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Omar McDade

The decision to go after top-rated recruits definitely upped the ante this year.  We put a lot of them on our list and slowly got some of them interested, but minimally so.  Some simply would not talk to us at all.  When we were able to create interest, we just kept chipping away…phone call after phone call.  Tedious work with only occasional minor victories.  When it came time to offer two available scholarships, we first offered to #12 ranked C Llewellyn Alvin.  Even though he was so highly rated, we thought we MIGHT have a chance since he was from Maryland.  We also offered a scholarship to C Steve Buchanan from Maine.  He was ranked #34 and had shown a fair amount of interest.  But the home visit didn’t go well and he quickly opted to go to North Carolina (not much chance of competing against the Tar Heels).  We offered the scholarship that Buchanan refused to SG Steven Campbell, #59-ranked recruit from New Hampshire.  His interest level rose but and we had some good home visits, but he picked Clemson.  In the meantime even though Alvin liked our home visits, he decided to go to Oklahoma State.

We then offered a scholarship to 41st-ranked PF Deon Penn who is attending a JC in Oregon.  Surprisingly he showed some strong interest during the late summer. Penn’s interest in us rose with our first home visit but dropped significantly when we re-visited him.

With our budget running low, we decided to drop down to #243-ranked C Melvin Wilden from New  York for our 2nd and last scholarship offer.  Wilder was rated higher earlier this year and we like what we’ve seen of him.  

At that point I was distressed that we were going to run out of money with no success at all.  Coach Aura said, “Don’t worry, there are always transfer players to go after at the end of this coming season.”  Then, lo and behold, after our 3rd visit to Penn (with no remaining time for home visits), Penn accepted our offer!  You could have heard my sigh of relief in Oregon.  That left Wilden interested but unsigned and dangling.  We plan to cut back all costs and see if he accepts this winter and otherwise try to have a tiny bit of money left to hook him in the spring.  Then in mid October, Wilden let us know he was going to go to George Mason.  So we’ll continue to contact the remaining recruits on our list and see who rises to the top with the hope we are able to get a good recruit to commit this coming spring.

Coach Aura admitted we shot too high this summer.  It’s just too tough for Towson to recruit against the big boys for the top-rated recruits.

Deon Penn is a 6-6 PF from West Linn, Oregon.  Not only is he ranked #41 in the nation, we’ve evaluated  him as an overall A rated recruit.  He’s a very good scorer, particularly from inside, but also has pretty good range from outside.  He’s an excellent rebounder who has very good passing and stealing skills. Last season he averaged 18.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.9 bpg, and 2.5 spg.  I expect him to fit right into our starting lineup when he arrives next year.

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Harry Iacona, 3rd Assistant Coach

Coach Aura had me set up a study table for any of our players whose GPA is below 3.0.  So now I’ve got six players on it that I have to keep tabs on. 

Michael Snoddy, 2nd Assistant (Practice) Coach

We began team practice sessions in early October.  Ross Davis and Matt Heard got into it during one of our early practices.  So Coach Aura laid into both of them and both responded well to it.  The team pulled together after that.  I’m happy with how the team is developing, but we’re going to need to use pre-conference play to clean things up if we’re to challenge in the Colonial Athletic Association this year.

Here’s how I see the team shaping up:

Jr Adrian Brown definitely has the edge to start at PG. But Jr Mateen Carroll will be a good backup.

Sr Eric Shannon seems to have the early edge to start at SG, but Jr Billy Thomas and So Ryan Taylor both could challenge him.  Thomas again probably will put in time at PG as well but we don’t plan to get him into any games until December 1st to let the MCL he tore last season to fully mend.   Shannon is likely to continue to move over to SF for portions of some games after Thomas returns.

Fr Wayne Burrough is likely going to win the starting role at SF.  But to my surprise, redshirt Fr Ross Davis really improved his game over the summer.  So he’ll come off the bench to get some solid minutes at SF this season.  If he continues his improvement Coach Aura was right not to have cut him to go after a transfer player.

So Jason Minor looks to be our starting PF with So Jason Vickers being a good substitute.

Sr Melvin Steele has a very small edge over Jr Nick McPherson (who has improved a lot) at C.

We’re redshirting Fr SF Keiron Stone as we figured we would.  He has tremendous potential but needs some maturing and refinement of skills, and I don’t think he’d be happy riding our bench all season.

Media Prediction:  The media has picked our team to finish 4th in the conference behind Northeastern, William & Mary, and Hoftstra.

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Jeremiah Dunwoody (JD), NCAA Investigator visits Coach Aura (CA)

JD: Hey Coach, your first season as head coach in Division I went pretty darned well. 

CA: Thanks.  Not sure if any of the credit goes my way.  The players worked their butts of and did their best I think. 

JD: Yeah Coach, and I’m sure you’re doing your best to get even better players for the future.  Actually that’s why I’m here.

CA: (Laughing) Your son plays ball?

JD: Hah!  Hell, Coach…I got 5 kids and not one of them a boy.  But a couple of my girls aren’t bad out on the court. 

CA: Then it’s probably Coach Jenny Portman you want to be talking to.  She’s doing a terrific job with our women’s team.

JD: Nah, that’s not really why I’m here.  Coach, let me get right to the point.  Tell me, have you been recruiting Kenley Carter?

CA: We had him on our list for a while, but not now.  Why?

JD: He’s a helluva player, isn’t he?  I’m guessing he will be a one-and-done for some college, but in that one year he certainly could make a difference for a team.

CA: You could well be right, but I really like guys who put in four years with us. 

JD: Yeah, but I bet you wouldn’t turn down a kid like Carter.

CA: I’m sure he’s got his sights set on a college in a much higher level conference than we play in.

JD: Maybe, maybe not.  We know his parents are dirt poor.  A family like that sometimes sees a kid like Kenley as a way to move quickly up the economic ladder. 

CA: That could well be true, but he’ll probably be getting a big payday when he signs with the pros.

JD: Absolutely, but it’s not a certainty.  Even playing a year of college ball, he might sustain an injury that would take that all away.  We see this all the time…a family just decided that they want what they can get, when they can get it.  Let me be straight up with you, Coach.  Did you ever have someone contact you about making a solid donation to the Carter bank account?

CA: No, not in so many words.  I did get a call that led me to believe that MIGHT be the case.  But I showed no interest.  And as I said, he’s no longer on our list of recruits we’re going after.

JD: So who was it that contacted you? 

CA: Beats me.  It was just a phone call out of the blue and he never gave me a name and his phone number never showed up on my phone…it just said “Private number”.

JD: Come now!  You can’t be serious that you never considered finding some way to get that kid to come to Towson.

CA: Sure, but through our regular recruiting efforts.  Not by paying a bribe.  As I said, I showed no interest.  In fact, I hung up on the unidentified caller.

JD: Why didn’t you let the NCAA know that a bribe was being solicited?

CA: Hey, I had no idea who was calling, if he really was connected with the Carters, what exactly was wanted, or if he was just a complete scam.  So there really was nothing to report since I never gave the guy the time of day.

JD:  OK, OK. No need to get all defensive and in a huff. I’m just trying to put this puzzle together.  Someone’s gonna take a fall.  In the future Coach, if something like this occurs, you need to give us a holler and let us know.  Not only does it help us keep the game clean, but it protects you.  You’d probably have needed some serious coin to get a stud like that to come your way anyway.  But you know, because you did get contacted and didn’t notify us, I can’t just delete you outta our list of guys we’re keeping our eyes on, even though I’d like to.

CA: Alright, I understand.  It’s the first time I’ve ever encountered anything like this.  And you can look this way as much as you’d like.  We have nothing to hide.

JD: Like I said when I got here, nice job in your first season.  It looks like you might be able to get the Tigers able to make some noise in the conference and in the post-season.  Just keep your program clean, Coach.

After Jeremiah Dunwoody leaves Coach Aura’s office:

CA: [Expletive Deleted]

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The next day, Coach Aura (CA) let’s 1st Assistant Coach Omar McDade (OM) know what happened during Jeremiah Dunwoody’s visit:

OM: Damn, I’m sorry you had to go through that.

CA: I musta been asleep in coach’s school when this subject came up.

OM: (Laughing)  Yeah, it’s just ONE of the dark corners of college basketball.  We give these kids a free scholarship and that’s great.  But a scholarship doesn’t mean much to a kid like Kenley Carter.  He’s only going to college to punch his ticket to move on to the NBA, not to get a college degree. But the colleges are making money off basketball and football players and paying them nothing otherwise.  Quite a few of these kids come from homes where money is scarce.  And there’s a hell of a lot of pressure on coaches to produce.  So it’s not surprising that there are those programs that cheat to get recruits. 

CA: You don’t have to tell me all that. I’m well aware of it.  But I want you to look at our recruiting protocols and tune them up so that there is absolutely no doubt about what we need to do to keep things totally on the up and up.  Then we need to get all the coaches together and go over it so everybody completely understands and there are no unanswered questions.  It’s just too damned easy for someone to say or do something even a little wrong or to not cross a T or dot an I in what we do.  I also want to talk with our players to ensure they completely understand what can’t be done and that they need to let us know if an alum, a fan, or anyone offers or provides them with something that is illegal with the NCAA.  We’re gonna have EVERYone sign that they’ve been apprised of all this also.

OM: I’m on it, Crash.

After leaving the office:

OM: [Expletive deleted]'ng NCAA!

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Nov 14, 2020: Towson Tigers (0-0) @ Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers (0-0)

PG Adrian Brown:

I’m was excited to be starting my first game for the Tigers.  The level of play is way above what went on in Junior College ball.

Andy Miller is The Mount’s starting PG that I’ll be going up against.  Last season he averaged 7.6 ppg and had 3.6 apg.  He’s a ball-hawk so I need to protect the ball.  SF B.J. Jefferson scored 13.7 ppg so we’d like to shut him down.

We picked off passes by the Moutaineers on their first two possessions of the game.  50 seconds into the game I drained a 3 for our first points.  We then pulled out to an 11-0 lead after 4 minutes of play.  Then we went scoreless for 3-1/2 minutes and allowed Mount St. Mary’s to tie us.  We then pulled away again and held onto a 5-10 point lead the rest of the half.  We went to the locker room up 34-26.  In his first collegiate game, SF Wayne Burrough led us with 9 points in the first half. 

Our defense clamped down on the Mountaineers early in the 2nd half and we opened a 46-30 lead with 13 minutes remaining.  But Mount St. Mary’s came back to tie the game at 51-51 with 9-1/2 minutes to play.  We went on an 9-0 run to lead 64-55 with 6 minutes to go.  We held on to come away with a 70-63 road win. 

We hit 48% of our FG attempts and 50% of our 3P attempts.  We held the Mountaineers shooting to 38% on FG’s and 27% on 3’s.  We made 23 turnovers so I’m sure Coach Fed will be on us at practice about that.

After scoring just 3 points in the first half, I finished with 14 points and had 2 steals and 2 blocks plus held Andy Miller to just 3 points.  So I felt good about my defense.  SG Eric Shannon and SF Wayne Burrough both scored 11 points and each had 5 rebounds.  The coaches gave me the Player of the Game award, but I didn’t feel I deserved it since I had 7 turnovers and only 3 assists.

Best performance by a Colonial Athletic Association team tonight was by Hofstra which scored a 76-65 upset on the road versus Tennessee.

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Nov. 17, 2020: Towson Tigers (1-0) @ Nicholls State Colonels (0-1)

SF Wayne Burrough:

Now that I have a game under my belt, I’m not as nervous as I was before our first game.

C Melvin Steele-9 points in the first 1:36 of play to put us ahead 9-3.

7:31 Nicholls State takes 25-24 lead.

Halftime score: Nicholls State-43, Towson-32.

We were outshot 48% to 35% on FG’s and 44% to 10% on 3’s.  The Colonels went to the line 7 more times than we did.

We scored Ok in the 2nd half, but Ncholls State burned us the entire 2nd half with hot shooting.

We got slammed 95-77. 

The Colonels hit 54% of their FG’s and 57% of their 3’s.  Just downright poor defense by us.

Leading scorers: C Melvin Steele-15 points, PF Jason Minor and me-10 points each.  I also had 8 rebounds.

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Nov.21, 2020: Towson Tigers (1-1) @ Omaha Mavericks (2-1)

2nd Assistant Coach Michael Snoddy:

Tonight we have the 3rd of 7 straight road games to start our season.  This pre-conference schedule stinks.  Coach Aura has presented it to the players as a “challenge”…one that is up to them to overcome.  My challenge is my back.  The bed at last night’s hotel was hard as a board and I slept badly and my back is now killing me.

The Mavericks’ PF Troy Finley has been hitting a high percentage of his shots.  So we hope to at least only give up contested shots rather than open ones.

Eric Shannon got called for fouls on the Mavericks first two possessions.  Hope this doesn’t portend quick whistles from the refs all night.  We don’t score until the 15:20 mark and then just from the foul line.  At the 2nd media time out, we trailed 17-4 and were oh-for-nine from the field.  Coach Aura tore into the guys during the time out, but the players seemed unfazed.  Before we finally scored from the field with 8:07 remaining in the half, we had fallen behind 29-5 with Omaha score 21 of their points at the free throw line.  14 fouls had been called against us and only 5 against the Mavericks.  It was obvious this was going to be a long night.  The first half mercifully finally ends.  While our  offense finally picked up some we still trailed 42-24.  We hit just 26% of our FG attempts, got pounded 25-10 on the boards by Omaha, and the refs had called us for 16 fouls which put the Mavericks on the line 28 times where they scored 25 points.  We allowed Troy Finley to score 12 points for Omaha but half of those came at the free throw line.  Our top scorer was Jason Vickers who got 7 points coming off the bench, but also picked up 3 fouls.  Our five starters combined to score just 10 points.

Eric Shannon was injured midway through the 2nd half.  Our other SG Ryan Taylor fouled out a minute later.  With 4-1/2 minutes remaining in the game we had cut the lead to 10 points, but that was as close as we could get and we ended up losing 75-60. 

PF Jason Vickers led our scoring with 11 points with PF Jason Minor adding 9.  Omaha’s Troy Finley fired in 24 points.

After the game our worst fears were realized when Eric Shannon’s injury was confirmed to be a torn ACL which will sideline him the rest of the year.

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As a Dayton alum, I know how hard it can be to attract top recruits. Keep plugging.

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Nov. 24, 2020: Towson Tigers (1-2) @ Montana State Bobcats (1-2)

Ryan Taylor:

We traveled north from Nebraska to Montana for another road game.  Due to Eric Shannon’s injury I’m in the starting lineup at SG, but hate that it hate that Eric, who is a senior, will not be able to play another collegiate game.

The Bobcats hit two quick 3’s putting us down by 6 but we fought back to take a 13-12 lead with 12 minutes to go in the half.  The remainder of the half was a dogfight but we took a 41-38 lead to the locker room.  Little used Bart Rose came off the bench to play 3 different positions (SF, SG, and PF) and led our scoring with 7 points.  We let SF Troy Anderson score 15 points, so need to put a stop of that guy in the 2nd half.

We couldn’t get the ball in the hoop in the 2nd half and the refs called fouls on us but not against the Bobcats.  We therefore slowly slipped behind and then let Montana State take the game away from us in the latter stages.  We dropped the game 78-64 as we were outshot 46% to 35% and scored 7 less points at the foul line that did Montana State.

I had a terrible game scoring just 3 points and hitting only 1 of 8 FG attempts.  If I’m to hold onto the starting SG job, I’ll need to do a lot better with Billy Thomas coming back from an injury very soon.  SF Wayne Burrough scored 12 and PG Adrian Brown added 10.  But the Bobcat’s Troy Anderson bombed in 24 points.

 

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Nov. 28, 2020: Towson Tigers (1-3) @ Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (0-4)

Harry Iacona, 3rd Assistant Coach

7 straight road games!  We won the first one and I thought maybe we’d be OK, but now we’ve had 3 straight losses.  Time to turn things around. 

I’ve been leapfrogging ahead of the team so I could check out our upcoming opponents.  Not a helluva lot of fun since controls are still pretty tight due to Covid-19 restrictions.  Tonight there were no opponents to scout, so I’m on the bench at the game.

Another slow start put us down by 8 points after just 3 minutes of play.  That meant we had to play catch up ball.  We got it close over and over but could never get the lead and then the Golden Eagles pulled away late to finish the half ahead of us 36-23.  Poor shooting and 11 turnovers on our part.  None of our players scored more than 4 points in the half.  Tennessee Tech’s PG B__ Dumic dropped in 10 against us.

We struggled throughout most of the 2nd half to catch up and finally with 6 minutes to go Andre Brown hit a 12 foot jumper on which he was fouled and he sunk the free throw to tie the game at 50-50.  We were able to move ahead by a few points but the refs kept the Golden Eagles in the game with picky fouls against us.  Coach Aura got his 2nd Technical with 3 minutes to go and Omar took over coaching the team.  That T got our team aroused enough to overcome the refs.  With 1-1/2 minutes to go the game was tied at 62-62.  Then with a minute left, Ryan Taylor zipped a sharp pass inside to Jason Miner who threw down a slam to give us a 2 point lead.  Neither team could score so with 15 seconds on the clock, Tennessee Tech was forced to foul.  Ryan Taylor made hit both free throws and we went on to escape with a 66-64 victory. 

Although Tennessee Tech scored 6 more points at the free throw line, we shot well in the 2nd half to pull our FG percentage up to 48% for the game compared to 42% by the Golden Eagles.

Wayne Burrough scored 11 and had 9 rebounds, Melvin Steele scored 10, and Jason Vickers and Ryan Taylor both added 9.

Coach Aura was pumped up after the game and heaped praise on the team for their comeback win.

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Dec. 1, 2020: Towson Tigers (2-3) @ Tulane Green Wave (3-2)

Coach Omar McDade, 1st Assistant

Pregame:

It was fun coaching the team for the final 3 minutes of our last game.  I had to thank Crash (Coach Aura) for setting it up for me by his getting two T’s.  He said the win was all mine and said maybe he needs to be kicked out of more games.

There’s a step up in our opposition tonight as we take on Tulane.  The Green Wave have won all 3 of their home games this season with ease.  SF Doug Flannery has hit 65% of his FG attempts and 62% of his 3P attempts.  He’s going to be tough to stop.

After a full year of rehab for a torn MCL, SG Billy Thomas is back!  He might be rusty, but we’re going to start him tonight to get him right back into the game and see how he does.  He’ll share playing time with Ryan Taylor.  Billy can also put some time in as PG when needed so that added flexibility is a big plus.

1st Half: 

Turnovers on our first two possessions resulted in breakaway layins for the Green Wave.  We fell behind by 6 but PF Jason Miner scored our first 7 points and PG Adrian Brown sunk a 3 to put us on top 10-8 with 15:12 remaining in the half.  We played well and stayed ahead by a small margin until Tulane hit a 3 to recapture the lead 29-26 with 5 minutes to go.  As the half ended, the Green Wave hit a 3 that put them on top 41-35.  Jason Miner finished the half with 12 points and 4 boards.  We we let the Green Wave hit 56% of their FG attempts, but held Tulane’s Doug Flannery to 5 points on 2 of 9 from the field.

2nd Half:

Even though we made some minor runs, Tulane gradually pulled away from us in the 2nd half as they continued to hit a high percentage of their shots and the refs layered foul calls on us.  After trailing by 15 we made a late run that brought us to with 3 points at 77-74 with 3-1/2 minutes to go.  But Tulane withstood the onrush and slapped an 84-77 defeat on our shoulders.

PostGame:

We were outshot 55% to 43% and out-rebounded 34-26 plus Tulane got to the foul line more often and scored 5 more points there that did we.  We held a 16-10 turnover advantage and hit 10 of 19 from beyond the arc. Four of our starters scored in double figures led by PF Jason Miner’s 19 points with PG Adrian Brown scoring 12, and SG Billy Thomas and SF Wayne Burrough both adding 11.  We held Doug Flannery to just 11 points but five players on Tulane scored in double figures.  Had we not been outplayed in the middle 10 minutes of the 2nd half, we would have had a good chance of winning this game.

Tough to lose another one, but it was nice to see Billy Thomas have a solid game.  Hopefully this will be a springboard to bigger and better things for him.

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Spencer Meadows, President of the Tigers Boosters Club:

Because Towson’s Boosters Club isn’t huge, we’re close knit.  Besides sitting together at games, we also have quite a few parties, activities and various types of get-togethers.  I moved to Towson 25 years ago and began regularly attending the college’s games.  I joined the Boosters Club almost 20 years ago and after retiring four years ago from being an engineering firm’s COO, I was elected as the club’s president.

We’ve gone through some tough years with the basketball team.  Too many losing seasons.  We’re optimistic that Coach Aura can turn things around and build a winner.  My assessment is that his year 2 team is solid but not great.  No real stars.  But any one of the starting five plus 3 or 4 of the reserves can take the lead for any given game.  We have yet to see the team perform since they’ve played all their games thus far on the road.  They finally will get a home game next week when Ball State visits.  We’ll be there to cheer them on.

The team has a good sub for each of the five positions. PF seems to be the team’s strongest position with Jason Miner and Jason Vickers together averaging over 16 ppg and 6.5 rpg.  Freshman SF Wayne Burrough has been the top scorer on the team thus far, averaging 10.3 ppg and also pulling down 5.8 rpg.  He’s ably backed up by Ross Davis.  Billy Thomas looks like he could be what the team needs at SG with Ryan Taylor serving as a solid reserve.  The two JC transfers, Adrian Brown and Mateen Carroll are doing a good job at PG.  At the Center position, Melvin Steele continues to start but Nick McPherson, coming off the bench, is just as strong as Steele.  The two have combined to average 13.2 ppg and 7.8 rpg.  Bart Rose has played limited minutes, primarily at SF but also at SG and PF, and has shown some good scoring capability.

This team only has two seniors graduating after this season, Nick McPherson and Eric Shannon.  Shannon sustained a season and career ending injury in the team’s second game of this season.  So that portends good things for next year’s squad, particularly since they’ve got a high quality JC interior player who has signed a Letter of Intent to join the Tigers next season.

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Dec. 5, 2020: Towson Tigers (2-4) @ Santa Clara Broncos (3-4)

Baltimore Sun Sports Section Article:

TOWSON’S LONG ROAD TRIP ENDS

Going up against the Santa Clara Broncos last night, the Towson University men’s basketball team finished a tough opening of their season with their 7th straight away game.

The Tigers started strong and took a 6 point lead early in the half, but the Broncos shot there way back and th two teams battled out the half through 6 lead changes and 4 ties.  Towson outshot Santa Clara 52% to 49% and hit 6 of 11 from beyond the arc, but 9 turnovers allowed Santa Clara to take a 44-42 lead when they hit a 3 with 1 second left in the half.  SG Billy Thomas led the scoring for Towson with 8 points while Jason Fuller dropped in 12 points for the Broncos.

The two teams continued to keep things close throughout the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half.  But then Santa Clara pulled ahead by as much as 8 points.  The Tigers cut the lead to 3 at 73-70 with 3:40 remaining.  With 2 minutes left Towson was behind by just 2 but Santa Clara then drained a 3 pointer on their next possession.  From there the Broncos countered each score by the Tigers.  Towson went down to an 87-80 defeat.  Turnovers were the difference in the game with Towson making 15 to just 9 by Santa Clara.

Towson’s scoring was led by SG Billy Thomas who hit for 16 with C Melvin Steele scoring 13 and SF Wayne Burrough adding 10 points and 8 rebounds.  Santa Clara was led by SG Jason Fuller’s 24 points.

Coach Frederick Aura said, “Our guys played tough tonight, but Santa Clara hit over 50% of their shots and just kept us on our heels in the latter stages of the game.  The travel the past three weeks has been brutal.  I hope to never again see a schedule like we’ve endured to start our season this year.”

The Tigers will finally get a home game on Thursday when they play Ball State at SECO Arena.

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December 8, 2020: Ball State Cardinals (2-5) @ Towson Tigers (2-5)

Doc the Tiger

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This is me. I’m Towson’s mascot and finally able to try to help the team since they are home for tonight’s game against Ball State.  I move throughout the arena before and during the game, both entertaining the crowd and trying to fire up the fans.  The little kids love me and some of the college coeds do also. 

The team’s 2-5 record probably make you think they stink, but winning on the road is tough.  They better win here tonight, though.  Ball State is no pushover.  Four of their five losses have been against teams from power conferences including two losses to teams in the top 10 in the polls.  Checking the stats the Cardinals score less that our team but have a much stronger defense.

Finals are just starting here at Towson University, so the student section isn’t packed and our lackluster record hasn’t brought in a lot of other fans, so I’m going to have to go all out to get those here to raise a raucous and make it tough for Ball State.

Our team comes out playing well and that helps me get the crowd to cheer them on.  Our cheer squad is working hard also.  We’re on top 17-11 at the second media timeout.  But led by Carlton Sessoms, Ball State gets hot and makes a game out of it.  The two teams play evenly throughout the last 10 minutes of the half with Towson coming out on top 40-37 at the break.  PG Adrian Brown knocks down 13 points in the half, but is matched by SF Carlton Sessoms for Ball State.  I’m guessing that Coach Aura is on his team in the locker room to get them in the 2nd half to shut down the Cardinals’ hot shooting.

I’m sweating up a storm inside this costume, but have to interact with our band to do some dancing during the halftime intermission to entertain everyone.  We also have some give-aways for the fans before play resumes.

The Tigers are unable to temper the hot shooting of the Cardinals, and midway through the 2nd half the Tigers trail 64-53.  Our team is unable to get back into the game and goes down to a disappointing 82-72 loss.

While the Tigers dropped in 50% of their shots, they let Ball State hit 60% of their FG attempts. 

PG Adrian Brown scored 15 and dished out 6 assists and SG Billy Thomas added 11 points.

I’m worn out and just want to go home and have a beer and then go to bed.

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Dec. 12, 2020: Towson Tigers (2-6) @ Texas State Bobcats (3-4)

Sheriff Roy Partee

I’m a big Bobcats fan.  My two kids went to the school and I’ve been livin’ in and about San Marcos my entire life.  I try to get to most all our team’s home games.  I wear my uniform to help keep the roudiness down.  Our boys better beat these Easterners up tonight on our court.  Our starting lineup is solid.  It’s led by David Harvey at SF who’s averagin’ 12 ppg.  I think Davey would play the entire 40 minutes if the coach would let him.  Then we got a hotshot SG by the name of J.P. Johnson who’s scorin’ 11.7 ppg but hittin’ 57% of his FG’s and 60% of his 3’s.  Buoyin’ us inside at C is Michael Wall who is a beast, scorin’ 10.3 ppg and grabbin’ 7.3 rpg.  Teamin’ up with him inside is PF Marcus DeLoach who don’t score so much at 7.9 ppg but attacks the boards to pull down 7 rpg.  Directin’ the team at the point is senior Marlon Wilson who scores 9.9 ppg and hands out 5.1 apg.  I’m guessin’ these Towson boys won’t be able to handle them.  We’ve won 4 of our last 5 games including stompin’ Bradley.

Introductions done and our Nattional Anthem played so let’s get these dad-burned game goin’.  The Towson team came out firin’ bullets and took a 13-4 lead but we reeled ‘em back in and with 11 minutes to go the score stood tied at 13-13.  David Harvey drained a 3 with just over 8 minutes left to give us our first lead at 20-18.  Helluva half even though we are on the short end of a 33-32 score so I gotta believe our guys are getting’ their butts kicked in the locker room.  Here I was tellin’ ya that Marcus DeLoach doesn’t score much and he leads our scorin’ with 9 points.  Towson’s SG Billy Thomas scored 8 points to top their scorin’.

Towson came out smokin’ again and took a 43-34 lead after just 3 minutes of play in the 2nd half.  The Bobcats didn’t lay down though and worked their way right back into the game.  We weren’t able to take the lead though and with 3:44 to go we trailed the Tigers 68-66.  Trailing by 4 with a minute to go we were forced to foul.  Towson kept missin’ their foul shots.  But we just didn’t have it tonight though, and I’ll be damned if Towson didn’t go on to beat our boys 76-72.

Michael Wall led the Bobcat’s scorin’ with 15 points and 11 rebounds.  David Harvey had 12 and Marcus DeLoach finished with 11.  Towson had 3 players in double figures:  SG Billy Thomas-16, PG Adrian Brown-13, and C Melvin Steele-10.  PG Mateen Carroll came off the bench to score 9 and dish out 5 assists.

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Dec. 19, 2020: Bucknell Bison (5-4) @ Towson Tigers (3-6)

Towerlight (Towson University student newspaper) article:

Coming off a road win, expectations were high for the Tigers when they hosted Bucknell.  “We played with a lot of determination when we beat Texas State,” said senior C Melvin Steele.  He added, “It’s important that we assert dominance when playing at home.  Having Billy (Thomas) back has been a boost.  He’s scored in double figures in all 4 games he’s started.”

The refs kept their whistles active in the first half.  Towson made use of the foul line plus some hot shooting from the field to a 38-21 lead with 7 minutes to go in the first half.  The Titans ended up hitting 60% of their FG attempts and 56% of their 3’s plus held an 11-5 turnover advantage enroute to a 50-34 halftime advantage.  PF Jason Vickers came in off the bench and dropped in 10 points to lead Towson’s scoring.

After opening a 21 point lead, the Tigers let Bucknell cut that lead to just 10 midway through the 2nd half.  But Towson rallied again and sprinted to a 93-74 lopsided victory.  The biggest team difference was that Bucknell made 23 turnover to just 12 by the Tigers.

Bucknell’s Center, Roberto Wilcox, scored 21 points, hauled down 11 rebounds and had 4 steals and a block.  But it wasn’t enough to overcome double figure scoring by 5 Towson players with SG Billy Thomas scoring 15 (and getting 6 assists), PF Jason Vickers and SF Wayne Burrough each knocking down 14 points, and C Melvin Steele and PG Adrian Brown both scoring 12.

Billy Thomas said, “The team played great together tonight.  We got production from everyone.”  When asked about his return from an injury, Thomas replied, “I’m loving being back on the court and in the lineup. My teammates were so supportive while I was unable to play and have really helped me get back into the flow of our offense.”

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Dec. 26, 2020: Towson Tigers (4-6) @ South Alabama Jaguars (5-4)

Jason Minor, PF

Thoughts before the game:

Our final pre-conference game and tune up for conference play.  And another freakin’ road game! We’re 3-5 in the away games we’ve played thus far.  Some might say that’s not so bad, but I wanna win.

Martin, our team stats guru, came up with a comparison between positions (combining the stats by the starters and subs for each position).  Here’s the breakdown (ppg/rpg/apg/topg):

PG—14.9 ppg/3.7 rpg/ 6.8 apg/5.5 topg

SG—14.7 ppg/4.4 rpg/3.7 apg/2.3 topg

SF—15.8 ppg/7.4 rpg/2.6 apg/2.5 topg

PF—13.9 ppg/6.1 rpg/1.9 apg/2.7 topg

C—14.0 ppg/8.4 rpg/2.2 apg/2.8 topg

So scoring is pretty much equally distributed and the other stats are pretty much like you might expect, but I’m intent on getting the PF position’s rebounding numbers up higher.  The trouble is that Jason Vickers is a good scorer but not a strong rebounder yet. 

3 out of the 4 South Alabama losses have been extremely close: by 5 points (in OT), 4 points, and 2 points.  But one of those losses was to Bucknell, which we beat.  T.J. Nahra, their center, is averaging 16.9 ppg and 7.0 rpg.  So we’ll be double teaming him. 

Warmups:

For some reason we had trouble getting used to their court.  There just seemed to be a softness to it.  That was throwing us off.  Hopefully we can shake it when the game begins.

1st Half:

After taking a 4-1 lead over the Jaguars, we fell behind.  While we kept trying to retake the lead, we kept getting within a point or two but couldn’t get over the hump.  At the break we trailed 35-34.  They got to the line 8 more times and scored 3 more points there than we did.  SG Billy Thomas was our leading scorer with 7 points.  I had a bad half.  No points, 1 rebound plus Devin Lake, the Jaguars’ PF scored 10 to match C T.J. Nahra’s 10 points. 

2nd Half:

Both of our centers, Melvin Steele and Nick McPherson, picked up their 3rd fouls in the first few minutes, so Coach Fed put me in the C position.  With 15:55 to go, Jason Vickers hit a jumper, was fouled on the shot and sunk the free throw to finally put us on top, 43-41.  Immediately after than I got tagged for my 3rd foul.  It’s not easy guarding Nahra.  We went up by 7 but then the refs wrecked our momentum with repeated picky fouls that sent Steele off with 5 fouls and loaded up 4 on McPherson and me.  We fell behind 53-51 with 10 minutes to go.  McPherson went out with 5 fouls with 9:10 to go.  We fell behind by 11 before closing a little at the end, but still lost 69-63.

We were unable to muzzle T.J. Nahra who scored 21 points and pulled down 12 boards.  SF Wayne Burrough and SG Billy Thomas both scored 13 for us with PF Jason Vickers adding 11.  My night was far from memorable and one I definitely want to forget.

I don't wanna talk about this game anymore.

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Perry Winkle, AD

I’m not happy that our team has a 4-7 record.  There’s been complaints lodged against me for the number of away games, but it’s not easy getting teams to commit to coming to visit us. And I did work with Coach Aura to create a schedule with opponents that weren’t all that tough.  We should have done better.  I certainly hope the team gets it together for conference play.

Two players I thought did well were: SF Wayne Burrough, who as a freshman is averaging 10.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg; and SG Billy Thomas, who came back from a year-long injury to average 10.6 ppg.

Just 2 of the 10 teams in the Colonial Athletic Association have records above .500: James Madison is 7-4 and Northeastern is 6-5. Three other teams have 4-7 records like ours and the remaining 4 teams have worse records.

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Jan. 2, 2021: Towson Tigers (4-7, 0-0) @ Elon Phoenix (2-9, 0-0)

Harry Iacona, 3rd Assistant (Scouting) Coach

I have to be honest with you.  I think we’re a better team that Elon but maybe not better enough to beat them on their own court.  That’s disturbing because we should be strong enough to win the road games against weaker Colonial Athletic Association teams.  I’m certainly not saying that to any of the other coaches or to anyone on the team, but I’ve warned everyone not to be fooled by their poor record.  Their pre-conference schedule was tougher than ours and 7 of their 11 games were on the road.  Their losses include games against Pittsburgh, Boston University, Wichita State, St. Mary’s, and #21 Indiana.

My scouting of the Phoenix has shown they like a lot of offensive freedom but prefer the shuffle offense when they run a set offense.  They like to slow things down and are only averaging 61 ppg…but they scored 70+ points in three of their games.  Defensively they run man-to-man primarily and don’t press that often.  They’ve given up just under 75 ppg thus far.  PF Darius Cockle is averaging 13.5 ppg and SG Adam Sasser 12.3 ppg.

By the way, grades from last term just came in and 12 of our 15 players have GPA’s from 3.1 to 4.0 so that’s great.  But we have 3 players with GPA’s of 2.3 to 2.6…and all 3 of those are our PG’s.  Not sure what’s up with that, but we’re going to put them all on study tables to make sure they spend enough time on their courses to not drop below 2.0 this coming term and stress the need to get good grades.

Elon is a small suburb (population under 10,000) of Burlington, NC and Elon University is the main employer.  We play at Schar Center and there’s a pretty decent crowd for the game.

The refs tore us throughout much of the first half.  Because of that we had 4 players benched with 2 fouls apiece and the game stayed close.  But in the last 5 minutes of the half, the fouls began evening out and the Phoenix made many of their 10 turnovers for the half.  That allowed us to pull away to a 40-31 lead when the buzzer sounded.  Even though C Melvin Steele was one of our players saddled with 2 fouls, he led our scoring with 8 points.

Elon kept cutting into our lead in the 2nd half and with just under 8 minutes to play they were within a single point.  Then with 7 minutes to play they tied the game at 63-63 and a minute later the Phoenix were ahead by 5.  We fought to get back into it and with 28 seconds, Jason Vickers made a nice pass inside to Wayne Burrough who threw down a slam to tied the game at 74-74.  Elon’s C Amir Dissinger was fouled as he put up a shot, but fortunately missed both free throws.  We called time out with 6 seconds left to set up a final play.  We got the ball to Wayne Burrough but his shot from 20 feet rimmed out and the game with to OT.

In the overtime Elon scored on their first possession, but Wayne Burrough counted with a nice 3.  Elon retook the lead with a steal and breakaway layup.  We finally edged ahead 79-78 when Jason Miner hit a jumper from the end line with 2-1/2 minutes remaining.  With no further scoring, we called a timeout with 46 seconds left to set up a pick and roll play.  The play failed when we threw the ball away.  Both teams simply could not score and we got control of the ball with 15 seconds to go.  The Phoenix fouled and Adrian Brown made both foul shots to put us up by 3 with 9 seconds on the clock.  Coach Aura instructed the team to intentionally foul after we pressed and once the ball got over the midcourt.  It looked like a good plan as Elon’s Darius Cockle was fouled.  But the refs ruled he was in the process of getting off a last second 3 that went off the rim and awarded 3 shots to Cockle with a single second remaining.  He swished the first…his second shot was offline…his final shot went in but made little difference.  I think Cockle was trying to get a soft bounce off the rim with the hope a teammate could tip in the miss, but the shot was just a fraction off and went through the hoop.  After holding our collective breaths and giving off a collective sigh of relief, we felt like we had stolen the 81-80 overtime win.

We were outshot by Elon 54% to 46% but were +2 in rebounding and held a 26-15 turnover advantage.  SF Wayne Burrough dropped in 18 points, C Melvin Steele hit for 14, and PF Jason Miner scored 12 with PF Jason Vickers scoring 9, pulling down 3 rebounds, dishing out 4 assists, and getting 3 steals and a block.

Interesting side note:  All five teams playing on the road in the Colonial Athletic Association were winners tonight.

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Jan. 2, 2021: Towson Tigers (4-7, 0-0) @ Elon Phoenix (2-9, 0-0)

Harry Iacona, 3rd Assistant (Scouting) Coach

I have to be honest with you.  I think we’re a better team that Elon but maybe not better enough to beat them on their own court.  That’s disturbing because we should be strong enough to win the road games against weaker Colonial Athletic Association teams.  I’m certainly not saying that to any of the other coaches or to anyone on the team, but I’ve warned everyone not to be fooled by their poor record.  Their pre-conference schedule was tougher than ours and 7 of their 11 games were on the road.  Their losses include games against Pittsburgh, Boston University, Wichita State, St. Mary’s, and #21 Indiana.

My scouting of the Phoenix has shown they like a lot of offensive freedom but prefer the shuffle offense when they run a set offense.  They like to slow things down and are only averaging 61 ppg…but they scored 70+ points in three of their games.  Defensively they run man-to-man primarily and don’t press that often.  They’ve given up just under 75 ppg thus far.  PF Darius Cockle is averaging 13.5 ppg and SG Adam Sasser 12.3 ppg.

By the way, grades from last term just came in and 12 of our 15 players have GPA’s from 3.1 to 4.0 so that’s great.  But we have 3 players with GPA’s of 2.3 to 2.6…and all 3 of those are our PG’s.  Not sure what’s up with that, but we’re going to put them all on study tables to make sure they spend enough time on their courses to not drop below 2.0 this coming term and stress the need to get good grades.

Elon is a small suburb (population under 10,000) of Burlington, NC and Elon University is the main employer.  We play at Schar Center and there’s a pretty decent crowd for the game.

The refs tore us throughout much of the first half.  Because of that we had 4 players benched with 2 fouls apiece and the game stayed close.  But in the last 5 minutes of the half, the fouls began evening out and the Phoenix made many of their 10 turnovers for the half.  That allowed us to pull away to a 40-31 lead when the buzzer sounded.  Even though C Melvin Steele was one of our players saddled with 2 fouls, he led our scoring with 8 points.

Elon kept cutting into our lead in the 2nd half and with just under 8 minutes to play they were within a single point.  Then with 7 minutes to play they tied the game at 63-63 and a minute later the Phoenix were ahead by 5.  We fought to get back into it and with 28 seconds, Jason Vickers made a nice pass inside to Wayne Burrough who threw down a slam to tied the game at 74-74.  Elon’s C Amir Dissinger was fouled as he put up a shot, but fortunately missed both free throws.  We called time out with 6 seconds left to set up a final play.  We got the ball to Wayne Burrough but his shot from 20 feet rimmed out and the game with to OT.

In the overtime Elon scored on their first possession, but Wayne Burrough counted with a nice 3.  Elon retook the lead with a steal and breakaway layup.  We finally edged ahead 79-78 when Jason Miner hit a jumper from the end line with 2-1/2 minutes remaining.  With no further scoring, we called a timeout with 46 seconds left to set up a pick and roll play.  The play failed when we threw the ball away.  Both teams simply could not score and we got control of the ball with 15 seconds to go.  The Phoenix fouled and Adrian Brown made both foul shots to put us up by 3 with 9 seconds on the clock.  Coach Aura instructed the team to intentionally foul after we pressed and once the ball got over the midcourt.  It looked like a good plan as Elon’s Darius Cockle was fouled.  But the refs ruled he was in the process of getting off a last second 3 that went off the rim and awarded 3 shots to Cockle with a single second remaining.  He swished the first…his second shot was offline…his final shot went in but made little difference.  I think Cockle was trying to get a soft bounce off the rim with the hope a teammate could tip in the miss, but the shot was just a fraction off and went through the hoop.  After holding our collective breaths and giving off a collective sigh of relief, we felt like we had stolen the 81-80 overtime win.

We were outshot by Elon 54% to 46% but were +2 in rebounding and held a 26-15 turnover advantage.  SF Wayne Burrough dropped in 18 points, C Melvin Steele hit for 14, and PF Jason Miner scored 12 with PF Jason Vickers scoring 9, pulling down 3 rebounds, dishing out 4 assists, and getting 3 steals and a block.

Interesting side note:  All five teams playing on the road in the Colonial Athletic Association were winners tonight.

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Frederick Aura:

My two sons are both doing well with basketball.  Omari is a freshman in high school and starring on his high school’s freshman basketball team.  He’s still growing so is playing PG.  If he gets a growth spurt, we’ll see what position they will want him playing next year.  Malik is a 7th grader and playing on two teams, his junior high school team and a club team.  He’s doing well on both.  I try to get to see some of their practices and as many of their games as my schedule will allow.  Janeka and I are trying to keep them focused on their academics as well.  Devany is 4 now and in pre-school.  She’s taking swimming lessons and becoming quite the little fish.  Janeka played volleyball in high school and college and has worked with Devany a little on that sport.  Devany also likes dribbling a basketball against her big brothers.

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Jan. 5, 2021: William & Mary Tribe (3-9, 0-1) @ Towson Tigers (5-7, 1-0)

Matt Heard, walk-on SF:

I’ve gotten into one game, a single minute on the court when we played Bucknell.  Was able to grab a rebound and was fouled and hit both free throws.  My teammates were ecstatic that I scored.  Otherwise, I continue to relegated to the far end of the bench where I’m still the team cheer-leader.  One thing I do is to help psych the guys up before a game, not with a cheer but with a short, intense rap session.  Since my Mom is of Chinese descent and because I spent a summer in China a year-and-a-half ago, I now speak Chinese pretty well. So I have one rap in Chinese that the guys love.  The guys get into it and I think it’s helped them get rid of pre-game nerves and rev them up for the start of the game.  But actually I think they like me most because my Mom sometimes brings some of her Chinese food specialties for post-game snacks.

Here’s how things went against William & Mary (from my viewpoint on the bench):

The refs tagged PF Jason Miner with two quick fouls so he joined me on the bench less that 2 minutes into the game.  Melvin Steele joined us with 2 fouls 3 minutes later.  Jason Vickers was on fire, scoring 11 points in his first 7 minutes of play.  The team was shooting well overall and we led 27-20 midway through the half.  Because of the foul problems on our front court, Wayne Burrough was moved over to play PF when Jason Vickers needed a rest.  The half ended with us on top 48-38.  We hit 57% of our shots while holding the Tribe’s shooting to 42%.  Jason Vickers led our scoring with 13 points. 

In the 2nd half, the Tribe cut our lead to 5 points a few times and then our hot shooting, particularly by SG Ryan Taylor, allowed us to spurt to a 15 point lead with 11 minutes remaining.  I was getting hoarse from all my yelling.  We went on to roll to an 85-71 win.  We knocked down 55% of our FG’s and 50% of our 3’s.  The only thing Coach Fed might get on us about in practice is our 15 turnovers.

Jason Vickers and Ryan Taylor had big nights with 17 points and 16 points, respectively.  Jason also had 7 rebounds.  It made me happy for two subs be our top scorers.  Adrian Brown scored 11 and Melvin Steele had 10 points even though limited on playing time due to fouls.

The win means we’re tied with Northeastern and Delaware for 1st place with 2-0 records.

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Jan. 9, 2021: Towson Tigers (6-7, 2-0) @ Charleston Cougars (4-10, 1-1) 

Jason Vickers, PF

The game was close for the first 10 minutes with the lead shifting between the two teams.  But then Charleston went on a run that put them up by 10 points.  We got within 2 in the next 5 minutes only to fall behind by 10 again before rallying at the end of the half to trail 51-47 at the break.  Our defense obviously sucked since we gave up 51 points.  We let them hit 59% of their FG attempts and their SG Damous Ferguson singed the nets for 21 points even though we double-teamed him.  The Cougars played very aggressively defensively which held our shooting under 40% but put us on the line a lot so that we were able to stay pretty close.  For us PG Adrian Brown topped our scoring with 12 points.

The entire second half was close with neither team going ahead by more than 4 points.  With 2-1/2 minutes left he scored was tied 81-81.  Charleston then hit a 3.  We couldn’t hit our shots and the Cougars go ahead by 5.  We close to 86-83 with 37 seconds remaining when Melvin Steele scores inside.  Charleston hits a jumper to go ahead by 5 again.  We call a time out and get off the desired 3 point attempt but its off the mark and the Cougars rebound.  We’re forced to foul.  The result is a 90-83 loss.

While we held advantages on the boards (4 more), with turnovers (3 less) and on the foul line (+6 points), we were outshot 56% to 40% on FG’s and 38% to 15% on 3’s.  Charleston’s Damous Ferguson scored 28 points. We were led offensively by PG Adrian Brown’s 16 points, SF Wayne Burrough’s 14 points, C Nick McPherson’s 11 points, and C Melvin Steele’s 10 points.  I scored 9 points and had 5 rebounds and Jason Mine had 7 points and 6 rebounds so that was a combined 16 points and 11 rebounds for the PF position.

After just 3 games into the conference play, there are no undefeated teams.  So even though we lost we remained tied for first place (with 5 other teams).  Looks like there will be brutal competition within the conference this season.

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Jan. 12, 2021: Hofstra Pride (4-10, 0-3) @ Towson Tigers (6-8, 2-1)

Bart Rose, SF

This is my second year at Towson.  Last season I got into most all of the games but didn’t play much in any of them.  I thought I’d get to play more this season, but so far I’ve again got into most games, but have not gotten any more playing time.  I’m not all that concerned about that, but I believe my skills have improved.  Wayne Burrough came in as a freshman this season and there’s no doubt he has a lot of talent so he’s starting and getting most of the playing time with Ross Davis getting the most of the remaining court time.  But I’m hitting over 60% of the FG’s and 3’s and have been far more productive in the limited time I’ve gotten to play than Ross.  But nothing I can really do about that…just do the best I can when I get a chance.  Coach Fed and the other coaches are OK, but again, I’m not going to kiss their butts just to get playing time.  I’m pretty much the odd man out on this team anyway.  I’m not really into being all buddy-buddy all the time.  Most of the other guys on the team want to do things together.  Not me.  I work hard in practice and do what is needed, but don’t hang around to suck up to others.  I value my personal time too much for that.  I’m not here to win a popularity contest.  My parents live in Frederick, Maryland which isn’t too far away.  But they’ve pretty much given up coming to games since I play so little.  Fine by me.

Coach Fed keeps warning us not to take Hofstra lightly.  He keeps saying that the Pride have wins over Tennessee (at Tennessee) and Boston University so it’s obvious they can be dangerous.  They have two guys (PG Kenny Rice and C Colin Leith) who are averaging in double figures and hitting a high percentage of their FG attempts.  It’s game time so let’s see how it goes.

The first half was close most of the way and ended with Hofstra on top 39-36.  C Melvin Steele scored 8 points to top our scoring.

The Pride held onto the lead until midway through the 2nd half when we went on a 8-0 run to pull ahead 57-55.  We were unable to pull away, though and Hofstra hit a 3 with 27 seconds to go to take a 2 point lead.  Coach Fed called a time out after which we executed a successful give and go to tie the game at 74-74 sending it to overtime.

Neither team could get more than a 2 point lead in the overtime and it also ended in a tie at 84-84.  In the 2nd overtime, we took control and steadily pulled away to win going away 98-88.  Hofstra held a 50-40 rebounding advantage but we made just 14 turnovers compared to their 25.

Jason Vickers had a big game scoring 19 by hitting 6 of 7 from the field and all 7 of his free throws plus having 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks.  C Melvin Steele scored 15 and grabbed 8 rebounds.  PG Adrian Brown hit for 15 points and pulled down 9 boards.  SG Billy Thomas scored 14, had 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 steals and a block.  SF Wayne Burrough scored 11 and C Nick McPherson added 10.  For Hofstra, C Colin Leith scored 20 points and had 8 rebounds while PF Jonte Gates had a double-double (17 points and 12 rebounds).

We’re tied with Northeastern and Delaware for 1st place in the conference.

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