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Towson enters season with reshaped roster

Tigers men's basketball team returns one regular from starting lineup, opens season on Monday at Colorado
Pat Skerry
Posted at 5:20 PM, Nov 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-02 17:30:13-04

TOWSON, Md. — This is a season of roster reshaping for the Towson University men’s basketball team with a new collection of talent put together like head coach Pat Skerry hasn’t seen in a while.

"I lost 31 games my first year. I would say this offseason was more taxing in the amount of time it took to put a roster together," he said before Thursday's practice.

Skerry is embarking on his 13th season leading the Tigers. He’ll do so with only one returning regular from last season’s starting lineup - graduate forward Charles Thompson. Three others graduated. Leading scorer Nick Timberlake transferred to Kansas.

"It’s definitely different. It’s definitely a change. We lost a lot of guys," said Thompson. "But, we look better than ever. The team’s chemistry is up."

Skerry said Thompson, who is one of the best defensive players in the Coastal Athletic Association, added 10-12 lbs. of muscle since last season.

"He is handling the ball more. We’re going to play through him more," said Skerry.

The Tigers went 21-12 last season and are coming off the winningest two-year stretch in program history. This year players say their strength will be on defense. Overall they are picked to finish tied for fifth in the CAA.

Bring on that underdog role.

"I think it’s better for us because people aren’t going to be looking at us as they did a few years ago and I feel like we got a lot of weapons that we can use against people that they don’t even know we have yet," said sophomore guard Christian May.

"It’s cool. We’re not getting a lot of recognition. I feel like a lot of people are just looking over us and focusing on the super top of the conference. But, for us, we’re just putting our head down and working," added junior guard Rahdir Hicks.

"There is certainly talent here and there is a strong belief amongst them," said Skerry. "I think ultimately our success will be determined by are we very difficult to play against. Is it a physical grind to battle those guys for 40 minutes? I think we can get there. I’m not sure we are there yet."

Towson opens its season on Monday when the Tigers travel to the University of Colorado.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook