Nov. 19, 2007
Baltimore, Md. -
THE GAME: Three straight games as part of the Philly Hoop Group Classic are on tap over the next five days beginning tonight in Newark. Loyola won three straight home games after dropping the season opener at Towson, its longest winning streak since winning four straight to open January 2007. Seton Hall has collected a pair of home wins to open its season, the latest a 111-107 victory Sunday over Robert Morris. Both teams are on stretches of four games in seven days and will be in opposite brackets this weekend as the Philly Hoop Group Classic concludes with games at the Palestra.
THE COACHES: Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos is in his fourth season and has registered a 42-49 (.462) career record. The 1989 Catholic graduate has never coached against the Pirates. Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez is in his second season with the Pirates and has a 15-16 (.484) record. A college coach in his ninth year, he possesses a 144-93 (.608) career mark. The 1986 Buffalo State graduate has yet to coach against the Greyhounds while at Seton Hall, but he posted a 14-1 record against Loyola while serving as the head coach of MAAC-member Manhattan. The last five of those contests were head-to-head against Patsos, going 4-1 in those games.
THE TEAMS: Seton Hall is the only member of the BIG EAST Conference on Loyola's schedule this season. The Pirates will play MAAC-member Saint Peter's in early December. Among non-conference opponents, Seton Hall defeated Robert Morris Sunday, a potential opponent for the Greyhounds this weekend while Loyola defeated Pennsylvania on November 11, a possible opponent for the Pirates in Philadelphia. Loyola's last contest against a BIG EAST foe was a 94-81 loss at Providence on January 3, 2006.
THE SERIES: Seton Hall leads 30-5 in a series that dates back to the 1919-20 season. The teams played at least once annually between 1946-47 and 1970-71, playing home-and-homes the first three seasons of that stretch. The Pirates dominated between 1950-51 and 1964-65, winning 15 straight before a double-overtime Greyhounds win in 1965-66. The last meeting was February 12, 1987, a 92-85 Pirates home win.
THE PROGRAM: Loyola is playing its 98th recorded season of basketball this season. The first season was 1908-09 and the Greyhounds have posted a 1098-1131 (.493) all-time record.
LAST TIME OUT: Marquis Sullivan (27) and Omari Isreal (17) each posted career highs in points to lead the Greyhounds to an 83-79 victory over Vermont Sunday at Reitz Arena. The tandem combined to make 17 of 20 shots from the floor with Isreal missing just one of his nine shots and Sullivan connecting on seven of eight three-pointers. Loyola made 12 three-pointers as a team as Brett Harvey made all three of his long-range tries and all four free-throw attempts en route to 13 points. Michael Tuck scored 15 and tied for game-high honors with six boards.
SULLIVAN ADDS NAME TO RECORD BOOK AGAIN: Junior guard Marquis Sullivan inked his name to the Greyhounds' record book again following his performance against Vermont. En route to his career-high 27 points, Sullivan connected on seven of eight three-pointers, the total tying for second on the all-time list behind the nine made by Andre Collins in 2006. The Westminster, Md., native established a school record by connecting on all six of his shots from three-point range in last year's home finale. He made all four of his three-point attempts in the home exhibition contest with Villa Julie to open the season and then made his first two long-range shots in the home opener against Pennsylvania to give him 12 straight three-pointers at Reitz Arena. He has scored in double figures in all four games this season after reaching that number 21 times last season.
BROWN SLOWED BY KNEE INJURY: One game after scoring 32 points to lead the Greyhounds to the win over American, senior guard Gerald Brown failed to convert a field goal for the first time in a Greyhounds uniform and scored just three free throws for his lowest Loyola total. The Baltimore native had his knee drained Friday and missed practice for two days prior to the Vermont game. His 32-point output was his sixth 30-plus outing and marked the sixth time in his previous eight games dating back to last season that he had scored 25 or more.
ISREAL PROVIDING HOME CONSISTENCY: Senior forward Omari Isreal has played 12 games at Reitz Arena in his 27 games, but has found he enjoys performing in front of the home crowd. He has averaged 10.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in those contests, helping the Greyhounds to an 9-3 record. His latest outing was a career-high 17-point effort in the win over Vermont, making eight of nine from the field.
A HEALTHY TUCK IS A PRODUCTIVE TUCK: Last season, senior forward Michael Tuck battled injuries which kept him out of the starting lineup all season and out of some games. Healthy at the start of this season [knock on wood], last year's MAAC Sixth Man of the Year has been able to provide more of his consistent play. He has scored 46 points in the three Loyola wins and leads the team with 5.8 rebounds per game. The school's all-time leader in field-goal percentage, Tuck has made 21 of 41 from the floor this season (.512), including seven of 15 from three-point range (.467).
HARVEY FILLS DUAL ROLE: Sophomore guard Brett Harvey has shared time from possession to possession at point guard and shooting guard depending on whom is in the backcourt with him. Playing 31 minutes against Vermont, he made all three of his three-point attempts and all four of his free throws en route to a season-high 13 points while handing out four assists without a turnover. The Greyhounds have won all three games in which he has started and he has made six of eight from three-point range while handing out a team-high 14 assists.
FRESHMAN RUDOLPH ASSUMES LEADERSHIP ROLE: Freshman point guard Brian Rudolph has answered the call, giving the Greyhounds a consistent floor general of late. Inserted into the starting lineup for the home opener against Pennsylvania, the 5-11 guard played every minute of the second half as he engineered the comeback win over American. In addition to scoring his first field goal and registering his first assist, Rudolph finished the contest with six points, six assists and five rebounds while playing man-to-man against the Eagles backcourt of junior guards Derrick Mercer and Garrison Carr. He followed that with a career-best seven assists in the win over Vermont.