The Greyhounds start a two-game swing through the Patriot League’s Lehigh Valley schools on Saturday, February 8, when they play at 2 o’clock against Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.
Loyola moved into a three-way (with Lehigh and Bucknell University) for in the League with a 5-6 record after Wednesday night’s win.
Tyler Hubbard’s 20 points on Wednesday night were a career-high, and his six 3-pointers are tied for sixth most in school history.
Loyola had 11 steals in the game, the fifth time in Patriot League action that the Greyhounds have logged 10 or more, but the first time since having 10 at Boston University on January 20.
Last Time Out
Loyola built a five-point lead on an R.J. Williams steal and fast-break layup with 1:24 left in the second half, and the Greyhounds made 8-of-10 free throws in the final minute to secure a 62-58 win over American University on Wednesday night in Reitz Arena.
The win snapped American’s 11-game winning streak and dealt the Eagles their first Patriot League loss of the year.
Tyler Hubbard made 6-of-7 threes and scored a career-best 20 points to lead all scorers. It was the first time he’s led Loyola in scoring.
Saturday’s game against Lehigh will air live on the Patriot League Network.
The contest, and all of Loyola’s remaining, non-televised home and road games will be streamed, free of charge, in high definition and can be accessed at www.patriotleague.tv.
Series History Versus Lehigh
Lehigh and Loyola will meet for the 10th time on the basketball court and second time as Patriot League opponents. Loyola’s 72-68 win at home on January 8 gave the Greyhounds a 5-4 advantage in the series.
Five Loyola players scored seven or more points, led by Dylon Cormier’s 25 in the first meeting this year. Cormier sparked an 11-0 run that put Loyola up by 14 with just under 14 minutes left in the game.
The Greyhounds first played the Mountain Hawks in 1912-1913, the fifth year of varsity basketball on the Evergreen campus. Lehigh won that game, 41-19, and the Mountain Hawks were again victorious the following year. Loyola’s first win in the series came during the 1915-1916 season.
Following that game, the programs did not meet again until January 21, 1978, when Loyola scored a 79-64 win in Bethlehem, Pa.
Most recently, the teams met in the consolation game of the 1988 Lobo Classic at The Pit in Albuquerque, a game that the Mountain Hawks won, 86-72.
Start Of A New Era
Loyola’s January 2 game against Navy marked the start of a new era for Loyola basketball, the Greyhounds’ first game as a member of the Patriot League.
Loyola announced in August 2012 it would join the 10-school League, and it officially became a member on July 1, 2013.
The Greyhounds had been members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) since 1989-1990.
Academic Honors For Rassman
Last week, sophomore forward Franz Rassman was named to the Capital One Academic All-America District II Team for his excellence in the classroom.
Rassman, who has started 20-of-21 games and is averaging 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, is now eligible for Academic All-America honors along with district honorees from around the nation.
Cormier Has Hand Surgery
Dylon Cormier, the leading scorer in the Patriot League (21.2 points per game) fractured his left hand in a loose-ball scramble on Saturday, February 1, against the U.S. Military Academy, and he had surgery on February 5 to stabilize the break, likely ending his season.
Cormier was also second in the Patriot League in steals (2.2) and fifth in rebounds (5.8) at the time of his injury.
Hubbard Hits From Deep
Tyler Hubbard had one of the best 3-point shooting nights in school history on Wednesday against American, making 6-of-7 attempts on his way to a career-high 20 points.
Hubbard’s six threes are tied for sixth-most in school single-game history, and they were the most since Robert Olson and J’hared Hall both hit six in a game at Manhattan on January 7, 2011.
The sophomore out of Washington, D.C., made three in both halves with his only miss coming in the first. He also made both of his free throw attempts after being fouled with 25 seconds left. He eclipsed his previous career-high of 17 scored on 6-of-7 shooting, 4-of-5 from behind the arc, in a November 14, 2012, game against UMBC.
A week earlier, Hubbard scored his previous season-high of 13 at College of the Holy Cross when he made 4-of-6 from deep. He is now 33-of-82 (40.2 percent) from 3-point range this season and has made at least one three in 19-of-22 games.
Four days after shooting 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from the free-throw line in a loss to Army, the Greyhounds made 8-of-10 free throws in the final minute of action to clinch the win over American. They finished the contest 17-of-22 (77.3 percent) from the charity stripe.
Loyola posted a season-low 17 rebounds on Wednesday night against American, but the Greyhounds also had the distinction of tying the mark for the fewest rebounds in a win by a NCAA Division I team this season (according to Stats, Inc.)
Delaware and Indiana State also had 17 rebounds in wins over College of Charleston and Pepperdine, respectively, this season. Ironically, Delaware’s win with 17 boards came on the same day as Loyola victory over American.
Solid Performance From Latham
Jordan Latham had a very solid performance on both ends of the floor against American on Wednesday night, scoring 10 points on 4-of-6 from the floor and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.
Latham was also a disruptive factor on the defensive end, blocking four shots, altering several others and grabbing a steal.
His four blocks moved him into a tie for fifth place in the Patriot League with 1.2 blocks per game. The four tied a career and season-high for Latham. He now has 83 career blocked shots, good for fourth all-time at Loyola.
The Greyhounds are 6-1 this season when Latham blocks two or more shots in a game.
Jones Finds Scoring Note
Jarred Jones led Loyola in scoring for the first time in his career on February 1 against Army, knocking down 7-of-10 shots from the field for 17 points.
The game was Jones second 13-plus point game in the last two weeks, but his last (January 22 at Bucknell) was his first double-digit effort since December.
The junior forward has averaged 9.8 points in the Greyhounds last five games while shooting 55.0 percent (22-of-40) from the field in those games.
Jones opened the season with three games of 13 or more points in the Greyhounds’ first four, tallying 22 in the season-opener at Binghamton, 13 at Cornell and 14 at UMBC. In the fourth game of the opening stretch, he scored seven despite being limited to just nine minutes to foul trouble.
The Harford County (Md.) product then had 13 against Catholic and 15 versus Saint Joseph’s, but that output against the Hawks was his last in double-digits until the game at Bucknell (seven games).
In addition to finding his scoring stroke, Jones has also upped his numbers on the defensive side of the court, blocking six shots combined in the last three games.
Against Army, Jones swatted three shots and had two steals, while he also had a pair of blocks against both Bucknell and Holy Cross.
His three against Army were one off his season- and career-high of four set in the season-opener at Binghamton. He is now seventh in the Patriot League in blocked shots per game with 1.1.
Jones is also 10th in the conference in steals per game after nabbing four against American. He averages 1.4 per game with a total of 31.
Gorski Garners Starting Role
Freshman post player Nick Gorski drew his first starting assignment as a collegian last Saturday against Army, and the Richmond, Va., native scored nine points in 22 minutes of action.
The start came on the heels of his first extended playing time since December. He made all three of his field goals and both of his free-throw attempts last Wednesday, finishing with career-highs of nine points and five rebounds in 18 minutes at Holy Cross.
Prior to the last four games – he also played 11 minutes and scored four points on January 25 against Colgate, and he saw 12 minutes on the court against American – Gorski had seen 10 or more minutes just twice this season. He tallied 13 minutes and scored seven points in an overtime win at Cornell, and he then played 16 minutes on December 21 against Saint Joseph’s.
His 18 points in the two games against Holy Cross and Army nearly doubled his previous output this season. He entered the Holy Cross game with 23 points through 16 contests.
Setting Up The Shots
R.J. Williams finished the February 1 game against Army with nine assists, one off his career-high of 10 set on January 13 against Lafayette.
Williams is fifth in the Patriot League in assists per game (4.4), and he is averaging 5.2 in the Greyhounds last five games.
Williams had 34 assists in eight non-conference games, and he entered January and Patriot League action averaging 3.8 per game. Since then, Williams has 53 assists in 11 games for an average of 4.8.
The junior from Baltimore has also increased his scoring average during Patriot League play. Overall he is averaging 8.0 points per game, 8.5 against conference opponents.
Williams also grabbed a career-high tying seven rebounds on Saturday against Army, bumping his Patriot League average to 3.2 per game.
Loyola took 70 shots last Saturday against Army, thanks in part to 19 offensive rebounds. The 70 field goal attempts were the second-most the Greyhounds have taken this season behind only 74 they attempted in an overtime win at Cornell.
The Greyhounds’ 19 offensive rebounds were also their second-best total of the season, short by one of the 20 they grabbed at Connecticut.
Loyola, however, did not do a good job of converting the offensive rebounds into second-chance points. The Greyhounds finished with just eight points after grabbing offensive rebounds against the Black Knights.
Gotta Get To The Line
The Greyhounds have seen their most success this season when getting to the free-throw line consistently. They are 6-2 when attempting 25 or more free throws (wins over Binghamton, Cornell, Fairfield, UMBC, Navy and Lafayette; losses to Stony Brook and Saint Joseph’s). In the Loyola’s three other wins, Catholic, Lehigh and Colgate, it took 19, 24 and 18 free throws, respectively.
Overall, Loyola is getting to the free-throw line more than seven fewer times in losses than wins (27.7-20.3).
Away From The Friendly Confines
Loyola lost its ninth straight road game on January 29 at Holy Cross after winning its first three this season away from Reitz Arena.
At 3-9 on the road, the Greyhounds are shooting 38.9 percent as opposed to 45.4 percent while going 6-3 at home. Opponents are shooting 47.1 percent in their own facilities, 42.4 percent in Reitz Arena.
Loyola does shoot slightly better from 3-point range on the road, making 33.7 percent of shots from behind the arc as compared to 28.0 at home.
The Greyhounds turn the ball over at a rate of one per game more on the road (12.2-11.2), and they also force an additional turnover at home (14.9-13.4).
With these factors, the Greyhounds are averaging nearly five points less per game on the road, 65.2, to their 71.3 points per game at home.
Dylon Cormier and R.J. Williams both posted double-doubles against Lafayette, as Cormier went for 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Williams posted 12 points and a career-best 10 assists.
It was the first time since an 88-85 overtime win against Iona College on January 30, 2011, that two Loyola players completed the feat in the same game. Erik Etherly (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Justin Drummond (14 points, 10 rebounds) managed it on that day.
Williams’ 10 assists were the most by a Greyhounds’ player since Brian Rudolph dished out 10 on February 27, 2011, in the regular-season finale at Canisius College.
The Greyhounds posted 11 steals against American on Wednesday night, marking the fifth time in 11 Patriot League games that they have grabbed 10 or more. Through February 7, Loyola leads the League with 8.7 steals overall, 8.9 in League action.
The 98 steals in its last 11 games have raised Loyola’s Patriot League-leading overall average to 8.7 per game. Through games of February 6, the Greyhounds are ranked 13th nationally in steals per game.
Loyola has had 11 or more steals in eight games through 22 contests.
R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is 12th nationally in steals per game (2.5), while Dylon Cormier is second (2.19) and tied for 25th.
In the January 25 game against Colgate, Cormier had two steals, moving him past Tracy Bergan and into second on the all-time steals list at Loyola. Bergan was in attendance at the game as part of the Greyhounds’ 1994 NCAA Tournament team that was honored that night. He now has 185 in his career.
With 115 in his career, Williams is 11th on the career chart.
Dylon Cormier has been one of the top scorers in the nation this season, averaging 21.2 points per game through 21 and the time of his injury. Through games of Thursday, February 6, Cormier was 13th in the nation in points per game.
Cormier scored 20 or more points in the Greyhounds’ first five games, and he had three 30-plus point efforts during that stretch, as well.
Overall, he has 14 20-plus point games in 21 contests, and he has recorded 25 or more eight times.
On November 20 at UMBC, Cormier had a career-high 12 field goals and went 9-of-13 from the line to match his career-best with 34 points (also set on November 10 at Cornell).
No Loyola player in the school’s Division I era (since 1981-1982) had started the season with five-straight 20-point games. Andre Collins, who set the school single-season scoring record at 26.1, started the 2005-2006 season with 20 or more points in five of six games, but he scored just 16 in the Greyhounds’ third game of the season.
Cormier was the first player in Loyola men’s basketball history to post two 30+ point games to start the season.
He was also the first Loyola player to score 30 or more in back-to-back outings since Collins went for 34, 36 and 39 in three-straight games (all on the road at VMI, Delaware and Providence) from December 29, 2005-January 3, 2006.
In the first half of the game at Bucknell, Dylon Cormier hit the 1,600 career points mark, becoming the seventh player in school history to do so, the fifth in the program’s tenure at Division I.
At Boston University, Cormier moved into seventh-place all-time at Loyola in scoring, passing Mike Powell and his 1,580 points. At the time of his injury, Cormier now had 1,659 career points through 115 career games.
Die Hard Dogs
Loyola has trailed or been tied with five minutes to go in regulation in five of its 10 victories this season – Binghamton, Cornell, UMBC, Navy and American – only to come back to win.
In their Patriot League-opener, the Greyhounds were 10 points back of Navy, 47-37, when the clock hit 5:00 in the second half, but Loyola closed the half on an 15-5 run to force overtime.
At Binghamton, the Greyhounds were down five at the five-minute mark; Cornell, seven; and UMBC, six. In the game at UMBC, the Retrievers’ lead ballooned to 10 with 90 seconds left.
Through 22 games this season, the Greyhounds are averaging 2.55 fewer turnovers per game than their opponents, tops in the Patriot League and 35th in the nation.
In Loyola’s 12 losses this season, the Greyhounds are shooting more than nine eight percent worse from the floor than they are in their eight victories.
Loyola has made 47.0 percent (249-of-530) shots in 10 wins versus 37.8 percent (264-of-698) in 12 losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 13.3 points less (74.8 versus 61.5) points.
As one would expect, opponents are shooting better (48.0-42.5) in the games they’ve won.
Start Of The Smith Era
G.G. Smith was named the 20th head coach in Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball history on April 12, 2013. Her garnered his first head coaching win on November 8, 2013, in the season-opener against Binghamton.
The 1999 graduate of the University of Georgia spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Loyola for Jimmy Patsos who took the head coaching position at Siena College in March.
Loyola amassed a 106-87 record (.549) during Smith’s six years as an assistant. The 106 wins and the .549 winning percentage are the best of any six-year stretch during Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982-1983).
As a player, Smith was a three-year starter and four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs from 1995-1999. Smith helped the Bulldogs advance to the 1996 NCAA Sweet 16 and another tournament appearance in 1997. He left Georgia as the school’s career leader in games played (129), wins in a season (24) and 3-pointers in a game (nine).
Smith is the son of current Texas Tech University Head Coach Tubby Smith. The elder Smith led the University of Kentucky to the 1998 NCAA Championship and is in his 23rd season as a head coach. G.G. Smith played for his father from 1995-1997 at Georgia.
Look Back At 2012-2013
Loyola finished the 2012-2013 season with a 23-12 record, marking the first time in the school’s Division I history (since 1982-1983) that the Greyhounds have posted back-to-back 20-win seasons.
The Greyhounds finished their final season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 12-6 mark, tying for second place.
After falling in the first round of the MAAC Championships, Loyola its first-ever bid tot he CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Following the Greyhounds’ 2012 appearance in the NCAA Tournament, it was the first consecutive postseason bids in school Division I history and the first since 1953 in any division of competition.
Erik Etherly and Dylon Cormier became the first set of Loyola teammates to be named to the All-MAAC First Team in the same year.
Dylon Cormier entered his senior season at Loyola with a chance to climb many of the Greyhounds’ career statistical charts. Here is a look at where he stands:
Scoring 7th 1,659 points Next Mike Krawczyk, 1,676 Field Goals Made 10th 552 field goals made Next Gene Gwiazdowski, 565 3-Pointers Made 13th 96 3-Pt. Made Next B.J. Davis, 104 Free Throws Made 2nd 459 free throws made Next Jim Lacy, 613 Assists 20th 210 assists Next Dave Wojick, 219 Steals 2nd 185 steals Next Jason Rowe, 272
Into The Fold
Loyola signed three high school seniors in the early signing period to comprise its Class of 2018.
Forward Cam Gregory (Waldorf, Md./St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes) and guards Chancellor Barnard (Columbia, Md./Glenelg Country School) and Colton Bishop (Winston-Salem, N.C./Forsyth County Day School) will join the program in the fall.
For more on the trio, visit http://loyo.la/MBB-NLIs-13.
The Loyola men’s basketball team scored the highest amongst squads in the State of Maryland in the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate report. The Greyhounds checked in with a 91-percent GSR, tops among the state’s nine Division I schools, for players who entered the school between 2003-2006.
The Greyhounds return to the Lehigh Valley to face Lafayette College on Wednesday, February 12, at 7 p.m.