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Towson's Skerry undeterred as futility mark nears

Posted on: December 27, 2011 8:57 am
Edited on: December 27, 2011 9:02 am
 
By Jeff Goodman

The record-setting game could come on Jan. 7 at Old Dominion.

That's when rookie Towson coach Pat Skerry and the Tigers could set the Division 1 mark for futility - with 35 consecutive losses.

But if neither athletic director Mike Waddell nor Skerry seem overly concerned, it's because they aren't.

"There's a reason I gave Pat a six-year contract," Waddell told CBSSports.com. "I knew it was going to be a process."

Simply put, previous coach Pat Kennedy left the cupboard beyond bare. This was a team that lost its final 19 games under Kennedy - and then its leading scorer, Isaiah Philmore, transferred to Xavier. Big man Braxton Dupree bolted overseas to play in Israel and RaShawn Polk was kicked off the team by Skerry.

Skerry was forced to start from scratch. Towson is the lone team in the entire country with just one returning letterwinner: Erique Gumbs, who averaged 3.6 points per game. The Tigers are just one of three programs, along with Texas and Boston College, that didn't bring back a single starter.

"I knew exactly what I was getting myself into," Skerry said. "While we may not be loaded with talent, I can't fault these kids for their effort. They are playing hard."

Despite the current state of the team, Skerry is optimistic about the future. He has two impact transfers sitting out this season -- Georgetown's Jerrelle Benimon and South Florida's Mike Burwell - and he's put together a four-man class, headlined by guard Jerome Hairston, that nearly every every recruiting guru is raving about.

Skerry will take its 0-12 mark to Charlottesville next with a matchup against a ranked Virginia team on Friday. Then comes its most optimistic shot of ending the skid, a home game against Northeastern on Jan. 2. What follows are tough league road contests against Drexel and then ODU.

"We're competing and that's important," Skerry said. "And we're building something here. We knew it was going to take time."

Skerry isn't known for his patience, but even he has managed to remain even-keel as the one-year anniversary of the program's last victory approaches this Thursday.
Category: NCAAB
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Since: Feb 9, 2009
Posted on: December 27, 2011 3:29 pm
 

Towson's Skerry undeterred as futility mark nears

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