Student-Athlete of the Year
Highlights of Loyola's win at Army on Jan. 31, 2015
The Loyola University Maryland men's basketball team concluded its Canadian Tour with a 72-49 win over Concordia, moving its trip record to 5-0.
Loyola men's basketball held off a strong McGill University team for a 65-60 victory behind 25 points from Eric Laster and 13 by Andre Walker.
On an off day from competition during its 2014 Canadian Tour, the Loyola University Maryland men's basketball team visited many of Montreal's sights.
Loyola University Maryland men's basketball toured the fortified Quebec City, one of the oldest settlements in North America, on Sunday, Aug. 24. The Greyhounds then beat Universite Laval, 90-74.
Loyola men's basketball hosted Lafayette College on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.
Loyola men's basketball hosted American University on Dec. 30, 2015. (photos by Larry French)
Loyola played at Northwestern University on Dec. 27, 2015.
Loyola hosted Towson in men's basketball action on Dec. 8, 2015. Photos by Brian Schneider.
Loyola men's basketball played at No. 4 Kansas on Dec. 1, 2015.
Orlando "G.G." Smith was named the head men's basketball coach at Loyola University Maryland, the school's president, Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., on April 12, 2013, at a press conference in Reitz Arena. The 2015-2016 season will be Smith's third as the Greyhounds' head coach.
Smith, who is the son of current University of Memphis Head Coach Tubby Smith, was an assistant at Loyola for the past six seasons under former coach Jimmy Patsos.
"At Loyola, we take great pride in a Greyhounds athletics program where our students' achievements and contributions in the classroom and in the community are as remarkable as their accomplishments in competition," Fr. Linnane said at the time of Smith's appointment. "G.G. Smith shares this commitment, and I know he will build on our program's recent successes to bring even greater excitement and spirit to Loyola basketball and our university."
Smith became the 20th head coach in Loyola men's basketball history at the time of his appointment.
"It is an honor to be asked to continue building on what Loyola men's basketball has accomplished," Smith said. "Loyola is a wonderful school that has been a great home for the last six years, and I look forward to leading the program going forward. I would like to thank Father Linnane, (executive vice president) Susan Donovan, (vice president) Marc Camille and (assistant vice president and director of athletics) Jim Paquette for their support and commitment to Loyola basketball and me."
Smith was a three-year starter at guard at the University of Georgia where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1999, and he later received his master's degree from the University of Kentucky.
"G.G. is the right person to lead our men's basketball program as Loyola transitions to the Patriot League next season," said Jim Paquette, Loyola's assistant vice president and director of athletics. "His knowledge of basketball, care for our student-athletes and desire to develop them as leaders has been evident in his time at Loyola, and we are excited that G.G. will build on the success Loyola basketball has achieved in recent years."
As a member of the Loyola coaching staff, Smith helped guide the Greyhounds to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994 when Loyola won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title in 2012. That season, the Greyhounds won a school Division I record 24 games and also were successful in a school-best 13 conference games.
"G.G. was a huge part of our success," Patsos said of his former assistant. "G.G. is not only a tremendous coach, but he is a better person. His knowledge of the game is outstanding, and I believe that he will be a great leader of the program going forward."
Smith's first two seasons coincided with the Greyhounds' first in the Patriot League, years that saw the program adapt to the different travel patterns, playing styles and personnel in the League. Loyola also was hampered in those seasons by the loss of arguably its two best players in each season to injury as Dylon Cormier sufferend a season-ending injury in January of 2014 at a time when he was in the top 15 in scoring nationally, and Jarred Jones, who was the team's top returning scorer and rebounder in 2014-2015, was lost to injury just two games into that year.
Despite the losses and adjustments necessary to injury, Smith's teams showed the promise to be built into Patriot League contenders. Two members of the 2014-2015 freshmen class were named to Patriot League All-Rookie Team and another just missed earning the honor. Andre Walker was the top scoring freshman in the conference during that season, averaging 10.2 points per game, while Cam Gregory was third overall, and tops among first-year players, in rebounds per game (7.0). Their classmate Chancellor Barnard started the last 12 games of the schedule and also produced a solid first season with the Greyhounds.
In the Smith's' third season at the top of the program, the Greyhounds won their most Patriot League contests since joining the conference (8). Walker continued his development as a high-level scorer and on-court producer, earning All-Patriot League Second Team honors while averaging 14.2 points per game. Senior Franz Rassman also earned the top athletic and academic honor from the conference when he was named the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
During his time as an assistant at Loyola, Smith handled many on-court coaching and scouting responsibilities for the Greyhounds. In his last two seasons as an assistant, Loyola posted its first two Division I 20-win seasons, and this year's trip to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament Quarterfinals marked the first back-to-back postseason appearances since 1951-1953.
Smith was instrumental in the development of Loyola guard Dylon Cormier, a back-to-back All-MAAC performer who earned First Team honors in 2012-2013 when he averaged 16.4 points per game. Cormier then averaged more than 21 points per game as a senior, Smith's first as Loyola's head coach, and was in the top 15 nationally and first in the Patriot League when the suffered a season-ending hand injury.
In his seven years at Loyola, Smith has coached 11 All-MAAC/Patriot League performers, four members of the league's All-Rookie Team, four MAAC Sixth Players of the Year and a Rookie of the Year.
Prior to joining the staff at Loyola prior to the 2007-2008 season, Smith was an assistant at nearby Johns Hopkins University in 2006-2007, helping the Blue Jays to a 24-5 record and berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
He spent two seasons, 2004-2006, at Armstrong Atlantic State University. The Pirates finished 23-8 in 2005-2006 and earned a No. 2 seed in that season's NCAA Division II Tournament. Smith was an assistant at Tennessee Tech University in 2002-2003 when the Eagles went 21-10 and were the runners-up in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
After graduating from Georgia, Smith was an assistant coach for a year at Lexington (Ky.) Catholic High School before spending two years, 2000-2002, as a graduate assistant coach at the Kentucky. The Wildcats advanced to a Sweet Sixteen and won an Southeastern Conference regular-season title in his time at Rupp Arena.
"While all of us at Loyola know that the men's basketball coaching position is a great job and the vacancy comes at an exciting point in time due to the team's recent successes and the University's impending move to the Patriot League, it quickly became evident to me that the college basketball world has caught on as well," said Marc Camille, Ed. D. Loyola's vice president of enrollment management and communications, who chaired the search process. "The level of interest in the position from quality candidates around the country made the process of narrowing down the pool more challenging, but equally so, more promising. We could not be more pleased with how things turned out."
Smith earned his bachelor of science in health and physical education from Georgia in 1999. He was a three-year starter and four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs as a point guard. He earned All-SEC Third Team honors and helped Georgia advance to the NCAA Tournament twice, including to the 1996 Sweet Sixteen.
He graduated as the program's all-time leader in games played (129), wins in a season (24) and 3-pointers in a game (nine).
Smith then earned his master's degree in education in sports management from Kentucky in 2002.
Smith, and his wife, Lorie, have a young daughter, Jayna, and son, Ross, who was born during the 2013-2014 season.
|2013-present||Loyola Maryland||Head Coach|
|2007-2013||Loyola Maryland||Assistant Coach|
|2006-2007||Johns Hopkins||Assistant Coach|
|2004-2006||Armstrong Atlantic State||Assistant Coach|
|2002-2003||Tennessee Tech||Assistant Coach|
|2000-2002||Kentucky||Graduate Assistant Coach|
|1999-2000||Lexington Catholic High School||Assistant Coach|
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