Towson boys basketball coach Ryan Holzman won’t predict how many games the Generals will win this season after going 11-5 last year, but he is optimistic his team will take foes to the wire.
His optimism comes from an experienced roster led by 6-foot-5 inch center James Dugan and one that will be more physical then last year’s squad, which struggled with aggressive teams.
“The expectations are high, specifically, I don’t like to put a win total or anything like that, but the attitude is we want is to compete in every single game and every single fourth quarter,” Holzman said. “As long as the game is close in the fourth quarter with two or three minutes left, and with the type of team that we have, we want to play in the 50s and the 60s, and see if Dugan can be the best player down the stretch.”
Dugan is one of a senior trio of captains that returns from last season.
Akosa Nwadiogbu will throw his 6-3, 215-pound body down on the blocks with Dugan and Kaire Trotty will help out at forward.
When teams match up with Towson’s size, Dugan can rotate outside and present match-up problems.
“Dugan can play any position,” Holzman said. “I’m excited. He’s bought in, so we are lucky to have him.”
Nwadiogbu is another veteran Holzman is happy to coach.
“Not only is Akosa the smartest guy on the team, he’s probably the smartest guy in the school,” Holzman said. “He’s a great kid.”
He should be a strong mentor for 6-6, 200-pound freshman Caton Summers, who will spell Nwadiogbu.
Seniors Milo Fisher and Ben Ducharme are backups in the paint, along with Summers.
The backcourt features youth and physicality with junior Christian Johnson and sophomores Rashad Cheek, Nick Grant, and Anthony Mark.
“Those guards are new, they are tough and they are physical,” Holzman said.
The coach can also call on sharpshooters, including senior Ian O’Malley and junior Ben Boas.
O’Malley may be the top perimeter shooter and played all season on varsity last season and Boas came up to varsity from JV late last season and made three three-pointers in the fourth quarter of the Generals’ 59-53 victory over Lansdowne in the first round of the 2017 Class 3A North Region playoffs.
Boas is currently out with an ankle injury, so senior Vince Burrell and junior Glenn Young could provide valuable minutes in the backcourt.
Stressing defense, rebounding and low-scoring games is not a concern for Holzman.
“I’m not concerned, I’m excited because when you have a clear best player on your team, who is unselfish, who just wants to win, my job as a coach is to use the best type of team for the best player,” Holzman said. “For Dugan, the best type of team, is tough, physical guys and then just a little more play-making on offense, so he doesn’t have to do everything.”
Towson opens the season with back-to-back road games at Hereford (Dec.7) and Sparrows Point (Dec. 14).
They open the home slate on Dec. 19 against Dulaney and face Loch Raven on Dec. 21 at Goucher College.
“I love everything about the team and we are just trying to make sure that we get the right chemistry because a lot of these guys will be playing for the first time,” Holzman said.