- INSIDE ATHLETICS
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Final Contest Of 2009 Has Men's Hoops At Bucknell
LOYOLA-BUCKNELL SERIES HISTORY: Bucknell leads the series, having won the only four meetings that the teams have played. The teams alternated home games in the 1986-1987 and 1987-1988 seasons and played a home-and-home in 2002-2003.
LAST TIME OUT: Loyola recorded the biggest regular-season victory in its 100-year history with a 72-67 win Tuesday at five-time National Champion Indiana. The Greyhounds scored the first 15 points of the game and held a 24-point first-half lead, but it all evaporated and the Hoosiers led 65-62 with 3:48 left. But Loyola scored 10 of the final 12 points with senior guard Brett Harvey tallying nine straight, including his second four-point play of the half to return the lead in the Greyhounds' favor. He finished with game-highs for points (25) and assists (5). All nine Loyola players scored with junior guard Jamal Barney adding 13 points off the bench and sophomore forward Anthony Winbush collecting a career-high six steals.
BIGGEST WIN EVER?: Tuesday's 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. 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 have 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 Tuesday night 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 winning 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.
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 Tuesday night. 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. He reached 1,000 career points earlier this month during a season-high 28-point effort at Canisius, became the 38th player in history to play in 100 career games last month at Mount St. Mary's 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 last Monday 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. In his latest outing, he scored 14 points in the win at Indiana with four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
WINBUSH SHOWS DEFENSIVE SIDE: Sophomore forward Anthony Winbush has made his mark through his defensive prowess and has added an offensive game this season. In Tuesday's 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. The six steals equals the Greyhounds' season high first nabbed by freshman guard Robert Olson at UMBC.
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 two 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 Tuesday, but scored six points with two rebounds and a steal, his second-half layup being Loyola's only basket during an 18-2 Indiana run.
CRAZY EIGHTS FOR BROOKS: Freshman forward Julius Brooks posted his career-high of eight points for the third time in the win Tuesday 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 10 of his appearances, missing the game at Niagara with an illness, and is third on the team in rebounding with 4.4 boards per game.
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 (8.5 ppg), he is the team's leading rebounder at 6.6 boards per game after grabbing a team-high seven in the win at Indiana.
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 47.1 percent (8-17) from three-point range after making both of his attempts in the win at Indiana.
WRIGHT IS RIGHT COMING OFF THE BENCH: Forced into a starting role last season when he made the third-most starts (22) of anyone on the roster, senior forward Jawaan Wright seemed to take to coming off the bench in the win over Vermont. He scored seven straight points during a 5:20 stretch in which Loyola scored 12 of 16 points to double its lead to its largest of the game at 76-60 with 4:50 to play. He finished with 11 points and seven rebounds with two blocks and an assist in 20 minutes. In the win over Morgan State, he connected on a pair of free throws then created a steal and assisted on a three-pointer by senior guard Brett Harvey to cap a 7-0 run and put Loyola in control with 12 minutes remaining.
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 Saturday 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 nine 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 Saturday's 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 16 blocks through 11 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 recently 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 ONE: Trailing by one with 12:11 remaining, the Greyhounds turned to their defense in recording the win at Dartmouth. Loyola allowed just one field goal and one free throw for the rest of the game while scoring 21 points of its own to post a 58-41 victory. The Greyhounds held an opponent under 50 points for the first time in seven years and the lowest point total in 26 seasons. As part of that dominance, Loyola outrebounded the Big Green 25-12 in the second half.
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 1132-1169 (.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 is Loyola's next game when it hosts Rider on January 2 in a 1 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 2 when Loyola hosts Rider at 1 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: After five of six games on the road, Loyola will play two straight at home for the first time this season starting Saturday when the Greyhounds host Rider at 1 o'clock. The game is the return of conference play as Loyola will face MAAC foes for its next 14 outings with its commitment to BracketBusters being the only remaining non-conference contest. After facing the Broncs, the Greyhounds are home again one week from tonight when they entertain Siena at 7:00 p.m.