Towson Runs Over Wesley 93-66

Towson – Last season Quinton Drayton had to sit and watch from the sideline, using his redshirt season to develop and improve all facets of his game like shooting before he could play during the 2018-2019 season. On Sunday against Wesley College, Drayton was finally able to dress for his long-awaited SECU Arena debut. The redshirt freshman was even emotionally but was primed for Sunday afternoon, recounting how hard he worked from the 2017-2018 season until now and how he showcased being shot-ready and knocking down his open shots.

“All of my loved ones was just telling me (to) stay read,” Drayton said “Your day-your time is going to come. It just felt really good.”

Towson ran away with the 93-66 win against the Wolverines behind a career-high 21-points from Drayton. Drayton was able to show the fruits of his labor, nailing his first three catch-and-shoot 3-pointers and converting a steal into an easy Nakye Sanders dunk. Sanders, a Duquesne transfer student and someone else forced to sit out the 2017-2018 season, scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Behind an improving and aggressive 1-2-2 press the Tigers were able to force 18 turnovers, 11 off steals. Those same 11 steals were converted into 18 points. Wesley was led by game-high 31 points performance from Evan Anderson, including shooting 6-13 from long-range,

“The first eight minutes of the second we did a much better job defensively and got out in transition so that was good,” Towson coach Pat Skerry said, “Now with that being said we got a lot of work ahead of us, Keeping the ball in front of us, some silly fouls, attention to detail, spacing.”

Picture courtesy of the Towson Mens Basketball Instagram Picture courtesy of the Towson Mens Basketball Instagram

Despite the talent level difference and height, the Wolverines refused to back down on every possession. Guys like Anderson showed off his deadeye shooting despite being knockdown repeatedly and his shots being heavily contested. The Wolverines lay their bodies out for loose balls and to draw charges, showing plenty of heart and grit. The evidence showed within the rebounding battle, where their tallest starter at only 6’5 pulled down a game-high 9 boards. Their gang rebounding mantra helped them tie with Towson at 21 rebounds early during the second half. Eventually, the talent disparity would rear its head and the bigger more athletic Tigers would seize victory. That moment showed up as Tigers pulled away at the onset of the second-half using a 12-0 run to create a 23-point cushion. The decisive run was highlighted when Alex Thomas deflected a pass that Tobias Harris took to just about the 3-point arc before tossing a beautiful alley-oop for Nicola Timberlake to throw down.   

“So, we’re a work in progress,” Skerry said, “It’s going to be different guy’s different nights. (I’m) extremely excited about Quinton. Had a couple good practices and now he’s given me something to think about.

KD2DC Isn’t Happening, But We Should’ve Seen It Happening

Kevin Durant’s journey to super-stardom began in the great state of Maryland. Growing up in Prince Georges County, raised by his single mother, he grew to love the game of basketball while playing AAU with future NBA players such as Ty Lawson, Greivis Vasquez and Michael Beasley. He expanded his game at the famous Barry Farms court, home of the Goodman League.  After playing high school basketball originally at National Christian Academy and renowned Oak Hill, Durant finally made his home at Montrose Christian. He concluded his high school career as an Washington Post All-Met Player of the year and the MVP of the McDonald’s All American.  As we all know he committed to play basketball at the University of Texas, unfortunately never fielding offers from either Georgetown or the University of Maryland. Part of that might be the fact that Durant was never recruited by either program or his lack of interest in playing for them. Nonetheless, Durant had a phenomenal freshman year, acquiring college accolades like they were candies. After becoming the first freshman to win the Naismith College Player of the Year award, Durant declared for the 2007 history and was selected second overall by the Seattle Supersonics. From his rookie year to this season, Durant has continued to improved. Growing from his role as a “professional scorer” and perennial All Star/NBA selection to the MVP, famously declaring that his mom was “the real MVP.” Throughout his amateur and professional career, Durant has become the pride and joy of the DMV area, a man whom players from the area have grown to admire and love.

KD2DC suddenly started to gain more traction in 2014. Fans started wearing Kevin Durant Wizards jerseys, shirts and having the KD2DC hashtag trending on Twitter. Rumors started churning more and more of Durant wanting to come home and play for his hometown a la LeBron James for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unfortunately all these rumors and fans salivating at the possibility of one of the best players in the League coming home seems to have turned off the future free agent. When the Oklahoma City Thunder came to Verizon Center to play the Wizards this past season, he had some choice words for fans. He was quoted as saying that Wizards fans should be grateful and cheer for the team they have now. It also seemed to annoy him that fans were paying more attention to him than their own team, in his mind disrespecting John Wall and Bradley Beal. That single game may have been the demise of KD2DC dream. The KD2DC campaign never had a chance when compared to better teams and situations from the likes of the Celtics, Spurs, Heat, Warriors and of course the Thunder. Durant never promised anything, never saying whether it was or wasn’t a dream of his. Wizards fans just have swallow that tough pill and be thankful for the good team they currently have.

Superstar Diamond Stone Shows Potential and Growth 

Maryland basketball fans have been waiting for signature performance from freshman star Diamond Stone. On Wednesday night he finally delivered that game, with a dominating 39 point (19-25 from the free throw line) and 12 boards. In a game where Melo Trimble, Rasheed Sulaimon, and Jake Layman struggled to get a bucket, Stone showcased his potential and kept the Terps in a game they should’ve lost with grown man plays like this:

Diamond Stone 1st half

In the first half the Terps where out-played thoroughly on both ends. Penn State controlled the tempo, dominated the paint, and basically outplayed and out hustled. Shep Garner and Brandon Taylor led the way for the Nittany Lions, securing rebounds and hitting big time shots to keep there team ahead. The 31-23 score indicates otherwise, but at the end of the first half the deficit should’ve been higher.

Once the second half began, the Terps team came out hot and inspired. They showed why they were the 4th ranked team in the nation scoring and defending well for the first 10 minutes of the half. Melo Trimble and Diamond Stone showed why they can be a great inside outside combination throughout this stretch. Melo Trimble at this point understood that in order for him to make more of an impact he had to become a facilitator, and that’s exactly what he did. He penetrated the paint at will numerous times and dishing it off deep in the paint, often times to Stone. Those two set the tone and really helped Maryland get back into this game. Trouble came a brewing late in the half, Penn State came roaring back and hit great shots. However Diamond Stone came to the rescue and took over the game with plays like this:

Diamond Stone Blockd/Dunk

 

And my personal favorite bucket:

 

Even Melo Trimble was able to join in on the late game heroics with this late three pointer:

Trimble Stone Pick & Pop

With Big 10 season just beggining it’s a very encouraging sign to see Stone have such a dominating day, and as a Terps fan I look forward to more games like this from him. Stone and his teammates next face Northwestern at 8 on Saturday in their first conference road game. Maryland_Terrapins2