LOYOLA-MARIST SERIES HISTORY: Marist leads the series, 27-19. The Greyhounds have won three straight to equal their longest stretch in the series and have four wins in five. Prior to last season's Loyola sweep, the teams had traded home wins for three straight years with the Greyhounds' first win in that stretch snapping the Red Foxes' 10-game winning streak, the longest in the history of the series that dates back to 1978.
LAST TIME OUT: Edwin Ubiles drained a step-back jumper with 19.1 seconds remaining to end a 50-second possession and give Siena a four-point lead as the Saints ended the game on a 17-4 run to pull away for a 67-61 MAAC home victory Thursday night in the Times Union Center. The Greyhounds used a 15-6 run to take a 57-50 lead with 7:52 left, but did not score another field goal. Loyola put four players in double figures with junior guard Brian Rudolph scoring 13 points with seven assists. Sophomores Shane Walker and J'hared Hall matched those 13 points and senior guard Garrett Kelly scored 11 points off the bench.
SHOOTING THE THREE: The Greyhounds connected on 13 three-pointers in the home win over Marist, tying the fourth-best total in school history. Of the top nine long-range performances at Loyola, five of those have come under sixth-year head coach Jimmy Patsos and four of those have taken place in Reitz Arena. The Greyhounds made eight three-pointers Thursday night at Siena, shooting 47.1 percent (8-17).
BLOCKING IT OUT: One of Loyola's weaknesses last season was the consistency of its front line. That has been improved dramatically with additions to the roster and is being proven through block shot totals that have been recorded thus far. Sophomore forward Shane Walker leads the team with 30 blocks through 19 games and two other players have 17 or more. Walker recorded six blocks in the home win over Marist and senior forward Jawaan Wright collected four rejections Sunday at Saint Peter's. The Greyhounds collected nine blocked shots at Coppin State, equaling the third-best single-game effort in school history. Loyola rejected eight shots in the season-opening win over Vermont and matched that number in home games against both Iona and Marist. The Greyhounds have blocked 29 shots in the last four games, an average of 7.3 blocks per game.
RUDOLPH MATCHES SEASON HIGHS: Junior guard Brian Rudolph matched his season bests for points (13) and assists (7) Thursday night at Siena. He previous tallied 13 points in a reserve role against Iona and now has four games this season with seven assists, including twice in the last five outings. Since not playing in the home game against Siena, he has averaged 9.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 33.2 minutes played over the five games. He recently moved into eighth all-time in career assists and trails teammate Brett Harvey by six assists for seventh.
WALKER BLOCKING THE PATH: Sophomore forward Shane Walker collected six blocks in the home win over Marist to set a career high and match the sixth-best single-game total in school history. His 30 blocked shots on the season is already the eighth highest number in school annals with at least 11 games to be played. He added eight points, six rebounds and a career-best four assists in that game and has followed that with 13 points in each of his last two outings. The first double-double of his career came in the win at Dartmouth, matching his career-high with 14 points and grabbing a career-best 11 rebounds. Third on the team in scoring (8.6 ppg), he is the team's leading rebounder at 6.4 boards per game.
HALL RESPONDS TO START: Sophomore guard J'hared Hall received his first start of the season due to injuries to three starters leading up to the Marist home game and he responded, scoring a career-best 16 points with five three-pointers. Hall entered the game averaging 2.5 points per game and bettered that by draining a three-pointer on the first shot of the contest. He had 10 points by halftime and his three-pointer with 71 seconds remaining gave Loyola a 66-58 lead. The five three-pointers equaled the 16th-best performance in school history. Thursday at Siena, he scored 10 first-half points and finished the game with 13. Since moving into the starting lineup three games ago, he is averaging 11.0 points while shooting 39.3 percent (11-28), including 47.1 percent (8-17) from three-point range.
KELLY SURPASSES CAREER POINTS IN ONE GAME: In search of a shooter Thursday night at Siena, senior forward Garrett Kelly was given a chance and he responded. Entering the game with eight career points, he made four field goals - three of them being three-pointers, the first of his career - for a career-best 11 points in 16 minutes. The Times Union Center was the site of his first career basket, that coming in last year's MAAC Tournament game with Canisius. Three of his baskets came during a stretch of 2:34 during the second half, one bucket tying the game and the two others stretching Loyola's lead to five. He received the first start of his career earlier this month when the Greyhounds hosted Siena.
OLSON'S NAMED MAAC CO-ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: After scoring a career-high 20 points to lead Loyola to the home win over Marist, freshman guard Robert Olson was recognized by the MAAC as its Co-Rookie of the Week on January 19. The Silver Spring native averaged 11.3 points for the week while shooting 52.2 percent (12-23) from the field and making four of his eight three-point attempts and all five of his free throws. He has scored in double figures in three of his last five games - the only three double-figure scoring outings of his career. Earlier this season, he collected six steals at UMBC, the fifth-best single game outing later matched by sophomore forward Anthony Winbush in the win at Indiana.
SENIORS ARE SUPER-SUBS: With the team down three starters in the home game against Marist, the Loyola bench was thin but seniors Tony Lewis and Jawaan Wright answered the call. Lewis scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds with two assists in 27 minutes of action. Wright tallied eight points while making all four of his attempts from the field with four rebounds, an assist and a steal. The Greyhounds had six players see more than 26 minutes of action with three other players combining for five minutes played. Wright became the 39th player in the history of the school to appear in 100 career games when he made it onto the floor at Saint Peter's.
HARVEY MISSES FIFTH GAME: Senior guard Brett Harvey did not dress for the fifth time in six games Thursday at Siena. The first of those was the first missed game of his career when he did not dress for the contest against Siena on Jan. 4 after being hospitalized the previous weekend for a non-game related issue. He was back in the lineup in the team's next game at Fairfield and scored eight first-half points before suffering an injury following a hard foul with one second left before the intermission. He sat on the bench for the second half with his arm inside his warm-up top and did not see action. He has not played since. Before the Siena home game, he had played in 109 consecutive games and had not missed any playing time due to an injury since his freshman season. He was named the Player of the Week by both the MAAC (Co-Player) and the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight after his heroics in the win at Indiana when he scored nine straight points during Loyola's 10-2 run to end the game and erase a three-point deficit. In the win over Rider, he poured in 15 points in the first 13 minutes of the game and then tallied his final six points during a three-minute span in which the Greyhounds answered a 15-0 run by scoring eight straight and 10 of 12 to return the lead in Loyola's favor. He reached 1,000 career points last month during a season-high 28-point effort at Canisius, became the 38th player in Loyola history to play in 100 career games in November at Mount St. Mary's and became the seventh player to surpass 350 career assists at Indiana.
CRAZY EIGHTS FOR BROOKS: Freshman forward Julius Brooks matched his career high of eight points for the fourth time in the home game against Siena. He only missed one shot from the field and handed out two assists. His previous eight-point outings all came on the road. He first did it at West Virginia in his second career game, ended November with eight at Dartmouth and tallied eight last month in the win at Indiana, scoring all his points in the first half while taking just the four shots. Against Iona, he blocked a career-best four shots while tying for team-high honors with six rebounds in just 20 minutes. He has started all 18 of his appearances, missing the game at Niagara with an illness, and is third on the team in rebounding with 4.1 boards per game.
WINBUSH DOING IT ON BOTH ENDS: Sophomore forward Anthony Winbush helped the Greyhounds to wins in the last three outings of the four-game winning streak with significant contributions on both ends of the floor. In the win at Indiana, he held Hoosiers' leading scorer Maurice Creek to half his season average (nine) and forced him into four turnovers. Winbush collected six steals to equal the fifth-best single-game number in history and connected on both his three-point tries to finish with eight points. Then, at Bucknell, he matched his career high with 17 points, making six of his nine shots from the floor, including both his three-point tries, and all three of his foul shots. His contribution against Rider was two-fold, scoring 12 points while grabbing seven defensive rebounds and holding MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Ryan Thompson to one-for-10 field-goal shooting. Against Iona, he scored a game-high 13 points, including a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
WANDRUSCH ADDED TO ROSTER: After joining the program as a manager in the fall, freshman guard Luke Wandrusch has been added to the active roster as a walk-on. He dressed for the first time at Bucknell and saw the first game action of his career in the home game against Siena, playing one minute without recording a statistic.
STARTING LINEUP: Last year, every Greyhounds player on the roster with the exception of walk-on Garrett Kelly made at least one start during the season, meaning 12 of the 13 eligible players opened the game on the floor. This year, seven lineups have been tested out with three newcomers - sophomore forward Shane Walker and freshmen Julius Brooks and Robert Olson - among the starting five 16 times.
THE DEFENSE DOESN'T REST: For the third time this season, the Greyhounds held an opponent to under 50 points, allowing Saint Peter's just 48 on Sunday afternoon. The last time Loyola gave up less than 50 points for three games in a season was 1979-1980 when the program competed in Division II. The 41 points allowed at Dartmouth was the first time in seven years that an opponent was held under 50 points and was the lowest point total in 26 seasons.
BIGGEST WIN EVER?: The win at Indiana has sparked discussion on its place among Loyola's wins during its 100-year history. Certainly, it is the biggest regular-season win since the program elevated to Division I in 1981-1982. It was the Greyhounds' first win over a Big Ten member in eight tries and first-ever victory over a team with multiple National Championships, having lost 10 straight to teams with that pedigree. Head coach Jimmy Patsos has made a commitment to a scheduling philosophy that experiences college basketball's history and Assembly Hall is the fourth building in the last four years in which more than one National Championship banner hangs that the Greyhounds have played.
FINDING THE SHOOTING TOUCH: Through nine games, Loyola was shooting just 39.5 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point range. Following the 10-day break for final exams, the Greyhounds reversed those numbers. Loyola shot a blistering 81.5 percent (22-27) in the second half of its win over Howard, finishing at 69.6 percent (32-46) for the second-best performance in school history. It made its first six three-point tries and ended at 75.0 percent (9-12) for the game, also the second-best effort in school annals. The Greyhounds shot 58.6 percent (17-29) in the first half at Indiana and finished at 53.3 percent (24-45) against the defensive-minded Hoosiers. It was the first time Loyola connected on better than 50 percent in consecutive wins since triumphs at Siena and at home against Niagara in January 2007. For the two games, the Greyhounds shot 61.5 percent (56-91), including 60.7 percent (17-28) from three-point range.
RECORD SHOOTING LEADS TO RECORD WIN: When the shooting is clicking along with solid defense, a team can build a comfortable margin of victory. That was the case in the win over Howard as Loyola's 34-point score differential is its largest over a Division I opponent since elevating the program full-time to Division I in 1981-82. The Greyhounds had previously beaten non-Division I opponents by larger margins in their history.
TURNING 100: Loyola men's basketball turns 100 this season as it competes in its 100th recorded season. The first season was 1908-1909 and last year was the celebration of the 100th anniversary of that first season. This season is the 100th with two seasons being lost to World War I (1917-1918 and 1918-1919). The Greyhounds enter tonight with a record of 1135-1174 (.492) all-time.
WE ARE LOYOLA UNIVERSITY MARYLAND: On September 25, the institution officially changed its designation to Loyola University Maryland. The first college in the United States to bear the name of Saint Ignatius Loyola, the change reflects the University's commitment toward becoming the nation's leading Catholic, comprehensive university. So, please, when referring to us, we are "Loyola University Maryland".
LONG-TIME AD BOYLAN TO RETIRE: After guiding Greyhounds athletics for nearly two decades, Athletic Director Joe Boylan announced his retirement in October, effective June 30, 2010. An associate men's basketball head coach to Tom Young at Rutgers for 12 seasons that included a Final Four berth in 1976 prior to becoming an administrator, Boylan has been the driving force behind Loyola's athletic growth since his arrival. The Greyhounds have captured 56 MAAC titles and counting during his tenure.
GREYHOUNDS ADD TWO FOR NEXT SEASON: The Men's Basketball program added two players to the roster during the early signing period. Justin Drummond, a 6-4 guard from Washington, D.C. who is playing at Riverdale Baptist HS, and Dylon Cormier, a 6-1 guard from Baltimore who plays at Cardinal Gibbons HS, each signed National Letters of Intent and will enroll in Loyola next fall. The pair played against each other at Cardinal Gibbons on January 19 with Cormier's 39 points leading his team to a win as Drummond scored 19.
GREYHOUNDS ON THE TUBE: A minimum of seven Loyola contests will receive national or regional television exposure this season and that number could swell to as many as 11. The Greyhounds' final televised contest is Feb. 14 when Loyola visits Iona in a MAAC TV production that will appear on MASN.
ESPN RADIO 1300 HOME TO GREYHOUNDS AGAIN: For the third consecutive season, Baltimore's ESPN Radio 1300 will be the home for select Loyola radio games. All home games not picked up by ESPN Radio 1300 will be live streamed on www.LoyolaGreyhounds.com. Mark Zinno (play-by-play) is joined by analysts Gary Lambrecht and Jim Chivers. The next broadcast on ESPN Radio 1300 is Jan. 31 when the Greyhounds host Niagara at 3 o'clock.
GREYHOUNDS ALL-ACCESS: Once again this season, any home game not selected for television will be made available on live video streaming through Greyhounds All Access. The next offering will be January 28 when Loyola hosts Fairfield at 7 o'clock. Games can be accessed via www.LoyolaGreyhounds.com.
FOLLOW LOYOLA ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER: Loyola Athletics launched new Facebook and Twitter sites with the advent of the new school year. Now Greyhounds followers can get immediate news via Facebook.com/LoyolaHounds and Twitter.com/LoyolaHounds.
JESUIT BASKETBALL SPOTLIGHT: Sunday's game at Saint Peter's was the third of Loyola's appearances as part of the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight which uses Jesuit basketball to raise awareness of Jesuit education. Both Loyola and Saint Peter's are Jesuit schools. The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project highlights more than 90 games this season between men's and women's teams from the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States. Jesuit Catholic colleges and universities in the United States have more than 200,000 students currently and more than 1.7 million living alumni. For more information on Jesuit higher education in the United States, go to www.ajcunet.edu.
NEXT UP FOR LOYOLA: A stretch of three road games in seven days ends tonight and Loyola will play six of the next nine at home starting with Thursday's game against Fairfield at 7 o'clock. The Greyhounds will host Niagara on January 31 at 3:00 p.m.