Tag:Pat Skerry
Posted on: January 28, 2012 4:04 pm

Towson's record streak of futility is history

By Jeff Goodman

THE STREAK is over.

Towson's 41-game losing skid, the longest losing streak in Division 1 history, came to an end on Saturday afternoon when Pat Skerry's team knocked off UNC Wilmington, 66-61.

It was the program's first win since Dec. 10, 2010.

Skerry took over a program in the offseason that dropped its final 19 games under Pat Kennedy a year ago and took a team with just one returnee and began this season 0-22.

That's 41 straight, but Skerry was undeterred and told CBSSports.com on Friday night that he had a feeling about Saturday's contest against Buzz Peterson's club.

Skerry had to sweat it out, though. UNC Wilmington had a chance to take the lead with 20 seconds left, but missed a pair of free throws. Then the team's one returning letterwinner, Erique Gumbs, put the team up 64-61 on a dunk with 9.3 seconds left. UNCW's 3-point attempt with a few seconds left was blocked.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 27, 2011 8:57 am
Edited on: December 27, 2011 9:02 am

Towson's Skerry undeterred as futility mark nears

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
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:05 pm

Skerry filling a bare cupboard at Towson

By Jeff Goodman

New Towson coach Pat Skerry was asked whether the cupboard was bare.

Hs response:

"We went out and bought a new cupboard," Skerry said. "Now we're in the process of stocking it."

Skerry has just one player on his team that logged a minute on the court last season.

Erique Gumbs.

He averaged a whopping 3.6 points per game last season.

Skerry has no false illusions. He understands that his team will likely struggle this season.

In fact, they'll be fortunate to surpass last season's win total.

The Tigers won a total of four games.

Leading scorer Isaiah Philmore transferred to Xavier shortly after Pat Kennedy was fired. Braxton Dupree opted to play pro and is in Israel. Rashawn Polk, who averaged 11.6 points last season, has been suspended and likely won't return to the team.

Josh Brown and Brian Morris both graduated - as did walk-on Danny Quinn.

That leaves Gumbs as the lone player who made his way into any box score a year ago that remains on the team.

Skerry will get senior Rob Nwankwo, who was ineligible last season after leading the CAA in rebounding and blocks as a junior, back in the fold.

He's also got four freshmen - wing Deon Jones, point guard Kris Walden, forward Jervon Pressley and guard Will Adams - in addition to junior college forward Marcus Damas.

Skerry is regarded as a relentless recruiter and that's where he's been able to make strides. The class he's assembled for next season - to go along with then-eligible transfers Jerrelle Benimon (Georgetown) and Mike Burwell (South Florida) - are reason for optimism.

"We've been extremely well-received on the recruiting trail," Skerry said. "With the new arena opening up, we've got a lot to sell - including playing time."

The Tigers have four commitments that are expected to sign in the early period: Combo guard Jerome Hairston, ranked in Rivals.com's Top 150; shooting guard Frank Mason; big man Barrington Alston and forward T.J. Parker.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 4, 2011 11:26 am
Edited on: April 4, 2011 11:47 am

Skerry to Towson an intriguing move

Can Towson reach the goal with Skerry in charge?

Posted by Eric Angevine

If the Towson Tigers got the man they wanted in new head coach Pat Skerry, and there's every indication that they're quite happy with him, they can thank VCU's Shaka Smart.

I say this because Towson has annually been one of the worst teams in the Colonial Athletic Association, and Skerry could probably have held out for a bigger job, given his recent status as one of Jamie Dixon's top assistants at Pitt. The 41-year-old was likely drawn to the post by the energetic efforts of new Towson AD Mike Waddell, and by the growing national profile of the CAA. Following George Mason's run to the Final Four in 2006 with VCU's similar results this season, the Colonial is becoming a serious destination conference for coaches on the rise.

Skerry is known as a top-notch recruiter in general, but especially so with athletes from the New England area. His ability to bring in better players, along with Waddell's commitment to building a program worthy of the league's profile, should mean better days ahead for the Tigers.

Photo: US Presswire

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Category: NCAAB
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