Dec. 20, 2007
THE GAME: While Loyola is playing its first game in 13 days, the Flyers have played twice in that span and enter tonight on an eight-game winning streak. Curiously, Dayton's latest three games including tonight are home contests against teams from the Baltimore-Washington area - Coppin State (Dec. 15), American (Dec. 19) and the Greyhounds. Tonight is the third of six straight home games for Dayton which will play 17 of its 29 regular-season games at UD Arena.
THE COACHES: Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos is in his fourth season and has registered a 44-53 (.454) career record. The 1989 Catholic graduate has never coached against Flyers. Dayton head coach Brian Gregory is in his fifth season with the Flyers and has a 84-50 (.627) career record. The 1990 Oakland graduate similarly has never coached against Loyola.
THE TEAMS: Only one team resides on the schedules of both of tonight's opponents and each recorded a home victory over the American Eagles earlier this season. The Greyhounds overcame a 17-point deficit in beating the Eagles 71-67 at Reitz Arena on November 13 and Dayton topped American three nights ago, 63-56.
THE SERIES: Dayton leads the series, 2-0, as the Flyers captured contests in back-to-back seasons on Loyola trips through the midwest in the early 1950s. The Greyhounds have played against teams representing the Atlantic 10 - Dayton's conference - 13 times, recording a 3-10 mark. The last Loyola win over an Atlantic 10 foe was Jan. 4, 1996, when the Greyhounds defeated Saint Joseph's at home in double overtime, 80-78.
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 1100-1134 (.492) all-time record.
LAST TIME OUT: The Greyhounds held Manhattan to just seven first-half field goals and built leads of 15-0, 22-2 and 30-5 on the way toward a 77-54 MAAC home victory over Manhattan. Sophomore guard Brett Harvey recorded a double-double with career-highs in rebounds (10) and assists (11) and senior guard Gerald Brown led all scorers with 22 points. Junior guard Marquis Sullivan scored 15 markers and senior forward Omari Isreal added 13 points while senior forward Michael Tuck chipped in with 10 rebounds.
GREYHOUNDS VISIT AIR FORCE PRESIDENTIAL GALLERY: The Greyhounds were scheduled to visit the Presidential Gallery of the National Museum of the United States Air Force prior to this morning's shootaround. The visit was arranged by Joe Winter, Loyola's Associate Director of Student Activities who accompanied the team on the trip to Dayton. Winter holds the rank of major in the United States Air Force Reserves. In past seasons, while on road trips the Greyhounds have visited Yankee Stadium, the Chicago Board of Trade and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
CLOSING OUT 2007: With just two games remaining to the 2007 calendar year, Loyola already has completed the home portion successfully. The Greyhounds recorded a 10-3 mark in the 13 games played at Reitz Arena in 2007 after their 77-54 win over Manhattan in the final home contest of the calendar year. That includes a perfect record through four games this season. Loyola opens 2008 with a pair of conference home contests, hosting Fairfield on January 4 and Iona on January 6.
RUDOLPH PICKS UP MAAC ROW HONOR: Freshman guard Brian Rudolph picked up the first weekly award for Loyola as he was named the conference's Rookie of the Week following the first weekend of MAAC play. One of only two double-figure scorers at Iona, Rudolph established his career high with 11 points, making three field goals and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. He followed that with nine points and four assists with his first career three-pointer in the win over Manhattan. Last season, teammate Brett Harvey twice picked up Rookie of the Week honors.
BROWN APPROACHING CAREER MILESTONE: Senior guard Gerald Brown enters tonight 18 points shy of 1,000 for his career. That total includes 128 points scored during his two seasons at Providence. Needing 146 points to become the 28th player to score 1,000 in a Greyhounds uniform, Brown becomes the first Loyola player to score 1,000 career points since Jason Rowe achieved the feat as a junior in 1999. The team's leading scorer at 21.1 points, he is second on the squad in rebounding with 5.1 boards an outing and leads in steals with 28. The complete list of 1,000-point scorers is listed on Page 82 of the 2007-08 Loyola Men's Basketball Media Guide.
SULLIVAN FINDS SHOOTING STROKE: Junior guard Marquis Sullivan appears to have found the shooting stroke that evaded him for a four-game stretch when he made six field goals for 15 points in the win over Manhattan. After reaching double figures in the season's first five games, Sullivan scored just 23 points over a four-game stretch, including being shut out against Drexel. He returned to the starting lineup and equaled his season high in minutes played (28) against the Jaspers.
HARVEY POSTS FIRST CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Sophomore guard Brett Harvey registered a unique double-double in the win over Manhattan. Despite tallying just one free throw in the scoring column, Harvey recorded career highs in both assists (11) and rebounds (10) for his first career double-double. The assists are tied for the second most recorded total in school history and are the highest number since Andre Collins handed out 10 assists at Virginia (12/23/05).
TUCK FINDING NICHE AS STARTER: Senior forward Michael Tuck has adapted to a starting role after being named the MAAC's Sixth Man of the Year by the conference's coaches last season. Relegated to a reserve role to conserve his minutes as he battled injuries last season, Tuck has been healthy thus far this season and is the team's leading rebounder at 6.8 boards per game and is third in scoring with 10.0 points per game.
ISREAL BOUNCES BACK: After scoring just nine points in the three games prior, senior forward Omari Isreal rebounded with a 13-point effort in the win over Manhattan. That three-game scoring slump followed a stretch of three contests in which he averaged 13.3 points and five rebounds while shooting 55.6 percent from the field (15-27) and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line (10-12). Tonight marks the one-year anniversary of his Loyola debut as he first became eligible after sitting out his NCAA-mandated residency requirement on December 22, 2006, at High Point. He has played 33 games in that stretch, averaging 8.8 points and 5.4 rebounds with 34 blocked shots.