Its been a couple of weeks since the Tiger’s men’s basketball season came to an end.
Obviously, the wins and losses were not what we all would have liked, but this was without a doubt a rebuilding project that head coach Pat Skerry knew would have to take place.
Towson came into the season with just one player who had played the year before, and that was Erique Gumbs. The sophomore forward averaged just 3.6 points per game and 12.3 minutes a game during the 2010-2011 season.
I had a chance to catch up with Coach Skerry this week to talk about this past season, and what the Tigers will be doing leading up to the 2012-13 season. Coach Skerry was in Kansas recruiting at the national Junior College Championships.
Q: Coach when you started practice in October, what was your sense of the team?
Coach Skerry: "I felt we were extremely young and inexperienced. We caught a bad break on the first day of practice when we lost Rayshawn Polk. We thought he would be a pretty good scorer for us. We knew we would be in trouble offensively, and I think our exhibition games kind of showed us that."
Q: Did you feel that you had to spend time in practice leading up to the season working on things that with a veteran team you wouldn’t have to spend time on?
Coach Skerry: "Not really. I would hope that a lot of the stuff we do with skill work, that no matter how veteran we are we would continue to do."
Q: The schedule early in the season was very difficult. Do you think that helped or hurt you considering the team was so young?
Coach Skerry: "It probably hurt. The schedule was set when we got here, so we tried to embrace that. Hopefully that would allow us to get better later on."
Q: In December, you played a Virginia team that spent much of the year in the Top 25 and made it to the NCAA tournament. In that game, you were tied late, and were in it down to the final buzzer.
Coach Skerry: "I do think we have a lot to show for the season. I think we played markedly better the last few weeks of the season. Our turnovers started to come way down, and that takes a lot of pressure off of your defense when you start clicking on offense"
Q: You really didn’t have a 'go to' guy on offense, although at times sophomore Marcus Damas showed flashes of being that guy. How do you assess his season?
Coach Skerry: "Marcus showed us flashes of how good he can be. He had games of 20 or more points, but then he had games where he didn’t play as well. We need him to become a consistent scorer where he can get us 13 or 14 points a night. But he works really hard."
Q: One thing that was impressive to me about this season was the attititude of the team. Throughout the losing streak, the guys never seemed to get down and they played hard in every game. That’s obviously a credit to not only the players but you and your staff. How did you keep they guys going hard?
Coach Skerry: "First off, we have great guys. They practice hard every day. Most of them were new, so you hope you can control their attitude and their effort. I think that makes our job easier because they were such a hard working group of guys. We looked at it like we have to compete every day. We didn’t sugarcoat things. We tried to kind of mask some of our inefficiencies that will help you long term. I don’t think the streak affected them in any way. You just work hard in practice everyday and hope it carries over into the games."
Next week, Coach Skerry will talk about the plans for the off season and how he viewed his first season in the CAA.
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