Nov. 9, 2004
Baltimore, Md. - As the men's basketball team prepares for this Friday's exhibition with Johns Hopkins, we are reminded that the season is right around the corner. Here's a look at what to expect from the `Hounds when the season officially opens on November 19 at Virginia Tech.
First-year Head Coach Jimmy Patsos has brought a new attitude, a new system and a new outlook for a program that hopes to quickly forget a 1-27 season in 2003-04. Patsos, a former University of Maryland assistant, was hard at work this offseason, hiring a new staff and adding six players to his roster. New uniforms, a new film room, a renovated lockeroom, new offices and plenty of preseason excitement give the `Hounds a desperately needed fresh start.
The Greyhounds return some talent in last season's top scorer Charlie Bell, top rebounder Bernard Allen and top assist man Shane James. Bell led the Greyhounds in scoring all season long and posted a career-high 26 points in the MAAC Tournament versus Rider. He finished the season with a 15.3 point-per-game average and led the team with 35 steals at the two-guard position. James, a 6-1 guard, was second on the team in scoring with an 8.4 ppg average. He was a MAAC All-Rookie selection after dishing out a team-high 81 assists. Allen, the team's third leading scorer at 6.8 ppg, pulled down 6.3 rebounds per game in his power forward slot.
Loyola also has three seniors on its roster, the most it has had since the 2000-01 season. Allen joins Jim Chivers and Irakli Nijaradze to make up this veteran triumvirate. Patsos will ask each of them to be leaders for their younger teammates.
The point guard duties should belong to James. As a freshman last season he started more games (27) than any other Greyhound. He also played for the Canadian Junior National Team over the summer and enters the season eager to play in Coach Patsos' up-tempo system.
Junior Linton Hinds also returns after missing 15 games with a hip injury last year. Freshmen Brad Farrell and Greg Manning, Jr., along with sophomore walk-on James Fox, could also get an opportunity to test their point guard abilities and will get plenty of tutelage from a coaching staff comprised of three former guards.
Bell highlights a very young group of shooting guards for Coach Patsos. Bell led the Greyhounds in scoring last season with 15.3 points per game. He also connected on 61 three-pointers and averaged 5.3 rebounds per contest. He will guide a pair of talented freshmen who may play shooting guard this season. Freddie Stanback is a 6-4 guard from Arlington, Va., where he put up impressive numbers at Bishop O'Connell high school. George Bouindas is a small forward from Greece that comes with advanced fundamental basketball skills. Walk-on freshman Rashard Nixon could also play a role in the offense.
Loyola's deepest and most veteran unit, however, is its forward class. With two seniors at the position, the Greyhounds need the unit to be productive on the boards and on the scoresheet. Allen and Chivers have worked extremely hard this offseason and are expected to lead the team.
The Greyhounds also return junior Josko Alujevic and have Nijaradze and junior Sean Corrigan to man the post. Nijaradze stands in at 6-10 while Corrigan is a seven-foot talent with a nice touch from the outside.
With non-conference road games at defending Big East champion Pittsburgh, new ACC-member Virginia Tech, local foe UMBC and Ivy League powerhouse Princeton, the Greyhounds have their work cutout for them in 2004-05. The season begins on Friday, November 19 at Virginia Tech and two days later the `Hounds host Navy in the home opener. Also new to the non-conference slate is VMI, who the `Hounds host January 5 at Reitz Arena.
This Friday's exhibition game with Johns Hopkins is at Reitz Arena and starts at 7 p.m.