Tigers Open Season Friday Night
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 11/13/2009
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Courtesy:Towson Athletics


Game 1: Tigers vs. Miami (Ohio)


November 13, 2009 | 7:00 p.m.


Towson Center


WBAL (1090 AM)


Ticket Information | 410-704-2244

Live Stats


Live Video


Game Notes


FIRST EVER: Miami (Ohio) and Towson are facing each other for the first time. The RedHawks are one of three Mid-American Conference opponents on the Tigers' schedule this season. Towson will host Buffalo next weekend and Bowling Green on December 30th. The Tigers are 3-3 all-time against MAC teams. They are 3-0 against Buffalo and 0-1 against Bowling Green, Northern Illinois and Kent State (game was later forfeited to Towson).

OPENING TIP OFFS: The Tigers are tipping off their 31st season of Division I basketball tonight. During that time the Tigers have compiled a 13-17 mark in season openers.  They are 9-4 when those openers are played in the Towson Center. Under coach Pat Kennedy Towson is 3-2 in the lid lifters. The Tigers have won their last three, downing Navy 86-68 a year ago, Loyola 83-69 the previous year for Kennedy's 450th career coaching victory, and former America East rival Hartford 78-64 the year before. Seven of Towson's first 10 games in 2009-10 are at home against opponents from six different conferences. Towson's next win will be the 475th of Kennedy's coaching career.

CARRY OVER: The 11th-seeded Tigers finished the 2008-09 season on a high note, becoming the lowest seed ever to advance to the CAA Tournament semifinals last year. After dispatching Drexel 73-62 in the opening round they upset Northeastern 58-54 in the quarterfinals before bowing 56-48 to George Mason. Over the summer the Tigers played five games on a Canadian tour, going 3-2. Recently the Tigers won closed scrimmages against Hartford and Princeton to run the record to 7-3 since last March.

A LITTLE OLDER: Towson has two seniors and seven juniors on the squad this year, giving Tiger coach Pat Kennedy his most experienced group. Calvin Lee and Josh Thornton are the seniors. Both are expected to start. Thornton is Towson's leading returning scorer from last year with a 10.9 average. Lee should be the leader up front. Juniors Jarrel Smith, Brian Morris, David Brewster and Robert Nwankwo will all contribute. Smith made 32 starts last year. Morris started 22 games at point guard. Nwankwo was a walk-on who has earned a scholarship. Brewster is making a strong case for starting on a wing. Sophomore Troy Franklin is now a veteran and shares time with Morris at the point.

NEWCOMERS: Freshmen Isaiah Philmore and Erique Gumbs, sophomore transfer RaShawn Polk plus redshirt juniors Josh Brown and Danny Quinn are the new faces in the crowd for Towson this year. Philmore and Gumbs are establishing themselves up front while Polk is working his way into the backcourt. Polk is not available for tonight's contest due to an eligibility issue.

UPDATING THE REDHAWKS: Coach Charlie Coles, Miami's all-time winningest coach, has pre-season East Division All-MAC guard Kenny Hayes leading the way for the RedHawks. Hayes' season was cut short last year due to injury. He's returning via a medical redshirt. In his eight games last year he averaged 13.9 points and shot 53 per cent from three-point land. The previous year he started 32 of 33 games, earning All-MAC honorable mention honors. The RedHawks, picked fourth in the East Division pre-season poll, graduated five seniors from last year's 17-13 squad that was 4th in the MAC. Hayes' return eases some of the pain of losing Michael Bramos, the MAC's Player of the Year. Also back is 6-9 senior center Adam Fletcher who posted a team high .568 shooting percentage. Freshman forward Drew Kelly, who was named Mr. Tennessee Basketball last year after averaging 31 points and 15 rebounds, heads up the list of newcomers.

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