The shooter: Towson’s Four McGlynn

Four McGlynn. Courtesy photo / Corey Johns

Special to One-Bid Wonders from So Much Sports Baltimore.

By Corey Johns

Four McGlynn. Courtesy photo / Corey Johns
Four McGlynn. Courtesy photo / Corey Johns

Four McGlynn is Towson’s star. He’s the Tigers’ leading scorer and most dynamic offensive player. He’s the guy who wants to take the big shots and he’s the guy they are going to have to rally behind to make an impact down the stretch of the season.

But being the go-to scorer is nothing new for the junior guard; it’s a role he as relished in throughout his entire basketball career.

McGlynn graduated Dallastown High School as the program’s all-time leading score with 1,854 points. His ability to put the ball in the hoop immediately translated to the Division I college level at the Unviersity of Vermont, where, as a freshman, McGlynn led his team in scoring (12.0 ppg), 3-pointers made (68) and free throw percentage (88.9 percent). He averaged 1.9 three-pointers per game and scored 20 or more points five different times, while helping to lead the Catamounts offense to an America East Conference Championship and on to the NCAA Tournament while also earning conference Rookie of the Year honors.

In the NCAA Tournament’s first round, a win over Lamar, he led Vermont with 18 points.

But as much as he enjoyed his time and success at Vermont, something was missing for him: That sense of home.

McGlynn only went back to his hometown of York, Pennsylvania twice while he was at Vermont: Christmas and spring break. During the year, his father either flew or drove up to a lot of his games, but it was tough for the rest of his family to get up to Burlington to watch him.

That summer, in June, McGlynn requested a release from his scholarship and to transfer. The timing of it was late, most transfers ask for a release much earlier than that. But Vermont granted his release. It had restrictions, which was to be expected. McGlynn could not transfer to another America East school or George Washington, the program that just hired former Vermont head coach Mike Lonergan, who helped recruit but did not coach McGlynn.

But according to McGlynn, he already had a good sense of where he wanted to go: Towson. McGlynn says he talked to Penn State, VCU, Central Connecticut State, and La Salle, among others, but Towson was close to home and a place his family could easily hop in a car and go see him play.

“Towson, it was only an hour away from home,” he said. “This was the first place I visited and I liked it and definitely feel like I made a good decision.”

Since transferring, both of McGlynn’s parents have been to every home game.

“We were happy to get him,” Towson Head Coach Pat Skerry said. “He has a great family, they’re close by and he wanted to get back close to home. He’s helped us win a lot of games. He has improved as a player.”

And helping his team is what McGlynn has to do now more than ever. Last year, McGlynn’s first eligible for the Tigers, he worked his way into the starting roster and led the team in 3-pointers made, ranking fifth on the team in scoring at 9.2 points per game.

But after graduating a senior class full of stars, McGlynn came in to training camp as the “go-to” and he’s been one of just two players to start every game, leading the team with 12.4 points per game and 32 made 3-pointers. He’s also the team’s top free throw shooter, converting 71-of-76 opportunities.

“He’s gotten stronger, more confident with the ball and a better passer, better off ball screens,” Skerry said. “If we put all that together we can really get going. He’s certainly shown flashes with a couple of 27-point outings.”

When you watch McGlynn, it is clear he plays with a confidence that borders on cocky. McGlynn never backs down from a shot, never hesitates to make his move, never waits before he follows through on his drive to the basket.

McGlynn credits that scorer’s mentality to the lessons his dad taught him when he was his coach in his youth, saying he was told to have a certain swagger to separate himself from everybody else. And whether he is shooting well, or in a slump, he doesn’t change what he does.

“You have to have a short term memory if you’re a shooter,” Skerry said. “I like guys who have that little bit of a chip and swagger. I think he has that. He wants to take big shots, which is important. The more of those he makes the better we all look.”

That scoring ability combined with his experience playing basketball and his experience winning big games, is why Skerry has made him the centerpiece of his offense this season and will rely on him to be the guy to lead them to success, especially on a team that relies on so many underclassmen in it’s rotation.

“He had played in an NCAA Tournament so you need to fall back on some of your veteran guys, especially in conference play,” Skerry said.

At 8-10 on the season and 1-4 in conference play, Towson’s 7-1 start seems like a long time ago but McGlynn can get hot at any time and spark a huge run. That only seems like a matter of time before it happens.