Four McGlynn reportedly to leave Towson basketball

Almost as soon as Towson basketball’s season stopped – a 74-69 loss to Elon in the play-in game of the CAA tournament — world began to spread like wild fire that Tigers’ sharpshooter Four McGlynn was on the move.

As first reported by Alex Kline of The Recruit Scoop, and subsequently confirmed by several sources and reporters around the basketball stratosphere (not to mention retweeted by the Twitter account associated with the York Ballers AAU program run by McGlynn’s father), McGlynn, a red-shirt junior, will graduate in the spring and ask for his release to transfer elsewhere as a grad student.

This will be the second time in three calendar years that the York, Pa. Native and the Tigers leading scorer over the past season at 12 points per game, has transferred out of a program.

As a true freshman, McGlynn filled the role of deadeye sniper and instant offense off the bench for America East tournament champion Vermont, averaging 12 points per game while hitting 38 percent of his 3-pointers and just under 90 percent of his free-throws, to help lead the Catamounts to the 2012 NCAA Tournament, and a “First Four” win over Lamar. Almost as soon as he returned home after the end of the school year, McGlynn stunned teammates by announcing he would transfer.

At the time of his release from Vermont, McGlynn cited homesickness and the distance away from his large, close family, and eventually committed to play for Pat Skerry at Towson.

After sitting out the 2012-2013 season due to the NCAA’s mandatory redshirt year for transfers, McGlynn came off the bench to average 9.2 points per game while hitting 40.8 percent of his 3-points and 91.3 percent of his free throws for a 25-11 squad that finished second in the CAA before advancing to the CIT tournament quarterfinals.

With the graduation of several impact upperclassmen, McGlynn was expected to shoulder more of a scoring load for the Tigers as a redshirt junior, and, despite moving between the starting lineup and the bench and back, paced the team at 12 points per game, while knocking down 37.4 percent of his 3-pointers and a career-best 91.7 percent from the charity stripe.

But the Tigers struggled and now, McGlynn, is apparently out the door.

Several analysts have already mentioned McGlynn as an attractive “one-and-done” graduate transfer (NCAA rules would allow him to play immediately as a graduate student), and his ability to fill it up from behind the arc would certainly make him a viable specialist for a school at a step up from the CAA level (maybe even more).

But the issue is whether that is a role that McGlynn would embrace. When McGlynn left Vermont, the murmur around the America East conference was that he was not happy about his playing time coming off the bench as a role player, and similar speculation followed him during much of his career at Towson.

As a one year transfer learning a new system, especially one with limited foot speed and run-and-jump athleticism, it’s hard to see McGlynn playing a larger role than a microwave player providing long range shooting off the bench.

If McGlynn is looking to go somewhere to win, and willing to embrace a supporting role, he’ll have a lot of choices. If he’s looking to go somewhere and be “the man”, he’s going to be left with very limited offers from lower-tier low-major programs.

Autism speaks to Pat Skerry

Your son has autism.

The words echoed around the white-walled doctor’s office, settling in as a deafening ring in Pat Skerry’s ears and a pounding throb in his chest. Then there was a crack and the earth opened up below Skerry, swallowing him whole.

“I literally thought I was having a heart attack; I felt like I couldn’t breathe,” says Skerry, now in his fourth year as the head coach of Towson University’s men’s basketball team, of the day back in 2010, when he and his wife Kristen learned their son Owen was autistic.

“I was shocked, I was terrified, I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know anything about autism. You start to wonder, ‘what is going to happen to my son? What kind of life is he going to lead?’”

More than four years later, Skerry’s heartbeat still quickens when he thinks back to that day in that Pittsburgh doctor’s office, but he is now forever grateful for exactly who Owen is.

“I still worry about how the world will treat him, but I love him with all my heart for exactly who he is, and having him as my son he has made me a million times better as a person,” says Skerry. “He makes me a better parent, a better teacher, a better coach and just a better human being,” he continues. “Owen has taught me that everyone learns differently, that everyone has different struggles, but that all these differences enhance your life in ways I can’t even describe.”

But it wasn’t an easy road to get here.

1 in 68

Autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are a group of complex disorders pertaining to brain development, most commonly characterized by difficulties with social interactions, understanding social cues like body language and facial expressions, and communication. Repetitive behaviors and singular fixations can also be characteristics.

Fifty years ago, children diagnosed with autism were sent to sanitariums, shuttered away from the outside world, and treated with archaic methods like shock therapy. Twenty years ago, they were banished to group homes, and condemned to spend their lives living on the margins of society. A decade ago, they were ostracized, ridiculed and misunderstood in mainstream school systems.

While there remains no known cure for autism, today, through early intervention, therapy, and inclusion in the general student body, those diagnosed with autism are living more independent and successful lives than ever before.

But a great deal more research remains.

According to the advocacy group Autism Speaks, an organization that that sponsors research, promotes awareness and conducts outreach for those afflicted with autism and their families, 1 in 64 children and 1 in 42 boys has an ASD, a tenfold increase from 40 years ago.

Skerry didn’t know any of this before Owen, the younger of his two sons, was diagnosed. In fact, according to Skerry, his knowledge of autism went no further than the mathematical wizard and “idiot savant” portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the 1988 drama Rain Man.

“My knowledge was literally zero,” says Skerry.

That all changed when Owen started to fail to meet benchmarks as he approached the age of two, the average age when children are diagnosed.

“My wife just said he wasn’t meeting some bench marks,” explains Skerry. “He crawled at the normal age, walked at the normal age, but then he wasn’t talking, wasn’t making eye contact. I thought it was a little bit premature, but she was right – always trust a mother’s instinct.”

Skerry considers himself “incredibly lucky” after the diagnosis for three reasons – the three pillars in his life: His wife, his sons and his father.

“She is by far the head and champion of our family,” says Skerry of Kristen diving head first into the world of autism advocacy on behalf of their son, adding, “she is a machine, honestly.”

Skerry didn’t know it, but the life lessons bestowed upon him as a child from his own father would be integral in preparing him to help Owen overcome the obstacles standing in his way.

Lessons from his father

Pat Skerry was born and raised in Medford, Massachusetts, a hockey-crazed, blue-collar city five miles northwest of downtown Boston, but one that can often feel a world away. Bordered by the Mystic River, a slow, sludge-filled waterway polluted by centuries of industrial waste, as well as hard scrabble towns like Charlestown (formerly regarded as the bank robbery capital of the country), Somerville (where notorious gangster Whitey Bulger cut his teeth) and Everett.

Skerry’s father, David – known as “Big Dave” to family, friends and the neighborhood as a whole – was a lawyer by trade but a hockey player at heart. Long before Skerry every laced up sneakers and took to the hardwood, Big Dave had him in skates, working on his slap shot at all hours of the day.

“I was fortunate enough I had a dad who was a lawyer,” says Skerry. “He was a hockey-football guy, I grew up playing hockey. “

But by the time he was in middle school, basketball had a firm grip on Skerry’s heart and wouldn’t let go. And despite not knowing the first thing about the sport, Big Dave supported his son in being his own man.

“One thing I’ll always give him credit for was when I said I didn’t want to play hockey anymore, I wanted to pursue basketball, he didn’t know anything about basketball but he supported me,” says Skerry.

The lesson imparted by big Big Dave on his son – that he loved him for exactly who he was – was one that remains with Skerry to this day. And according to the 45-year old coach, it helped prepare him to be the best father he could to both Owen, and his older son, 9-year-old Ryan.

“What you learn is, and I would tell this to any parent, is be excited and be thrilled about who and whatever your child is,” says Skerry, whose hopes and dreams for both of his sons lie not on the hardwood, or any athletic playing field, but in simply seeing them find their own passions and places in the world.

“I don’t push them in any direction. I’ll support them in anything they develop a passion for,” says Skerry. “I don’t say ‘I want my son to be a pro basketball player, or a pro basketball coach,” or even that I want to go out and play catch in the back yard, that may or may not happen. But I’m excited for what he’s doing in school.”

According to Skerry, Owen still struggles with verbal communication, but his vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds every day, and Skerry is just as thrilled having his youngest son teach him something new on the iPad, or talking to Ryan about his favorite video game, than he would be if they were swishing 3-pointers and mastering the motion offense.

“My youngest son, he’s extremely crafty on the iPad and the iPhone,” says Skerry, noticeable pride in his voice. “My other son, he likes Minecraft — I don’t know much about it, but I really enjoy when he tells me about it and shows me stuff.”

Speaking for autism

The Skerrys will be the first to tell you that they are incredibly fortunate. According to Autism Speaks, the average family of a child with an ASD spends $60,000 a year for treatment and care – a sum that grows exponentially in a state like Maryland, one of 16 states in the country where health insurance does not cover autism or autism spectrum disorders.

“We’re extremely, extremely lucky that I had the job that I have where we can afford to get Owen the services he needs without going bankrupt,” says Skerry, “And we’re really fortunate in that we have a lot of really good organizations in the area that work with autism.”

Which is why Skerry decided to use the platform his position at Towson provided him to try and make a difference.

Two seasons ago, the Skerrys came up with the idea to hold an autism awareness night when Towson faced off against UNC Wilmington, inviting individuals with ASDs and their families from around campus and the larger community to attend the game, where there was an information booth dispensing facts on the disorder. Under Armour donated blue shoes – the color for autism awareness – to the Tigers.

It was a great night, according to Skerry, but afterwards, the coach felt like there had to be more he could do – a lot more. So he immediately picked up the phone and dialed up his long-time friend Tom Herrion, at the time the head coach of Marshall and now an assistant at Georgia Tech.

“We called Tom Herrion, who’s one of my closest friends in coaching. He has a son Robert who is autistic. And ‘I was like how can we get together and try to do more to raise awareness?’” he says. “We started brainstorming and we looked up that there was a Saturday where there were 41 games on national TV between ESPN, ESPN2, U, CBS, Fox, NBC. So we got thinking, and we we’re like ‘lets see if we can get some [autism awareness] pins and get the coaches to start wearing them.’”

Last year, through an entirely word of mouth grass roots campaign, Skerry and Herrion were able to get 82 coaches and broadcasters to wear pins. A year later, Skerry and Herrion teamed up with Autism Speaks on the first weekend in February, where roughly 225 coaches Division I coaches, among them every coach in the ACC coach, along with the likes of Kentucky’s John Calipari, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Kansas’ Bill Self, sported the blue puzzle piece pin representation of Autism Speaks.

While there were many more prominent games in the national landscape, none were more touching or personal than Towson’s 63-61 loss to James Madison, which featured 14 different organizations that support autism awareness and research, hundreds of children and adults with autism in the stands, and a post-game musical performance by a high school students with autism.

“We had a great game here, other than the result,” says Skerry, whose team wore blue uniforms donated by Under Armour for the second year in a row.

“Now we need to figure out how to make it bigger and better to raise awareness for a cause that really needs it,” says Skerry, who along with Herrion co-founded Coaches Powering Forward For Autism, a program provides basketball coaches, their teams, schools and community supporters with an even greater opportunity to help increase awareness, fundraise and advocate for the needs of families and individuals affected by autism.

Always moving forward

It’s been a tough year for the Tigers. One season removed from a 25-11 record – Skerry’s best at the helm – Towson young roster currently sits at 12-18 overall and 5-12 in CAA play, good for a tie for eighth place.

But Owen’s struggles always put things in perspective for his father.

“It can get hard at any moment of any day, if you start thinking, or worrying, or getting anxiety by thinking ahead five, 10, 15 years and wondering where he’s going to end up,” says Skerry. “But you just try to deal with it on a daily basis and try to make progress every day.”

It’s a lesson he tries to impart on his team, who all know Owen well and are frequent visitors to the Skerry household.

“I hope in some ways I’ve been able to help our student athletes become more understanding and accepting of what autism is,” he says. “It’s great having them over to the house for different activities so they get to know Owen and I think they become a little bit more worldly from it.”

Skerry is hoping that the Tigers can turn the corner and make some noise in the CAA Tournament this season, and is also hopeful that he can help continue to shine a brighter light on autism, which is the fastest growing childhood diagnosis in the United States, yet receives only approximately 0.55 percent of the total funding allocated to treat and research diseases by the National Institutes of Health Funds Allocation.

“It’s definitely what drives me, to try to make a small difference in any way that I can to help kids like Owen have a better life,” he says.

And for Skerry, whether its his team on the court or society as a whole, the most important thing is to keep moving forward.

“I think as a society evolves, we start to figure out, if and when we become more understanding of everyone, we can become a lot more productive in how we operate as a society.”

OBW CAA men’s basketball Power Rankings v10

Scott Eatherton and his Northeastern Huskies are back on top of OBW's first CAA Power Rankings. OBW Photo / Sam Perkins
Scott Eatherton and his Northeastern Huskies are back on top of OBW’s first CAA Power Rankings. OBW Photo / Sam Perkins

This is going to be quite the photo finish. With two games remaining in the regular season, not only are the one through four spots in the conference standings still up for grabs, but all four teams fighting for them remain locked in a four-way tie for first place. With a centralized conference tournament and championship game in Baltimore, this should be two weeks.

Sadly, arguably the league’s best player won’t have any say on how the CAA Tournament plays out, as Drexel guard Damion Lee suffered a broken hand last week, shelving him for the rest of the regular season.

Without further delay, here’s a look around the conference in the latest OBW CAA men’s basketball Power Rankings.

1. Northeastern (18-10, 11-5 in CAA)
Results: Win 75-64 vs William & Mary; W 83-73 (OT) vs Drexel
This week: Thursday at Elon; Saturday at College of Charleston
In the most telling game of the CAA season, the Huskies proved that when they control the backboards, they are without a doubt the best team in the CAA. In a 75-64 win against William & Mary, coach Bill Coen’s won the battle of the boards 24-15 and only trailed for the first 30 seconds of the game.

2. William & Mary (17-10, 11-5)
Results: L 75-64 at Northeastern; W 80-78 at Hofstra
This week: Wednesday vs Towson; Saturday vs Drexel
The Tribe was exposed for a lot of weaknesses this week. Their lack of depth in the frontcourt resulted in a loss to the Huskies and team’s continue to sag off Terry Tarpey at the free throw line, sending help defenders to deny the ball from Marcus Thornton. Tarpey made Hofstra pay by going 4-5 from beyond in a 80-78 win over Hofstra. But unless William & Mary can find a way to compete on the boards, we could see a surprising early exit in the tournament.

3. UNC Wilmington (16-11, 11-5)
Results: L 70-59 at Delaware; W 73-69 at Towson
This week: Wednesday vs James Madison; Saturday at Elon
How could you hold it against the Seahawks for losing to Delaware when the Blue Hens have also beaten the two teams above? After the 70-59 loss, Addision Spruill rejuvenated his team with a 26-point performance in a 73-69 win against Towson.

4. Hofstra (18-11, 9-7)
Results: W 87-82 at Towson; L 80-78 vs William & Mary
This week: Wednesday vs College of Charleston; Saturday at James Madison
What a fun time is must have been to watch Juan’ya Green and Marcus Thornton go head on as the tournament approaches. Both teams are very similar: deep backcourt, many skilled players and abysmal defense as of late.

5. James Madison (17-11. 11-5)
Results: W 82-78 vs Drexel; W 68-61 vs College of Charleston
This week: Wednesday at UNC-Wilmington; Saturday vs Hofstra
Is there any way Matt Brady can get a honorable mention for Coach of the Year? The guy loses one of the best players on his team due to disciplinary issues, is running on a bunch of freshman and sophomores and is still able to pull out 17 wins. The Dukes were able to withstand a 26-point performance from Damion Lee and beat Charleston 68-61.

6. Delaware (8-19, 7-9)
Results: W 70-59 vs UNC-Wilmington; L 83-75 (OT) vs Elon
This week: Thursday at Drexel; Saturday at Towson.
As hard as it is to believe, Delaware might be the most impressive team in the CAA. They look as if they couldn’t beat by little brother’s middle school team in non-conference play and now Kory Holden and Marvin King-Davis have the top teams in the CAA shaking in their sneakers. A win against the Seahawks this week keeps them at the top of the bottom of the pack.

7. Towson (12-17. 5-11)
Results: L 87-82 vs Hofstra; L 73-69 vs UNC-Wilmington
This week: Wednesday at William & Mary
Granted they had a tough week in terms of competition, the Tigers still showed they’re the team players can expect to record a 20+ on. Add Addison Spriull and Damion Lee to that list.

8. Charleston (8-21, 3-13)
Results: W 77-63 vs Elon; L 68-61 at James Madison
This week: Wednesday at Hofstra; Saturday vs Northeastern
Sam Perkins’ Canyon Barry feature must of revved up the senior after a 22-point performance against the also lowly Elon. Joe Chealey also chipped in 16.

9. Elon (12-17, 4-12)
Results: L 77-63 at College of Charleston; W 83-75 at Delaware
This week: Thursday vs Northeastern; Saturday vs UNC-Wilmington
Good move by the Elon coaching staff inserting Elijah Bryant into the starting lineup. At this point, the point of this season is to get him as much on-court experience as possible.

10. Drexel (10-17, 8-8)
Results: L 82-78 at James Madison; L 83-73 (OT) at Northeastern
This week: Thursday vs Delaware; Saturday at William & Mary
In two losses this week, the Dragons were actually impressive, giving both James Madison and Northeastern competitive games. But Damion Lee is out for the year, meaning all chances just went out the door.

OBW CAA Player of the Week
Terry Tarpey, Jr., G/F, William & Mary
Tarpey scored 38 points, pulled down 13 rebounds, dished out six assists, swiped four steals and blocked a pair of shots in two games.

OBW CAA Rookie of the Week
Elijah Bryant, G, Elon
Bryant had 30 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists over two games for the Phoenix.

OBW CAA Fab Five
Juan’ya Green, R-Jr., G, Hofstra
Damion Lee, Jr., G, Delaware
Ameen Tanksley, R-Jr., G, Hofstra
Terry Tarpey, Jr., G, William & Mary
Marcus Thornton, Sr., G, William & Mary

OBW CAA Frosh Five
Elijah Bryant, G, Elon
Rokas Gustys, F, Hofstra
Kory Holden, G, Delaware
Mike Morsell, F, Towson
Jordan Talley, G, UNC Wilmington

OBW CAA Power Rankings v9

Addison Spruill and the Seahawks are making a run at the CAA conference title.
Addison Spruill and the Seahawks are making a run at the CAA conference title.

It’s been far, far too long since our last CAA Power Rankings, and quite a bit has changed towards the top of the conference since then, with Northeastern and Hofstra – two teams that appeared to have distanced themselves from the pack during the non-conference – coming back down to earth. With just two weeks remaining before the CAA Tournament, no clear-cut favorite has emerged and there are still six teams with a legitimate chance to win the regular season title – albeit it may take a few generous bounces of the ball for some of them.

With that said, we’re hoping back up on the horse with our latest edition of the OBW CAA Power Rankings – here’s a look at how the league is shaping up heading into the home stretch.

1. William & Mary (16-9, 10-4 in CAA)
Results: W 77-58 vs Elon; L 73-70 vs Delaware
This week: Wednesday at Northeastern; Sunday at Hofstra.
When the Tribe have played the crème of the CAA crop, they have taken care of business, and currently stand at 6-0 against the next three teams below them in the CAA Standings and OBW Power Rankings. But they have shown the ability to look past lesser opponents, as evidenced by their loss to Delaware. Offensively, it doesn’t get any better in the CAA than William & Mary, which ranks eighth in the entire nation in field goal percentage (49.3 percent) and 39th in scoring (73.9 points per game). Marcus Thornton remains the team’s unquestioned star, but Omar Prewitt, Daniel Dixon and Terry Tarpey give the Tribe a four-headed monster in the back court and on the wings. For all it’s back court star power, outside of Thornton, junior center Sean Sheldon may be the team’s most important player, as the 6’9” 245 pounder’s grit and guts allow the Tribe to play four guards against the physical and imposing CAA front courts.

2. UNC-Wilmington (15-10, 10-4 in CAA)
Results: W 58-45 vs College of Charleston; W 66-61 vs Northeastern
This week: Thursday at Delaware; Saturday at Towson
The Seahawks have been playing with a chip on their shoulders and a serious mean streak all year long under first year head coach Kevin Keatts, and have been perhaps the biggest surprise of the CAA this year. Addison Spruill, a 6’5” 230 pound ball of hustle and muscle has done a bit of everything, playing the two through four positions, while guards Freddy Jackson, Craig Ponder and Jordan Talley have all exploded at different points throughout the year. Like the Tribe, UNCW does much of its damage playing four-guards and spreading the court, with athletic 6’9” Cedrick Williams and 7’1” center C.J. Gettys doing the dirty work to hold off opposing front courts.

3. Northeastern (17-10, 9-5 in CAA)
Results: W 79-68 at Hofstra; L 66-61 at UNC-Wilmington
This week: Wednesday vs William & Mary; Saturday vs Drexel
After looking like world beaters during the non-conference season, the Huskies have been a bit Jekyll and Hyde during the CAA slate. Northeastern’s biggest strength – that it doesn’t rely on any one player to shoulder most of its load – may also be it’s biggest weakness – the Huskies still don’t have a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency go to scorer. Scott Eatherton remains the team’s best talent and has begun to turn it on down the stretch, but with teams continuing to sellout to stop the bruising center, the Huskies need other players to step up their games. Senior forward Reggie Spencer, who has been injured for most of the year but who plays as hard as anyone on the roster, and explosive but enigmatic shooting guard David Walker could be the keys to the season.

4. James Madison (16-11, 9-5 in CAA)
Results: W 67-54 at Delaware; W 86-75 at Elon
This week: Wednesday vs Drexel; Saturday vs College of Charleston
Conventional wisdom was that James Madison was going to be a year away from making another run at the NCAAs – thinking that seemed to be reinforced when Andre Nation was dismissed from the team earlier this year. However, prognosticators likely didn’t see sophomore center Yohanny Dalembert’s rapid growth; the Haitian earthquake survivor has blossomed into a go-to scorer in the post, game changer on the glass and true rim protector on defense. When Dalembert is combined with dynamic point guard Ron Curry and gunner Kackson Kent, the Dukes have a diverse offense capable of scoring in the post, off the dribble, and from behind the arc.

5. Hofstra (17-10, 8-6 in CAA)
Results: L 79-68 vs Northeastern; W 81-57 at Drexel
This week: Wednesday at Towson; Sunday vs William & Mary
Not that long ago, behind a quartet of dynamic guards, Hofstra was the team to beat in the CAA. Then mid-January struck, the Pride couldn’t get stops on D, and dropped five out of six, including four losses at home, prompting head coach Joe Mihalich to joke, “we’re going to just play all of our games on the road,” recently. The Pride have since righted the ship, winning three out of four (although one has to wonder how much of it was favorable scheduling. Guards Juan’ya Green, Ameen Tanskley, Brian Bernadri and Dion Nesmith can all light it up from anywhere on the floor, but Hofstra needs them to step up their defensive game, and start getting constent low post production from the likes of Moussa Kone and Rokas Gustys. Kone’s monster game – 23 points on 10-of-10 shooting – was a big step in the right direction.

6. Drexel (10-15, 8-6 in CAA)
Results: W 53-49 vs Towson; L81-57 vs Hofstra
This week: Wednesday at James Madison; Saturday at Northeastern.
Three and a half weeks ago and head coach Bruiser Flint’s squad was sinking like a stone. Fast forward and, up until a beating at the hands of Hofstra, they were one of the hottest teams in the CAA, winners of six straight – including games over Northeastern and UNC Wilmington. Guard Damion Lee remains a one-man scoring binge and a front runner for conference Player of the Year honors, but the Dragons fortunes changed when power forward Rodney Williams returned to the lineup from an injury, giving Drexel a presence on the glass and around the rim.

7. Towson (12-15, 5-9 in CAA)
Results: L 53-49 at Drexel; W 53-50 at College of Charleston
This week: Wednesday vs Hofstra; Saturday vs UNC Wilmington
The Tigers have lost three out of their last four, but all three have been by single digits, two of them to contenders Northeastern and James Madison and the third to a red-hot Drexel squad. Towson has struggled with consistency, but when forwards John Davis and Timajh Parker-Rivera are getting after it on the glass and Four McGlynn is knocking down shots, they can play with anyone.

8. Delaware (7-18, 6-8 in CAA)
Results: L 67-54 vs James Madison; W 73-70 at William & Mary
This week; Thursday vs UNC Wilmington; Saturday vs Elon
The Blue Hens are the hardest team to figure out in the CAA. After winning one – count it, one – game during the entire non-conference slate, they’ve gone 6-8 in the CAA, where they managed to lose to lowly Elon by a dozen points, but somehow swept William & Mary and split with Northeastern. Senior Kyle Anderson and freshman Kory Holden can score from behind the arc, but Delaware’s front court – led by Marvin King-Davis and Maurice Jeffers – remain the keys to the team.

9. College of Charleston (7-20, 2-12 in CAA)
Results: L 58-45 at UNC Wilmington; L 53-50 at Towson
This week: Wednesday vs Elon; Saturday at James Madison
It’s year one of a program rebuild for first year head coach Earl Grant, but the Cougars can still put on a show when they are hitting their shots, with sophomore back court duo Canyon Barry and Joe Chealey capable of lighting it up on any given night.

10. Elon (11-16, 3-11 in CAA)
Results: L 77-58 at William & Mary; L 86-75 vs James Madison
This week: Wednesday at College of Charleston; Saturday at Delaware
The Phoenix have lost six in a row and 10 out of their last 11. Elon fans have reason to be excited with talented underclassmen Elijah Bryant (freshman) and Luke Eddy (sophomore) lighting it up from the back court, but their front court remains an Achilles heel.

OBW CAA Player of the Week
Scott Eatherton, R-Sr., C, Northeastern

There were a lot of big performances and several deserving candidates for the week – among them, Hofstra’s Juan’ya Green’s 31 points, 16 assists, eight rebounds and three steals in two games; and William & Mary’s Omar Prewitt’s 44 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals in two games — but Eatherton’s 47 points, 17 rebounds, three blocks and three assists stood out them most.

OBW Co-CAA Rookies of the Week
Elijah Bryant, G, Elon

Byrant scored 33 points, pulled down 15 rebounds and dished out nine assists.

Jordan Talley, G, UNC Wilmington
Talley scored 32 points, pulled down eight rebounds, dished out five assists and added a pair of steals in two big wins.

OBW CAA Fab Five
Juan’ya Green, R-Jr., G, Hofstra
Damion Lee, Jr., G, Delaware
Ameen Tanksley, R-Jr., G, Hofstra
Terry Tarpey, Jr., G, William & Mary
Marcus Thornton, Sr., G, William & Mary

OBW CAA Frosh Five
Elijah Bryant, G, Elon
Rokas Gustys, F, Hofstra
Kory Holden, G, Delaware
Mike Morsell, F, Towson
Jordan Talley, G, UNC Wilmington

CAA coaches talk Dean Smith’s legacy, impact

It sounds so cliché: Dean Smith left an impact on everyone who ever picked up a basketball during his lifetime. It is a phrase — in one incarnate or another — that has flooded the airwaves, taken over television screens and been displayed across print articles every day since the legendary coach passed away at the age of 83 on Feb. 7.

Yet with each passing hour — and the thousands of new stories, told by players and coaches from every level of the game that continue to roll in — it is obvious that Smith transcended the tired sports clichés about the impact a coach can leave on everyone he comes in contact with and turned them into the gospel truth.

Even in the Colonial Athletic Association — a conference akin to a single grain of sand sitting at the bottom of the great wide Atlantic Ocean that is the ACC, the conference Smith called home patrolling the sidelines for the University of North Carolina for nearly four decades — Smith’s lasting legacy was paramount.

On Tuesday morning, all 10 CAA head coaches took time out of their weekly teleconference to talk about the impact Smith had left on them, and all — ranging from William & Mary head coach Tony Schaver, who played for four years as a walk-on under Smith, to James Madison’s Matt Brady, who only knew Smith as a fan from afar — were touching and unique.

“Other than my father, there has never been a male figure who has influenced me more than Dean has. Today, I look at it much more as a person than as a coach,” said Shaver, who played for Smith from 1972-1976. “He was such a great coach and such a great teacher. He was an incredible teacher of the game of basketball and how to live your life.“

“I never met coach Smith,” said Brady, “[But] he’s had such a tremendous impact not only on his program and the players he’s touched, but on everybody who aspired to be a basketball coach.”

Smith’s Hall of Fame career at North Carolina literally revolutionized the game, with the coach implementing systems and schemes that remain a part of the college landscape, while simultaneously continuing to evolve his system to suit the strengths of his roster every season.

“He taught us so much about basketball,” said UNC Wilmington head coach Kevin Keatts. “When you look at it, I would say he’s a trendsetter. There’s not a program that you play in any conference that’s not running the Carolina back screens, the backdoors and everything else.”

With 879 career wins, 17 ACC regular-season titles, 13 ACC tournament championships, 11 Final Fours and two National Championships (1982 and 1993), Smith’s career will always be know for his gaudy numbers. But to Towson head coach Pat Skerry, Smith will forever be linked to a different kind of numbers, as the coach analyzed advanced statistics long before the term “sabermetrics” had ever been coined.

“It’s impressive that he was kind of ahead of the game with the analytics and the advanced stats,” said Skerry.

But for all of the coaches who had the opportunity to meet him, even in passing, the biggest impact Smith left had nothing to do with Xs and Os, but how he was as a man.

“As everyone keeps saying, it was the human side of him. The basketball side of him speaks for itself,” said Hofstra head coach Joe Mihalich, who got to know Smith when he was working as an assistant at Dematha Catholic High School in Maryland in the late 70s and early 80s.

“A few years later when I was an assistant at La Salle I had just had twins, and I didn’t think he knew about it and he came up to me and asked all about them… he was an amazing person,” Mihalich remembered.

“I think his biggest thing was the way he maintained relationships with everybody and was always looking to help,” said Northeastern head coach Bill Coen.

Coen coached against Smith’s Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament as a University of Rhode Island assistant.

“I think at the 16-minute mark we were up 11-10 and Dean Smith called a timeout and we thought we were doing pretty well, and by halftime we were down by about 40,” laughed Coen.

Drexel head coach Bruiser Flint first met Smith when he was a young kid, all of 10 or maybe 11 years old, in Philadelphia. His father was helping the legendary coach recruit a local player.

“He sent me a poster of the Carolina team that lost in the Final Four. Every player signed it… At 10 years old that’s huge,” said Flint, noticeable pride in his voice all these years later. “Once I got in coaching, those guys actually talked about when they met me when I was 10 years old. [Smith] would say, ‘I remember you,’ and ask me how my dad was… that always put a special place in my heart about Dean Smith.”

But it was Smith’s former player, Shaver, on whom Smith left the biggest impact.

“There’s probably two percent of things that I’ve done in my career that is not exactly like the way he did them,” said Shaver. “He treated everybody fairly. He cared about everybody that was in his program, and I think the loyalty that he built because of that was the most impressive thing about his time at North Carolina.

“How he cared about people, and how he took a stand about what he thought was right. That goes from the Civil Rights movement right down to how he coached.”

For every CAA coach, from his surrogate son in Shaver to those who had never met him, Smith left behind an impossible void to fully fill, and an indelible impact that will never go away.

“When I woke up on Sunday to hear that he passed, it was such a said day because of all the players and people he touched,” said Keatts. “We’re going to miss him.”

“But,” said Coen, “his legacy will live on.”

Last second shot downs Towson men’s basketball

Mike Morsell. Photo Credit: Corey Johns
Mike Morsell. Photo Credit: Corey Johns

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

By Corey Johns

As time expired, so did Towson’s hope, as James Madison guard Ron Curry’s 17-foot jumper found the bottom of the net as the buzzer sounded to give the Dukes a 63-61 win.

Down by four heading into the final 80 seconds, Towson sophomore John Davis put his head down at the top of the key and drove inside for the layup to make it a two-point game. Then, after a stop at the other end, Davis drew a foul and sunk both attempts to tie the game.

However, with 24 seconds left, Curry took the inbound, slowly walked the ball up the court and pulled up for his final shot. The ball hit the backboard, the front of the rim, back of the rim, rolled around and finally rattled in.

Davis led the Tigers with 16 points and had 10 rebounds, tallying his 11th double-double of the season. Meanwhile, Mike Morsell recorded his fourth-straight double-digit outing with 14 points.

The Tigers held the Dukes to just 39.6-percent from the field and out-rebounded them 43-29. But James Madison hit five more three’s and the Tigers left 11 points at the charity strip, going just 11-for-22.

Wearing light blue uniforms in support of autism awareness, the Tigers responded to five early points by JMU and tied the game after Walt Foster tipped in a rattling jumper by Byron Hawkins. Foster ended the game with eight points but led the team with 13 rebounds.

From there, Towson was able to push their lead to seven, 27-20, after Hawkins grabbed a rebound, hit a streaking Davis with an outlet pass, and Davis converted at the other end with 5:30 remaining in the first half.

But with the help of some three’s by Curry, JMU battled back and took a two-point lead into the break. Yohanny Dalembert scored 10 of his 14 points in the game before the break, including a short jumper with four seconds remaining in the first half to give JMU the 35-33 lead.

Towson came out of the break as the aggressor with JMU having to keep pace. Towson scored the first five points of the second half and after Curry nailed two free throws for JMU, the Tigers scored five more to make it a 43-37 game after Alex Gavrilovic nailed a mid-range jumper.

But JMU just kept attacking the basket and picking up fouls, got to the line and as the Tigers put more defenders inside, the Dukes were able to hit more three’s.
The Tigers were still able to keep their distance early in the second half thanks to their 41-percent second half shooting compared to JMU’s 28-percent second half shooting, but JMU’s Joey McLean started to heat up and while Curry was still scoring at will. McLean scored 10 of his 14 points after the break.

After Gavrilovic’s jumper to give Towson a 6-point lead with 12:43 remaining, Curry got inside for two free throws and McLean nailed a three to make it a one-point game.

Davis attempted to end the momentum with a jumper but Dalembert hit an easy layup inside just after.

With just under nine minutes to go Towson had a four-point lead following a fast-break layup by Mike Morsell but another three by McLean and a pair of free throws gave the Dukes a 51-50 lead.

Curry it another three to extend the JMU advantage. Towson battled back but McLean and Curry kept the distance with free throws.

With 1:13 remaining in the game, Towson trailed by four but Davis scored four-straight points to tie it. However, the 24 seconds remaining on the clock was enough for Curry to walk up the court, waste time, set up his shot and nail the game-winner.

Roller-coaster ride hits a new peak for Pat Skerry and Towson men’s basketball

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

It would be safe to call Pat Skerry’s tenure as Towson men’s basketball coach a roller coaster ride.

The massively undermanned and outgunned Tigers went 1-31 during his inaugural season, then climbed sharply to 18-13 in year two – setting the NCAA record for a single year turnaround (a 17.5 game improvement overall), peaking during conference play en route to a 13-5 record and second place finish in the CAA. In year three, Skerry’s Tigers rattled off 25 wins and looked headed to the NCAA Tournament for much of the year, only to be tripped up in the CAA Tournament semifinals.

But at no point during his time in Towson has Skerry experienced as many peaks and valleys in one year as during this season.

“We had some tough road losses,” said Skerry, whose team rattled off seven straight wins during the non-conference slate to race out to a 7-1 record, only to follow it up by losing six-straight and 10 of their next 11, before turning around and winning three out of their last four. “We’ve been in games,” he continued.

All throughout their losing stretch, Skerry preached that his team could grow from their losses and be in a great position come the CAA Tournament in March, and with a resounding 86-72 road win Saturday against a Hofstra squad that had been viewed as a CAA favorite, he’s making believers out of league rivals.

“I think they’re playing some of the best basketball in the CAA right now,” said Northeastern head coach Bill Coen during Tuesday morning’s coaches’ conference call.

According to both Coen and Hofstra head coach Joe Mihalich, toughness and tenacity on defense and on the glass have been the big difference for the Tigers.

“They’re very intense and competitive defensive team, but I think the best thing they do is get on the offensive glass.”

“We just kind of got out-toughed,” said Mihalich of Saturday’s game, which saw Towson shoot 57.8 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent from behind the arc, while holding Hofstra to 38.3 and 23.1 percent, respectively.

“The toughest team won the game on Saturday when we played Towson,” explained Mihalich. “This game honored toughness, and if there was one reason that game went the way of Towson that was it right there.”

According to Skerry, the litany of losses during a brutal December and January proved to be a trial by fire for his young squad, which features eight underclassmen and just two seniors.

“There’s nothing that replicates game experience,” said Skerry. “We’ve been in so many close games this year.”

The Tigers have been led for most of the season by floor-stretching red-shirt junior shooting guard Four McGlynn, who has been Towson’s one consistent scorer all year long, averaging 12.1 points per game apiece. But it’s been the recent play of sophomore forward John Davis, a 6’5” combo who can score the ball around the hoop and away from it, and freshman forward Mike Morsell, who is averaging just 4.7 points per game but has scored a combined 29 points in the last two contests, that has given the Tigers the added dimensions they need.

“I think Jonathan Davis is playing as well as anybody in the league right now. He’s scoring the ball in the low post, he’s very versatile, he’s creating mismatch problems,” said Coen.

“He’s the youngest kid in the program. He’s got a 7-2 wingspan. He’s put on a ton of weight,” said Skerry of Morsell’s recent development.

According to Skerry, for the Tigers to make some serious noise closing out the regular season and take the CAA Tournament – held in their back yard in Baltimore – by storm, they will need both the battle-tested veterans like McGlynn and forward Timajh Parker-Rivera, and young guns like Morsell and Davis, to play up to their potential.

“We need consistency, and we’re starting to get it,” he said.

Towson men’s basketball survives Charleston 74-70

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

By Ryan Winner

Four McGlynn scored 20 points in Towson's 74-70 win over College of Charleston. Photo Credit: Corey Johns.
Four McGlynn scored 20 points in Towson’s 74-70 win over College of Charleston. Photo Credit: Corey Johns.

Towson men’s basketball had its fans on the edges of their seats Thursday night, narrowly knocking off the College of Charleston Cougars, 74-70.

With the win, Towson moves to 10-12 on the year and 3-6 in league play, moving them into a three-way tie for seventh place in the CAA standings.

Towson came out of the gate ready to play, grabbing a very early advantage on a 10-2 run followed by a 14-0 run. The Tigers shot 50-percent in the first half and also won the rebounding battle 24-10, including six offensive boards, while holding the Cougars to only just 19.2-percent from the floor (5-of-26). Cougars’ star guard Canyon Barry was held scoreless in the first half, missing all six of his field goal attempts, and Towson went into the locker room up 33-19.

“I’m really proud of the way our guards rebounded the ball,” Towson head coach Pat Skerry said. Towson was all over the boards for the entire game, winning the rebounding battle 42-26, including 13 offensive rebounds.

For most of the second half, Towson maintained their lead, keeping the Cougars from breaking any big runs. However, as the game drew closer to the end, Towson’s defense began to get exposed, with Barry scoring all 16 of his points in the second half, including three 3-pointers, and Charleston cut the Tigers’ lead to 51-49 with 6:42 left.

But Towson never surrendered the lead, and managed to stay one step ahead of Charleston at all times, thanks in large part to clutch free-throw shooting from star guard Four McGlynn, who hit 12 of his 13 attempts, most of which were in crunch time, and finished with 20 points in the game.

Barry kept the game interesting, hitting two of his 3-pointers late in game and Towson managed to finish strong. Towson freshman guard Mike Morsell had a strong effort, finishing with 15 points and six rebounds.

“I think [Morsell] has an incredibly high ceiling,” said Coach Skerry, who spoke very highly of his young player. Morsell has continued to improve over the course of the season, and his playing time has increased dramatically.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone bulk up during a season as much as [Morsell],” Skerry explained.

Alex Gavrilovic’s long road to Towson

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

By Corey Johns

Alex Gavrilovic. Courtesy photo / Corey Johns
Alex Gavrilovic. Courtesy photo / Corey Johns

At age 23, Alex Gavrilovic has already achieved more than most basketball players could ever dream of, playing the game one a grand stage at nearly every stop along the way. The native of Strasbourg, France has played at a highly competitive sports academy that features top athletes from all over the world; he went to the Elite Eight of the NCAAs; and has represented his country in an international tournament.

But now, Gavrilovic is playing far from the limelight, averaging a modest 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while trying to help rebuild a struggling mid-major program at Towson.

“He’s a world class kid, as good as you find,” says Towson Head Coach Pat Skerry.

But how exactly does a 6-foot-9 Frenchman who has lived in four different countries and played at some of the highest levels of basketball spend his final season of college eligibility toiling in the shadows on the outskirts of Baltimore County? It’s a long story

It all started at the age of 15 in Strasbourg, France

Gavrilovic participated in a lot of sports when he was younger: Ice hockey, fencing, judo, tennis, horse back riding, but didn’t pick up a basketball for the first time until he was 15, when his friend asked him to give it a try since he was taller than an everybody else his own age.

He was a natural.

After only two years of playing basketball, Gavrilovic was invited to play for France’s youth team and from there he got invited to the illustrious IMG Sports Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Since he had already graduated high school in France, Gavrilovic did not have to focus on academics at IMG, and went to the academy solely to hone his basketball skills for the year in pursuit of a Division I scholarship. A typical day for Gavrilovic at IMG included waking up, practicing in the morning, having a break in the middle of the day, practicing again and watching film — studying how to get better as a player.

“All you do is improve your game,” Gavrilovic says. “You spent time on the court, in the weight room and we had a mental program to improve your mental toughness. It’s where you go to become the best athlete you can be.”

At least Gavrilovic didn’t have to worry about adjusting to a new language or getting home sick at the same time — often the biggest obstacle for international players. The son of a Serbian father and a mother who worked for the French Embassy when he was a kid, Gavrilovic spent his entire life moving from country to country, living in France, Germany and Switzerland. He also regularly vacationed in different cities all around the world.

It was at IMG when Gavrilovic first caught Skerry’s eye. At the time, Skerry was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Providence Friars. Gavrilovic and Skerry connected immediately and the Frenchman quickly accepted Providence’s offer.

It would never be, however, as he quickly found himself enveloped in red-tape from the the NCAA, which did not accept all of his high school credits from France. Instead of suiting up in the Big East, Gavrilovic found himself back at IMG, where he continued to work on his game, while taking online courses to get himself eligible to play in college.

“IMG was the best two years of my life,” Gavrilovic says. “All I did was play basketball and improve my game. I had a chance to meet a lot of great coaches and they helped me in the transfer process.”

Go pro or play in college?

After that extra year at IMG, Gavrilovic had to make a tough choice: Would he give college basketball another shot or sign a professional contract with a team in Leone, France? After mauling the decision over, Gavrilovic ultimately decided to wait on a pro contract and choose to play at another college.

“U.S. is the best place to play basketball so as a basketball player from Europe your dream is always to come and play in the U.S.,” he says.

But one decision he never even had to think twice about was if he would accept an invitation to play for France’s U-20 National Team in the 2010 European Championship. Gavrilovic was already working with France’s youth team and said that when he got the call and was told he made the squad for the Euro Championships he was speechless and all he could do was tell the coach “thank you.”

“It was an honor,” he says. “You have the pride, the honor and the privilege to play for your own country. You wear your own jersey with your colors and name on the back. It’s something very special and we won the championship so we had the honor to bring the gold back home.”

Gavrilovic competed in all nine of his country’s games in the tournament held in Zadar, Croatia and helped France win their first-ever U-20 European Championship.

“Once you’re there you realize it’s serious. All the guys want to win the gold medal and all that mattered was the team really,” he says. “It was my best memory as a basketball player.”

(Photo Credit: FIBA Europe/Cirmillo-Castoria/Marachi)
(Photo Credit: FIBA Europe/Cirmillo-Castoria/Marachi)

Archie Miller’s first recruit at Dayton and the Elite Eight

Back stateside, Gavrilovic had to choose where he wanted to play in college. SMU and Texas Tech were also interested, and so was Towson, where Skerry was now a first year head coach. Instead, Gavrilovic chose to be Archie Miller’s first recruit at Dayton. In three seasons as a Flyer, Gavrilovic shot 57.1-percent from the floor, including a whopping 62.5-percent last season to help Dayton go 26-11 and avance all the way to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament, upsetting Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford along the way before losing a close contest to Florida.

“The NCAA tournament was awesome,” says Gavrilovic. “It’s the dream of all players. It’s a chance to play against all teams, with crazy crowds against great competition. It was like a dream and it was unique. Not everyone has a chance to be a part of a team that played in the NCAA tournament, especially a team that goes far like Dayton to the Elite Eight.”

United at last

Later that year, Gavrilovic graduated from Dayton with a degree in political science after just six semesters and had another choice to make. He again had opportunities to play overseas, he could stick round at Dayton for one more year of eligibility, or he could transfer elsewhere and play immediately as a graduate student. Ultimately he chose to play for the first person who ever recruited him to a college: Skerry.

Now, in his fourth year at Towson’s helm, Skerry was entering his fourth season and coming off the program’s first postseason appearance since 1991, but facing a rebuilding season after graduating the bulk of his offense.

“Towson was the first school to call me when I asked to transfer out of Dayton,” Gavrilovic says. “Since I knew him (Skerry) and I already came here for a visit, I was familiar with the team and the organization and thought it was an incredible opportunity for me to come here. Once I came to campus, I knew it was the place to be.”

For Gavrilovic, it was an opportunity to play for a coach he really respected but various circumstances just didn’t allow it to really happen sooner.

“Coach Skerry is a great coach,” he says. “I’ve been part of many teams. He works hard as a coach and he’s a great person. He loves his players and will do anything for the team. He’s a person I have a lot of respect for.”

For Skerry, it was a chance to finally land the recruit he had been chasing for the better part of five years. With a lot of youth on his team, Skerry needed a player exactly like him to help lead his team by example.

“On a really young team, he’s helped us bridge a lot of things,” Skerry says. “He’s helped us win some big games. He’s a really hard worker. He’s a good teammate. He’s a terrific shooter.”

That need for somebody to fill in as a 3-point shooter worked for Gavrilovic. At Dayton, he was rarely in position to shoot threes because at 6-foot-9, 246-pounds, he was used as a center. This year, Skerry has utilized him as an outside shooter, where Gavrilovic says that he feels much more natural.

“I used to be more comfortable inside and attacking the basket but I really like to move my game to the 3-point line,” He says. “You don’t work to dunk, you work to improve your shot selection.”

Through his first 18 games with the Tigers, Gavrilovic is second on the team in 3-point field goals and leads the team with a 39.6-percent success rate from past the arc.

“In our system I have the ball more outside than inside but I feel I can play both positions,” he says. “I work on the three’s a lot and coach gives me the green light to shoot. The key is to be confident.”

And he’ll be shooting for the last few months of his college career and after that Skerry figures that “he’s going to get his masters here and go back and play over in France.”

The shooter: Towson’s Four McGlynn

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.