The season officially kicks off on Friday, November 14th when Alabama hosts the Towson Tigers as part of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. Alabama will play two games in Tuscaloosa as part of the event before traveling to Kansas City for the remaining games.
Towson head coach Pat Skerry may not be well-known to the casual college basketball fan, but the job he has done at Towson so far suggests that he’s going to attract more attention in the years ahead. When Skerry took over the Towson program prior to the 2011-12 season it was, quite frankly, a program in disarray. Lacking talent and momentum, while also suffering through APR [Academic Progress Rate] penalties incurred by the previous staff, the program went 1-31 in Skerry’s first season. In the following two seasons, the program performed a miraculous turnaround, winning 43 games. The 2012-13 team finished 18-13, which was the best single season improvement in the history of NCAA basketball. Unfortunately, the team was unable to compete in the postseason due to the lingering APR issues. In 2013-14, Towson won 25 games, finished 2nd in a tough CAA conference, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the College Insider postseason tournament.
However, after losing the top four scorers from last season’s team, Towson will have to reload in order to remain a contender in the CAA. This team returns the remaining 4 of their top 8 scorers from last season (highlighted by Four McGlynn, a guard who made 40% of his 3-pt shots and 91% of his free throws in 13-14), and welcomes two transfers in 6’9 post player Alex Gavrilovic (Dayton) and a 6’6 guard, A.J. Astroth (Vanderbilt). The CAA lost a lot of talent from last season so the entire league appears to be in flux. As a result, don’t be surprised if Pat Skerry, based on the success he’s enjoyed in his first three years, is able to overcome the roster turnover and keep this Towson team near the top of the CAA.