Just chatted with Towson coach Pat Kennedy in the last hour.
No shock here – he’s excited about adding former Maryland forward Braxton Dupree to his roster, a move the Tigers announced earlier in the day.
“Braxton’s a young man we’ve seen in high school and who’s played in our gym,” Kennedy said. “For us, Braxton would have been a very difficult guy to sign because of his size and his abilities, so for us it’s a real positive. He’s got a great image, a terrific family and played for a great high school coach, Mark Amatucci. For us the next step is winning at the top of the CAA. To have a guy decide to leave an ACC school and come to Towson is a very positive thing.”
Dupree averaged 2.1 points and 2.4 rebounds as a sophomore despite losing more than 20 pounds in the offseason. He started initially, then gradually slid out of the rotation as the season progressed. It was a similar arc to his first season.
Despite those problems – namely, that after two seasons, he’d been passed by classmate Dino Gregory and might have struggled to play ahead of incoming freshmen James Padgett and Jordan Williams – Dupree still takes up a lot of space.
That has some appeal in the CAA, where there’s only so many guys like VCU’s Larry Sanders floating around.
And Towson, an intriguing program because of the school’s size, location and conference affiliation that nevertheless has stumbled through 13 straight losing seasons, will happily take an extra big.
Obviously, Dupree will be a practice player this winter for a team that went 12-22 a year ago (with a surprise run to the CAA semifinals tossed in). But even that could help out the Tigers in the short term – as well as further down the road.
“Our league isn’t full of a lot of big, wide bodies, but there’s enough occasional 6-9, 6-10, 260-pounders that we’ve got to compete against,” Kennedy said. “The big thing for our type of conference or the Missouri Valley or the Mid-American is the size. He has great size and he’s got great strength. With his size and strength, and a year to learn our system, he has a chance to put together the whole package and be extremely effective.”