Pat Skerry

Towson extends head coach Pat Skerry’s contract through 2019

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In 2011 Pat Skerry took on one of the nation’s toughest rebuilding projects when he accepted Towson’s offer to become the men’s basketball program’s head coach. And that first season revealed just how difficult the job would be, as the Tigers managed to win just one game (1-31).

Things would get even tougher as it was revealed that the program would be banned from postseason play in 2012-13 due to low APR numbers. But despite the additional hurdle of having their season come to an end prematurely the Tigers increased their win total by 17 games, going 18-13 and finishing one game behind Northeastern in the CAA.

With the dramatic improvement on the court and success on the recruiting trail putting Towson in position to be a consistent contender in the transformed CAA, Skerry’s been rewarded with a contract extension through the 2018-19 season.

“Watching Coach Skerry’s historic turnaround with the Towson men’s basketball program both academically and competitively in the last two years, we are excited to announce this extension,” interim Director of Athletics Tricia Turley Brandenburg said in the release. “Pat and his staff have done a tremendous job developing and recruiting the type of student-athletes that are willing to work hard on the court and in the classroom.

“With the opening of SECU Arena this year, Towson is poised to be an annual contender in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and carry the banner for its alumni and the city of Baltimore. A stable and winning basketball program will only provide more financial security to our department and provide all of our teams the resources needed to be successful.”

There are plenty of changes happening that will directly affect the Towson basketball program, and Skerry’s work to this point has the Tigers well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunity. Not only is there the aforementioned new arena but they’re now in a league that added the College of Charleston, while losing traditional powers such as VCU and George Mason (both are now in the Atlantic 10) the last two years.

Towson returns its top four scorers from last season, most notably forward and reigning CAA Player of the Year Jerrelle Benimon (17.1 ppg, 11.2 rpg). While teams such as Charleston, Delaware and Northeastern will be heard from, Towson has the look of a program capable of reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time since they made consecutive appearances in 1990 and 1991.

“We would not be primed for greatness if it was not for the support of our President Maravene Loeschke and our athletics administration over the last two years,” Skerry said. “I also want to thank our interim Director of Athletics Tricia Turley Brandenburg for her time and persistence negotiating this contract extension. There has never been a better time to be a Tiger.”

VIDEO: Arizona State’s Torian Graham dunks over teammate

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Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.

A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.


VIDEOS: Bill Self makes two skits, Bragg plays piano

Bill Self
AP Photo
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Kansas head coach Bill Self is known for being unique for the annual Late Night at the Phog and this season, he went with some parody videos centered around the recent DirecTV ads. In the two skits, Self plays himself — which acknowledges his many accolades — while playing alongside “short shorts Bill Self” and “graduate assistant Bill Self”.

Hard to say if these videos top Self showing up in a suit like Andrew Wiggins last year, but there do have good promotional value for the program and Self.

Kansas players also had their chance to shine, with both men’s and women’s teams doing dances. Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor also attempted to lip sync to Michael Jackson. Freshman forward Carlton Bragg showed some solid ability on the piano, which got the crowd going. Bragg was also one of the strong points in a scrimmage.

Of course, the highlight of the night is Bill Self losing $10,000 on a halfcourt shot, but here’s everything else notable from Late Night at the Phog.