March 6, 2008
Albany, N.Y. - Loyola freshman guard Brian Rudolph was named the Co-Rookie of the Year and junior guard Marquis Sullivan was named the Sixth Man of the Year in announcements made Thursday afternoon by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference at its annual Awards Reception taking place at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y., the site of this weekend's championships.
Rudolph shared his award with Marist's Jay Gavin. Rider University captured the other three major awards as head coach Tommy Dempsey was selected by his peers as the Coach of the Year and Broncs senior center Jason Thompson collected both the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards.
"This is a significant step for our program to receive these awards that are voted on by the other coaches in the league," Loyola fourth-year head coach Jimmy Patsos stated. "Clearly, the coaches respect and acknowledge the type of talent we have brought in. In addition to their recognition of what Brian and Marquis have meant to our success this year, they rewarded two of our seniors - Gerald Brown and Michael Tuck - with all-league honors."
A 5-11 freshman from New Bedford, Mass., Rudolph captured a league-high six Rookie of the Week awards, all of them coming during conference weekends, including four straight during February. He led Loyola to wins in 12 of its final 16 games after being inserted into the starting lineup in mid-January, averaging 7.1 points while handing out 134 assists. The selection as Rookie of the Year is Loyola's third in the MAAC with previous winners being Nsilo Abraham (1996) and John Reimold (2001).
After starting 30 games a season ago, Sullivan accepted his role off the bench to make room in the starting lineup for Rudolph and thrived. The Westminster, Md., resident scored in double figures in 16 of his 22 games as a reserve and 14 of his final 15 games of the season. He led the conference in three-pointers made per game (2.87) and finished fourth in three-point percentage (.432) and 14th in scoring (12.4). Loyola has had a player selected for the Sixth Man award in three of the last four years following the selections of Charlie Bell in 2005 and Tuck last season.
Seeded No. 4 after tying for third place in the MAAC standings with a 12-6 conference mark, the Greyhounds open the 2008 MAAC Championship with a quarterfinal matchup with fifth-seeded Fairfield on Saturday, March 8 at 2:15 p.m. The game is a rematch of last season's quarterfinal game in Bridgeport, Conn., which Loyola won to advance to the semifinals. The teams split the season series, but the Greyhounds have captured all three contests against the Stags in MAAC Tournament play.