Sunday, 23 August 2009

Towson Summary article

Men's Basketball ends Canadian trip on a roll

Pat Kennedy is about to enter his sixth season as the head coach of the Towson men's basketball team and he will have a little bit of momentum carrying into the 2009-10 campaign when it begins in November.

The Tigers not only advanced to the semifinals of the CAA Tournament for the first time in the program's history, upsetting Northwestern and Drexel before falling to George Mason, but also concluded their first-ever trip outside the Unites States going 3-2 playing in Ontario and Quebec.

The feat was even more impressive considering the Tigers were without three newcomers to the 2009-10 squad: 6-7 freshman Isaiah Philmore, 6-9 freshman Erique Gumbs and 6-2 sohpomore junior college transfer Rashawn Polk. The Tigers brought 10 players up to Candada, including two walk-ons and one player (Jimmy Smith), who was coming off knee surgery and played just five minutes last season.

Towson opened their Canadian trip in Ottawa on August 17 at Carleton University. They took on the Ravens' alumni team on opening night and fell 69-59. This was a team that featured several players who played professionally overseas and their past highlights included victories over Louisville and Kansas. The Tigers actually led this one, 35-31 at the half, but a 16-2 Ravens second-half run nearly put the game away. Towson cut the lead to two with 4:47 left, but five seconds later, sophomore point guard Troy Franklin picked up his fifth foul and the Tigers never recovered.

Senior guard Josh Thornton led the Tigers with 16 points off the bench.

The next night, the Tigers took on the varsity team from Carleton University. This squad defeated Towson's CAA rival Northeastern, 77-47 last year and lost to Kansas by one, so the Tigers would have their hands full from the tip. Towson gave it a game effort, but fell 95-83 and couldn't overcome four players who fouled out (to an already shorthanded squad that dressed just nine players). Carleton went to the line 42 times and made 33 free throws for the difference in the ouctome.

Thornton paced the Tigers again with 26 points, while Franklin added 15. The Ravens, noted as the top program in Canada, were led by Cole Hobin's with 23 points.

After a day off on Wednesday, the Tigers travelled to the French-speaking part of Canada- Montreal-to take on the University of Quebec on Thursday,August 20. The Tigers got production from an unlikely source - junior center Robert Nwankwo - who scored 20 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked two shots to lead TU to a 73-69 win over des Citadins, who rallied late to make the score respectable.

Towson followed the win with two games at Laval University on Friday and Saturday in Quebec City. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they would have to play without Franklin, who sprained his ankle early in the second half against the University of Quebec.. Junior Brian Morris took over at the point and junior walk-on Josh Brown would have to play significant minutes as the backup point.

With just eight players and playing three games in three nights, Towson found a way to defeat Laval, 83-63 on Friday and 92-87 on Saturday night. They needed a late comeback to win the finale of the trip, as they went on a 17-2 run in the final five minutes to finish with a 3-2 record in five games.

Thornton, who averaged 10.9 points per game as a junior, stepped up in a major way for TU, averaging 24.4 points per game. He made eight three-pointers in the finale, which would have been a school-record had this been a regular season game and also tallied a career-high 32 points. Senior Calvin Lee averaged 10.6ppg on the trip, junior Jarrel Smith averaged 10.1ppg and junior David Brewster put up 10ppg on the trip. But it was the inside presence of Nwankwo, the former walk-on, who provided a huge boost on the trip. Nwankwo, who started 20 of 32 games last year, playing 19 minutes per contest, averaged 9.0 points per game, a team-high 7.4 rebounds and over two blocks per contest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the amount of blatantly incorrect information in this article.
Incredibly, like he did in the original game writeup, this person insists that the Alumni beat both Louisville and Kansas.
Obviously Carleton's Alumni team NEVER played Kansas or Louisville, let alone beat them for heaven's sake.
As a matter of fact, the Carleton Alumni hadn't played a game at all for most of the past decade until last Monday.
Also, the impresssion given by this writer is that the floor was tilted Carleton's way as far as officiating goes.
Yes, Carleton's varsity went 33/42 from the line but Towson also went to the line often.
The Tigers went 28/32 from the foul line, so the actual point differential on FT's was only 5.
The actual number of fouls called were pretty much even...33 to Towson and 31 to Carleton...of course, the writer of this piece neglected to mention that.
At least in this final recap he didn't say Laval was ranked third in Canada in a pre season poll, as he did in an earlier post.
Where he got that information I haven't a clue, but there is NO official pre season CIS poll in mid August, as far as I know.
Like the old saying goes, don't let the facts get in the way of a good story.