Oct. 23, 2007
NEW YORK CITY - Loyola College men's and women's basketball teams combined for the highest preseason Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rankings in the Greyhounds' 19-year history in the league. The preseason polls and All-MAAC teams were announced Tuesday at the conference's media day at Madison Square Garden.
The men's team was slotted for a second-place standing by the MAAC coaches, while the Loyola women were tapped for fourth. The league's coaches vote prior to the event on a first through 10th place basis.
Three Loyola student-athletes earned Preseason All-MAAC honors from the coaches. Gerald Brown was named to the Preseason All-MAAC First Team, while Marquis Sullivan was tabbed to the Second Team. On the women's side, Vika Sholokhova was named to the Second team.
Loyola's men's team received five first-place votes and 93 points in the preseason poll, the same number of first-place tallies and two points behind preseason favorite Siena.
Niagara was third with 73 points; Rider, fourth, 71; and Marist rounded out the top five with 54. Fairfield and Manhattan tied for sixth with 51 points, while Iona, Canisius and Saint Peter's completed the poll with 24, 23 and 15 points, respectively.
The Greyhounds women finished with 63 points from the league's head coaches. Marist was a unanimous No. 1 choice, while Fairfield, 75 points, and Siena, 73, stood in second and third place.
Manhattan took fifth with 59, one point in front of Iona. Canisius was three points back in seventh, while Saint Peter's, Niagara and Rider rounded out the league with 31, 22 and 14 points, respectively.
The preseason positioning is the highest for the men's team since joining the MAAC for the 1989-90 season. With a 12-6 league record last season, Loyola tied Siena for third place in the final standings and received the third seed in the conference tournament by virtue of a season sweep over the Saints.
Brown, a unanimous All-MAAC First Team Selection after leading the conference in scoring and steals last season, enters this season as the nation's third leading returning scorer. He has already been recognized this season as a Preseason Honorable Mention All-America by collegehoops.net. The Baltimore native was joined on the First Team by Niagara's Charron Fisher and Tyrone Lewis, Siena's Kenny Hasbrouck and Edwin Ubiles and MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Jason Thompson of Rider.
Sullivan earned All-MAAC Third Team honors as a sophomore last year after he ranked second in the conference in both three-point field goals made and three-point field-goal percentage. This year's recognition is the first preseason acknowledgment for the junior guard, who was joined on the Second Team by Canisius' Frank Turner, Manhattan's Devon Austin and Marist's Louie McCroskey and Ryan Stilphen.
Sholokhova, the MAAC Sixth Player of the Year in 2006-2007 and an All-MAAC Third Team honoree, was named to the Preseason All-MAAC Second Team. She was joined on the Second Team by Canisius' Amanda Cavo, Fairfield's Baendu Lowenthal, Manhattan's Caitlin Flood and Saint Peter's Johnell Burts.
The First Team was comprised of Fairfield's Sabra Wrice, Iona's Tiara Headen, Marist's Megh Dahlman and Preseason Player of the Year Rachele Fitz and Siena's Laura Menty.
Women's basketball Head Coach Joe Logan will lead the Greyhounds into the season with the highest preseason ranking of his three years at the College. Last season, the Greyhounds were picked to finish sixth in the conference. They placed third during the regular-season with an 18-12 overall record and 12-6 mark in the league and advanced to the MAAC Semifinals.
The Greyhounds were selected to place fifth in Logan's first season on the bench at Loyola, 2005-2006. They went on to a 20-10 overall record and lost to Marist in the MAAC Championship Game.
Sholokhova will begin the season with high expectations from her own team, as well as from others in the league. The 6-foot-3 center played in 23 games last year, starting two, when she became eligible on December 28 after sitting out the required year to satisfy NCAA residency requirements as a transfer from Pittsburgh.
The St. Petersburg, Russia, native was second on the squad with 11.3 points per game and led the team with 7.5 rebounds.
Both the men's and women's basketball teams open their seasons on Friday, November 9. The men travel to Towson for a 7 p.m. contest, while the women host Drexel at 7 p.m. in Reitz Arena.