Oct. 31, 2007
Baltimore, Md. - Renowned author John Feinstein is the featured speaker for an event sponsored by Men';s Basketball for Loyola's Class of 2008 and members of the Kennel Club this Friday prior to the Greyhounds' exhibition against Villa Julie. The pre-game program will take place in McGuire Hall beginning at 5:30 pm with the game to follow at 7 o'clock in Reitz Arena.
All members of Loyola's Senior Class and members of Loyola's Men's Basketball affinity group are invited to attend the event in McGuire Hall. The exhibition is the first opportunity to see the 2007-08 Greyhounds and tickets are available at 410-617-5013 or at www.LoyolaGreyhounds.com.
Coming off an 18-13 season which included a trip to the MAAC Championship Semifinals for the first time since 1998, the Greyhounds have been tabbed by some preseason prognosticators as the pick to the win the MAAC title this March and were recently slotted second -- with five first-place votes -- by the conference's coaches in preseason voting.
Returning for their senior seasons are players who accounted for 52.8 percent of last year's scoring and 44.4 percent of the rebounding. Among them are guard Gerald Brown, who enters this season as the nation's third leading returning scorer at 22.2 points per game. The total led the MAAC as did his 1.9 steals per game in the Baltimore native's first season with the Greyhounds. Forwards Michael Tuck, the MAAC's Sixth Man of the Year last season, and Omari Isreal each averaged 9.1 points an outing with 4.9 and 5.7 rebounds per game, respectively. Center Hassan Fofana appeared in just 16 games after breaking a bone in his foot in late December and is looking toward being available for an entire season. Long-distance shooter Greg Manning rounds out the quintet.
The starting backcourt returns for the Greyhounds, led by junior Marquis Sullivan, an all-MAAC Third Team selection as a sophomore and a Second Team pick in the preseason. Sophomore Brett Harvey started 30 games a year ago as a freshman, leading the team with 129 assists. Junior forwards Jawaan Wright and Dan Ficke return to roles off the bench after filling those spots last season.
Greyhounds followers will get their first glimpse Friday at five players who are new to the program this season. Expected to compete for a starting spot at guard is junior Joe Miles. A transfer from Marshall, Miles will see his first action after sitting out last season as a transfer. The six-foot Maryland resident averaged 10.3 points over 55 games with the Thundering Herd and brings immediate quickness to the lineup. Guard Tony Lewis also sees his first game time after sitting out all of last season following November shoulder surgery. The left-handed shooter will have four seasons of eligibility starting this season.
A pair of freshmen recruits will get their first taste of the college game Friday. Texas native Isaac Reid will be one of the first forwards off the bench and lightning-quick Brian Rudolph will press for minutes at a guard spot. The final newcomer is walk-on Garrett Kelly, a 6-5 long-distance shooter. The final member of the roster, Jamal Barney, is a transfer from Providence and will eligible next season and will have three years in a Greyhounds uniform.
The exhibition with Villa Julie is the appetizer to the regular-season opener the following Friday when the Greyhounds visit Towson at 7 o'clock. The game with the Tigers will be broadcast on Baltimore's ESPN Radio 1300. Loyola opens at home two days later when it hosts NCAA-participant Pennsylvania in the first game of the Philly Classic, an inaugural eight-team event culminating with a pair of doubleheaders on November 23-24 at The Palestra.