Nov. 1, 2010
Baltimore, Md. - The 2010-2011 Loyola University Maryland men's basketball team officially puts itself on display Thursday night at 7 o'clock when it hosts Shepherd University in an exhibition game in Reitz Arena. The Greyhounds are preparing for their season opener eight days later when Drexel University visits to open the campaign.
Loyola is looking to reverse the trend of back-to-back losing seasons, the first time that has happened in Greyhounds seventh-year head coach Jimmy Patsos' career. All the pieces appear to be in place to do just that.
Returning in the backcourt are a pair of senior starters and team captains in Brian Rudolph and Jamal Barney. Rudolph was the 2008 MAAC Co-Rookie of the Year and has amassed the fourth-highest assist total in school history (395) while starting 68 of 94 career games. The team's leading scorer for both of his two seasons in a Greyhounds uniform, Barney should pass the 1,000-point plateau for both his career (895) and at Loyola (864) before the New Year.
The junior class also offers experienced players. Forward Shane Walker ended his first season as the team's leading rebounder (6.6) and blocked 46 shots - the fifth highest total in school history for a season. Fellow forward Anthony Winbush had his season halted in mid-January with an injury, but recorded six double-figure scoring games while shooting 48.2 percent before being shut down. Guard J'hared Hall entered the starting lineup about the time Winbush left and averaged 11.3 points during his four straight starts and scored double digits in seven of the last 14 contests. Forwards Paolo Ivis and Josh Wiegand both provide depth along the front line.
Sophomore guard Robert Olson was a MAAC All-Rookie pick last year after starting 26 times while playing in every game. He scored a career-best 20 points in the home win over Marist by making seven of 11 shots from the floor. Forward Julius Brooks started 24 times while missing just one game to injury and blocked 24 shots in just 503 minutes played. They are joined in the class by transfer forward Erik Etherly, who is expected to challenge for a starting spot, and walk-on guard Luke Wandrusch.
Three guards and a walk-on forward entered Loyola in the fall and will look to make their mark on the program. Dylon Cormier is a two-time All-Baltimore player out of Cardinal Gibbons and could be the starter at the point when the opening tip gets tossed. Pierson Williams brings his smooth shooting stroke from California and Justin Drummond is a very athletic player who can shoot it as well as take it to the basket. Forward Chido Onyiuke walked on to the team after enrolling at Loyola and might be one of the best athletes in the program.
One more new face joins the Greyhounds as one-time Bowie State head coach Luke D'Alessio joins the coaching staff for his first Division I coaching position. He is added to Patsos' staff to go along with holdovers G.G. Smith and Greg Manning.
After Thursday's exhibition contest with Shepherd, the Greyhounds begin preparing for the Dragons as they open the season with three straight home games for the first time in nearly 30 years as a Division I program. After Drexel, Loyola hosts UMBC on November 17 and Dartmouth on November 21 before heading to Vermont for the first road contest of the season on November 24. For ticket information for any game on the schedule, click here or call 410-617-1420.