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2022-2023 Season

Perry Winkle, A.D.                                                                  

Our team prestige improved from 17 to 22.  That pleases me immensely.

SF Keiron Stone has decided to transfer. Keiron has a lot of potential but still has a long way to go to achieve that potential.  He was unhappy that he wasn’t getting more playing time.  Coach Aura says he’s sorry to lose him but with the talent level we have at the 3, Stone still likely wouldn’t have received enough playing time this coming season to satisfy him.  Let’s hope he’s happier at wherever he transfers.

That now means we have up to two scholarships we can fill with transfers in June to avoid having too many scholarships to fill through recruiting this coming year.

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Transfers

Coach Frederick Aura

We were looking to get 2 transfer players.  We got one, missed getting a couple others, and then pulled back since the remaining players available weren’t strong enough to bring aboard.  The player we signed was PF Kevin Holmes, a 6-7 Sophomore from Iselin, NJ.  Kevin played a year for Georgetown.  As a freshman he played in all games, averaging 18.6 mpg, scoring 6.1 ppg and getting 4.0 rpg.  He’s a solid player who has a lot of upside potential.  He has a strong work ethic, but has a personality that could make him disruptive.  Since there will be no pressure while he sits out this season due to the transfer, we hope practicing with our team for a year will improve his skills, get him familiar with our strategies, and set some good relationships with teammates and coaches.  Since all of our PF’s will be graduating after this season, it’s important the Kevin is ready for following season.

https://www.mediafire.com/convkey/0b59/9z0ryuwdstkzu3s6g.jpgspacer.png

 

We’ll add the unfilled scholarship into our recruiting efforts this coming season.

SF Keiron Stone who transferred away from us after his sophomore year, ended up transferring to Iona.  I hope he does well for the Gaels.  I’m a little pissed off at Iona since a quality PG that we were pursuing ended up choosing Iona rather than us to transfer to.

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Recruiting, late June 2022

2nd Assistant Coach Matt Barnes

The two years I was an assistant coach at Milwaukee, we won 20 and lost 41.  I didn’t see much hope for the future so am really happy to be with a head coach who is improving the program and achieving success.  I’m not making more salary here, but I think I’ll be happier.  I like the present roster for the Tigers.  Now to just make it even stronger in the future!

The overall basketball budget at Towson is less than what it was at Milwaukee, but Coach Aura has structured things so that a bigger proportion of the budget goes directly to recruiting (meaning he’s not paying us assistants the big bucks).  Due to budgetary concerns, we only purchase the basic Atlantic East Report.  I was hoping to also get the national report, but Coach Aura said he wants to keep sufficient funds so that we can recruit all the way through the year and not be hamstrung in the spring. 

We also will limit our camp attendance to just Big Apple Camp.  So our recruiting of high school players will be pretty much limited to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast areas.  Sure would like to see a couple studs from Maryland in the top 100.

We have five scholarships to fill through recruiting this year.  We definitely need some interior help for next season with 3 of our “bigs” graduating this year, leaving just Donny Flint and transfer Kevin Holmes as scholarship players for our two interior positions the following season.  So we’re going to be looking to shore up the C and PF positions, hopefully by landing 3 recruits for the C/PF positions.  It would be nice to get a good SF and PG as well.  But the immediate need at either of those positions isn’t critical.  So we’ll just see what recruits look good and whom we can get interested in playing for Towson.

I mostly recruited in the Midwest while at Milwaukee, but our reputation doesn’t lend itself yet to getting Midwestern high schoolers to come to the Baltimore area. So I need to get familiar with the mid-Atlantic area real fast. 

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3rd Assistant Coach Nate Culuko

Now that school has started we assigned tutors to our players who we think may need some help academically.  Most all of them are new to our program.  Those now set to work with tutors for at least the next month include: PG Shaun White, PG Matt Faust, SG Copley Dwiggins, SF Robert Jefferson, PF Deon Penn, and C Jonathan Jackson.

Coach Aura wants all our players to do as well as they can academically, so we’ve stressed the need to study to all players.

Edited by PointGuard

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Recruiting, Fall 2022

2nd Assistant Coach Matt Barnes

My dad passed away three years ago and then just as we were getting into the summer recruiting season, my mom who lives in Phoenix became incapacitated and needed daily help.  I don’t have any brothers or sisters and there was no other family member who could help out.  When I told Coach Aura about the situation, he immediately encouraged me to go and take care of her.  He said he’d handle the recruiting along with 1st assistant coach Kenyon Haynes.  I headed west.  It wasn’t until late October that I was able to return to Towson.  By then summer and fall recruiting had been completed. 

Coach Aura had made pretty good inroads into getting quite a few recruits at least somewhat interested in Towson in the summer.  In early September he offered scholarships to 5 really talented recruits and made home visits to each.  Four accepted offers to higher prestige programs.  So only one of those five accepted our offer: 

C Calvin Williams, HS Senior from Woodbridge, VA, averaged 16.5 ppg, 1.5 apg, 5.0 rpg, 1.9 bpg, and 1.3 spg last season.  Excellent scorer and inside shooter.  Very solid defensively and as a rebounder.  Great passing skills.  We rate him as an A and he’s presently ranked #217 nationally but has been ranked higher.  We’re concerned though about his academics and whether he will achieve a good enough SAT score to qualify for our school.

Coach Aura immediately moved on to pursue other recruits and offered scholarships to four more.

Then in October he got another commitment:

PF Valery Henson, a high school senior from Hawthorne, NJ.  Very good scorer from inside and outside.  Excellent passer and very strong rebounder.  Very good defensive skills with acute shot blocking ability.  Last season he averaged 13.8 ppg, 1.7 apg, 7.8 rpg, 1.8 bpg and 1.8 spg.

So now I’m back handling recruiting.  I’d like to think we would have had more scholarships filled had I been here during the primary summer/fall recruiting period, but who knows.  We still have 3 unfilled scholarships but have two offers pending and one to offer at some point in the future.  I’m busy working with recruits trying to build and expand interest and also hoping to nail down the 2 offers we have pending.

I’ve also been encouraging Calvin Williams to work hard on his academics and trying to get his high school coach to get involved.  Calvin’s willing but did poorly in school early and doesn’t have a good foundation, so it’s difficult.  I think that him doing well enough on his SAT’s is really touch-and-go.  So we may have an additional scholarship to fill in the future.

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1st Assistant Kenyon Haynes

Practice began in early October.  We have some talented players so that’s a real plus.  But a few of the guys have personalities that can be sour at times.  So there’s been some friction and inappropriate comments between teammates that have already created some problems.  Coach Aura has had several players in his office to lay down the law.  But I have the feeling that maintaining good chemistry within this group is going to be a challenge all season long.

In addition, SG Copley Dwiggins has a lot of potential but he requires a lot of development before that potential can be realized.  I think he’d benefit from redshirting, but we may have a bunch of incoming recruits next year who will be freshmen and having Dwiggins adding to that freshman class after redshirting this season could create a glut in that class.  So we have decided to not redshirt him.  I just hope he doesn’t become dissatisfied by not getting the playing time he probably wants.

Coach Aura and Perry Winkle, the AD, have scheduled more challenging pre-conference competition that in past seasons.  In addition, 3 of our 5 starters have never played for us so it may take time for the team to gel.  To make things more difficult, only 3 of our 11 pre-conference games are at home.  The pre-conference games should prepare us well for CAA conference games, but our record going into conference play may not be pretty.

Our goals this season are to come out on top in the CAA, get back to the NCAA Tournament, and get beyond the first round in that tournament.

Here’s our starting 5:

PG:  Shaun White, 6-0, JR, good ball handler and passer, strong defensively

SG:  Dominick Collins, 6-0, SO, good scorer and rebounder

SF:  Wayne Burrough, 6-6, JR, scores well from outside and inside, strong on the defensive boards

PF:  Deon Penn, 6-6, SR, good scorer and rebounder, last season’s MVP

😄    Danny Flint, 6-9, SO, extremely strong rebounder and excellent defender

Bench:

PG:  Matt Faust, 6-1 JR and Alex Haywood, 6-2 SR walk-on

SG:  Ryan Taylor, 6-1 SR and Copley Dwiggins, 6-1 FR

SF:  Ross Davis, 6-5 JR and Robert Jefferson, 6-8 JR walk-on

PF:  Jason Vickers, 6-7 SR

😄    Jason Miner, 6-6 SR and Jonathan Jackson, 6-8 SR walk-on

Ineligible due to transferring:

PF Kevin Holmes, 6-7 SO

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Nov. 16, 2022: Towson Tigers (0-0) @ Cal Poly Mustangs (0-0)

Kenyon Haynes, 1st Asst Coach:

San Luis Obispo is a beautiful little city and the weather is great.  We think that Cal Poly’s offense will primarily come from their guards.  The Mustangs’ SG James Garrett has averaged in double figures all 3 years he’s been playing for Cal Poly and PG Dan McFadden also averaged in double figures last season.

We hit 7 of our first 8 FG’s to jump out to a 14-4 lead.  The Mustangs cut our lead to 6 but we then took control and gradually increased our lead to be on top at the half 46-28.  PF Deon Penn and PG Shaun White shot the lights out and scored 16 and 13 points, respectively.  We knocked down 51% of our shots and held a 21-11 rebounding advantage.  My only concern was that our 5 reserves, who collectively logged 30 minutes of playing time, didn’t score a single point.  Coach Aura gave them encouragement during the halftime intermission to try to increase their confidence.

Cal Poly scored the first 10 points in the 2nd half during which the refs called 4 fouls on us.  Midway through the half our lead was down to 54-50 and four of our starters had 3 fouls apiece.  With 8 minutes to go our lead was just 3 points.  Our guys finally grasped that they could lose this game and tightened down defensively so that with 5 minutes remaining we were up by a 63-53 score.  We escaped with a 77-67 victory, but our 2nd half effort was a disaster.  We shot under 40% in the 2nd half dropping our FG% for the entire game to 44%.  We also had 18 turnovers, but fortunately the Mustangs had 23. 

Four of our starters scored in double figures: PF Deon Penn had 25, PG Shaun White 21, SF Wayne Burrough 13, and C Danny Flint 10.  Our reserves played a total of 55 minutes and together scored a paltry 4 points, hitting just 1 of 11 FG attempts and 0 for 7 from beyond the arc.  They’re going to need to pick it up in the future.  Four of those five bench players played a good amount of minutes last season and did well, so hopefully this was just a horribly poor game for all of them.  For our starters, SG Dominick Collins was weak offensively but played well defensively and C Danny Flint had an OK game but wasn’t as dominant as we’d hoped he’d be. But it’s only the first game of the season and we did get very strong games from Deon Penn, Shaun White and Wayne Burrough.

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Posted (edited)

Nov. 19, 2022: Towson Tigers (1-0) @ Montana State Bobcats (1-0)

Danny Flint, 😄

The Bobcats rely on their perimeter players.  I expect that Deon and I will dominate inside and on the boards and that should be the difference in this game.

Damned [bleeping] refs called 2 fouls on me within the first 10 minutes of the game.  It took us a while to shake the Bobcats but we finally got a lead and led 35-27 at the end of the half.  I don’t know what’s up with the [bleeping] refs but they tagged me with 3 fouls in the half.  We had a 22-18 edge in rebounding (5 of which I pulled down) and outshot Montana State 43% to 30%, but we never got even one free throw attempt because of the hometown refs.  Neither one of the Bobcats’ starting guards scored.  SF Wayne Burrough hit 100% of his shots and finished the half with 11 points.

Coach didn’t let me start in the 2nd half because of my foul trouble.  Sucks.  [Bleep] the refs! The Bobcats crept to within a single point and Coach Fed put me in.  We gradually expanded our lead.  Montana State cut into our lead late in the game as their 2-3 zone kept us from getting off good shots, and with 5 minutes to go they tied us at 64-64.  The Bobcats hit a 3 with 1:33 remaining to go ahead 69-66.  We fell apart after that and dropped the game 78-71.  Montana State hit about 60% of their 2nd half shots and scored 10 more points than us at the free throw line.  Because of the lousy [bleeping] refs we were victimized and only got 2 foul shots the entire game.  We choked some in the 2nd half, but should have and could have won this game if it weren’t for the hometown [bleeping] refs.  But it’s tough to win when we play 5 against 8.

Our top scorers were SF Wayne Burrough with 20 points, SF Dominick Collins who hit for 14 points, and PF Deon Penn with 12 points.  The Bobcats’ 2-3 zone made it difficult for me to get free shots and affected our rebounding which was frustrating.  PF Jason Vickers was our only sub who played well.  These guys gotta start playing better.  We starters can’t play the entire 40 minutes.

Edited by PointGuard

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Coach Aura:

So far our starters have played pretty well, particularly PF Deon Penn (18.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg), SF Wayne Burrough (16.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and PG Shaun White (15.0 ppg, 5.5 apg).  SG Dominick Collins (9.0 ppg) has shown some flashes of excellence, but has been inconsistent.  C Donny Flint (8.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg) hasn’t shot well thus far but should pick up his game and be a mainstay for us.

 The only sub to play well thus far has been PF Jason Vickers.  PG Matt Faust, SG Ryan Taylor, SF Ross Davis, and C/PF Jason Miner have failed to do much of anything for us in their first two games and we need them to come off the bench and produce!  Three of those four played well for us last season, so it’s hard to know why they all were so flat in our first two games. 

I was disappointed with our loss to Montana State.  We just let it get away from us late in the 2nd half.  As a team we didn’t execute as well as I would like against Montana State’s 2-3 zone. We’ve been working on it in practice.  We’ll get a second shot at that zone defense when we host Wake Forest later this week.  Shaun White made no friends when he got on our reserves.  He came to us with a reputation for being disruptive and I don’t want that to become a reality with us.  I told him to focus on his own play and let me do the coaching and motivating.

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Nov. 23, 2022: Boston College Eagles (1-1) @ Towson Tigers (1-1)

Wayne Burrough, SF

BC is 1-1 at home this season.  I’ll be guarding their top scorer, freshman Jason Adams who scored 23 points in their last game and is averaging 17.0 ppg.  When we’re in m-2-m defense, we’ll double team him to see if we can keep him from breaking out.

BC was hot at the beginning and we fell behind 10-2.  From thereon neither team played well offensively as the defenses for both teams predominated the remainder of the half.  We could only hit 25% of our shots and the Eagles were just a little better in the half.  I held Adams to just 2 points.  C Donny Flint was our key offensive weapon and he scored 9 points, most of those on free throws.  We trailed 33-24 at the break, though.  In the locker room Coach Fed gave us a tongue lashing for playing so timidly.  He then laid out a battle plan for the 2nd half that focused on a lock-down defense and making baskets off BC mistakes. 

We responded by clamping down defensively in the 2nd half and gradually opened a lead.  With 12-1/2 minutes remaining we were ahead 43-36 but PF Deon Penn was charged with his 4th foul so sat out most of the rest of the game on the bench.  We got sloppy and BC scored 16 straight points to sprint past us at 52-43.  We regained control defensively and forced the Eagles into repeated turnovers.  With 2 minutes left we led 62-60.  We stole the ball again and sat on the clock, scoring just as the shot clock expired to go ahead by 4.  In the remaining time BC was forced to foul.  We paraded to the foul line, but only made 3 shots there.  But that was enough as our defense held the Eagles to just one more basket and we came away with a hard-fought 67-62 victory.  We were outshot 38% to 35% but won because we held a 22-12 turnover advantage. 

Our leading scorer was C Donny Flint with 18 points and 11 rebounds.  SG Dominick Collins scored 10 points for us.  I had 14 points and 6 boards.  With the exception of BC’s run in the 2nd half during which Adams scored 7 points, I kept him under control and he finished with just 11 points on 4 of 13 shooting.    

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Posted (edited)

Nov. 26, 2022: Wake Forest Demon Deacons (0-2) @ Towson Tigers (2-1)

Adrian Brown, graduate assistant coach

Coach Fed reminded the team before the game that we don’t have many home games during pre-conference play.  So we need to make the most of the ones we do have by coming out strong each and every time.  I’ve been working closely with the guards so hope they put it to Wake Forest tonight.  Wake Forest’s guards haven’t been productive thus far this season, so we need to keep them that way.  Shaun White and Matt Faust, our two PG’s are tough to get to know.  They’re both stand-offish.  Knowing I just finished my two years with the Tigers, they haven’t really accepted me as a coach and don’t always take kindly to my suggestions.  On the other hand, there are times when I wish I could come off the bench, go into the bench, and take over for one of them at PG.

It took us a while to get cooking, but we went on a 16-0 run to open a 23-7 lead.  12 of those points had come from our SG’s Dominick Collins and Ryan Taylor, so I was happy about that.  With 7:45 to go in the half we had a 20 point lead at 29-9.  We were ahead 34-15 at the break.  We held Wake Forest’s shooting to just 25%, outrebounded them 21-16, and held a 15-7 turnover advantage.  Our scoring was well-spread between all 5 starters and 3 subs.  We had held the Demon Deacons’ two primary scorers to just a combined 2 points.

We kept applying defensive pressure so even though we didn’t shoot all that well in the 2nd half we were able to maintain a large lead.  With 3 minutes left, we were on top 63-44 and Coach Fed emptied the bench including our 3 walk-ons.  Wake Forest did the same and we came away with a 73-50 whipping of the Demon Deacons.  We held Wake Forest’s shooting to 35%.  We hit 45% of ours (including 44% on our 3P attempts), held a 36-30 rebounding advantage and a 25-14 turnover advantage.  Our reserve players scored 35 points which was a relief for all of us after their not doing much in our previous 3 games.

SG Dominick Collins had his best game for us scoring 17.  C Donny Flint had his second straight double-double scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.  Reserve PG Ryan Taylor had 10 points and 4 assists.  PG Shaun White had 9 assists.

Other CAA action:  In the Cancun Challenge Tournament, Charleston beat Indiana and Pittsburgh before losing in the championship game to Wichita.  Charleston is now ranked #24 in the polls.  The Cougars are 5-1.  Elon and James Madison both have 4-0 records.

Edited by PointGuard

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Nov. 30, 2022: Towson Tigers (3-1) @ North Carolina State Wolfpack (2-2)

Barry Jorgenson, host of WBMD’s Sports Talk Radio:

Towson’s basketball team played a road game earlier tonight against the ACC’s North Carolina State Wolfpack.  Taking on an ACC team was a big step up for the Tigers that speaks to Coach Frederick Aura’s growth and success of the Towson basketball program.

The Wolfpack came into the game with 4 starters averaging in double figures and their other starter averaging 10.8 rpg.

As much as I had hoped Towson could prevail, I have to admit my opinion was that they were in way over their heads.

The two teams were evenly matched throughout the first 10 minutes of the game.  Then Towson took advantage of good shooting as well as a slew of Wolpack turnovers to put together a 13-0 run that allowed the Tigers to pull ahead 34-19 with 4 minutes remaining in the half.  The Tigers held their lead and walked off the court at the break leading 44-29.  This was primarily due to Towson outshooting NC State 56% to 39% and forging an 11-5 turnover advantage.  C Donny Flint lead the Tigers’ scoring with 10 points in the first half.

The Tigers scored the first 6 points of the 2nd half to go up by 21 points.  With the Tigers shooting even better than in the first half, Towson’s lead grew to as much as 29.  With Coach Aura subbing freely Towson’s lead narrowed a bit but the Tigers pulled off an 80-63 drubbing on the road of North Carolina State. 

C Donny Flint put together another very strong game (his 3rd straight), scoring 26 points and pulling down 9 boards.  Reserve SG Ryan Taylor hit 7 of 8 FG’s and 3 of 4 from beyond the arc to finish with his best offensive game as a Tiger, scoring 17 points.  PF Deon Penn scored 13 points.  Defensively, the Tigers held 3 of the Wolfpack’s best scorers to under 10 points each.

So obviously I was wrong.  Towson achieved a powerful win over a good opponent.  The Tigers may be for real this season.

In a quick phone conversation with Coach Frederick Aura after the game, he said that he was extremely pleased that the team was able to put together a really strong game on both ends of the floor.  He also said that they now are focused on their upcoming game against Seton Hall, although he’s worried about getting to South Orange, New Jersey because of a predicted snow storm in that area. 

After taking on Seton Hall, Towson will have 5 games remaining before Colonial Athletic Association games begin. Four of those 5 games will be on the road.  The lone home game will be against Washington State this coming Wednesday night, so come out and root on the Tigers.

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Posted (edited)

Dec. 3, 2022: Towson Tigers (4-1) @ Seton Hall Pirates (4-2)

Jonathan Jackson, walk-on:

We arrived in New Jersey in the midst of an early winter snow storm.  Although our route from the airport had been cleared by snow plows, snow was deep on the ground otherwise and was continuing to fall.  A stout north wind made being outside seem extremely raw.  The weather had kept the crowd to a minimum.

1st Half comments:

The Hall hit their first 3 shots (all by SF Morris Phillips) to take a 7-2 lead, but we came back to get on top 9-7 after 3 minutes of play.

Refs tagging us with too many fouls. The Pirates in the bonus midway through the half.

We’re up 23-14 with 8 minutes left in half.  Our defense is making things difficult for Seton Hall so they’re not hitting their shots.

Pirates roar back to take a 37-35 lead with 2 minutes to go.

We come away with 41-39 lead at the half.  Would be bigger if they’d not been able to score 7 more points at the line than us.  SG Dominick Collins poured in 15 points for us.  SF Morris Phillips had 14 points for Seton Hall.

2nd Half comments:

C Donny Flint called for 3rd foul with 18:42 to go and game tied at 43-43. 

We drop behind by 6 points with 10 minutes to go.

SG Dominick Collins picks up 4th foul with 8 minutes left.  Picky hand check foul that refs have let Seton Hall get away with all night.  6 fouls on us compared to just 2 against the Pirates in this half so far.  Our entire bench erupts, but Coach Haynes tells us to cool it since we can’t afford to give them any points on technical fouls with us trailing 63-61.

Final media time out with 3:31 to go and us ahead 68-67.

SF Wayne Burrough buries back to back 3’s to put us up 74-70 with 2:25 left.

PG Shaun White fouled on missed shot with 49 seconds remaining. He knocked down both shots to put us back on top by 4.

Seton Hall missed a 3 and we brought the ball up.  They had to foul, but it was just their 5th.  Two more fouls took the clock down 18 seconds and put Dominick Collins on the line for a one-and-one.  He missed the first and the Pirates rebounded and immediately called a time out.  Our defense was impermeable and they could only get off a last-gasp 3 hoping it would go in and we’d foul on the shot, but it was off the mark and there was no foul. 

We won 76-72.  We held team stat advantages that were as slim as the final score.  43% to 41% FG shooting, 2 more rebounds, and 3 less turnovers.  There were 21 lead changes and 9 ties in the game.

Leading individual stats for us: SF Wayne Burrough and SG Dominick Collins-17 points each; PG Shaun White-12 points, PF Deon Penn-10 points; C Donny Flint-11 rebounds.

After the game, Coach Aura was full of praise for the way we played tough throughout the game, didn’t get frustrated with the refs, never gave in, and took control at the end.

PF Jason Vickers sprained his finger.  He’s not expected to miss a game, but his shooting may be affected in next week’s games.

Edited by PointGuard

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Dec. 7, 2022: Washington State Cougars (4-2) @ Towson Tigers (5-1)

Coach Frederick Aura

The Cougars have played well in their last two games which both were on the road.  They nearly nipped #7 Georgetown at the end of the game, losing by just 3 points and then scored 106 points to defeat New Mexico by 7 points.  Whereas Washington State hadn’t shot that well in their earlier games, they hit 63% of their shots against the Lobos.

Both teams had slow starts during which they had a hard time getting the ball in the hoop.  We held a small lead through much of the half, but the Cougars overtook us late and we had to come back to tie the game at 34-34 at the break.  C Donny Flint hit for 9 points and grabbed 5 boards.  But we only hit 35% of our shots.

My halftime motivation didn’t work.  We missed our first 5 shots in the 2nd half and didn’t make a FG for the first 4-1/2 minutes of the half.  We continued to struggle and fell behind by 5 points, but finally wrested the lead at 51-48 when SG Ryan Taylor sunk a 3 with 11 minutes to go.  We finally opened a 9-point lead at 63-54 with 6:29 remaining, but we still weren’t shooting well.  Washington State’s defense disintegrated at that point, and we sprinted at the end to an 81-66 victory.  Even though we hit some late buckets, our shooting percentage had been so low that it only rose to 39%, while the Cougars hit 45% of their FG attempts.  But we controlled the boards to the tune of 39-31 and made just 9 turnovers compared to Washington State’s 19.

Our entire starting 5 scored in double figures: 16 for PG Shaun White, 13 for SG Dominick Collins, 11 for PF Deon Penn, and 10 each for C Donny Flint and SF Wayne Burrough.  Flint again had a double-double as he pulled down 10 rebounds.  SG Ryan Taylor came off the bench to add 9 points.

A pretty ugly effort on our part, but a win is a win.  Our front line in particular shot poorly so it was up to our guards to pull our bacon out of the fire.  C/PF Jason Miner sustained a sprained finger but should be able to play in our next game.

For the season thus far, our starters are each averaging between 10.3 and 12.4 ppg.

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Dec 10, 2022: Towson Tigers (6-1) @ East Carolina Pirates (6-1)

Max Scott, 1st Assistant (Scouting) Coach for Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens

Our first conference game will be against Towson in a few weeks.  This is the first of four straight road games at the end of our pre-conference season for the Tigers and I won’t have a chance to get to any of the other three.  So I’m scouting Towson against East Carolina tonight.

We play the Tigers twice each season so are pretty familiar with the sets Coach Aura runs.  On offense they mostly go with a flex offense, but also throw in some high post and motion.  Defensively they prefer running m-2-m but use the 2-3 zone.  If like last season, they press frequently with a full-court m-2-m and rarely with a 1-2-1-1 press.

Towson has several new players this season so I need to check them out…in particular their starting guards, Shaun White and Dominick Collins, their starting center Donny Flint and reserve PG Matt Faust.  After taking on Towson last season we know that their two other starters, SF Wayne Burrough and PF Deon Penn, are good solid players.  Stopping the Tigers this season will be tough since all five starters are averaging in double figures.  My job is to find Towson’s weaknesses that we can exploit.

First Half:

First media timeout: Towson ahead 8-6, playing good m-2-m, but having difficulty with 23zone.

Second media timeout: Towson ahead 15-14

Third media time out: Towson trails 19-17 (trouble scoring against 2-3 zone)

4th media time out: Towson trails 32-26 (m2m being beaten)

Halftime Score: East Carolina-34, Towson-30

Towson outshot 38% to 33%, Towson hit 4 of 15 from outside the arc, Towson never got to the free line whereas the Pirates hit 9 of 12 free throws.  Towson -4 in rebounding and +2 for turnovers. 

SF Wayne Burroughs 7 pts and 6 reb.

PF Deon Penn scored on 2 put-backs.

Donny Flint good at working ball inside to the hoop.

Towson’s Defense: East Carolina scored on 15 of 37 possessions against the Tigers’ M-2-M and 3 of 7 possessions when Tigers employed 2-3 zone.

Towson’s 2-3 zone offense: scored just 6 of 24 possessions.

Towson’s offense with no sets: scored 8 of 21 possessions.

Second Half:

1st media timeout: Towson down 40-32

2nd media timeout:  Towson trailed 47-46

3rd media timeout:  Towson ahead 57-53

4th media timeout: Towson ahead 66-59

Towson’s 2-3 zone offense: Successful in 10 of 22 possessions

Towson’s Offensive with freedom: Successful in 11 of 21 possessions

Towson’s m-2-m defense: only allowed East Carolina to score in 13 of 34 possessions.

Towson’s 2-3 zone defense: East Carolina only able to score 1 time in the 6 times the Tigers employed it.

SG Dominick Collins caught fire in 2nd half.

C Donny Flint stepped up his effort.

PF Jason Vickers had a very strong 2nd half.

Towson had trouble against the 2-3 zone defense in the first half, but solved it in the 2nd half.

Towson’s M-2-M defense solidified in the 2nd half and stymied the Pirates.

Towson was -4 in rebounding but +11 for turnovers.  Towson only hit 38% of their FG’s but defensive pressure that produced 28 turnovers by East Carolina (most of these were in the 2nd half) gave the Tigers more attempts than the Pirates.

While the Tigers played uninspired ball in the first half, they turned it around in the 2nd half and roared into the lead.  To beat Towson, need to apply pressure defense the entire 40 minutes to keep them from getting easy baskets and prevent runs.  Also since their starters are much stronger than their reserves, draw fouls to get starters in foul trouble and onto the bench.

Final Score:  Towson-75, Eastern Carolina-65

Towson’s top players:

SG Dominick Collins-18 pts; C Donny Flint-13 pts, 4 blocks; PG Shaun White-11 pts, 5 assists; PF Jason Vickers-10 pts, 6 reb, 4 stls; SF Wayne Burrough-9 pts, 9 reb, 4 assists, 3 stls.

Edited by PointGuard

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Dec. 14, 2022: Towson Tigers (7-1) @ Virginia Tech Hokies (1-5)

Deon Penn, PF

Charleston got by the Hokies in overtime.  We want to get a win here also.  Virginia Tech’s strength is their interior players.  The four players they have playing PF and C have combined to average 42 ppg.  So we need to clamp down defensively to keep them in control.  I like the challenge but playing tough defensively means we also have to keep out of foul trouble.  Not an easy task, particularly if the refs are quick on the whistle.  Reserve PG Matt Faust is nursing an injury so his court time will be limited which puts pressure on Shaun White, Dominick Collins and Ryan Taylor to split up most of the time at PG and SG.

I got tagged for a questionable foul on Virginia Tech’s first possession of the game and we fell behind 6-0 before finally getting on the board.  Three minutes later I got away with one…made contact with my man but he got called for moving his pivot foot.  We took a 5 minute lead, only to drop behind by 5 a few minutes later.  We ground it out and gradually overtook the Hokies to finish the half on top 32-25 by pounding the boards which is critical since neither team shot well in the half.  C Donny Flint and I shared scoring honors with 9 point apiece.  Donny also hauled down an impressive 11 boards in what was an ugly scoring half.

I picked up my 3rd foul early in the 2nd half so it was back to the bench.  Donny Flint continued to dominate the Hokies on both ends of the court.  We maintained a small lead throughout the entire 2nd half.  I got back in and made a couple buckets but was whistled for a 4th foul so Jason Vickers and I pretty much ended up splitting the 40 minutes.  We came away with a solid 67-59 win.   Coach Fed should be happy with our rebounding since we grabbed 47 compared to Virginia Tech’s 31.  But he’ll be all over us the next few days in practice since we had 19 turnovers.  We held their 4 big men to a total of 25 points, so I’m feeling good about that.

C Donny Flint crushed the Hokies with 20 points, 19 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks and a steal.  Even though I only played 21 minutes, I scored 14 and grabbed 10 rebounds plus had 5 blocks.  PG Shaun White finished with 12 points and 6 assists.

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Huzzah!

2nd Assistant Coach Matt Barnes

This week we received some exciting news.  PG Joe Spann verbally committed to accept a scholarship to play for us next season.  Spann is a 6’0” high school senior from Buckingham, Virginia who has a 4.0 GPA.  Last season he averaged 15.3 ppg, 4.1 apg, 4.2 rpg,1.8 bpg and 2.7 spg.  Joe has a sweet outside shot and obviously is a very good scorer.  He’s a solid ball handler and passer.  While he was ranked higher earlier this season, he presently is the #266 ranked recruit in the nation.  But his high school coach has told us that he’s a great leader on and off the court, has been injury free.  When he attended this year’s Big Apple Showcase he was ranked within the top 25 of all recruits who attended that camp.  We anticipate Spann will be a key player for us for 4 years. 

We still have one scholarship offer that has been made but not yet accepted and one additional scholarship yet to offer.

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Perry Winkle (Athletic Director) and Frederick Aura (Head Coach) go to lunch at the Pine Cone Café:

“Frederick, we just put out the press release about Donny Flint’s selection as the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week.  20 points and 19 rebounds…helluva game.”

“That’s good to hear.  He deserves the accolades.  We knew what he’d done as a freshman at Butler and that he really could work the boards.  But I think we’re just getting a glimpse of how good he can be.  He’s not only leading the team in rebounding but also scoring.  And he actually shot poorly in 2/3 of our games.  If he starts shooting as well as I think he can and continues to attack the boards like he can, the only limiting factor will be his tendency to get into early foul trouble.”

“Now if they’d just start taking us seriously for the polls.  Hell, our RPI is now 18th best in the country and we still are getting no respect in the polls.  Your team beats Wake Forest, BC, North Carolina State, Seton Hall, Washington State, Virginia Tech…teams from big time conferences…and now a 7 game win streak.  Should be showing up in the polls.”

“I wouldn’t put too much faith in RPI at this point, Perry.  While some of our opponents have well-known names and are from power conferences, none of them are the cream of the crop right now in those conferences.  We’ve got a big test coming up this week since we’ll be playing another road game, this time against a ranked team, #23 UNLV.  And even if we’re lucky enough to get by the Runnin’ Rebels, we then travel to St. Johns for our final pre-conference game.  But I’m hearing the same thing at home from Janeka.  She’s livid about our not being ranked.  Like I tell her though, Perry…just give it time.  A team in the CAA has to just continue winning to get the votes necessary to be ranked.”

“This schedule should be setting you up for a good run when conference play begins.”

“Yeah, I agree.  But James Madison and Charleston have been doing well in pre-conference play also.  Plus I think we have a big target painted on our back after winning the conference tourney and going to the NCAA tournament last year.  Other teams are gonna want to knock us off.  I can already tell that since we’ve been playing quite a few of our road games near enough other conference teams that they can repeatedly scout us rather than just doing a one-game scouting job.  I know that’s the case since I’ve seen their assistant coaches in the stands for multiple games.  So I don’t think our conference schedule will be a walk in the park.”

“Maybe.  Charleston had a great start this season but they’ve run into a wall in their last few games.  And James Madison may have the same 8-1 record as us, but when I look at their opposition thus far, I don’t think it’s been as tough as ours.  And they have to play a ranked team this week also, #24 ranked Oklahoma State.  Let’s see how they do against the Cowboys.  I think they’ll get crushed.”

“I’m just hoping WE don’t get crushed.  Hey, food’s here. I’ve been dreaming of crab cakes all week and I hear this place has the best ones in the area.  Let’s chow down.”

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Dec. 21, 2022: Towson Tigers (8-1) @ #23 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (9-1)

Dwayne McClinton, 3rd Assistant (Practice) Coach

We have a 7 game win streak and UNLV has an 8 game win streak so something has to give tonight…let’s make it UNLV’s streak that ends.  We hope to hold down the Runnin’ Rebels Carlton Gilchrist who is averaging 16.1 ppg and 11.4 rpg.  But Donny Flint needs to do it without getting into foul trouble.  We worked on it in practice but putting that into effect on a player with Gilchrist’s talent is tough.  If  Gilchrist breaks out, then we need to put the clamps on the other UNLV players who are on the court.  The Runnin’ Rebels defense is tough.  They’ve held 6 of their 10 opponents to under 60 points.

Both teams came out firing bullets.  The entire 20 minutes of the first half was a back-and-forth battle with 14 lead changes and 13 ties.  Neither team was ahead by more than 4 points.  The half ended with the score knotted at 38-38.  The Runnin’ Rebels outshot us 50% to 47% and hit 6 of 12 from 3-point distance whereas we hit a woeful 1 of 9.  But we held an 11-6 turnover advantage.  SG Dominick Collins tossed in 15 points and C Donny Flint had 10 points and 4 rebounds.  Flint also held Gilchrist to just 6 points.  Our attempt to get Gilchrist into foul trouble by working the ball inside failed as he only picked up a single foul, but we were able to pick up a lot of points in the paint.

Our shooting went ice cold early in the 2nd half and we tried forcing things that caused us to make a series of turnovers that UNLV turned into driving layups.  With 12:21 to play we trailed 60-46.  We tried to come back but were thwarted by the outside shooting of the Runnin’ Rebels.  When the buzzer sounded we were on the short end of a 79-68 score.  After playing a solid first half, we were run off the court by a stronger UNLV team in the 2nd half.

Topping our scoring was SG Dominick Collins with 17 points followed by C Donny Flint’s 15 points and PG Shaun White with 14 points.  For UNLV Gilchrist caught fire in the 2nd half to finish with 19 points.  The Runnin’ Rebels hit 12 of 25 from beyond the arc.

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 Coach Frederick Aura

A year ago while during the middle of a road trip for one of our basketball games, Adrian Brown (who was our starting PG the past two seasons and is now our Graduate Assistant Coach) was the victim of racial profiling by the police.  After the hiring of an excellent civil rights attorney, he was advised that his complaint was hopelessly roadblocked since members of that police department banded together to establish reports and provide testimony that would be extremely difficult to prove that had been fabricated.  Adrian decided to forego further fruitless effort with respect to that case.  Instead early last summer he got actively involved with Achievement Mentoring Program (AMP) in their efforts to work with minority students in high school to improve self-worth and positive attitudes for academic success and preparation for college.  Adrian has now become a leader in the local AMP group.  He has recruited several of our players as well as other Towson students to be involved with the mentoring program.  He’s also gotten me involved in working with small groups of minority youth.  I'm pleased that even in some small way I'm able to support Adrian's efforts.  Janeka, my wife, has also been able to get a couple on-going medical support internships established at the hospital where she works.

I’m really proud of Adrian’s efforts and how he is helping minority youth through what often are difficult years for them.  I can see the positive results he has already helped create with high school students with whom he has worked.  His leadership within the program has resulted in the local AMP program becoming much more successful and being able to help a larger group of high school students.  It’s exciting that he took a negative occurrence in his life and turned it into positive activities that are helping others.

Edited by PointGuard

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Dec. 28, 2022: Towson Tigers (8-2) @ St. Johns Red Storm (3-7)

Kenyon Haynes, 1st Assistant Coach

St. Johns has had an anemic offense this season, but they beat William & Mary from our conference last week.  So we can’t take them lightly.

We fell behind 13-4 since our basket seemed to have a lid on it.  We closed the gap to a single point at a glacial pace since our shooting continued to be abysmal.  St. Johns pulled away again to an 8 point lead.  The half ended with us trailing 27-22 after hitting just 27% of our shots.  C Donny Flint scored 8 points but had little additional offensive support.  Coach Aura blasted us at halftime.

After 5 minutes of play in the 2nd half, we finally gained the lead at 37-35 when PG Shaun White sunk a 3.  The lead shifted back and forth for several minutes.  But then then roof caved in as we seemed to run out of gas.  Horrible shot selection followed and the Red Storm ran away to post a 76-57 drubbing on us.

When you only hit 29% of your shots and let your opponent drop in 56% of theirs, there is nothing good to say about the game.

C Donny Flint with 15 points and SF Wayne Burrough with 12 points were the only ones to score in double figures for us.

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Nate Culuko, 3rd Assistant Coach (Practice)

James Madison had as good a record as us during pre-conference play, but I think we played tougher competition.  Charleston started out great with 6 wins in their first 7 games (with wins against some top-flight competition) but then won just 2 of 6 against less-talented opponents.  After a slow start Drexel won 4 of their final 5 pre-conference games.

I think we’re ready for Colonial Athletic Association play.  8 of our 11 games were on the road and we still came away with an 8-3 record, winning all 3 of our home games and 5 of 8 on road while playing a more competitive schedule that in previous seasons.  Our RPI ranking (#21) is a bit high  It likely will slide lower as the season progresses due to the CAA’s fairly low prestige level.

Leading scorers: C Donny Flint-13.6 ppg, SG Dominick Collins-10.9 ppg, SF Wayne Burrough-10.3 ppg, PG Shaun White-10.2 ppg, PF Deon Penn-9.9 ppg.

Leading rebounders: C Donny Flint-9.2 rpg, PF Deon Penn-6.1 rpg, SF Wayne Burrough-6.0 rpg.

Assist Leaders: PG Shaun White-4.7 apg, SG Dominick Collins-2.8 apg, C Donny Flint-2.2 apg.

Shaun White is performing much better in all aspects of the game than Matt Faust at PG.

Dominick Collins and Ryan Taylor are performing pretty equally at SG.

So we’re going to start and play White at PG, start Collins at SG but move him over to PG as much as possible when we have to give White a breather, and increase Taylor’s minutes at SG.  Faust and Copley Dwiggins (who has done pretty well in the limited minutes he’s gotten thus far) will get a few minutes at PG and SG, respectively.

At SF Wayne Burrough is significantly outplaying sub Ross Davis (Davis is hitting a high percentage of his shots but has backed off putting up the ball, instead feeding it to others so getting quite a few assists).  We want to continue to give Davis minutes in hopes he picks up his offensive productivity.

Deon Penn and Jason Vickers are both playing well at PF with Penn the much better rebounder and Vickers the better shooter.  Penn will continue to start with Vickers coming off the bench to fill in at PF (and also at SF).

Donny Flint is dominant at C.  Jason Miner is doing well on the boards but his shooting eye has been off.  So we’ll continue to play Flint at much as he can with Miner coming in when Flint’s fatigued or gets into foul trouble.  Deon Penn can shift over to C if necessary also.

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