Previewing Towson University Basketball 2017-18
The Towson Tigers Men’s basketball team opens their regular season this Friday night against Old Dominion in Norfolk, VA.
Their 2017 schedule features a trip to Florida for the Florida Gulf Coast Showcase and a voyage to the Belfast Invitational in Northern Ireland. Additionally, the Tigers travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers right before their CAA schedule begins.
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The Tigers had an exhibition game on October 28th against Bucknell, and with a strong second half, came out on top by a score of 93-86. Led by Sophomore Justin Gorham and Senior Mike Morsell, who each scored 21, the Tigers shot 62.1% in the second half, and increased their lead to 15 with seven minutes remaining in the contest, never to look back. Junior Alex Thomas came off the bench and chipped in 12 points on 5-6 shooting.
After two of their top-3 scorers from last season graduated, there are going to be some new faces in the mix for the Tigers this season, and that is what Gorham provided against Bucknell. In terms of other new faces, the Tigers roster boasts four newcomers, highlighted by Duquesne transfer Nayke Sanders. Last season at Duquesne, Sanders started 21 out of 32 games for the Dukes. He averaged 5.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, and had his only double-double of the season against Robert Morris when he scored 11 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Standing at 6’8’’ the Tigers will look for Sanders to be a big presence down low.
The incoming Freshmen class is loaded with high-school accolades and records, and the three new freshmen look to bring some of that success to the Tigers this season. Travis Ingram is a 6’3’’ guard from Suffolk, Va. In high-school, he became the first player in Virginia High School League history to play in four state championship games. He was a four-year stater for I.C. Norcom, and notched a single bucket and three rebounds in the exhibition against Bucknell. Jeffrey Prophete was the player of the year in Florida, and the 6’2’’ guard averaged 32 points per game as a senior. He scored a career high 57 points in a game, and was named to two All-Star games. Quinton Drayton comes to Towson from Bowie High School, where he scored more than 1,000 points in a three year span, and averaged 20 points per game. Additionally, he played in the Capital All-Star Classic.
In terms of returning talent, the Tigers get back their leading scorer from last season in Mike Morsell. A two-time and 2016-17 All-CAA Third Team member, Morsell led the team in minutes per game as well as points, putting up 13.4 points per game. Morsell notched an appearance on the All-CAA Rookie team in 2014-2015 and was CAA Player of the Week on February 20th. He also added 3.1 rebounds per game, and will continue to be a healthy contributor for the Tigers in his final season in Towson.
The Tigers also return All-CAA Defensive Team member Deshaun Morman. After transferring from Cincinnati, Morman sat a year on the bench only to come back extremely tenacious, leading the team in steals with 49, which was third in the CAA. Starting in 32 of 33 games last season, Morman will be a defensive weapon for the Tigers, and can hopefully emerge as a scoring threat as well after scoring in double figures 16 times in 2016-2017 and averaging 9.9 points per game. Senior guard Brian Starr will look to be more influential this season, especially after getting the starting nod in Towson’s final 22 games last year. Starr was second on the team in assists to Morman, and averaged 6.0 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game in 2016-17. The Tigers open their home games in SECU Arena on Monday, November 13th against Frostburg State. Game time is set for 7:00PM.
You can find the rest of the Tigers’ schedule here.