Way back when, during the college years, I was assigned the gymnastics beat at Technician. Towson was one of those programs the State team seemed to face on a regular basis and they were good.
Up to this week, that was the extent of my knowledge of Towson athletics.
Lo and behold they have a basketball team, too, and our old friend Pat Kennedy, the ex-Florida State coach from long ago when they enjoyed some success with Bobby Sura, Sam Cassell and Charlie Ward, is coaching the Towson Tigers these days.
Interesting factoid: He coached alongside Jim Valvano at Iona and succeeded V. as Iona's head coach when V. left for Raleigh, which may partly explain how Towson ended up on our schedule.
As for the Tigers themselves, here's how they shape up:
Record vs. D-1: 5-7As you might imagine, there's not a lot of height on a team at this level...no one player stands taller than 6'-8", and their "height" is all a bit undersized, as well, averaging only 207 and some change. It shows up in their poor offensive rebounding numbers. Their roster reminds me a lot of the early Herb teams--a lot of guys in the 6'-6" to 6'-8" range. Imagine eight skinny Tim Wellses.
Luck: +0.011 National Rank=152 (+0.0 wins)
Raw Tempo: 67.5 poss/40 min National Rank=174
Adj Tempo: 67.8 poss/40 min National Rank=163
Raw Efficiency : 99.9 (187) 105.9 (265)
Adj Efficiency : 99.5 (182) 110.4 (313)
Effective FG% : 47.2 (227) 48.4 (151)
Turnover Pct. : 19.9 (116) 20.0 (226)
Off. Rebound% : 34.8 (124) 40.9 (332)
Free Throw Rate: 22.7 (217) 32.2 ( 98)
3-Point FG% : 33.9 (165) 30.2 ( 53)
2-Point FG% : 44.6 (262) 50.3 (248)
Free Throw Pct.: 65.4 (246) 64.1 ( 42)
Block Pct. : 10.3 (242) 11.1 ( 70)
Steal Pct. : 11.2 (255) 10.7 (116)
3PA/FGA : 41.0 ( 32) 38.2 (303)
A/FGM : 62.6 ( 38) 67.7 (342)
Their point man, 5'-11" guard freshman Troy Franklin, is one of the top 20 players in the country in assist rate. Given that State is still struggling at both guard positions, this could be a matchup to watch when Towson has the ball. Can Degand or Mays stay in front of Franklin and keep him from creating looks for his teammates? We shall see.
Pat Kennedy may be in the twilight of his career as a coach but he has been around the block enough to know the game of basketball. I hate to say it, but after the way the team looked against Loyola I expect this to be another game that ends closer than it should.