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Tiger93 last won the day on January 20

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  1. Tiger93

    UNCW preview

    It hasn't been against the toughest group of teams, but UNC-Wilmington has won seven straight and hasn't lost a game since December 11. Their buzzer beater yesterday probably has them pretty excited, and they have beaten Delaware and won at Charleston, which I think will be harder and harder to do as the season progresses. I still feel like we should win this game at home, but this is another big test for our group to pass to continue all the great momentum we have built to this point and recently in conference play.
  2. Tiger93

    General MBB thread

    I am a relatively glass half-full person when it comes to this team (and surprisingly even this program, although I like to mix in reality as well), but no matter what we do the rest of the season every game of the conference tournament is going to be never-racking. I like this team, and think it has a good shot to do something pretty special. However, from the early glimpse I have seen of this conference I don't expect anything to come easy for anyone the rest of the way. Especially once the conference tournament starts. I am not putting everything into the next four games, but Saturday's game with UNC-W, the home and home with Delaware (who looks pretty good) and the rematch with Drexel will tell us a decent amount about this team (at that point JMU will be the only team we haven't played). I will be happy with 3-1, mildly satisfied with 2-2, very disappointed with 1-3, and the excitement will really build if somehow we are 4-0 in that stretch.
  3. Tiger93

    General MBB thread

    I completely agree, which is why I picked those two teams on our schedule specifically for the hypothetical. Ohio State is 21 and San Francisco is 36. A road win over Ohio State and a neutral-site win against San Francisco would have probably kept us in the top 45 with the scenario you outlined (any more than two losses in conference, especially to the wrong team, and it would not work). Heck, just beating Navy when they were in the 60s, losing to Monmouth who was in the 50s in 60s until recent losses dropped them to 101, and losing to San Francisco and Ohio State has us at 72 right now. Anyways, the hypothetical exercise is not really useful in any way other then to show that a big non-conference win or two combined with a solid non-conference slate to can reframe the narrative of a whole season. Add in a successful conference slate and it is another strong part of the resume. Of course, we both agree the margin for error in the conference play is pretty slim. We are starting to get decent mid-major buzz this year. Our numbers are not good enough for an at-large bid this year, but we will part of that fringe conversation if we can keep this up and only lose 2-3 conference games. However, that is going to be very difficult based on what I am seeing. As much as people knock our conference, I do think Hofstra, Delaware, us, Charleston, Wilmington and probably Drexel (since they beat us) all look pretty competitive at this point.
  4. Tiger93

    General MBB thread

    It is an interesting hypothetical and shows where the conference is right now (it has been a while since it has been a multi-bid league obviously). With this year's numbers, I think we would be in the conversation for an at-large with wins over both those teams. We didn't really come close to beating either so I am not sure it is really even a worthwhile conversation, but I only mentioned it because we did hang around and compete in both games. Just a hypothetical and the type of conversation I wish we could be in for real as a program, but we have just as many major non-conference upsets in recent memory as we do appearances in conference tournament finals. Both are areas where we could do much better. For now, I will just enjoy the rest of this season and grabbing a hard-fought victory over College of Charleston on what sounded like far from our best night (full disclosure, I was working another game and only was able to follow it through live stats).
  5. Tiger93

    General MBB thread

    I know I am probably nitpicking a little much, but if we were a No. 1 seed in the conference tournament (meaning we won the regular-season) I would consider the season a success before the conference tournament started. If we lose anywhere in the tournament it would be a bitter disappointment, but it would not make the whole season a failure. I agree that out of three phases of the season I listed the conference tournament is the most important, but they all build off each other. Hypothetically if we had somehow beaten Ohio State and San Francisco we would have a NET ranking good enough to get us an automatic bid going into conference play. If we finished first and lost three or less games in conference play that bid still might be in play. That would lessen the importance of the conference tournament. My overall point is I would like the raise the standards on those different phases of the season and the overall quality of our program's level of play for the season so we don't have to only rely on a conference tournament to define success. This season is a good small step in that direction. Call it "pie in the sky" if you will, and it probably is now, but I find it more important to build a team where this is a possibility than one that can win in the conference tournament. Sometimes you can control when a No. 8 seed (or any other team) shoots out of their mind and knocks you. The one point where I will completely agree with TuTigers2012 is we have to play better in the conference tournament. That is a Pat Skerry issue now because he is the coach, but it has been an every coach issue at Towson since I have been here (with a couple of exceptions where we maxed where we belonged). My final point is good mid-major programs take care of business the whole season and let the chips fall where they may. That is the place I want to get to.
  6. Tiger93

    General MBB thread

    Agreed, but as much as the NCAA Tournament or bust is the ultimate goal it should not be the only focus of success. Having the whole season rest on a crapshoot of 3/4 games and blowing off what happens in the other 30+ games is not really logical. I do get that we can't full claim success until we accomplish the goal of getting to the NCAA Tournament, but I view the season as three different portions to measure success, as I think many others do in some way, shape or form. 1) Non-conference play - This year we entered conference play with a NET rating in the 70s and only had losses to really good USF and Ohio State teams, which I consider extremely successful. Of course, the negative was a brutally bad start to Monmouth (who is good, but does not excuse the start) and some poor late-game execution against Pittsburgh. I would say I would give us a B+ for what we did in non-conference play leading into conference play. 2) Conference play - We are still very early in this process, but so far we have been pretty solid minus some late-game shakiness against Drexel and even a little against Northeastern. It remains to be seen what we do here, but so far so good. 3) Conference Tournament - This is where we can get the ultimate reward and I get why everyone wants it to be the end all be all, but to me it is like the final exam to our season. We can't have a A or B+ season without accomplishing what we want, but it doesn't just become an "F" season because we performed poorly in my opinion. Also, if we make the NCAA Tournament this year we might actually be able to be a 13 or 14 seed (with our NET ranking) where an upset could be a remote possibility (I know UMBC won as a No 16 seed, but that may not happen again for a while). That seeding would be based on the strength of our regular-season. If we can win the regular-season title (which is still very far away as a goal), we can at least clinch a shot at playing in the NIT even if we fall short in the conference tournament. To me this would also be a good step for our program (the other postseason tournaments have some entertainment value, but I am done giving them much meaning as steps forward for the program). Again, we all want the same thing but I would rather hold ourselves to higher standard all year long then only focusing on winning the 3/4 games in our conference tournament. As fun as that will be when the time comes, and it will happen at some point in my lifetime. Also, in your post I think you make it sound like I am referencing resources, funding, budget and other parts of the building process. I know those are important, but I am only focusing on things we can accomplish on the court that give us confidence to continue to build and be better as a program. NET rankings based on performance, upsets, KenPom rankings based on performance, conference-record and non-conference success are the part that I am focusing on in this conversation. Of course, the other aspects are a whole different conversation that could take up a lot of space on this board too. I am not trying to dismiss the importance of accomplishing a trip to the NCAA Tournament, I just get annoyed when it is the only measure anyone wants to use. I hope we all post after these games and are enjoying this season because we get excited when this team wins in the regular-season too, and I think that is true.
  7. Tiger93

    General MBB thread

    I understand this sentiment, and believe me making the NCAA Tournament is the most important goal for everyone here. However, the NET rankings, KenPom rankings, playing well in non-conference play, being a regular-conference contender annually and putting a quality team that can compete in games like the Ohio State matchup earlier this year are all examples of how you build a sustainably successful program. I don't want to make the NCAA Tournament and wait another 30 years for another. I want to build this into a consistently successful program that we can get excited about year in and year out. That is why some of these other steps are just as important as success in the conference tournament, which can be a crapshoot and does not always produce a deserving winner. The road to building a successful basketball program is not nearly as daunting as doing so in the current football landscape. I am hoping this year can not only yield a trip to the the NCAA Tournament, but also act as a foundation for future success. I do realize that making the NCAA Tournament is the most important step in this process, but the other building blocks are huge parts of it and acting like everything is a zero-sum game for mid-majors is somewhat short-sighted. Hopefully, this conversation will be pointless and we will all be celebrating a trip to the NCAA Tournament in March, but as many of us have said there is a long way to go. It has been a fun year so far, and hopefully that continues.
  8. Tiger93

    Gibson leads MBB over W&M 91-69

    Also, don't forget 2012-13, where we had Bilal Dixon and most of the guys from that 2013-14 team, and finished 13-5 in a CAA that still had ODU and George Mason (although not great versions of them). I still view that year, as Pat Skerry's best coaching job coming off 1-31. Of course, we didn't play in the CAA Tournament that year. The 2012-13 and 13-14 teams probably had better starting lineups, but this is is probably the deepest team that I can remember having since I have followed Towson. The 1993-94 team (John James, Ralph Blalock, Scooter Alexander, Stevie Thomas, Quinten Moody, Deron Robinson, Michael Keyes, Matt Campbell) is the closest thing I can remember that is comparable to this depth in a very different way. That is also the last team to win a regular-season conference title, which I hope we have in our sights this year. Also, you are both right. To this point, 13-5 is our best record through 18 games since we have been D-1 (per Spiro on the broadcast). However, we are still only five games into conference play and have not even faced three of the other top teams in our league. With the craziness of Covid and other factors that could take guys out, I am celebrating what is going on now while cautiously looking forward to trying to keep it up. Great job by everyone so far, but we have still have 13 conference games left. Hopefully, we are where we want to be at the end of the season. Then we need to face down our biggest demon of all, conference tournament play (and that is not just a Pat Skerry demon).
  9. Tiger93

    General MBB thread

    I think we are seeing the transfer portal has completely change roster construction. Especially with COVID years giving players another year of eligibility. Good transfers almost seem like a more effective way of getting good quicker for mid-major and mid-level power teams (especially this year). The teams bringing in the very top level freshman prospects can usually get immediate returns (and they can also fill in top level transfers where they want), but in the case of a mediocre mid-major it is almost working just as well or better in some cases to bring in players from other programs who want a better opportunity to showcase what they can do. Every team still has to recruit freshman and try to develop players, but the transfers have definitely added a new wrinkle as to how to build a team. This year's Towson team is actually a solid blend of both. We brought in Charles Thompson, Jason Gibson and Nick Timberlake as freshmen and they have all been good to solid, but last year there was too much being asked of them. Bringing in Holden, Nolan Jr., Paar and Rizzuto has allowed them to focus more on their roles. It is also been nice to see Juwan Gray make the most of his extra year when he has been on the court. I wouldn't give Pat Skerry full credit for having wonderful foresight to make this happen, but he definitely pieced together the parts very well this year. It doesn't matter how we get the talent, we just need to keep adding it to the program. I think Skerry has done a good of this for most of his time here. What he hasn't been good at is fitting the right pieces together, and having a successfully philosophy to have them thrive. This team is constructed well, and hopefully Skerry is learning lessons he can carry forward. Of course, there is still a long way to go to label this year a full success, and even if we continue at this high level in the regular-season Pat still has the crappy postseason monkey to get off his back. That being said, I am enjoying the journey of watching this team and I do feel like they have the potential to do something special this year.
  10. Tiger93

    Hofstra Preview

    Seems a couple of points high and it has gone down to -2.5 last I checked, but I don't think I would bet on either side in this game. Feels like a lot of outcomes are in play and nothing would surprise me tonight. We need to shoot the ball better from three-point land and have better perimeter defense. We were shooting 37.1% from three going into conference play and have shot 22.5% in the two conference games. Not coincidentally our assists went from 13.4 apg prior to conference play to 9.5 apg in the two conference games. The Drexel three-point shooting was as bad as it gets and probably an aberration, but I do think part of why we were able to move the ball so well and get assists in non-conference is because we were shooting the ball well enough to have multiple threats from 3, which made for better offensive spacing and gave us more scoring options. When we are not shooting well (like most teams), everything stagnates and we get into the ugly Pat Skerry offense of the past style. It also feels like Hofstra has the potential to shoot us out of the game so we can not exhibit the poor defensive rotations we had at Drexel, which allowed them a lot of clean open looks at three-pointers.
  11. Tiger93

    MBB falls to Drexel 65-61

    I agree with most of this. The only thing I would add is our perimeter defense was terrible. Too many uncontested threes, and shooting well form three was the only way Drexel was going to beat us. I thought for most of the game we did a decent job of realizing it was not our night from three-point land, and really worked hard to get good looks in the paint and tough offensive rebounds. It felt like we abandoned that mindset the last 2-3 minutes. I know in end-of-game situations getting to the bucket gets harder, but we had a clear inside advantage (especially based on who was missing for Drexel). Nolan's two threes before the last shot weren't terrible, but there were better shots to be had if we probed and worked for them. Really good teams do that. My big disappointment with last night is we finally have a team that can win in different ways, and we did not close it out against a team that we had a clear advantage against. All criticisms by others on this board are fair, but I do think this is the best roster we have had since the Benimon years. I am not going to crush them for losing one game. However, if this team finishes anywhere outside of the top three in the conference I will be very disappointed.
  12. Tiger93

    Timberlake leads MBB to 69-52 win over Navy

    Hofstra got a nice win at Monmouth last night. It is always dangerous to project based off non-conference play, but it seems like Hofstra has the highest upside in this conference. I think we are right there with James Madison and Delaware in terms of the next group. I also think Charleston seems like they might have the best coach in the league, and even though they don't look great so far I always respect Northeastern because Bill Coen has consistently been the best coach in the conference. Drexel seems like they could be decent and UNC-W, William & Mary and Elon look pretty bad so far. One of my favorite parts about this game is we have now played fairly well in road games at Navy (I know, pretty easy trip time wise), Ohio State, Kent State, Albany (who doesn't look very good), along with playing solid in neutral-site games against New Mexico and San Francisco. We were alright against Pittsburgh, and the only real big lapse we have had that has cost us in a big way was the start of the Monmouth game at home. It is good to see us play consistently away from home. Someone talked about our shooting being lights out and that being unsustainable, and while I somewhat agree, one of my favorite things about this roster coming into the year is guys like Charles Thompson, Nick Timberlake and Jason Gibson have not pressure to perform. They can let the game come to them. If they have hot nights they will lead us to victory and when they have off nights they can kind of fade into the background. This is especially the case for Timberlake and Gibson, since we are somewhat thin in quality in our frontcourt. The depth and unselfishness of this team are something I don't think I have seen since my freshman year of college when we had quality in Stevie Thomas, John James, Ralph Blalock and Scooter Alexander, and then guys like Moody, Keyes and Deron Robinson who contribute here and there. We had other good players with Benimon, but that was not a really deep team and we relied quite a bit on him. Last thing is the Three Man Wave podcast I have reference before talk about us as mid-major team that is playing well in a podcast over the weekend. You can listen around the 26 minute mark of episode #241. https://www.three-man-weave.com/podcasts
  13. Tiger93

    New AD Thread II

    I hope that the group already has some ideas of people they would be interested in bringing to campus. I generally expect a president and some of the people on those committees to be plugged into the point of having some ideas for what they want, and who might be good at this. Of course, once you decide not to do the search firm route and you are not at a big time school where the president can get who they want and ram it down everyone else's throat, you get into the bureaucracy and agendas from committees. It will be interesting to see what kind of candidates emerge from this process. I definitely agree with the sentiment of this being a commuter school and fans caring about a lot of other things, but ultimately it comes down to can you build a winning tradition with something fans can be proud of and excited to attend. I don't live in the state, but I knew a handful of Maryland fans who were closer to Towson geographically than College Park who started coming regularly to Towson football during the Terrance West era because we were good and we were a fun watch. If this basketball team stays on its current trajectory, makes it to the tournament or comes close (I know I am beginning to sound delusional) and can put together a good roster next year (who knows) more people will come. It will take 3-5 years of that type of team to get people excited and plan on coming somewhat regularly, but winning draws eyeball. However, you have to win big and win consistently. This is why despite the fact that at times I think people on here can be overly critical of Skerry and Ambrose (not that there have not been many times they haven't deserved it), I also agree with the sentiment that if you are not trying to win big what are you doing? This is may sound ridiculous, but if this basketball season is shaping up to be a special one I think that might help slightly with drawing better candidates.
  14. Tiger93

    Navy preview

    It is a battle of the two best college basketball teams in the state according to the NET rankings. Navy is 66 and Towson is 81. By the way, the Terps are 121. Also UMBC is 231, UMES is 233, Loyola is 243, Coppin State is 301, Mt. St. Mary's is 314 and Morgan State is 338. By the way, it may sound silly but this is why I think it is important to play this game against Navy. We have a pretty high NET ranking mostly based on the quality teams we have lost to and the fact that we have beaten pretty much everyone else (except for a bad Pittsburgh team), but I think it is important for mid-major teams to be mindful of where they sit in these rankings in case they are in the mix for postseason play which I hope Towson will be (that may be wishful thinking). It helps you seeding wise if the miracle of miracles happen and we make the NCAA Tournament, and if we have a good season it can keep us in the mix for the NIT (not likely, but still worth trying). Hofstra comes in at 92, so the CAA actually has two top 100 teams. Outside of the power conferences, the only ones who also two teams in the top 100 are: Conference USA: UAB - 51, N. Texas - 68, La. Tech - 87 MAAC: Monmouth - 46, Iona - 56 MAC: Ohio - 83, Buffalo - 95, Toledo - 98 Missouri Valley: Loyola (Chi.) - 16, Missouri State - 91 OVC - Belmont - 37, Murray State - 41 SoCon - Chattanooga - 43, Wofford - 73 WAC - Grand Canyon - 71, New Mexico State - 76, Utah Valley - 82, Abilene Christian - 96 WCC - Gonzaga 4, BYU 25, San Francisco 34, St. Mary's (Calif.) - 51, Santa Clara - 100 Yes, I know the WCC, Missouri Valley and Conference USA are in different stratosphere's as conferences. Also, it does drop off pretty quick after the top two in the CAA with the list going like this Delaware (138), James Madison (141), Charleston (157), Northeastern (182), Drexel (199), UNCW (294), Elon (324), William & Mary (350).
  15. Tiger93

    UNCG Preview

    This is the type of solid mid-major matchup I am all for scheduling. Towson is still the top CAA team in the Net rankings at No. 77 (women's team is also top in CAA at No. 72). UNC Greensboro got absolutely thumped by Tennessee by 40 points on Saturday so I would imagine they will be locked in mentally and ready to shake that off. Surprisingly they are way down in the NET rankings at No. 222, but still seem to be a solid team.

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