HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – It’s been a rough season for both Hofstra and Towson, with the two teams combining for three wins in the CAA and a record of 9-39 overall.
However, over the past seven days, each team has found reasons to be optimistic for the future. Towson snapped a 41-game losing streak with a win over UNC-Wilmington last weekend, while Hofstra beat the Tigers by 25 on Wednesday. Neither team is expected to do much damage in the final month of the season, but the future does look brighter for both programs in the coming seasons.
Clearly, neither team has thrown in the towel on the season. They’re playing hard, practicing hard, and building.
“We haven’t prepared any different,” Towson assistant coach Luke Murray said. “We practiced everyday before Wilmington, and since, with the intensity of a team that was competing for a league title.”
The Tigers still have confidence in themselves, despite the losing streak. With so many young pieces, that’s a good sign.
Hofstra is no different. The Pride had impressive wins over Cleveland State, Iona and Long Island in the non-conference, but have struggled to close out games in the CAA.
The win over Towson should give them a boost heading into the final eight games of the season, when the schedule eases up.
“We had two really good practices this week,” head coach Mo Cassara said. “That’s the sign of a team that hasn’t given up. Sometimes you work harder and coach harder when you’re losing.”
Next season should bring about a completely different season for each team.
Towson currently has Georgetown transfer Jerelle Benimon and South Florida transfer Mike Burwell sitting out; both are expected to start next season, and Benimon could be one of the best forwards in the conference. Incoming freshmen Jerome Hairston and Frank Mason will immediately provide speed and explosiveness at the guard positions, while classmates Barrington Alston and Timajh Parker can provide depth. Sophomores Marcus Damas and Erique Gumbs, and freshmen Kris Walden and Deon Jones, have also shown flashes.
There’s talk within the program that the Tigers could be headed for the biggest turnaround in the country next season.
Hofstra will lose three seniors next year – Mike Moore, Nat Lester and Dwan McMillan – but the Pride expect to improve drastically next season as well.
“Look at the guys at the end of the bench in blue warmup suits,” Cassara said.
He’s referring to transfers Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (Connecticut), Taran Buie (Penn State) and Daquan Brown (Fresno State). Coombs-McDaniel and Buie will immediately form one of the best perimeter duos in the league, and Brown gives Hofstra size it is severely lacking this season. Throw in freshmen Dallas Anglin and Jimmy Hall, and Hofstra has reason to be excited about the future.
It’s certainly not a vintage season for either Hofstra or Towson, but that should change in the near-future.
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