By Logan Binder
Senior forward Marcus Damas has finished many fast breaks during his three years on the Towson University Men’s Basketball team. But none were as meaningful as the one on Jan. 27.
“I got the ball, passed it to Jerrelle Benimon, ran down the right wing, got the pass from Jerrelle and made the fast break layup,” Damas said.
This layup was how Damas scored his 1,000th career point in a Towson Tigers uniform.
Damas was only the 23rd Tiger to reach this milestone. The last player to score 1,000 points was Gary Neal in 2007. Neal currently plays in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Towson has been good to me, and it’s my home,” Damas said. “It means a lot because now I’m a part of Towson’s history, so my name will always be tied to the school.”
Damas transferred to Towson as a sophomore in 2011 when Coach Pat Skerry took over the team with a plethora of scholarships to give out in hopes of turning around the floundering program.
“He was a good post player who played hard but couldn’t really shoot well,” Skerry said. “He wanted to be at Towson.”
The team went through some growing pains when Skerry took over. Damas’ first year with the Tigers was the dismal 2011-2012 season when Towson won one game. In his first home game at Towson, Damas scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in front of President Obama at the Towson Center.
The team and Damas have grown quickly and are heading to their second winning season in a row. The Tigers have a good shot at reaching the postseason goals that both the players and Skerry set for the team.
Damas is one of the key factors to the teams recent success.
“He plays hard, does what is asked, is aggressive and plays with a high motor that the team feeds off of,” Skerry said.
Towson junior Joseph Lewandowski is an everyday student who has watched the team go from zero wins at the Towson Center his freshman year to 13 wins and counting at Secu Arena this year.
“Going to games is much more enjoyable than they used to be,” Lewandowski said, ” The new arena is very professional, and the fact that the team competes every game, and wins most, helps as well.”
Another factor that has brought excitement is Damas’ friend and teammate, senior forward Jerrelle Benimon. After getting the assist for Damas’ 1,000th point, Benimon scored his 1000th career point as a Tiger on Saturday against The College of William & Mary.
Benimon transferred to the team the same year Damas did, but he didn’t play a game in a Towson uniform until the following season. Now finishing up his senior year with the Tigers, Benimon is an NBA draft prospect.
“Jerrelle is a once in a quarter century player,” Skerry said.
Damas and Benimon have great chemistry on and off the court.
“We are good friends and both love the game, so it’s like we are hanging out when we are playing together,” Damas said.
Damas plans to play after he graduates in May. As of now it looks like Damas will play overseas once he graduates, but he said he is focusing on finishing his career with Towson before making any other basketball plans.
The team’s postseason goals are to win the CAA Championship and receive a bid to the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. This would be the first time the Tigers have appeared in the tournament since 1991. It would also be only the third time the program has received a bid to the tournament.