Eric Konkol and Tony Skinn to lead LA Tech against former team George Mason
Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. CT on CBS Sports Network
Newcomers aim to provide a deeper bench
Nine of the possible 13 opponents have won 20+ games in one of the last two seasons
Two games in Ruston and two games in Cuncan
The Dunkin' Dogs took part in their first official team practice on Saturday inside the TAC.
With his assistance, LA Tech has registered back-to-back 23-win seasons. This past season, the Bulldogs finished second in Conference USA despite being picked seventh in the preseason poll and despite being the second youngest team in the league.
Four players ended up earning postseason awards, including upperclassmen Erik McCree and Jacobi Boykins being named All-Conference USA and Jalen Harris and DaQuan Bracey being selected to the All-Freshman Team.
He worked daily with Bracey, the freshman point guard out of Baltimore, Maryland, who ended up starting the last 25 games and had the best assist/turnover ratio in program history and the sixth best in the country. He also broke the LA Tech and C-USA single season assist record en route to earning Freshman of the Year, becoming just the fourth Bulldog in program history to do so.
During the 2015-16 season, LA Tech ended up defeating eight teams who advanced to the postseason (most since 1989) and besting seven teams who posted 20+ victories (most since 1991). Of those was a win in non-conference win play at Ohio State, the program's first victory over a Big Ten school in 30 years.
The `Dogs, led by point guard Alex Hamilton who was chosen as C-USA Player of the Year as well as an honorable mention Associated Press All-American, were picked preseason to finish fifth but ended up in a tie for third in the league to help earn the program's fourth straight postseason appearance which came in the inaugural Vegas16 Tournament.
Previously, Skinn served as athletics director for Paul International High School in Washington, D.C. In addition, he served as an assistant coach for NIKE Team Takeover, one of the top five AAU programs in the country.
While serving as an assistant coach, Skinn was primarily focused on recruiting and player development. He helped develop the classes of 2013 and 2014 which included 20+ Division I signees such as James Palmer (Miami), Tre Campbell (Georgetown) and Dion Wiley (Maryland).
Skinn had an illustrious playing career as a three-year letterwinner at George Mason, two of which was coached by Eric Konkol, and as a professional where he played overseas and took part in the 2012 Olympics as a member of the Nigerian national team.
As a starting point guard for Nigeria, Skinn helped his native country defeat the Dominican Republic to earn the last spot in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He went on to average 10 points per game in the FIBA Olympic qualifiers.
Prior to playing in the capital of England, Skinn played professionally all over Europe. He spent three years in France and a year in Italy, Germany and Israel.
A big part of the opportunity given to him overseas was as a result of his collegiate career which ended with a bang by helping lead George Mason on an amazing run to the Final Four as a senior in 2006.
The Patriots ended up posting a 23-7 record during the regular season and although they end not win the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) tournament title, they were award an at-large bid as an 11 seed.
George Mason went on to upset Michigan State, defending champion North Carolina, Wichita State and top-seeded UConn to reach the Final Four, becoming only the second double-digit seed in history to do so.
The team's magical run came to an end there with a loss to eventual national champion Florida. In the process, Skinn shined by scoring 14 points against WSU, 10 against UConn and 13 in the loss to the Gators.
In his senior season, he averaged 12.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. For his career as a Patriot, he averaged 11.6 points per game while tallying 1,079 career points which currently ranks 27th in program history.
Tony is married to Weyni Ghebremedhin. The couple has two boys, Isaiah and Liam.
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