For head coach Pat Skerry, his coaching career at Towson could not have started off in a more devastating way during the 2011-2012 season. Unfortunately for Skerry and the Tigers, it took 22 games for the Tufts graduate to secure his first victory as a Division I head coach, as he began to patch-up a program that had been driven into shambles. The Tigers finished the nightmare season just 1-31, with their only victory coming by just five points over the UNCW Seahawks.
Me oh my how the tables have turned.
Maybe it took a while for Skerry to get comfortable. Maybe it’s been the addition of an energetic freshman class that features starting point guard Jerome Hairston. Maybe it’s been the tremendous impact of high-major transfers Jerrelle Benimon and Mike Burwell. But, no matter what, the Towson Tigers have completely turned the page on 2011-2012 and have catapulted themselves out of the Colonial Athletic Association cellar.
Following Saturday’s 73-47 destruction of James Madison on Saturday, Towson is now 10-9 overall this season and second in the conference at 5-1 in CAA play. The Tigers find themselves just behind the Northeastern Huskies (11-7, 6-0) in the conference standings, who beat Towson in Maryland a week ago.
Before coming to Towson, Skerry was an assistant under Jamie Dixon at Pittsburgh during the 2010-2011. Dixon speaks highly of his former pupil, who is starting to build a program at Towson that truly defines the phrase. Unfortunately, the Tigers are academically ineligible to participate in any aspect of the postseason this year. But, Skerry is building a team and fostering a group of young men that should be dangerous for the next several years.
Fast-forward a little, and the Tigers might be the most miraculous rags-to-riches story in college basketball come the 2014 CAA Championship.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Columnist for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @JakeLFischer.