Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball returns to New England for the second time in a week, this time to the Ocean State for a Friday, November 23, date with the University of Rhode Island.
Tip-off is slated for 7 o’clock at the Ryan Center in Kingston, R.I. The game is a part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, an event in which the Greyhounds won the Springfield Division last weekend at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Loyola and Rhode Island will be meeting for the third time in series history when they take the court on Friday night.
The Rams hold a 2-0 lead in the series with the last game coming on New Year’s Eve 1989, a 91-71 Rhode Island win in Kingston. The first meeting between the programs came on December 6, 1946 when Loyola’s Lefty Reitz-coached team fell 84-55 at Rhode Island. The team, however, would go on to a 20-12 record that season and win the Mason-Dixon Conference title.
Last Time Out
Loyola forced 10 Albany turnovers in the first half and pushed out to a 28-10 lead with just under 11 minutes to play in the stanza before fending off a Great Danes’ rally late to defeat the America East Conference foe, 67-64. The Greyhounds earned the Springfield Division Championship, and brought home the championship trophy named for the late college basketball icon Dave Gavitt, with the win.
Albany’s Jacob Iati tied the game with a 30-foot 3-pointer, leaving 3.1 seconds on the clock for the Greyhounds to call a timeout and set the final play. Dylon Cormier scored with 1.5 ticks left and converted a free throw after he was fouled, and the Great Danes turned the ball over on their inbound play, securing the win.
Erik Etherly, who was named the Springfield Bracket Most Valuable Player, led all players with 23 points, and Cormier, who joined Etherly on the All-Tournament Team, added 16. Winbush tallied 12 points, a game-best five assists and matched Etherly for team-high honors with seven rebounds.
After Albany tied the game with 3.1 ticks on the clock, Loyola Head Coach Jimmy Patsos set up an inbound play in a timeout. Graduate student Anthony Winbush threw a baseball pass 80 feet to Dylon Cormier who was inside the opposite foul line. Cormier caught the pass, laid it in with his right hand and was fouled in the process by Albany’s D.J. Evans with 1.5 seconds left.
Cormier made the free throw to provide the final margin, and Albany’s inbound pass went off the hands of Evans and out-of-bounds to secure the win.
Cormier finished 5-of-9 from the field and 5-of-7 from the foul line for 13 points to go with three assists and two steals.
Winbush’s assist was his game-high fifth of the contest.
Erik Etherly turned in another 20-point game, his second of the season, on Sunday in the title game against Albany, scoring 23 points on 7-of-12 from the floor and 9-of-12 at the line. He also tied Anthony Winbush for team-high honors with seven rebounds.
Etherly had his second 20-plus point game of the week and the young season after recording 22 in Loyola’s Wednesday-night win over UMBC on November 14.
He has now scored 20 or more six times during his tenure at Loyola – hitting or eclipsing the plateau four times last year – and the Greyhounds are 6-0 in those games.
In Loyola’s three wins last week, including a Saturday victory over Norfolk State in which he scored 12 and had nine rebounds, Etherly averaged 19.0 points and 8.0 rebounds. He made 22-of-28 (.786) free throws, as well, during the stretch.
On the way to Friday's shootaround, the team stopped for a photo at Newport Country Club, home of the first-ever U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur.
Cormier Continues Efficiency
Dylon Cormier made the most of his shots during the first game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. He converted on 7-of-11 shots, while making 5-of-7 at the free-throw line to score a game-high 19 points.
The junior guard followed that with a 5-of-9 shooting performance against Albany to score 16. In the two games at Mohegan Sun Arena, Cormier shot 60-percent from the field, raising his season average to 50.8-percent (32-of-63).
Steady improvement in shooting percentage has been Cormier’s trait since coming to Loyola. He shot 37.9-percent to average 8.1 points as a freshman in 2010-2011 and improved to 46.1-percent and 13.4 points per game last year. This season, his 50.8-percent mark has translated to an 18.4 points average.
Albany guards Mike Black and Jacob Iati entered last Saturday’s game averaging a combined 34.75 points per game, but Loyola held the duo to just 18, including three on Iati’s desperate heave to tie the game with 3.1 seconds left.
Black, who was averaging 18.25 points in four games was 3-of-8 from the field and scored seven points, while Iati went 3-of-7 after averaging 16.5 prior. They also committed eight turnovers in the game.
In the game following Albany’s contest against Loyola – Tuesday at South Carolina State – Black went off for 23 points, making 9-of-11 shots. As a team, the Great Danes set a NCAA Division I record in that game by making 15 3-pointers, although they hit just five versus Loyola.
Welcome Back, Winbush
Anthony Winbush made his season debut on Saturday against Norfolk State and played 25 minutes off the bench. The graduate student scored two points, had three steals, three rebounds and two assists.
Winbush made an even bigger impact against Albany, scoring 12 points, matching Erik Etherly for team-high honors with seven rebounds and dishing out a team-high five assists in 31 minutes of action.
Redshirt freshman guard Tyler Hubbard was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week on Monday after averaging 10.3 points in three Loyola wins last week.
Hubbard scored a career-high 17 on Wednesday night against UMBC and followed with 11 versus Norfolk State. While he scored just three in the Albany game, he was involved in several key defensive possessions for the Greyhounds at the end of the game.
This season, Hubbard is fourth on the team with a 9.0 points per game average. He is shooting .500 from both 3-point range (12-of-24) and the field at large (15-of-30).
Loyola used a strong defensive presence in its win over Norfolk State. The Greyhounds forced 19 turnovers, 11 coming via Greyhounds’ steals, a season-high. Loyola also held Norfolk State to 35.8-percent from the field, 33.3-percent in the second half.
A pair of Loyola guards, Dylon Cormier and Tyler Hubbard, each scored first half against UMBC, and Robert Olson chipped in six, leading the Greyhounds to a 45-30 advantage at halftime over the Retrievers.
The Greyhounds then turned to the post in the second half where Erik Etherly scored 17 after the break en route to a team-high 22. He made 5-of-8 from the field, including stepping out for his first three of the season, and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line in the second half.
Jarred Jones added seven second-half points, knocking down both his shots form inside and going to the line for 3-of-4.
The group also had five assists, six blocked shots and four steals in the win.
Combined the three played 70 minutes against the Retrievers.
Jones Making Early Impact
Freshman Jarred Jones has started the first five games of his collegiate career and made a difference on the court for the Greyhounds. A two-time All-Metro honoree by The Baltimore Sun at John Carroll High School, Jones scored nine points and had six rebounds on Sunday evening at Washington. He followed that with a box-score filling nine points, five rebounds, three blocks, three steals and two assists versus UMBC.
In his first game, he debuted with just one point, but he filled several box-score categories in his effort. Jones tallied three rebounds and two each of blocked shots, steals and assists.
Hubbard From Behind The Line
Tyler Hubbard knocked down all but one of his 3-point attempts against UMBC and has made 8-of-17 this season from long distance. He scored a career-best 17 points against the Retrievers and also had two assists and a steal.
His 12 3-pointers made lead the team, and he is fourth on the squad in scoring with a 9.0 points per game average.
In his collegiate debut against Binghamton, he made 4-of-9 shots, 3-of-7 from 3-point range, and finished the night with 11 points in his collegiate debut. In the process, he became the first player to reach double figures in his first collegiate game since Jawaan Wright came off the bench to score 10 on November 19, 2005, against Towson University.
Brooks’ Big Game
Julius Brooks provided 20 solid minutes in the post off the bench for the Greyhounds, recording eight points and a game-high seven rebounds versus Binghamton. Those numbers were not career-highs for the senior, but they were the best he’s put up in some time.
Brooks saw limited action in 29 games last season, averaging just 4.7 minutes per game, but matched his career-high with 28 minutes. His eight points were his most since scoring a career-best 10 on January 31, 2010, as a freshman, and his seven boards were his high since February 25, 2011, when he had eight. Both of those games came against Niagara University.
At Washington, he scored five, had a pair of rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot against the Huskies.
He made his first start since February 2010, his freshman season, on Wednesday night against UMBC.
MAAC Preseason Poll & Player of the Year
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference unveiled its preseason coaches’ poll and the league’s Preseason Player of the Year on Friday night in a live Preseason Awards Show on ESPN3. Loyola was named the team to beat in 2012-2013, and Erik Etherly was tabbed the Preseason Player of the Year by the coaches. (Complete poll and All-MAAC teams at left).
This is the first time Loyola has been selected No. 1 in the MAAC preseason poll in 24 years in the league, nor had a Greyhound player been named Preseason Player of the Year prior to Etherly.
Three Loyola players were named to the various Preseason All-MAAC teams as voted on by the coaches of the league.
Senior guard Robert Olson was named one of 30 candidates for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award last week. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Olson was the Greyhounds’ third-leading scorer last season with 11.1 points per game and enters this season Loyola ranked fourth at Loyola in 3-point percentage (138-of-336, .4107) sixth in career 3-pointers made (138) and eighth in 3-pointers attempted (336). Last season, Olson was one of four Loyola players to earn All-MAAC honors, picking up Third Team mention and later All-Tournament honors.
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 2002-2005.
Saint Peter’s Game At The Meadowlands
The Loyola-Saint Peter’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game slated for Saturday, December 8, has been moved from the Peacocks’ Jersey City campus to the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., at the Meadowlands complex.
The Greyhounds and Peacocks will tip-off at 12 noon prior to the second game of the doubleheader between Duke and Temple.
Second NCAA Trip
Last year, Loyola made its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 18 seasons, a span of 17 years, 11 months and 23 days. In all, it was 6,569 days between NCAA Tournament Games for the Greyhounds.
Last year’s true freshmen – Tyler Hubbard and R.J. Williams – were less than one year old the last time Loyola played in an NCAA match.
Loyola won its second MAAC Championship in 23 years in the conference on Monday, March 5, 2012, defeating Fairfield University, 48-44, in the lowest scoring championship game in league history.
The Greyhounds held Fairfield to just six second-half field goals and 28.8-percent shooting in the game.
Loyola, which finished second in the conference during the regular season and earned the No. 2 seed in the league tournament, defeated Niagara University and Siena College in the MAAC Quarterfinals and Semifinals, respectively.
Loyola completed the turnaround from finishing the 2003-2004 season with the lowest RPI in NCAA Division I basketball. The Greyhounds finished that season with a 1-27 record the season before Jimmy Patsos took over as head coach.
Since then, Loyola has gone 122-123 and culminated the turnaround by winning a school Division I record 24 games in 2011-2012.
Patsos is one of only three coaches at the Division I level in the last 20 years to take over a program that had won zero or one game the year prior to then win 100 games at the school. He joins Steve Cleveland (BYU) and Pat Douglass (UC-Irvine) as the others.
Patsos Named Coach & Man Of The Year
Jimmy Patsos became the first Loyola coach to earn The Rock/Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors by a vote of his peers in the league.
Patsos guided the Greyhounds to a school Division I high 24 wins and a program MAAC record 13 victories. He earned his 100th career coaching victory in November 2012 and led the Greyhounds to the No. 2 seed in the MAAC Championships.
Later in March, Patsos was named the Skip Prosser Man of the Year award for his work on and off the court, an honor presented by CollegeInsider.com.
2012 All-MAAC Honors
For the first time since the league expanded to three All-MAAC teams in 1998, four Greyhounds received all-league honors, topping all teams in the conference. Erik Etherly was named to the All-MAAC First Team, Dylon Cormier to the Second, and Justin Drummond and Robert Olson to the Third.
Loyola led all teams in the MAAC with its four selections, just in front of Iona’s three.
The Greyhounds’ previous high was at the end of the 1997-1998 season when Mike Powell (1st), Jason Rowe (2nd) and Roderick Platt (3rd) earned All-MAAC honors.
Etherly led Loyola in scoring (13.7), rebounding (7.5) and blocked shots (50), while finishing second on the team with 63 assists. He shot .530 from the field, good for third in the conference
Cormier was second on the team in scoring, just back of Etherly, with a 13.4 points per game average while improving his field-goal percentage nearly 10 points from his freshman season to .461 as a sophomore.
Drummond has come off the bench in 29 of the Greyhounds’ 33 games last year and is fourth on the team with 11.1 points per game. The guard as also third in rebounding (3.9), and he has scored in double figures 17 times this year.
Olson was one of the top 3-point shooters in the conference last year. He shot .431 from behind the arc, third-best in the MAAC, and averaged 11.1 points per game. The guard entered the month of January averaging less than nine points per game, but from that point forward, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at nearly 13 a contest.
Head Coach Jimmy Patsos became the third coach in Loyola history to win 100 games when the Greyhounds defeated UMBC, 73-63, on the road last season. Patsos, who is now in his ninth season, took over a team that finished 1-27 during the 2002-2003 season. He won his 100th game in his 215th career game.
Two years ago, Patsos moved into third-place all time at Loyola in victories, trailing only Lefty Reitz (349 wins, 1937-44, 1945-61) and Nap Doherty (165, 1961-74).
Since taking over as head coach in 2004, Jimmy Patsos has put an emphasis on recruiting locally, and it has never shown as much as on this year’s roster. Four players – junior guard Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons), junior forward Jordan Latham (City) and sophomore guard R.J. Williams and freshman forward Josh Forney (St. Frances) are products of schools within the city limits.
Loyola plays a pair of Baltimore-area teams in the five days following its contest at Rhode Island. The Greyhounds host Towson University at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 26, before traveling to Coppin State University for a 7:30 p.m. tip on Wednesday, November 28.