Jan. 16, 2008
THE GAME: After three straight on the road, Loyola returns home for tonight's game with the first-place Red Foxes. The Greyhounds are 3-3 in the conference entering tonight while Marist has won five straight and is 5-1 in the MAAC. The teams split the series last season with each winning on their home floor.
THE COACHES: Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos is in his fourth season and is just the eighth coach in Loyola's 98-season history to be on the sidelines for 100 or more games. He has registered a 46-58 (.442) career record. The 1989 Catholic graduate is 2-4 against the Red Foxes. Marist head coach Matt Brady is in his fourth season with the Red Foxes and has a 66-42 (.611) career record. The 1987 Siena graduate has a 4-2 record against the Greyhounds.
THE TEAMS: Outside of conference foes, there are no other teams that appear on the schedules of each of tonight's opponents. Marist has collected wins at Rider and at home against Manhattan and Fairfield while Loyola lost at Rider, won at home against the Jaspers and split with Fairfield with each team winning on the other's home floor.
THE SERIES: Marist leads the series, 26-15. The teams have split the series in each of the last four years with the home team winning in those years. That stretch ended a 10-game winning streak for the Red Foxes. These teams have shared conference membership in three different leagues - ECAC Metro Conference (1981-88), Northeast Conference (1988-89) and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (1998-present). The complete series is outlined 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 1101-1139 (.492) all-time record.
LAST TIME OUT: The Greyhounds did not have answers for MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Jason Thompson or the Broncs' defense as Loyola committed 20 turnovers and Rider collected an 81-67 MAAC home win Sunday. Thompson scored 28 points with 17 rebounds to lead all players. Senior guard Gerald Brown led Loyola with 20 points while senior forward Michael Tuck and junior guard Marquis Sullivan each added 10. Sophomore guard Brett Harvey handed out seven assists without a turnover while scoring nine points.
SCHEDULE MUSINGS: Loyola's conference schedule the last two seasons is indeed unique. Dating back to last February and including an appearance in the MAAC Championship, Loyola has played 14 games against conference opponents. Five of those times, Fairfield has been the opponent - the season series for both years and a MAAC Quarterfinal game. Both of the matchups with Canisius in that span represented the season series last year as are two games with Iona this season. The MAAC Semifinal game against Niagara was the second in the stretch for the Greyhounds and Purple Eagles, having met on the last weekend of the regular season. Loyola concluded its series last season with Rider and started the series this season with the Broncs in that run of games and opened the series with Manhattan this year. Loyola has not played Marist, Saint Peter's or Siena at all during that stretch, but that all gets rectified in the Greyhounds' next three games starting tonight.
GREYHOUNDS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Loyola is represented in several categories among the nation's statistical leaders. In NCAA-released statistics for games played through January 13, senior guard Gerald Brown is ranked 53rd in scoring average and 64th in steals per game, junior guard Marquis Sullivan is ranked 81st in three-point field-goal percentage and 96th in three-point field goals made per game and sophomore guard Brett Harvey is 41st in assist/turnover ratio. In team statistics, the Greyhounds are 31st nationally in free-throw percentage and 100th in three-point field goals made per game. A summary of where Loyola players rank within the MAAC can be found on Page 5 of this release.
HARVEY ENJOYS CAREER NIGHT: Sophomore guard Brett Harvey enjoyed a night to remember at Fairfield Friday night. Having already posted a double-double this season (11 assists, 10 rebounds vs. Manhattan), the New City, N.Y., native scored a career-high 20 points with four rebounds and three assists. All season, Harvey has shifted between point and shooting guard and Friday he went back to shooting guard as freshman Brian Rudolph returned to the starting lineup at the point. The 20-point outburst was just Harvey's second double-figure output of the season and came after scoring just 19 points in his previous four games. He followed that by scoring nine points with seven assists and no turnovers at Rider.
BROWN RECORDS DOUBLE-DOUBLE: For just the second time in his career, senior guard Gerald Brown recorded a double-double with game-highs for points (16) and rebounds (11) in the home win over Iona. His only previous double-double was an 18-point, 12-rebound effort last January in the home win over Siena. Including his 128 points scored at Providence, the Baltimore native scored the 1,000th point of his career at Illinois and needs 38 points to become the 28th player to reach that milestone while representing Loyola. The last player in a Greyhounds uniform to perform that feat was Jason Rowe who did so during his junior season in 1999. The complete list of 1,000-point scorers is listed on Page 82 of the 2007-08 Loyola Men's Basketball Media Guide.
TUCK THE REBOUNDER: Loyola's career leader in field-goal percentage entering the season, senior forward Michael Tuck has bounced in and out of the top spot during the season, but one thing that has been consistent of late has been his rebounding numbers. Averaging just 5.6 rebounds through the season's first five games, he has increased that by almost two boards an outing (7.3) in the last 12 contests and is the team leader at 6.8 per game. He recently moved into 10th all-time on the Loyola career rebounding list.
ISREAL SETS PERSONAL CAREER BLOCKS MARK: Senior forward Omari Isreal equalled his career best in blocked shots by notching four in home games against both Fairfield and Iona. His one block at Kansas gives him 25 blocks on the season and eclipses his personal high of 21 set last season with more than half the season remaining. The Rockville, Md., native had collected blocks in seven straight games to average 2.1 blocks per game over that stretch. He is eighth on the Loyola career chart with 46 in just 39 games. He has been impressive in games played at Reitz Arena, averaging 10.9 points and 6.4 rebounds in 15 career home games. This season, he has averaged 11.0 points and 5.3 boards in six games at Reitz.
SULLIVAN RISES ON THREE-POINT CHARTS: Junior guard Marquis Sullivan now holds the No. 2 positions for both three-point shots made and attempted for his career, trailing only the numbers of Jason Rowe in both categories. Sullivan's 167 successful threes is behind the 186 posted by Rowe while the Westminster, Md., native moved into the second spot for attempts at Kansas and now has 418. Next in line will be Rowe's 540 career attempts. His pair of free throws with six seconds remaining sealed the 67-63 win at Fairfield.
RUDOLPH RESPONDS TO STARTING ROLE: Freshman guard Brian Rudolph moved back into the starting lineup Friday at Fairfield and responded. In addition to drawing the defensive assignment of covering Stags point guard Jonathan Han all over the floor, the New Bedford, Mass., native handed out a career-high eight assists. Han was held scoreless until there was 6:42 remaining in the contest and Loyola had built an 11-point lead. Rudolph scored five points, including a key three-pointer after the Stags had closed within two with 3:12 left, and collected a pair of rebounds and steals. He scored nine points with four rebounds, two assists and a steal in his next outing at Rider.
FICKE IGNITES DEFENSIVE RALLY: Junior forward Dan Ficke had played in just 52 minutes in his two-plus seasons at Loyola, but when he was called upon in the Iona home game, he delivered. While playing 17 minutes, the Engelwood, Colo., native grabbed a career-best five rebounds, scored a basket and handed out an assist. More importantly, he was on the floor for 10:32 of a 13:26 stretch when the Greyhounds put together a 28-6 run to turn an eight-point deficit into a 14-point lead. He followed that with four rebounds in 16 minutes at Kansas, three rebounds in 13 minutes at Fairfield and then career-highs for minutes played (18) and points (five) at Rider. His conventional three-point play gave Loyola its last lead of the first half with 90 seconds remaining before intermission after battling back from a 13-point deficit.
AND MANNING IGNITES OFFENSE: Senior guard Greg Manning became the second little-used Loyola player in as many games to make a significant contribution off the bench when he scored 10 points at Kansas. The shooting specialist made four of his six attempts from the floor, equaling his two-year-old career high in just 11 minutes. He also grabbed two rebounds and collected two steals. Manning entered the game having scored 14 points on the season. He followed that with a key three-pointer during a 12-4 Loyola run at Fairfield that helped the Greyhounds to an 11-point lead with 7:38 remaining.