Jan. 2, 2008
THE GAME: Loyola enters tonight on a two-game losing streak but is undefeated at Reitz Arena, having won four straight to open the season. The home winning streak is five in a row dating back to last season. Fairfield dropped a 71-50 decision at William & Mary on Monday and has lost seven of its last eight, the lone win an overtime victory at Saint Peter's one week ago.
THE COACHES: Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos is in his fourth season and tonight will be coaching in his 100th game at Loyola. He is just the eighth coach in Loyola's 98-season history to be on the sidelines for 100 or more games and has registered a 44-55 (.444) career record. The 1989 Catholic graduate is 2-5 against the Stags. Fairfield head coach Ed Cooley is in his second season with the Stags and has a 16-28 (.364) career record. The 1994 Stonehill graduate has a 2-1 record against the Greyhounds.
THE TEAMS: In addition to their respective conference foes, the only team on the schedules of both teams is American. Each collected victories as Loyola recorded a 71-67 home win on November 13 and Fairfield won 60-52 in Washington two days later.
THE SERIES: Fairfield leads, 29-12, and the Stags have won 15 of the last 16 regular-season meetings. However, Loyola has captured the three contests when this pair have met in the MAAC Tournament, including last season's 76-72 win at the Arena at Harbor Yard to advance to the semifinals. Fairfield won a pair of home meetings prior to Loyola's inclusion in the MAAC in 1989-90 and 11 times one of the teams has swept the season series, nine of those times being the Stags. The complete series history is listed on Page 3 of this release.
THE PROGRAM: Loyola is playing its 98th recorded season of basketball this season. The first season was 1908-09 and the Greyhounds have posted a 1100-1136 (.492) all-time record.
LAST TIME OUT: Illinois held the Greyhounds to an Assembly Hall-low 20 percent shooting for the game and Shaun Pruitt posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Fighting Illini to a 77-43 non-conference victory one week ago. After Loyola jumped out to a 5-0 lead, Illinois used 12-0 and 12-1 runs to build a 24-8 lead and the Greyhounds could not get the deficit below double digits for the remainder of the game. Senior guard Gerald Brown was the only Loyola player in double figures with 16 points, including the 1,000th point of his career.
LOYOLA DEBUTS GRAY JERSEYS: Loyola debuted its third jersey design this season at Illinois, wearing gray uniforms for the first time. Under Armour, the originator of performance apparel, became the official outfitter of Loyola men's basketball in the summer of 2007. Included in the agreement was a design for a third set of uniforms to go along with the traditional white and green. Loyola is just the second men's basketball program to have uniforms designed by Under Armour, joining Auburn University this season. Designs of all three Greyhounds uniforms can be found on the inside back cover of the 2007-08 Loyola College Men's Basketball Media Guide.
THE END OF 2007: Loyola finished the calendar year of 2007 with an 18-14 record, including a 10-3 mark at Reitz Arena. The 18 wins equalled the most wins in a calendar year since the Greyhounds won 18 games in 1994, a year which included Loyola's only MAAC Championship and NCAA appearance and was split by two coaches - the late Skip Prosser who won 14 games after January 1, 1994, and his replacement, Brian Ellerbe, who won four games in his first two months at the helm. The start of 2007 saw the Greyhounds rattle off six straight MAAC wins after opening with a pair of league home games.
JUST BEING "TREND"-Y: Trends in college basketball can tell a lot of things. Here are a few things to consider about the Greyhounds through their first 12 games. Loyola is 4-0 at Reitz Arena and all five of its wins have come when wearing white jerseys. It is 0-6 on the road with six of its seven losses when wearing green uniforms and the seventh being the debut of the gray jerseys at Illinois. The Greyhounds are 5-0 when leading at the 10:00 and 5:00 marks and are 0-7 when trailing at those points in the game. Loyola is 4-1 when leading at halftime, losing to Drexel after a 25-20 advantage at the intermission, and 1-5 when trailing at halftime, overcoming a 40-33 deficit to American. The Greyhounds have lost each of the six games in which they have committed more turnovers than their opponents and all four contests when allowing more than 80 points.
GREYHOUNDS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Loyola is represented in several categories among the nation's statistical leaders. In NCAA-released statistics for games played through December 16, senior guard Gerald Brown is ranked 23rd in scoring average and 13th in steals per game, junior guard Marquis Sullivan is 84th in three-point field-goal percentage and sophomore guard Brett Harvey is 11th in assist/turnover ratio. In team statistics, the Greyhounds are 26th nationally in free-throw percentage. A summary of where Loyola players rank with the MAAC can be found on Page 5 of this release.
BROWN REACHES CAREER MILESTONE: Senior guard Gerald Brown reached a career milestone when he drained a three-pointer with 7:38 remaining in the first half to surpass 1,000 points for his career. He finished with 16 points for 1,010 in his career, including 128 scored during his two seasons at Providence. The Baltimore native needs 118 points to become the 28th player to score 1,000 points in a Loyola uniform. The last Greyhounds player to reach that milestone was Jason Rowe who achieved that feat as a junior in 1999. The team's leading scorer at 19.9 points per game, Brown is also the team leader in steals with 29 and is third in rebounding with 4.6 an outing. The complete list of 1,000-point scorers is listed on Page 82 of the 2007-08 Loyola Men's Basketball Media Guide.