Smith Family Reunion Highlights MBB Season-Opener In Lubbock

Nov. 12, 2014

Game Information
Opponent Texas Tech Red Raiders
Date Friday, November 14, 2014
Time 8:00 p.m. (CST) | 9:00 p.m. (EST)
Location Lubbock, Texas | United Supermarkets Arena
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Tickets Purchase
Television Fox Sports Southwest Plus | Fox College Sports Central (Joined In Progress)
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Quick Hits About The 'Hounds

  • Loyola University Maryland will open its second season of men's basketball competition in the Patriot League on Nov. 14, when it officially tips off the 2014-2015 season at Texas Tech.
  • The Greyhounds finished tied for seventh in the League during the 2013-2014 regular-season and entered the Patriot League Championships as the eighth seed in their first year in the conference.
  • The Greyhounds return eight letterwinners and add six newcomers to the mix for this season.
  • G.G. Smith is in his second year at the helm of the Greyhounds' program after spending the 2007-2013 seasons as an assistant coach at the University.
  • Loyola took a seven-day trip to Canada in August during which the Greyhounds played four games against Canadian universities and another against a local club team. The Greyhounds finished 5-0 on the trip.
  • Eric Laster led Loyola in scoring on the venture to Montreal and Quebec City, averaging 15.0 points in the five games. Laster and Franz Rassman were the team's top rebounders on the trip, both coming in with averages of 6.0..
  • The Greyhounds' five freshman, and  a transfer who sat out last season, were able to compete on the trip and participate in the pre-trip practices.

Smith Family Reunion   

  • Friday's season-opener will represent a family reunion of sorts for the family of Loyola Head Coach G.G. Smith. He will, for the first time, face his mentor and father, Tubby Smith, when both are head coaches.
  • G.G.'s younger brother, Saul, is also a member of the Texas Tech staff as the program's video coordinator. What if you said Tubby and G.G. share more than a last name, as they both have "Orlando" as their given name.
  • Tubby and G.G. share more than a last name, as they both have "Orlando" as their given name.
  • The game will be one of two on the first night of the 2014-2015 season in which fathers will square off against their sons' teams. Louisville's Rick Pitino will play Minnesota and Richard Pitino in the Armed Forces Classic at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico.

G.G. Versus Tubby   

  • G.G. Smith has faced his father four times in other circumstances. The younger Smith played for Tubby as a freshman at Georgia from 1996-1998 prior to the elder's move to Kentucky.
  • In the four meetings between the Bulldogs and Wildcats when the Smiths were on opposite benches, Kentucky registered four wins against Georgia.
  • G.G.'s younger brother, Saul, also played G.G. in those game as the two were opposing point guards.
  • After G.G.'s graduation from Georgia, he joined his father's staff at Kentucky as a graduate assistant coach for the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 seasons. The Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 during both of those campaigns.

Television Info   

  • The Loyola-Texas Tech game will air live on Fox Sports Southwest Plus in the Lone Star State, and it will also air nationally on Fox College Sports Central (joined in progress at 10 p.m. CST, tape-delayed at 4 a.m. EST Saturday).
  • Robert Giovannetti will call the play-by-play, while John Harris will handle the analyst duties.

Series History Versus Texas Tech   

  • Loyola and Texas Tech will meet for the first time in any head-to-head sport when the men's basketball teams take the floor Friday night.
  • The Greyhounds are 0-5 all-time against teams currently in the Big XII Conference with losses to Kansas, Kansas State and Texas, as well as two to West Virginia (although one came when the Mountaineers were members of the Big East).
  • The last time Loyola played a Big XII on Dec. 2, 2013, when it lost 96-47 at West Virginia.
  • Loyola is 1-2 all-time in the Lone Star State. The Greyhounds lost 60-59 on March 1, 1947, to Texas Wesleyan and did not return to Texas until 1990 when it played in the Longhorn Classic. There, it fell 112-68 to Texas before beating Sam Houston State, 85-72, in the consolation game.

On The Bench   

  • G.G. Smith begins his second season as Loyola's head coach after taking over reigns of the program in April 2013. Prior to his appointment to the top seat on the bench, Smith was an assistant at Loyola for six seasons to Jimmy Patsos (now head coach at Siena).
  • Smith's staff from a year ago remains intact with assistant coaches Keith Booth, Josh Loeffler and Dan FIcke back as assistants and Kevin Farrell returning as director of operations.

Montreal Matters   

  • The Greyhounds took advantage of the NCAA rule that teams may partake of an off-season foreign tour once every four years when they visited Montreal and Quebec City in August.
  • Loyola played four games against Canadian universities - Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Laval Universite, McGill University and Concordia University - and one versus a local club team - Brookwood Elite - going 5-0 on the tour.
  • All 14 members of the Greyhounds' squad, including the freshmen, were able to play in the games and participate in the 10 practice sessions prior to the trip.

Eight Return From A Year Ago   

  • Loyola returns eight players, including a senior and five juniors, who saw playing time a year ago.
  • Denzel Brito is the team's lone senior this year and is back after playing in 28 games and starting 10 a year ago.
  • Tyler Hubbard, Jarred Jones, Eric Laster and Franz Rassman form a strong junior class. Each player played in all 30 games a year ago and they had a combined 67 starts while Jones was one of the Patriot League's top sixth men. The quartet averaged a cumulative 22.8 minutes per game in 2013-2014.
  • Josh Forney, Nick Gorski and Sean Tuohy Jr. are sophomores that return to the program. Gorski saw the most playing time of the three, taking the court in 26-of-30 games and making three starts.
  • Overall, the Greyhounds return 53.3 percent (80-of-150) starts from a season ago and 59.6 percent (3.621-of-6,075) of all minutes played.

Returning Points & Rebounds   

  • With the eight players back in the fold from a year ago, the Greyhounds return just over half (52.7 percent, 1,031-of-1,957) of the points they scored last season. On the rebounding side, players that grabbed 63.9 percent of boards (597-of-935) last year are back for 2014-2015.
  • Jarred Jones is the team's top returning scorer and rebounder. As the Greyhounds' sixth man off the bench - Jones played in all 30 games, starting three, and averaged 23.6 minutes per contest - he averaged 8.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest.
  • Eric Laster was just behind Jones in the scoring column, tallying 10 fewer points overall, an average of 8.3 per game. Franz Rassman was also just shy of Jones' rebounding line, grabbing seven fewer and an average of 4.3.

New Hounds   

  • Five freshman, and junior who sat out the 2013-2014 season under NCAA transfer guidelines, will join the Greyhounds' program for this season.
  • Stefano Mancini is now a part of the junior class as a player who began his collegiate career at Maine and Wisconsin-Parkside.
  • Chancellor Barnard, Colton Bishop, Cam Gregory, Matt Staubi and Andre Walker will make their Loyola debuts officially at Texas Tech.

A Look At The New Guys   

  • Chancellor Barnard was an All-Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association `A' Conference All-Star as a senior at Glenelg Country Day School where he averaged 21.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots per game. He was the leading scorer in Howard County and was named to the Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention.
  • Colton Bishop scored more than 1,350 points as a four-year letterwinner at Forsyth Country Day School, and he earned All-State honors at the 3A level in North Carolina  and all-area laurels from the Winston-Salem Journal.
  • Cam Gregory posted 14 double-doubles as a senior at St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Va., and averaged 15.1 points and 10.0 rebounds in 26 games as a senior. He was also a Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention player and earned All-Virginia second team recognition.
  • Matt Staubi graduated from Darien (Conn.) High School where he scored 1,108 points in just two seasons after transferring from Rye Country Day School before his junior year. He averaged 20.0 points and 8.0 assists as a senior after tallying 17.1 and 6.0 as a junior.
  • Andre Walker led Christ The King High School in New York City to the New York State Federation Tournament of Championships title as a senior in 2013-2014. He scored 25 in the title game and was an All-Catholic High School Athletic Association honoree.
  • Stefano Mancini was a member of the program in 2013-2014 while sitting out the season under NCAA transfer rules. The 2010 Maine Gatorade Player of the Year, Mancini scored 24.5 points per game as a senior at Falmouth High School.

Notes From North Of The Border   

  • Eric Laster led the Greyhounds in scoring during the five-game trip to Canada in August, averaging 15.0 points per contest. Tyler Hubbard shot 45.2 percent from 3-point range on the tour and checked in at 12.8 points per game.
  • Franz Rassman and Laster each grabbed 30 rebounds and led Loyola with 6.0 per game.
  • The trio of Laster, Hubbard and Rassman, along with post players Cam Gregory and Jarred Jones were strong from the free-throw line on the tour, going 56-of-65 (86.2 percent) from the stripe in the games.
  • Freshmen Andre Walker and Cam Gregory averaged 8.0 and 7.2 points per game for Loyola, as well.
  • Denzel Brito led Loyola with 17 assists against just seven turnovers on the trip, while Walker was right behind with 15 assists.

Pro Hounds   

  • Five former Loyola players are currently on the rosters of professional teams abroad. Dylon Cormier '14 is playing for ZZ Leiden in The Netherlands, while Anthony Winbush '12 is a member of the Saint John's Mill Rats in Canada.
  • Cormier was named ZZ Leiden's Player of the Month for October after averaging 15.8 points during his first professional month.
  • Michael Tuck '08 returns for another season with the Sheffield Sharks in England, and Shane Walker '12 will play for Lourdes in France. Andre Collins '05 continues his career with Spirou in Belgium, and Jason Rowe '00 will suit up for ASS Sale in Morocco.

Exhibition Notes   

  • Loyola defeated Bridgewater (Virginia) College, an NCAA Division III team, 71-49, in exhibition play on Nov. 6 as five Greyhounds scored nine or more points.
  • Tyler Hubbard led the way with 14, while Franz Rassman added 12 to go with a team-high seven rebounds. Jarred Jones scored 11, while Cam Gregory and Andre Walked added 10 and nine, respectively.
  • Denzel Brito led all players with seven assists and did not commit a turnover as the Greyhounds had just 11 miscues with the ball.
  • Defensively, Loyola held the Eagles to 36.4 percent shooting from the field, and the Greyhounds had 11 steals and forced 18 Bridgewater turnovers.

MASN Back On Board For TV   

  • For the ninth year in a row, Loyola will partner with MASN and the contest at Texas Tech, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, to produce and televise several men's basketball games. The network, which can be seen from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, will broadcast three games from Reitz Arena this season starting with the Nov. 19 game against UMBC. It will also air the Dec. 6 Mount St. Mary's game and the Feb. 11 Lafayette contest.
  • In addition to the game on MASN, the Greyhounds will appear on network television at least four other times this year. Loyola's games at Butler (Fox Sports 2) and Syracuse (ACC Regional Network/Comcast SportNet Mid-Atlantic) will air in November, while the home game against Bucknell and date at American will be broadcast nationally on the new American Sports Network.

Patriot League Network Year Two   

  • Fans can watch every home Loyola game, as well as all Patriot League road contests in free HD this season, live on the Patriot League Network.
  • Powered by Campus Insiders, the Network started last year and provided one of the most comprehensive digital packages of any conference nationally. Check for links to each game.

Patriot League Prognostications   

  • Loyola was picked to finish ninth in the preseason poll of Patriot League coaches. Defending champion American was slotted first, followed by Army, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Bucknell, Boston U., Lehigh, Colgate, the Greyhounds and Navy.

Barclays Center Beckons   

  • Loyola will play on the home floor of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center, next month when it renews its rivalry with former Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foe Fairfield. The game, which will be contested on Dec. 28 at 5 p.m., is part of the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival.

Academic Honors For Rassman   

  • Last season, sophomore forward Franz Rassman was named to the Capital One Academic All-America District II Team for his excellence in the classroom.
  • Rassman, who has started 27-of-28 games and is averaging 5.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, is now eligible for Academic All-America honors along with district honorees from around the nation.

The Departed   

  • Gone from last year's team are three players who combined to make 73 starts in 2013-2014: guards Dylon Cormier and R.J. Williams and post Jordan Latham.
  • Cormier was the leading scorer in the Patriot League (21.2 points per game) and 13th in the nation when fractured his left hand in a loose-ball scramble on, Feb. 1 against  Army and he had surgery on February 5 to stabilize the break, likely ending his season. He was also second in the Patriot League in steals (2.2) and fifth in rebounds (5.8) at the time of his injury.
  • Latham averaged 7.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game last year, while Williams contributed 8.3 points, 4.0 assists and 2.2 steals per game.

High Marks   

  • Loyola athletics scored the highest amongst squads in the State of Maryland in the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate report. The Greyhounds checked in with a 95-percent GSR, tops among the state's nine Division I schools, for student-athletes who entered the school between 2004-2007.
  • The department has been in the top-25 nationally for each of the nine years of the report.

A Look Ahead   

  • Loyola faces a quick turnaround after playing the Red Raiders in Lubbock. The Greyhounds fly back to Baltimore on Saturday morning and will play their home opener on Sunday, Nov. 16, against Cornell University at 4 p.m. in Reitz Arena.
  • Following the game against the Bears, Loyola will host crosstown rival UMBC at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, on MASN. It will then head on a two-game road trip to current and former Big East Conference members. The Greyhounds play Butler on Saturday, Nov. 22, before taking on Syracuse in the Carrier Dome on Tuesday, Nov. 25.