LOYOLA-RIDER SERIES HISTORY: Rider leads the series, 20-13. The Greyhounds had won six of the previous eight to snap a six-game Broncs winning streak before Rider posted a 77-75 victory on a last-second shot in Loyola's home finale in the last meeting.
LAST TIME OUT: Sophomore forward Anthony Winbush matched his career high with 17 points and Loyola's defense held the Bison to 20.0 percent (5-25) shooting in the first half and 33.3 percent (17-51) for the game as the Greyhounds won their third straight with a 55-49 win Monday night at Bucknell's Sojka Pavilion. Winbush scored eight straight during a 14-4 Loyola run in the middle of the first half to extend the Greyhounds' lead and they would not be headed. Twice in the second half Bucknell crawled within three points, the last time at 52-49 with 25 seconds remaining. But Winbush broke the Bison's press with a court-length pass to junior guard Jamal Barney for a layup and Bucknell would not score again.
WINNING THE MONTH: A lot of coaches talk to their teams about winning the four-minute segments that take place during a basketball game, the teory being that if you win enough of this, you will win the game. A parallel can be drawn to winning months of games to have a winning season. Through the first two months of the season, Loyola has a winning record in each, posting a 3-2 mark in November and a 4-3 record in December. That's the first consecutive winning months for the Greyhounds since going 7-3 in January 2008 and 6-2 in February 2008 en route to a school Division I-record 19 wins that season. Loyola has not recorded three straight months with a winning record since doing so between December 1978 and February 1979. The Greyhounds finished 17-11 that season.
THE DEFENSE DOESN'T REST, PART ONE: For the second time this season, the Greyhounds held an opponent to under 50 points after the 55-49 win Monday at Bucknell. The last time Loyola turned that trick was the 1991-1992 season, both times coming at home. The Greyhounds have not held a pair of road opponents to less than 50 points in the same season since allowing 46 points at both Baltimore and Pittsburgh-Johnstown in the 1979-1980 campaign. The 41 points allowed at Dartmouth was the first time in seven years that an opponent was held under 50 points and was the lowest point total in 26 seasons.
BIGGEST WIN EVER?: The win at Indiana has sparked discussion on its place among Loyola's wins during its 100-year history. Certainly, it is the biggest regular-season win since the program elevated to Division I in 1981-1982. It was the Greyhounds' first win over a Big Ten member in eight tries and first-ever victory over a team with multiple National Championships, having lost 10 straight to teams with that pedigree. Head coach Jimmy Patsos has made a commitment to a scheduling philosophy that experiences college basketball's history and Assembly Hall is the fourth building in the last four years in which more than one National Championship banner hangs that the Greyhounds have played. A verbal agreement has been reached to play at North Carolina next season to make it five years in a row.
FINDING THE SHOOTING TOUCH: Through nine games, Loyola was shooting just 39.5 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point range. Following the 10-day break for exams, the Greyhounds reversed those numbers. Loyola shot a blistering 81.5 percent (22-27) in the second half of its win over Howard, finishing at 69.6 percent (32-46) for the second-best performance in school history. It made its first six three-point tries and ended at 75.0 percent (9-12), also the second-best effort in school annals. The Greyhounds shot 58.6 percent (17-29) in the first half at Indiana and finished at 53.3 percent (24-45) against the defensive-minded Hoosiers. It was the first time Loyola connected on better than 50 percent in consecutive wins since triumphs at Siena and at home against Niagara in January 2007. For the two games, the Greyhounds shot 61.5 percent (56-91), including 60.7 percent (17-28) from three-point range.
WINBUSH DOING IT ON BOTH ENDS: Sophomore forward Anthony Winbush helped the Greyhounds to wins in their last two outings with significant contributions on both ends of the floor. In the win at Indiana, he held Hoosiers' leading scorer Maurice Creek to half his season average (9) and forced him into four turnovers. Winbush collected six steals to equal the fifth-best single-game number in history and connected on both his three-point tries to finish with eight points. Then, Monday night at Bucknell, he matched his career high with 17 points, making six of his nine shots from the floor, including both his three-point tries, and all three of his foul shots. Dating back to the game at Coppin State, he has made five consecutive attempts from three-point range.
HARVEY SHOWS THE WAY: Having watched its 24-point first-half lead evaporate, Loyola turned to senior guard Brett Harvey and he delivered to bring the Greyhounds a history-making win at Indiana. Down 65-62 with 3:48 to play, Loyola would outscore the Hoosiers 10-2 to end the game as Harvey scored nine straight points, including his second four-point play of the half to return the lead in the Greyhounds' favor for good. He finished with game highs for points (25) and assists (5) while connecting on eight of his nine attempts from the foul line. For his efforts, he was named the MAAC Co-Player of the Week on December 28. He reached 1,000 career points last month during a season-high 28-point effort at Canisius, became the 38th player in history to play in 100 career games at Mount St. Mary's in November and became the seventh player to surpass 350 career assists at Indiana.
BARNEY NAMED MAAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior guard Jamal Barney was recognized on December 21 by the MAAC as its Player of the Week following his performance in the home win over Howard. After starting the previous two games, he returned to his reserve role and scored a season- and game-high 28 points while playing just 21 minutes. He knocked down 11 of his 14 attempts, including three of four tries from three-point range. He also led the team with five rebounds and four assists. During Loyola's game-breaking 37-5 run during the second half, he scored 16 of his points and did not miss a shot after halftime. The award is the third of his career, having received similar accolades twice last year. He scored 14 points in the win at Indiana with four rebounds, three assists and two steals and followed that with 10 points and five rebounds in just 19 minutes at Bucknell.
WALKER POSTS FIRST CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Sophomore forward Shane Walker recorded the first double-double of his career in the win at Dartmouth, matching his career-high with 14 points and grabbing a career-best 11 rebounds. Third on the team in scoring (8.3 ppg), he is the team's leading rebounder at 6.7 boards per game after grabbing a team-high seven in the win at Bucknell.
LEWIS PROVIDES BENCH SPARK: The biggest asset in the game of senior guard Tony Lewis has been his energy and hustle off the bench and that has been showcased in the last three wins. In the victory over Howard, he scored 14 points in 14 minutes, shooting 85.7 percent (6-7) to match the 15th-best single-game performance in history. He made all four of his attempts in the 2007 win over the Bison, meaning for his career in two wins over Howard he shot 10-11 from the floor with 23 points. He played just nine minutes at Indiana, but scored six points with two rebounds and a steal, his second-half layup being Loyola's only basket during an 18-2 Hoosiers run.
CRAZY EIGHTS FOR BROOKS: Freshman forward Julius Brooks posted his career-high of eight points for the third time in the win at Indiana. The points came on just four shots, all during the first half. He finished with the eight points, four rebounds and a block in 22 minutes. He first tallied eight points at West Virginia and matched it to go along with eight rebounds at Dartmouth. He has started all 11 of his appearances, missing the game at Niagara with an illness, and is third on the team in rebounding with 4.5 boards per game.
OLSON'S A THIEF: One of the most eye-popping numbers coming out of the win at UMBC was the six steals recorded by freshman guard Robert Olson. The number tied for fifth all-time in Loyola history and are the most steals in a game for a Loyola player since Gerald Brown collected six in a home win over Pennsylvania in November 2007. Olson also showed a shooting touch in the game, making a pair of first-half three-pointers, the first ones of his career. He is shooting 50.0 percent (9-18) from three-point range after making both of his attempts in the win at Indiana and his only try in the win at Bucknell.
BENCH PLAYERS FORCED INTO DUTY: A pair of reserves forced into duty against Niagara posted career numbers. Sophomore forward Paolo Ivis, who did not play last season and had logged just six minutes entering the game, played 14 minutes, scoring three points with five rebounds. He was needed when starting freshman forward Julius Brooks was unable to dress for the game. Other than starting guard Jamal Barney, the only other player to show offensive prowess against the Purple Eagles was sophomore guard J'hared Hall, who reached double figures for the first time this season and third time in his career with 10 points. He made three field goals and three free throws with an assist and a steal in 15 minutes.
WINNING ON THE HOME COURT: One of the things head coach Jimmy Patsos has preached about since his arrival six seasons ago was the value of having a home court advantage and winning on that home court. He has certainly back that up. Loyola improved to 40-26 (.606) under Patsos' leadership in Reitz Arena with its home win over Howard, increasing its mark in non-conference home games to 16-5 (.762). Take away his 6-22 first season, and he is 35-18 (.660) in Reitz Arena overall and has won 15 of 17 non-league games (.882) at home.
STARTING LINEUP: Last year, every Greyhounds player on the roster with the exception of walk-on Garrett Kelly made at least one start during the season, meaning 12 of the 13 eligible players opened the game on the floor. This year just three lineups have been tested out with three newcomers - sophomore forward Shane Walker and freshmen Julius Brooks and Robert Olson - among the starting five 10 times.
RECORD SHOOTING LEADS TO RECORD WIN: When the shooting is clicking along with solid defense, a team can build a comfortable margin of victory. That was the case in the win over Howard as Loyola's 34-point score differential is its largest over a Division I opponent since elevating the program full-time to Division I in 1981-82. The Greyhounds had previously beaten non-Division I opponents by larger margins in their history.
BLOCKING IT OUT: One of Loyola's weaknesses last season was the consistency of its front line. That has been improved dramatically with additions to the roster and is being proven through block shot totals that have been recorded thus far. Sophomore forward Shane Walker leads the team with 17 blocks through 12 games and three other players have seven or more. Both Walker and senior forward Jawaan Wright collected four blocks at Coppin State. The Greyhounds recorded eight blocks in the season-opening win over Vermont, which tied for ninth best all-time at the time, and blocked nine shots at Coppin State, equaling the third-best single-game effort in history. The school record of 10 has been reached twice.
THE DEFENSE DOESN'T REST, PART TWO: Having averaged 90.3 points over a three-game road trip that included a nine-point loss at No. 22 Louisville and a 97-94 win at Arkansas, Morgan State was held to 27.8 percent (10-36) first-half shooting and shot just 32.8 percent (20-61) for the game by the Loyola defense in the Greyhounds' 78-66 victory. The Bears were held to 14.5 points below their season average as Loyola toppled the MEAC's defending tournament champion at home for the second straight year. The Greyhounds recorded a 73-70 win over Coppin State in 2008-2009.
TURNING 100: Loyola men's basketball turns 100 this season as it competes in its 100th recorded season. The first season was 1908-1909 and last year was the celebration of the 100th anniversary of that first season. This season is the 100th with two seasons being lost to World War I (1917-1918 and 1918-1919). The Greyhounds enter today with a record of 1133-1169 (.492) all-time.
WE ARE LOYOLA UNIVERSITY MARYLAND: On September 25, the institution officially changed its designation to Loyola University Maryland. The first college in the United States to bear the name of Saint Ignatius Loyola, the change reflects the University's commitment toward becoming the nation's leading Catholic, comprehensive university. So, please, when referring to us, we are "Loyola University Maryland".
BARNEY RECEIVES SECOND-TEAM NOD: The MAAC coaches selected junior guard Jamal Barney to a spot on the Preseason All-MAAC Second Team, the only Loyola player to receive preseason recognition. The leading scorer in the league last year at 18.1 points, Barney was All-MAAC Second Team following his first season in a Greyhounds uniform.
GREYHOUNDS PICKED FIFTH BY COACHES: Loyola was tabbed for fifth in MAAC preseason balloting by the league's coaches announced in October. Two-time defending champion Siena was selected first followed by Niagara. Rider, which received the only first-place vote that didn't go to the Saints, was picked third and Fairfield fourth. The Greyhounds received the same point total as Saint Peter's for a tie for fifth.
LONG-TIME AD BOYLAN TO RETIRE: After guiding Greyhounds athletics for nearly two decades, Athletic Director Joe Boylan announced his retirement in October, effective June 30, 2010. An associate men's basketball head coach to Tom Young at Rutgers for 12 seasons that included a Final Four berth in 1976 prior to becoming an administrator, Boylan has been the driving force behind Loyola's athletic growth since his arrival. The Greyhounds have captured 56 MAAC titles and counting during his tenure.
GREYHOUNDS ADD TWO FOR NEXT SEASON: The Men's Basketball program added two players to the roster during the early signing period. Justin Drummond, a 6-4 guard from Washington, D.C. who is playing at Riverdale Baptist HS, and Dylon Cormier, a 6-1 guard from Baltimore who plays at Cardinal Gibbons HS, each signed National Letters of Intent and will enroll in Loyola next fall. The pair will square off against each other at Cardinal Gibbons on January 19.
GREYHOUNDS ON THE TUBE: A minimum of seven Loyola contests will receive national or regional television exposure this season and that number could swell to as many as 11. The Greyhounds' next televised contest is Loyola's visit to Fairfield on January 8.
ESPN RADIO 1300 HOME TO GREYHOUNDS AGAIN: For the third consecutive season, Baltimore's ESPN Radio 1300 will be the home for select Loyola radio games. All home games not picked up by ESPN Radio 1300 will be live streamed on www.LoyolaGreyhounds.com. Mark Zinno (play-by-play) is joined by analysts Gary Lambrecht and Jim Chivers. The next broadcast on ESPN Radio 1300 after tonight is Loyola's next game when it hosts Siena on January 4 in a 7 o'clock tipoff.
GREYHOUNDS ALL-ACCESS: Once again this season, any home game not selected for television will be made available on live video streaming through Greyhounds All Access. The next offering will be January 4 when Loyola hosts Siena at 7 o'clock. Games can be accessed via www.LoyolaGreyhounds.com.
FOLLOW LOYOLA ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER: Loyola Athletics launched new Facebook and Twitter sites with the advent of the new school year. Now Greyhounds followers can get immediate news via Facebook.com/LoyolaHounds and Twitter.com/LoyolaHounds.
JESUIT BASKETBALL SPOTLIGHT: The game at Canisius was the first of Loyola's appearances as part of the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight which uses Jesuit basketball to raise awareness of Jesuit education. Both Loyola and Canisius are Jesuit schools. The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project highlights more than 90 games this season between men's and women's teams from the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States. Jesuit Catholic colleges and universities in the United States have more than 200,000 students currently and more than 1.7 million living alumni. For more information on Jesuit higher education in the United States, go to www.ajcunet.edu.
NEXT UP FOR LOYOLA: The second of four of five home games is Monday when the Greyhounds host Siena at 7 o'clock. Loyola will be at Fairfield Friday before hosting Iona on January 11 and Marist on January 15 as conference play begins full throttle.