Nov. 5, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - The 2008-2009 Loyola College Men's Basketball season gets underway Friday night when the Greyhounds host The Catholic University of America in an exhibition contest starting at 7 o'clock. In addition to getting a peek at the new-look Greyhounds, a newly refurbished Reitz Arena will be on display.
After setting a Division I record for wins in a season for the second campaign in a row following last year's 19-victory journey, fifth-year head coach Jimmy Patsos has the daunting task of developing replacements for three senior starters who held positions along the front line.
Not to be lost is the strength of this year's Greyhounds - the backcourt. Returning as starters are junior Brett Harvey and sophomore Brian Rudolph. Harvey has started 61 of his 64 games in a Loyola uniform and helped the team to 37 wins the last two seasons. Rudolph is the reigning MAAC Rookie of the Year and a Preseason All-MAAC Second Team performer and led the Greyhounds to 13 wins in their last 18 contests after moving into the starting lineup.
And if that is not enough, the school's all-time leading three-point shooter and last year's MAAC Sixth Man of the Year, senior Marquis Sullivan, provides scoring punch off the bench. A Preseason All-MAAC Third Team selection, Sullivan enters his final season needing 24 points to become the 29th player in Loyola men's basketball history to score 1,000 points in their career.
Joining Sullivan as an option off the bench at guard is sophomore Tony Lewis, who established himself at the end of last season as the team's defensive stopper. He lone guard among the Class of 2012, J'hared Hall gives Loyola another long-range shooting threat to provide some instant offense.
Choices for starting spots on the front line come from a list of players who were not in Greyhounds uniforms at the end of last season. Senior forward Brad Farrell rejoins the program after two years away and has already impacted the team with his leadership. Junior Jawaan Wright was a non-participating redshirt after playing in 52 games during his first two seasons. Sophomore Jamal Barney sat out last season to establish his residency following his transfer from Providence College. And sophomore Isaac Reid is back after playing in 17 games as a freshman.
Senior Dan Ficke played some valuable minutes last year during early January as Loyola battled through some injuries and could provide a spark again this season. Highly touted freshman Anthony Winbush can play any of the five positions on the floor at 6-7 and will certainly battle for minutes. Of the other newcomers to the program, Paolo Ivis may be able to make the most immediate impact while Josh Wiegand adjusts to the college game. Joe Muvuna suffered a hand injury during the preseason and will miss the entire year as a medical redshirt. Maryland-transfer Shane Walker sits out this season to establish his residency and will have three seasons remaining beginning in 2009-2010.
After Friday's warmup with Catholic, the Greyhounds prepare for the regular-season opener against Mount St. Mary's on November 14. The 7 o'clock game kicks off a weekend of festivities surrounding the 100th anniversary of the first season of Loyola basketball in 1908-1909. A gala event is planned for alumni of Loyola basketball and the weekend concludes with a 1 o'clock game with Tennessee State on November 16.