anything more with an international recruit. He’s definitely showing interest in us, but I have no idea who else may be working to get him to come to their school. Unfortunately we won’t have the money to do a home visit like we’d usually do this spring to try to seal the deal. So if he doesn’t commit we may have to withdraw the scholarship and go after a recruit in this country who we stil have enough money to visit.
  9. 2020-2021 Season Recap Colonial Athletic Association Final Standings Towson Tigers Player Stats
  10. COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION TOURNAMENT Excerpts from Baltimore Sun sports pages: Day 1: Play-in Games #10 seed Charleston Cougars (10-20, 7-11) vs #7 seed James Madison Dukes (15-15, 8-10): Led by C Mark Ress who scored 18 and pulled down 11 rebounds as well as getting 2 steals and 3 blocks, Charleston scored a minor upset 77-63. #9 seed Drexel Dragons (12-18, 7-11) vs #8 seed NC-Wilmington Seahawks (12-18, 8-10): This game was a toss-up, but Drexel came on strong in the 2nd half to whip the Seahawks 74-61 as SG Kevin Williams scored 16 and PG Ryan Killion hitting for 15. Day 2: Quarter-final Games #9 seed Drexel Dragons (13-18, 7-11) vs #1 seed Northeastern Huskies (19-10, 13-5): After trailing by 3 points at the break, Northeastern had to come back in the latter stages of the 2nd half to post a 77-73 victory. The Huskies SG Tony Patterson topped all scorers with 16 points. #10 seed Charleston Cougars (11-20, 7-11) vs #2 seed Delaware Fightin-Blue Hens (13-16, 10-8): Following a tight first half, Delaware opened a 14 point lead in the 2nd half, only to have to hold on at the end as Charleston made a desperate run before losing to the FIghtin’ Blue Hens 81-74. PG Rufus Brooker scored a season-high 23 points for Delaware. #6 seed Elon Phoenix (10-19, 8-10) vs #3 seed Hofstra Pride (14-15, 10-8): In yet another close game, Hofstra was able to hold off Elon to win 73-66. Hofstra’s C Colin Leith scored 14 while grabbing 7 rebounds, but the high point man for the game was Elon’s Darius Cockle who finished with 17 points. #5 seed Towson Tigers (13-16, 9-9) vs #4 seed William & Mary Tribe (13-16, 10-8): Towson beat the Tribe by 14 at home and lost by 10 on their court. The odds-makers said this game was a 50-50 tossup. The Tigers’ PG Adrian Brown was still not 100% after straining his hamstring. William & Mary scored the first 6 points as Towson blew several easy inside attempts. The Tigers continued to blow opportunities and played a soft defense. They fell behind by as much as 12 points and finished the half trailing 45-36. William & Mary outshot the Tigers 57% to 36%. Only SG Billy Thomas had a good half. He scored 14 and had 5 rebounds. Towson continued their lackadaisical play for 5-1/3 minutes in the 2nd half and then trailing by 11, they went on an 16-1 run that gave them their first lead of the game at 61-57. The refs then seemingly called fouls against Towson on every possession by the Tribe causing the Tigers to fall behind by 4 with just over 4 minutes to play. The refs continued to work over the Tigers allowing William & Mary to come away with a 79-73 victory. Towson’s 37% shooting was their death knell. SG Ryan Taylor hit for 21 and Billy Thomas (who played PG as well as SG since PG Adrian Brown’s injury made him ineffective) scored 17. For the Tribe, PF Matt Holt had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Coach Frederick Aura said, “We made a great effort to come back and grab the lead. Then there were a series of questionable calls against us that turned the game around.” Day 3: Semi-final Games #4 seed William & Mary Tribe (14-16, 10-8) vs #1 seed Northeastern Huskies (20-10, 13-5): William & Mary held a 31-24 halftime lead, but Northeastern came back in the 2nd half to come away with a 64-64 tie at the end of regulation play. The game went back and forth throughout the entire overtime period, but with the game tied, PG Michael Phelan sank a 3 with 2 seconds on the clock to gain WIlliam & Mary a 75-72 upset over the Huskies. Phelan and PF Matt Holt both scored 20 points for the Tribe. Holt also had 9 rebounds. #3 seed Hofstra Pride (15-15, 10-8) vs #2 seed Delaware FIghtin’ Blue Hens (14-16, 10-8): In a game that was close throughout, Hofstra came away with a 66-58 win. SG Shannon Myers came off the bench to lead the scoring for the Pride with 15 points. Hofstra’s bench scored over 50% of the Pride’s points. Day 4: Championship Game #3 seed Hofstra Pride (16-15, 10-8) vs #4 seed William & Mary Tribe (15-16, 10-8): The first half was close but Hofstra was in control most of the way and led 30-25 at the break. But the Pride ground the Tribe down in the 2nd half and came away with an impressive 70-56 win to punch their ticket for the Big Dance.
  11. Mar. 2, 2021: Towson Tigers (13-15, 9-8) @ Northeastern Huskies (18-10, 12-5) Perry Winkle, Athletic Director What a roller coaster season. I decided to travel with the team for their final regular season game. Tough to end with an away game against the #1 team in the conference. PG Adrian Brown strained his hamstring in practice. While he is expected to play, his performance is likely to be hampered. It’s the kind of injury that is probably going to limit him as well when we go into the conference tournament next week. We played well in the first half, leading by 8 points midway through the half. But Northeastern is good and came back to take a 39-36 halftime advantage. They scored 7 more points than us from the line. SG Ryan Taylor and PF Jason Miner both scored 9 points. The game stayed close throughout the 2nd half, but in the latter stages Northeastern took a 6 point lead and threatened to blow it open. But our guys fought back and with 3:22 left we trailed 65-63. With just over a minute to play, Coach Aura called a time out to set up a 3 point attempt which the team executed perfectly and Ryan Taylor’s shot swished through the silks to make it 70-69 in favor of the Huskies. Northeastern then turned the ball over. Another time out led to a slick pick and roll with Billy Thomas driving to the bucket to give us a 1 point lead with 41 seconds remaining. The Huskies tried to work it inside but we stymied them. After a kicked ball they worked the ball around outside and hit a 3. We again called a time out with 10 ticks on the clock. Thomas again drove but his shot went off the rim and Northeastern quickly brought the ball up court. We tried to foul and did so but as they were shooting a last second 3 that went in. They hit the free throw as well and we lost a heart-breaker 77-71. The refs sent the Huskies to the line 9 more times where they scored 9 more points than did we. SG Ryan Taylor was our top scorer with 15 points. Following him were SG Billy Thomas with 12 and C Melvin Steele and PF Jason Vickers who both scored 10. Unfortunately our two PG’s, Adrian Brown and Mateen Carroll totalled just 4 points between them. Had we won we would have been tied for 2nd place, but the loss tumbled us down to sole possession of 5th place. I don’t really think it matters where we finished in the standings because I’m guessing the conference tournament will be a jumble as I believe any team can beat any other team.
  12. Feb. 27, 2021: NC-Wilmington Seahawks (11-16, 7-9) @ Towson Tigers (12-15, 8-8) Rayal Montrose, HS Senior Came to the game tonight with a couple of my homeboys. We go to Castlemont HS and play b-ball there. Upped my average from 11 ppg last year to 16 this year. Trying to latch on to a scholarship to play ball since my family doesn’t have the bucks to front me for going. Thought I”d be getting some offers, but so far, no go. CJ (he’s our 1 on the team) thought maybe I might make some contacts here so we all drove over. Stands aren’t near full but nice court…sure as hell beats where we play. And I hear their training room is fine as well. Towson’s defense schooled the Seahawks early…steals, blocks, missed shots. Kept NC-Wilmington from hitting a shot from the field for near 5 minutes. SG Ryan Taylor subbed in and splashed in a couple quick 3’s to put the Tigers up 19-7 with 12 minutes to go. Towson tore up the Seahawks in the first half. Went ahead by 20 and led 47-33 at the break. Tigers hit 57% of their shots and controlled the boards 18-12. The Tigers’ guards hit 12 of 20 from the field with Ryan Taylor scoring 10, Adrian Brown 8, Billy Thomas 7, and Matt Carroll 2. They held NC-Wilmington’s SG Mike Clay (who came in averaging 17.5 ppg) to 2 for 11 shooting. Except for Brown and Thomas raining in some 3’s, the rest of the Towson team came out of the locker room looking flat. 7 minutes into the 2nd half, PF Jason Miner worked around his man and threw down a monstrous dunk that seemed to fire up the Tigers. With 12 minutes to go, Towson led 68-47. The Tigers then coasted on to an 86-66 thrashing of the Seahawks. Towson hit 51% of their FG’s, 44% of their 3’s, and dominated the boards 35-26. PG Adrian Brown stroked in 23 points, SG Billy Thomas finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks, and SG Ryan Taylor added 10 points. The Seahawks’ Mike Clay hit just 4 of 19 from the field including a miserable 1 of 9 from beyond the arc. Towson is now in a 3-way tie for 3rd place. CJ pulled one of the Tigers assistant coaches over after the game. Got to talk him for a little bit, but he didn’t seem all that interested in me. Ta hell with Towson. Their loss.
  13. Feb. 23, 2021: Towson Tigers (12-14, 8-7) @ Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens (11-15, 8-7) 1st Assistant Coach Omar McDade Delaware’s 2-3 zone completely stymied us early and we fell behind 20-7. Even though we began hitting some shots in the final 10 minutes of the half it wasn’t enough to really get back into the game. When the buzzer sounded we were down 36-27. We had hit just 31% of our shots and 17% of our 3’s. We’d been called for 14 fouls while only 5 were assessed against the FIghtin’ Blue Hens. With the exception of C Melvin Steele who scored 9 points, the rest of our starting lineup was toast. Things went from bad to worse in the 2nd half. We fell behind by as much as 22 points and never made any kind of run. We ended up being trampled 76-57. We hit just 36% of our shots while allowing Delaware to knock down 49% of theirs. We made 7 more turnovers than the Fightin’ Blue Hens. Our team is a puzzle. I keep thinking they will gel but they just never do. While Crash (Coach Aura) and I didn't expect we'd be a really strong team, we figured we'd have done better than we have thus far. PG Mateen Carroll and C Melvin Steele both scored 11 points with Steele also pulling down 9 rebounds. Our two starting guards (Brown and Thomas) scored a total of 2 points, hitting 1 of 12 shots. We’re now in a 3-way tie for 4th place.
  14. Feb. 20, 2021: Towson Tigers (12-13, 8-6) @ James Madison Dukes (13-12, 6-8) Matt Heard, walkon SF Coach Fed worked us hard in practice the past couple days. I got the feeling he’s frustrated with how we’ve been playing. Actually I think most of us are. We just can’t string together a series of games where we play well. So that means were inconsistent and no one likes being inconsistent. It was a 3 hour bus trip to Harrisburg, VA where we will take on James Madison. They beat us by 4 points on our court. Time for some payback. I tried psyching guys up before the game. The two teams played evenly early but then the Dukes moved ahead by 7 points midway through the half. Our guys struck back though and went on an 10-0 run to go ahead 24-21. I was cheering the guys on from the far end of the bench. The half ended in a 34-34 tie. PF Jason Vickers led our scoring with 7 points. The 2nd half was a real tussle with the lead exchanging hands repeatedly. With 7 minutes remaining we held a slim 58-57 lead. But James Madison got hot and with 42 seconds to go we trailed by 5 points. Coach Fed called a time out to set up a 3 point attempt and Wayne Burrough buried it to cut the Dukes lead to 70-68 with 31 seconds remaining. Rather than foul we applied a lock down defense, forced a tough shot and recovered the rebound with 22 seconds to go. We missed a 3 but got the rebound and called a time out with 7 seconds on the clock. The pick play didn’t work so Adrian Brown drove, pulled up to put up a contested 8 footer that went off the rim and we went home with a 70-68 loss. Another tough defeat. PF Wayne Burrough had 13 points and C Melvin Steele hit for 12. The Dukes’ C Felipe McMillian scored 19. We remain tied with Delaware for 3rd place in the conference.