Dec. 13, 2011
BALTIMORE - The Loyola University Maryland men's basketball team's school Division I record 8-1 start and eight-game winning streak has caught the attention of the national media and mid-major coaches.
After wins over George Washington University and Mount St. Mary's University last week, Loyola checks in at No. 15 in the ESPN.com Mid-Major Power 15.
The Greyhounds are also ranked for the first time this season in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25, checking in at 24th. Loyola is ranked in the poll for the first time since the end of the 2007-2008 season when it finished the year 19-14, the most wins in Loyola's Division I history.
Loyola is one of two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams recognized in both rankings. Iona College is 11th in the ESPN.com version and fifth in the CollegeInsider.com poll. Fairfield University is receiving votes, as well in the latter.
This year, the Greyhounds fell by 12 points in their season-opener at Wake Forest University, but they have reeled off eight wins in a row, the most since the school elevated to NCAA Division I status in 1981-1982. The 8-1 start also has eclipsed the previous mark for the best start in the same time span. The 2005-2006 team won five in a row to start the year and was 7-2 after nine games.
Head Coach Jimmy Patsos and his team have used a balanced attack this season to start the season off right. Four players - Dylon Cormier (17.9), Erik Etherly (12.9), Shane Walker (12.0) and Justin Drummond (10.1) - are averaging double figures in the scoring column, and Robert Olson(9.1) is right behind.
On the defensive end of the court, the Greyhounds are allowing opponents just 63.4 points per game through nine.
Loyola has also been a solid rebounding club, outrebounding opponents by a MAAC-best 7.0 boards per game. The Greyhounds also lead the league in offensive rebounds, pulling down an average of 15.9 off the glass per game.
This week has also seen individuals draw praise from multiple sources. Dylon Cormierwas named the MAAC Player of the Week for the first time in his career on Monday, and Tuesday he was named the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight National Player of the Week.
The Greyhounds are on an eight-day break this week to take final exams. They resume play on Sunday when they travel to Olean, N.Y., for a 2:30 p.m. game at St. Bonaventure University.