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Date published: 1/24/2007
Neal did little to dispel that notion last season. He led the Tigers in scoring, but took enough bad shots to make Allen Iverson blush and wasn't exactly determined on the defensive end.
This year, the senior from Aberdeen, Md., is showing off a much more complete game. He's still scoring in bunches--25.2 points per game, good for fifth in the nation--but he's also being more selective with his shots and giving his teammates a chance to share the offensive load.
"He's improved tremendously," Towson coach Pat Kennedy said. "He's playing much better overall. That's exciting to see from a player of his ability."
Neal showed exactly how far he has come last week. He scored 33 points in a win over rival Loyola, then became the first Towson player with three-straight 30-point games when he dropped 31 in a narrow loss at Hofstra. When UNC-Wilmington tried to double-team him, Neal responded with 19 points and a career-high nine assists.
For the week, he averaged 27.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 2.7 steals. He also shot 52 percent from the floor, an amazing number for someone who takes so many highly contested shots.
"He can make plays with people on him," Hofstra coach Tom Pecora said. "That's what separates him and that's what will enable him to play on the next level."Inconsistency bothers Moss
Last week, UNC-Wilmington followed up one of its best efforts of the season (a 74-65 loss at VCU) with its worst performance to date, a 75-61 drubbing by Towson in which the Seahawks were thoroughly outworked on both ends of the floor.
It's been that kind of season for first-year head coach Benny Moss, who inherited a team that won 25 games last season before losing four seniors to graduation and athletic junior T.J. Carter to a season-ending injury.
"I've definitely earned a psychology degree this season," Moss said. "We've pushed a lot of buttons. We've been positive and coaxed. We've been negative and run them, benched them and kicked them out of practice."
One of the Seahawks who has responded well to greater responsibility is former Woodbridge High standout Daniel Fountain. After a slow start, the junior shooting guard has scored 13 or more points in eight of the last nine games--consistency that Moss would love to see from the rest of his inexperienced squad.