TU men's basketball succeeds on the court and in the classroom

By Kyle Hobstetter on June 5, 2017

Under head coach Pat Skerry, the Tigers have a 100 percent graduation rate and have won 20 games in three out of four seasons.

Former TU men's basketball player John Davis waves to the crowd after walking across the Commencement stage during 2017 Spring Commencement. Davis received a bachelor's degree in communications studies, while teammate Arnaud William Adala Moto received a post-baccalaureate certificate in interactive marketing.
Former TU men's basketball player John Davis waves to the crowd after walking across the Commencement stage during 2017 Spring Commencement. Davis received a bachelor's degree in communications studies, while teammate Arnaud William Adala Moto received a post-baccalaureate certificate in interactive marketing.

The old saying goes “It can only go up from here.” For Towson University men’s basketball coach Pat Skerry, that could have been his motto after his first year. 

That 2011-12 season saw Skerry’s Tigers win just one game. To add insult to injury, the Tigers were banned from the following year’s postseason because of an unsatisfactory score in the Academic Progress Rate (APR) report.

While that first season was full of growing pains,  Skerry continued to push his team to be better on the court. In his second season, Skerry led the Tigers to an 18-13 record in the program’s first winning season since 1995-96, and also the largest single-season turnaround in NCAA Division I history. But the ban kept them out of postseason play.

Since that second season, the Tigers have won at least 20 games in three of the last four seasons. This includes a trip to the postseason Vegas 16 Tournament in 2016, and a trip to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship game in 2017. 

And ever since being banned from the postseason, the Tigers have refocused themselves in the classroom, as well. Under Skerry, the TU men’s basketball program has a 100 percent graduation rate. The team also achieved a perfect four-year APR score and public recognition from the NCAA for posting scores in the top 10 percent of their sport. 

This past spring, two more men’s basketball players participated in TU’s annual Commencement Ceremony. Arnuad William Adala Moto received a post-baccalaureate certificate in interactive marketing, while John Davis received his bachelor’s degree in communications studies.

"This is the proudest day for our staff when you talk about student-athletes," Skerry told TowsonTigers.com. "I am excited for both players. They were incredible leaders, respected by everybody, passionate about the game, cohesive, dedicated and most importantly, great people.”

READ MORE: Men’s basketball success extends beyond the court

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: Strategic Plan Alignment.