TOWSON, Md. - The Towson men’s basketball team will open the 2013-14 season and christen SECU Arena on Friday night as the Tigers host Navy at 7:30 p.m.
The grand opening of the new arena will feature a basketball doubleheader as the Towson and Navy women’s teams will battle at 5 p.m.
Audio and video for the men’s game will be available via the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti on the call.
Towson, the Preseason Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) favorite, is coming off a record-setting season in which the Tigers set the largest single season turnaround in NCAA history by going 18-13 just a year after posting a 1-31 record.
The 18 wins for Towson were the program’s most since 1993-94 and the Tigers recorded their highest win total (13) and finish (second) since joining the CAA.
The Tigers return four of five starters and 85 percent of their scoring from last year’s team. Senior Jerrelle Benimon leads a quartet of seniors who return for Towson. Benimon, who was recognized as an Honorable Mention Associated Press All-American and as the CAA Player of the Year in 2012-13, is the nation’s leading returning rebounder.
Towson also welcomes back seniors Marcus Damas(11.4 ppg/5.3 rpg), Mike Burwell (9.0 ppg/3.2 rpg) and Rafriel Guthrie (8.1 ppg/2.6 rpg). A trio of sophomores also return for the Tigers in 2013 CAA All-Rookie Team selection Jerome Hairston (9.9 ppg/2.0 rpg), Vermont-transfer Four McGlynn (2012 America East Rookie of the Year) and Timajh Parker-Rivera (2.8 ppg/3.1 rpg).
Navy is under the leadership of third-year head coach Ed DeChellis. The Midshipmen return all five starters from a team that posted an 8-23 record last season. Junior forward Worth Smith is Navy’s leading returning scorer (10.2 ppg) and rebounder (5.4 rpg).
Towson leads the all-time series against Navy, 7-4. However, the Midshipmen have won the last two meetings. The Tigers have won two of the last three meetings against the squads at Towson.