Towson's offense has run into a drought of sorts, and the onus is on coach Pat Skerry to turn that around.
One of Skerry's approaches is playing as many guys as he can to find a reliable source for points, which has been a hit-or-miss proposition for the Tigers (8-9, 1-3 Colonial Athletic Association).
"I feel a little bit like when you go to the food store and you get that box of mixed nuts," Skerry began during his weekly conference call arranged by the CAA. "You don't know if you're getting almonds, cashews or peanuts. We've got a little bit of different things on different nights. But with that said, it would be nice if we shot the ball better.
"Guys aren't trying to miss. We've just got to make sure that we get good shots. When you have a lot of newer guys, our spacing has to improve. But once again, we've got to hang bigger numbers on the backboards. Our rebound number in the league is just OK. It needs to be great. That also allows us to get to the foul line more. We're guarding the 3 well and controlling tempo pretty good. … We've got to get out in the open floor and get to the rim, and that will get us to the free-throw line. So offensively, it's a concern, but I think in order to get that fixed, we've got to be elite defensively and on the backboards, and that will help our offense."
Towson's offense has been especially absent in CAA play. In four conference games, the team has averaged 49.8 points from the floor and 9.5 points from the free-throw line. The Tigers have also shot 22.4 percent from 3-point range in conference play and collected just 11.3 offensive rebounds per game.
In 13 non-conference games, the Tigers average 66.6 points from the field and 19.5 points from the foul line, with 34.0 percent shooting from the 3-point line and 15.5 offensive rebounds per game.
"We need second and third shots, and we need free-throw attempts," Skerry said. "Before league play started, we were top 10 in the country in percentage of points off the offensive glass and free-throw attempts. So we need that. Don't get me wrong. I thought we had some really, really good looks against Northeastern [on Saturday] that we just didn't knock down. But do I think the ball is going to go in? Sure. But I think you have more control of your destiny if you really guard and rebound at a high level. Certainly the hope is that you want to make shots."
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Towson leads the league in defense, surrendering an average of 55.2 points in the four games. But the offense ranks last in the conference, and the defense's accolade won't mean much until the offense can regain its rhythm from just a month ago.