Loyola University Maryland opens the month of December with a trip to the Sunshine State where it will take on Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers on Saturday, December 1, 2012.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Alico Arena.
Loyola and Florida Gulf Coast will meet for the second time when they take the court on Saturday. The Greyhounds and Eagles met on November 27, 2012, and Loyola held off a late Florida Gulf Coast rally for a 77-74 win in Reitz Arena.
The Greyhounds led by 16, 37-21, with 71 seconds left in the first half, but the Eagles scored 16 of the second half’s first 23 points to cut the advantage to 44-40 with 14:12 to go in regulation. Loyola would go up by double figures three times after that, but a Christophe Varidel three with 3:19 on the clock made it 64-60.
Robert Olson hit two free throws at 1:23 to put Loyola in front 71-64, but Bernard Thompson made a three for the Eagles with 13.4 remaining, and it was a 75-74 Loyola lead. Anthony Winbush converted two free throws, and Olson blocked an Eagles’ 3-point attempt to secure the win.
Last Time Out
Loyola did not lead in the first half, but the Greyhounds scored the second half’s first five points and led for good from that point in a 67-51 victory on Wednesday night at Coppin State University.
Dylon Cormier scored a career-high 27 points, making 11-of-12 from the free-throw line, while Anthony Winbush recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
A solid defensive effort by Loyola in the second half end the Eagles to just 22.6-percent shooting after the break and 29-percent for the game.
The Greyhounds also used advantages in rebounds (48-37), free throws attempted (26-12) and free throws made (21-8).
Dylon Cormier had a career-high scoring night at Coppin State on Wednesday, tallying 27 points on 7-of-14 shooting. He made 11-of-12 from the line, 5-of-6 in the final five minutes of the game.
Cormier eclipsed his previous career-best of 26 set last season in a win at George Washington.
The junior guard also was one off his career-high in rebounds, grabbing eight boards for the second-straight game, and he dished out four assists in a career-high 39 minutes of action.
After scoring 19 on Monday night against Towson, as well, Cormier is averaging 23 points in the Greyhounds’ last two games.
Through Eight Games
With its seven wins in eight games, the Greyhounds matched last year’s team for the best start in school Division I history at 7-1. The program’s previous best start through eight games was 6-2 during the 2005-2006 season.
Wednesday’s game at Coppin State wrapped up a stretch of eight games in 20 days during the month of November for the Greyhounds. The eight games are the most Loyola men’s basketball has ever played in the month, and the seven wins are also the most during the 11th month of the year.
Previously, the team had played seven games during November just twice, 2007-2008 (4-3 record) and 2008-2009 (2-5).
Charm City Pride
Baltimore born and raised Dylon Cormier plays at or near his best when the Greyhounds face another team from the Baltimore area. The junior guard, who was in the last graduating class at the now closed Cardinal Gibbons High School, has scored 145 points in eight career games against teams from Baltimore and the surrounding suburbs.
Including his career-high 27 on Wednesday, Cormier has averaged 18.1 points against Coppin State (two games), Towson (two), UMBC (three) and Morgan State (one). He has four games with 20 or more points among the eight contests.
In the last year, Cormier has averaged 20.6 in five games against the teams.
Anthony Winbush notched the first double-double of his career on Wednesday night at Coppin State, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds.
His 12 rebounds represented the 12th time in his tenure at Loyola that he has posted 10 or more rebounds, and it was the fourth time he has scored 10 or more points.
He also set a career-high in rebounds, eclipsing the 11 he posted in his seventh career game on November 29, 2008, at Vermont. Winbush also set a career-high in minutes played (37) and matched his previous best in free throws made (five) and attempted (six).
After ceding 30 points and a 3-point deficit in the first half, Loyola turned up its defensive pressure on Wednesday night at Coppin State and held the Eagles to 22.6-percent from the field (7-of-31) after the break. They also missed all 12 of their 3-point attempts after the break.
Loyola held Coppin State without a field goal for the first 5-minutes, 30-seconds and the final 6-minutes 6-seconds of the second half. In between, Loyola kept the Eagles without a field goal for a stretch of 4-minutes, 42-seconds.
Jones Provides Second-Half Spark
Jarred Jones entered the game with 11:36 on the second-half clock and Loyola up by just three. He played the next seven-plus minutes before returning to the bench at the 4:10 mark. During that span, Loyola increased its lead to 12 points, thanks in part to seven of Jones’ career-high tying nine points. He also had two of his five rebounds and a steal during the run.
Guards In Charge
Dylon Cormier and Robert Olson teamed for 34 points on Monday night against Towson, and they filled the box score in other ways. The duo combined for 14 rebounds, seven assists and three steals while not committing a single turnover in 75 combined minutes of action.
Each had a half with 12 points, Olson knocking down four 3-pointers in the first half and Cormier scoring 12 in the second.
In addition to leading all players with 19 points on Monday night against Towson, Dylon Cormier paced the game with eight rebounds and four assists.
His eight rebounds were one short of his career-high set last year at George Washington, and it marked the second time in his career he has led the Greyhounds in rebounding. He also had eight to lead the team as a freshman on November 21, 2010, in a 73-59 win over Dartmouth.
This season, Cormier is leading the team in scoring (18.4 points per game) and steals (1.6) and is second in assists per game (2.5) and third in rebounding (5.1).
Robert Olson came out of the gate firing on Monday night, scoring six the Greyhound’s first eight points on his first two 3-point attempts of the game. He hit two more threes during the first half and was 4-of-6 from behind the arc at the break.
After Towson cut Loyola’s 10-point halftime lead to six just over 90 seconds into the second period, Olson hit a three from the right side to push the Greyhounds’ advantage back to nine.
In the last two games, Olson has averaged 17.5 points and made nine 3-pointers.
Taking Care Of The Ball
Loyola has committed just 13 turnovers against Towson (7) and Rhode Island (6). The six were the fewest the Greyhounds have committed since they had only five in the 2010-2011 season-opener on November 12, 2010, at Drexel.
As a team, the Greyhounds are averaging 10.7 miscues per game this season through seven games.
Olson Comes Up Big
Robert Olson scored 20 points last Friday night at Rhode Island, coming up one shy of his career-high in scoring (21 at Iona in January 2012 and at Marist in January 2011).
The senior guard made eight field goals, tying his career-high, and his 16 field-goal attempts represented a career-high. He was good from 4-of-9 behind the arc, also the most 3-pointers he’s attempted in a game, and his 39 minutes were the most he’s played since coming to Loyola.
Olson has now scored 20 or more five times as a Greyhound, the last coming when he recorded 21 at Iona on January 13, 2012. He tallied 20 on two occasions and 21 once as a sophomore in 2010-2011. All four of his previous 20 or 21 point games came in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action, and all but one of his five have come on the road.
His game-tying three at Rhode Island was the second of his Loyola career that sent a game to overtime. He nailed a three, also from the left side, against Iona on January 30, 2011, to tie the game a 78-78 with 7.2 seconds on the clock in a game the Greyhounds would win, 88-85, in overtime.
Back To The Boards
After the first three games of the season, Loyola was outrebounding teams by an average of nine per game thanks to +14 and +17 performances against Binghamton and UMBC, respectively.
However, the Greyhounds have been outrebounded in each of their last three games by seven (Norfolk State), four (Albany) and five (Rhode Island), an average of 5.5 per game.
Loyola turned it around against Towson, a team that was outrebounding its opponents by nearly 12 boards per game in its first five contests. The Greyhounds and Tigers both had 41 rebounds, as four Loyola players – Dylon Cormier (8), Anthony Winbush (7), Jarred Jones and Robert Olson (both 5) – had five or more in the game.
Latham Looms Large
Jordan Latham had one of his better games as a collegian last Friday night at Rhode Island, playing a career-high 27 minutes off the bench before fouling out midway through overtime.
Latham scored a career-best nine points and also had five rebounds, an assist and a block, and he was at his best late in the tight game.
He scored the first three Loyola points of overtime, on a layup and a free throw, after the Rams had jumped out to a 53-50 lead in the extra frame.
Doubling Up, Part Two
Erik Etherly had his first double-double of the 2012-2013 season, the 14th of his career at Loyola. The Preseason MAAC Player of the Year scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds at Rhode Island.
He leads the team with an 8.0 rebounds per game mark and is second with 15.7 points per game. He is also tops on the team with 10 blocks and 10 steals so far this season.
Late Game Heroics
Loyola’s games against Albany and Rhode Island, both wins, have each come down to the last four seconds of regulation (and then some).
On November 18, 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.
Robert Olson then sank a 3-pointer with 3.7 on the clock at Rhode Island to force overtime where the Greyhounds would win by four.
In his first five games back this season, graduate student Anthony Winbush has already leading the team in assists per game (3.3).
His five assists against both Albany and Rhode Island both tied his career-high, a number he previously reached just once (in a January 22, 2012, win over Saint Peter’s at home).
Erik Etherly turned in another 20-point game, his second of the season, 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 that 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.
Albany guards Mike Black and Jacob Iati entered the November 18 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.
The Greyhounds did it again against Towson, limiting the then-reigning Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week Jerrelle Benimon to seven. Benimon entered the game averaging 16.2 per contest.
Redshirt freshman guard Tyler Hubbard was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week last 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.
The group also had five assists, six blocked shots and four steals in the win.
Combined the three played 70 minutes against the Retrievers.
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.
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.
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.
Last season, 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.