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Benimon named CAA Player of the Year for second straight season

Posted on 06 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Damas, Guthrie and Parker-Rivera also honored at 2014 CAA Awards Banquet

BALTIMORE, Md. — Towson senior forward Jerrelle Benimon was selected as the Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season in voting by the league’s head coaches, media relations directors and members of the media. The announcement was made Thursday night at the league’s pre-tournament awards banquet in Baltimore, Md.

Also receiving top honors were Delaware’s Monte’ Ross as the CAA Coach of the Year, William and Mary freshman guard/forward Omar Prewitt as the CAA Rookie of the Year and Northeastern junior forward Scott Eatherton as the CAA Defensive Player of the Year. William and Mary senior forward Tim Rusthoven was the recipient of the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award.

Benimon becomes the eighth player in conference history to receive CAA Player of the Year honors in multiple years. The senior forward has recorded a nation’s-best 20 double-doubles in 31 games and he also leads Division I in rebounding with 11.7 per contest. Benimon, who ranked fourth in the league in scoring with 18.9 points per game, reached double figures in 28 of 31 outings and tallied 20 or more points 17 times.

Benimon, who was also selected to the CAA All-Defensive team for the second straight year, broke his own Towson single-season record with 363 rebounds, which was the fourth-most in a season in CAA history and the most by any CAA player other than Navy All-American David Robinson. Showing his all-around game, Benimon was also third in the conference in assists (3.7 apg), fourth in field goal percentage (52.8%) and fifth in blocked shots (1.3 bpg).

Joining Benimon on the All-CAA first team were Drexel senior guard Frantz Massenat, Delaware senior guardDevon Saddler, William & Mary junior guard Marcus Thornton and Delaware senior guard Davon Usher.

Earning second-team All-CAA honors were Northeastern’s Eatherton (15.5 ppg/10.1 rpg), Drexel graduate student guard Chris Fouch (17.9 ppg/3.2 rpg), College of Charleston senior forward Willis Hall (12.2 ppg/9.0 rpg), William & Mary’s Rusthoven (12.2 ppg/4.9 rpg) and Hofstra graduate student guard/forward Zeke Upshaw (19.6 ppg/4.2 rpg).

Named to the All-CAA third team were Delaware senior forward Carl Baptiste (10.9 ppg/8.3 rpg), James Madison sophomore guard Charles Cooke (14.3 ppg/5.0 rpg), Towson senior forward Marcus Damas (11.4 ppg/5.3 rpg), Towson senior forward/guard Rafriel Guthrie (12.0 ppg/2.9 rpg), James Madison sophomore guardAndre Nation (15.2 ppg/5.3 rpg) and Hofstra graduate student guard Dion Nesmith (13.2 ppg/4.3 apg).

Damas is second on the team in both rebounding and three-pointers made, and ranks third in scoring, assists and blocks. The senior ranks Top 20 in the CAA in scoring, rebounding, blocks, free throw percentage and free throw percentage. Damas became Towson’s 23rd player to reach the 1,000-point scoring plateau on January 27. He enters this weekend’s CAA Tournament having scored 1,094 points.

Guthrie ranks second on the team and 14th in the CAA in scoring. The senior has been on a tear in the second half of the season, scoring in double figures in 12 of his last 14 games. Since being inserted into the starting lineup on February 15, the Tigers are 6-0. Guthrie scored a season-high 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting in Towson’s win at Northeastern on February 20.

Sophomore Timajh Parker-Rivera was also honored on Thursday night as the forward was named to the CAA All-Academic Team.

Towson is set to open CAA Tournament play on Saturday night as the second-seeded Tigers will host seventh-seeded James Madison at 6 p.m. inside Baltimore Arena. The game can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet.



First Team All-CAA                                   Cl.          Pos.         Ht.            Wt.        Hometown/High School

Jerrelle Benimon, Towson                      Sr.          F               6-8           245        Warrenton, Va./Fauquier

Frantz Massenat, Drexel                          Sr.          G              6-4           190        Ewing, N.J./Trenton Catholic

Devon Saddler, Delaware                        Sr.          G              6-2           210        Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen

Marcus Thornton, William & Mary        Jr.           G              6-4           185        Upper Marlboro, Md./Bishop McNamara

Davon Usher, Delaware                          Sr.          G              6-6           200        South Baltimore, Md./Digital Harbor


Second Team All-CAA                             Cl.          Pos.         Ht.            Wt.        Hometown/High School

Scott Eatherton, Northeastern              Jr.           F               6-8           219        Hershey, Pa./Hershey

Chris Fouch, Drexel                                   Gr.          G              6-2           185        Bronx, N.Y./Rice

Willis Hall, College of Charleston          Sr.          F               6-6           235        Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian

Tim Rusthoven, William & Mary            Sr.          F               6-9           235        Winfield, Ill./Wheaton Academy

Zeke Upshaw, Hofstra                             Gr.          G/F          6-6           215        Chicago, Ill./University


Third Team All-CAA                                 Cl.          Pos.         Ht.            Wt.        Hometown/High School

Carl Baptiste, Delaware                           Sr.          F               6-9           260        Pittstown, N.J./N. Hunterdon

Charles Cooke, James Madison             So.         G              6-6           200        Trenton, N.J./Trenton Catholic

Marcus Damas, Towson                          Sr.          F               6-7           210        Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore

Rafriel Guthrie, Towson                          Sr.          F/G          6-3           210        Washington, D.C./Cardozo

Andre Nation, James Madison               So.         G              6-5           200        Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian

Dion Nesmith, Hofstra                             Gr.          G              6-0           200        Union, N.J./Union


2013-14 CAA Player of the Year – Jerrelle Benimon, Towson

2013-14 CAA Coach of the Year – Monte’ Ross, Delaware

2013-14 CAA Rookie of the Year – Omar Prewitt, William & Mary

2013-14 CAA Defensive Player of the Year – Scott Eatherton, Northeastern

2013-14 Dean Ehlers Leadership Award – Tim Rusthoven, William & Mary


CAA All-Rookie Team                              Cl.          Pos.         Ht.            Wt.        Hometown/High School

Canyon Barry, Coll. of Charleston         Fr.          G              6-6           195        Colorado Springs, Colo./Cheyenne Mountain

Omar Prewitt, William & Mary               Fr.          G/F          6-6           180        Mount Sterling, Ky./Montgomery County

Jamall Robinson, Hofstra                        Fr.          G/F          6-5           210        Cheltenham, Md./Paul VI

Rodney Williams, Drexel                         Fr.          F               6-7           220        Richmond, Va./St. Christopher’s

T.J. Williams, Northeastern                    Fr.          G              6-3           190        Pflugerville, Texas/Pflugerville


CAA All-Defensive Team                        Cl.          Pos.         Ht.            Wt.        Hometown/High School

Adjehi Baru, Coll. of Charleston             Jr.           F               6-9           225        Abidjan, Ivory Coast/The Steward School                                        

Jerrelle Benimon, Towson                      Sr.          F               6-8           245        Warrenton, Va./Fauquier

Scott Eatherton, Northeastern              Jr.           F               6-8           219        Hershey, Pa./Hershey

Davon Usher, Delaware                          Sr.          G              6-6           200        South Baltimore, Md./Digital Harbor

David Walker, Northeastern                   So.         G              6-6           176        Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls


CAA All-Academic Team                        Cl.          Pos.         Ht.            Wt.        Hometown/High School

Kyle Anderson, Delaware                        Jr.           G              6-3           200        Newark, Ill./Newark

Canyon Barry, Coll. of Charleston         Fr.          G              6-6           195        Colorado Springs, Colo./Cheyenne Mountain

Brandon Britt, William & Mary               Sr.          G              6-2           200        Chesapeake, Va./Atlantic Shores Christian

Kyle Gaillard, William & Mary                 Sr.          F               6-8           220        Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg

Willis Hall, College of Charleston          Sr.          F               6-6           235        Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian

Tanner Milson, UNCW                             Sr.          G              6-2           190        Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill

Dion Nesmith, Hofstra                             Gr.          G              6-0           200        Union, N.J./Union

Timajh Parker-Rivera, Towson               So.         F               6-7           215        Milford, Conn./St. Joseph

Shane Reybold, UNCW                            Sr.          F               6-8           238        Laurel, Md./Reservoir      

Tim Rusthoven, William & Mary            Sr.          F               6-9           235        Winfield, Ill./Wheaton Academy

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Towson F Parker-Rivera nominated for NABC Good Works Team

Posted on 03 December 2013 by WNST Staff


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Towson University forward Timajh Parker-Rivera has been nominated for the 2014 Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Good Works Team. The award recognizes a select group of college basketball student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service.

In its second year, the award honors players at all levels of college basketball who represent the sport’s finest in the areas of leadership and charitable achievements amongst their peers. The student-athletes nominated for this prestigious award embody the true spirit of teamwork and giving back.

From the 118 NABC nominees submitted by sports information directors across the nation on behalf of their schools, special voting panels will select a 10-member team comprised of five student-athletes from the NCAA Division I level and five student-athletes from NCAA Divisions II, III and the NAIA. Former Duke University student-athlete, two-time NCAA champion and seven-time NBA All-StarGrant Hill will headline the Allstate NABC Good Works Team voting panel.

Members of the Allstate NABC Good Works Team will be invited by Allstate, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, to the 2014 NABC Convention and 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Dallas, where they will participate in a community project in the city.

The Goods Works Team will be announced in February, 2014.

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Preseason over, Towson ready to open hoops season Friday night

Posted on 04 November 2013 by WNST Staff


After recording the biggest turnaround in NCAA history last season, Towson has its sights set on winning its first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title in 2013-14. Coming off a season in which the Tigers won 18 games, the programs most since 1993-94, expectations will be high for a team that returns four starters and 85 percent of its scoring.

Headlining the group of four returning starters for the Tigers is reigning CAA Player of the Year Jerrelle Benimon, who averaged 17 points and nearly 12 rebounds per game a year ago. The 6-8 senior posted 20 double-doubles during his junior season and was also a member of the CAA All-Defensive team.

Also back at forward is senior Marcus Damas, who added 11 points and over five rebounds per game a year ago. The backcourt is solid with CAA All-Rookie point guard Jerome Hairston, senior Mike BurwellRafriel Guthrie and the addition of Vermont transfer Four McGlynn.

Sophomore Timajh Parker-Rivera is expected to see his role increase this season, while junior Jamel Flash has improved greatly and could push for playing time. Redshirt freshmen Barrington Alston and Marquis Marshall, along with newcomers John Davis and Walter Foster, could also see playing time.


One thing Towson head coach Pat Skerry won’t lack this season is backcourt options. The Tigers return four backcourt players that averaged eight or more points per game last season. Add in to that mix sharpshooters Four McGlynn and Marquis Marshall and the Tigers could throw a variety of lineups at their opponents.

Skerry expects a big year out of starting point guard Jerome Hairston, who averaged 9.9 points and 2.6 assists per game while being named to the CAA All-Rookie team a year ago. The 6-3 point guard is big, and a very good passer with excellent vision. Although he’s a natural point guard, Hairston can score the ball, especially in transition where he is extremely dangerous.

“He’s really worked on his body. He’s in unbelievable shape, stronger, more explosive and a key guy for us,” says Skerry. “We need him to have a great year.”

Marcus Damas (11.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg) provides a ton of versatility as the senior can play nearly any position on the court. The 6-7 forward will see the bulk of his minutes at the small forward spot, bringing not just offensive skills to the table, but also serving as one of the team’s best perimeter defenders.

“Marcus is one of my favorite guys because he’s lived through it all,” says Skerry. “He played at an all-conference level during the second half of last year and I’m expecting that to continue into this season.”

Mike Burwell (9.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg), a 6-6 senior, came to Towson as a noted shooter, but displayed his all-around game last season. Burwell hit a team-high 47 three-pointers during his junior season, but impressed many with his stellar play on the defensive side of the court.

“He was terrific defensively which was exciting,” says Skerry. “He’s a veteran and a long wing and we like that combination. He’s been through the wars and Mike’s one of our most reliable guys.”

Four McGlynn (12.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg in 2011-12) was the American East Rookie of the Year and led Vermont in scoring, three-pointers made (68) and free throw percentage (88.9 percent) before transferring to Towson and sitting out last season. McGlynn is expected to give the Tigers a potent outside threat this season as well as seeing some time at the backup point guard spot.

“Four is an exceptional shooter that can really hit from deep and he is very accurate,” said Skerry. “We didn’t shoot the three great last year, so he’s a great weapon for us to have.”

Perhaps the most improved player on this year’s roster is guard Rafriel Guthrie (8.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg). The 6-4 senior brings grit, determination, and a warrior’s style to the table. Known as a player that can drive and finish around the basket, Guthrie has worked relentlessly on his shooting during the summer to improve his all-around game.

“His game has improved tremendously, his shot, and his ball handling,” says Skerry. “He’s one of our best defenders and someone that’s going to see the court a lot for us this season.”

Coming off a red-shirt season, Marquis Marshall will fight for playing time in a very talented Tiger backcourt. Known as a terrific shooter, Marshall used his sit-out year to add muscle and work on his all-around game. Freshman John Davis could also see some minutes at the small forward spot.

Size and athleticism won’t be a problem for the Tigers in the frontcourt.

Senior Jerrelle Benimon is who most opponent’s will focus their game plans on and for good reason. The 6-8 forward was dangerous from all spots of the court last year. He shot 53.3 percent from the field, which included knocking down 20 three-pointers at a 41-percent clip. Benimon blocked 60 shots and grabbed 102 offensive rebounds, leading the team in both blocks and assists as well.

“Jerrelle has improved both his ball handling and shooting, so that’s a big plus,” said Skerry. “We are going to play through him this year. We’ll get it to him in the post, he’ll handle the ball in transition and we might even play him as a backup point guard. He’s really matured a lot and he wants to take on a role as a leader of this team.”

Timajh Parker-Rivera (2.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg) could see the biggest jump in minutes played this season as he’ll push for the starting center spot. The 6-7 sophomore was one of Towson’s best players during their summer trip to Canada this year, averaging 10.5 points and 10.7 rebounds with three double-doubles in four games.

“TJ’s as tough as they come,” said Skerry. “His body has improved and he’s put in a lot of work on his jump shot this offseason. He’ll play major minutes for us and we expect him to have a big year rebounding the basketball.”

The longest tenured Tiger is junior Jamel Flash (0.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg). The 6-11 forward has improved each year since his arrival and Skerry expects him to see the floor this season.

Barrington Alston, perhaps the most athletic player on the team, returns after taking a red-shirt season last year due to an illness. The 6-8 lefty has a 7-2 reach and excels in transition due in large part because of his ability to finish above the rim over or around defenders.

Newcomers Walter Foster and John Davis will also see playing time this season for the Tigers. Davis is tough on the block but will also see time on the perimeter. Foster may have the best midrange shot of any Tiger. The 6-8 freshman will push for minutes at the center position while also backing up Benimon at the power forward spot.

Towson will once again play one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country, while also playing a balanced CAA slate during the 2013-14 season. The Tigers will take on eight teams that reached post-season play last year, including four 2013 NCAA Tournament teams.

During the non-conference portion of their schedule, the Tigers will face teams from 11 different conferences, including squads from the BIG EAST, Pac-12, Big 12 and American Athletic Conference. This year’s CAA slate will be a balanced schedule with the Tigers playing the other eight league schools twice.

“We’re extremely excited about a challenging non-conference schedule which will prepare us for the battles that we’re going to see night in and night out in the CAA,” said Skerry. “We’re really excited about the number of home games that we’re going to be able to play in SECU Arena, starting with Navy, Morgan State and Temple right out of the gate. We’re also thrilled that we’ll be playing so many of the local area teams.”

Some of the marquee games on the schedule include contests at Kansas, Villanova and Oregon State. The Tigers will also begin their first season inside the brand new SECU arena. They’ll open up the arena with three straight home games, including a contest against 2013 NCAA Tournament team Temple.

The Tigers will also play in the 2013 Lumberjack E-Tech Classic in Texas and host the Battle 4 Atlantis Mainland Tournament inside SECU Arena.

Towson will continue to renew local rivalries with games against Morgan State, UMBC and Coppin State on the schedule.

The CAA slate of games for the Tigers will once again be extremely challenging. The Tigers will play home-and-home series against each of the other eight league schools. This year’s CAA Tournament will be moving to the Baltimore Arena and will run March 7-10 with the winner gaining the league automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament

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