At the 3 we’ve got Marcus Damas back, who led us in scoring and got stronger. He had a good year. I think he surprised us. And then we’re excited about the other kid that can play a lot of different positions, Guthrie. He’s from a good program out of Southern Idaho. He led D.C. in scoring a couple years ago. He’s not that big – he’s only 6-3, 6-2. A lot of guys say they play hard; this guy really, really plays hard. He was second in his region in rebounding, which tells you about a guy’s toughness level. So I’m really excited about him. I also think he’s going to be our best defender, something we didn’t have last year, like a lockdown guy. And I think him and Marcus, Marcus can play some 2. I think Guthrie can play 2 through 4 for us. All of a sudden we’ve got a little bit more flexibility. We’ve got the potential to be a lot deeper. And Marquis Marshall we signed late. He might have more upside than all of them. He’s got to get a lot stronger, his body needs to fill out. But he’s 6-5, could keep growing; his dad’s about 6-9. And Marquis can really shoot it. Good feel for the game. He’s got to get stronger. He’s really thin. But he can really shoot it. When you shoot the ball as poorly as we did a year ago, obviously a couple guys that can make shots can bring value. He’ll be in second session summer school, so that’ll be an important five weeks for him.
How about at power forward?
And then we’ve got Benimon, who will step right in to the 4. He’s talented. We knew he was physical, a good rebounder. What we didn’t know is that he can really pass, he can shoot, he can post. He’s like the guys that are leaving this league that obviously we didn’t have that you need. He’s like a [Ryan] Pearson [of George Mason], [Bradford] Burgess [of VCU], Samme Givens [of Drexel] type of a guy. A true 4 man. He’s had a great offseason. He’s 6-8, 238. I think he’s got to become a better leader for us, but he’s got a chance to be as talented as most guys that we’ll play against in CAA play.
Benimon can move around. He can move up a spot or down a spot. We signed a kid Timahj Parker; he’s a combo forward out of St. Joe’s High School in Trumbull, Conn., that won back-to-back state championships. He was an Atlantic 10-level recruit. He’s 6-7, already 218. Like a lot of freshmen, you want to have them every day for skill work. But he’s got a motor. He’s tough. I just think he’s used to winning. I’m excited about him.
Finally, talk about what you've got at the 5.
We’ve got Bilal Dixon from Providence, who will play right away. He’s a grad student. He’s 6-9, about 260, 265. He’s a big kid.
So you obviously overlapped with him at Providence, right?
I coached him for two years. My first year at Providence we redshirted him. My second year, he had a great freshman year. He made the Rivals All-Big East Rookie team. His numbers went down a little bit over his career, but you look at his rebounds per minute [and they] are really good in Big East play – better than anyone we had in Colonial play. Bilal, we’re excited he wanted to come in right for summer school. He’s in here all summer. He knows he’s needed here. He wants to get a master’s and continue playing. He has a chance to be an upper-level, all-conference CAA center and then continue his goal of playing professionally. It’s also a good fit for us because we don’t have any older guys as seniors in the frontcourt. Obviously the rule works. It’s a different rule, there’s a lot of people complaining about the rule, but I think at this point in time it worked pretty good for us.
How has he adapted so far to Towson?
I look at Bilal, and he’s been great for the three weeks he’s been here. It’s almost like a trade in the NBA – sometimes a change of scenery rejuvenates you. He’s always been a good student – he graduated from Providence. Obviously it gives us a little bit of a different look, putting Benimon and Dixon in the frontcourt, than what we had from an experience and physicality standpoint.
What else do you have at the 5?
Then we have the kid Barrington Alston that we signed, who we think is going to be very good. 6-8, long, long arms, 220. Got to get stronger. Very good defensively. We’ve got to spend a lot of time on skill work with him, but he’s got a motor. He is our most athletic guy, no question about that. And then we still have Jamel Flash, a 6-11 kid who will be a sophomore. He works, he’s making strides. I just feel like we have obviously a much more talented, deeper roster than we had 13, 14 months ago.