Thursday, January 10, 2013
Here comes ... Towson?
By Eamonn Brennan
In 2011-12, the Towson Tigers suffered through one of the more humiliating and ignominious feats in college hoops history: They went the entire calendar year of 2011 -- and all the way through January, including a 27-point performance in a loss to Drexel -- without winning a single game. They broke that streak in late January, and there was much rejoicing, but the Tigers quickly followed it up with eight straight losses to end the season. They finished 1-31.
With all the college basketball awesomeness we saw Wednesday night, I would be remiss if we moved on from the day without mentioning this one simple fact: Believe it or not, all of a sudden, Towson isn't half bad.
In fact, Wednesday night the Tigers -- who, I repeat, went 1-31 last season -- won their eighth game of the year, a 99-86 home win over William & Mary. The Tigers scored 31 points in overtime. They got 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks from forward Jerrelle Benimon. They won their fourth game in a row, a streak that included three away victories before Thursday night -- at Oregon State, at UNC Wilmington and at Drexel. On Wednesday, Towson moved to 3-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association this season.
The Tigers still aren't ranked in the top 200 in Ken Pomeroy's adjusted efficiency rankings, and with the possible exception of Oregon State (which, let's be honest, isn't good), they've yet to beat a really good team.
But you know what? I don't care! They won one game last season. The fact that this team is already past win No. 8, and on pace to finish .500 this season, is not only a testament to the school's investment in the program and coach Pat Skerry's impressive turnaround, but at least a minor college hoops miracle, too.