Loyola University Maryland will begin action in the 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday, March 3, when No. 7 seed Niagara University at 7:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
Springfield, Mass., and the MassMutual Center will host all games in the tournament.
This year’s MAAC Championships will be the first at a neutral site since 1989 when it was played at the Meadowlands.
MAAC Championships History
Loyola will compete in the MAAC Championships for the 23rd year. The Greyhounds are 8-21 in 22 previous tournaments. Loyola is 4-9 all-time in the quarterfinal round.
Niagara leads its all-time series with Loyola, 34-16, although the teams split the season series during the 2011-2012 regular-season.
The Purple Eagles handed Loyola its first MAAC loss of the season when the teams met on January 2, a 66-61 decision in Reitz Arena, but the Greyhounds defeated Niagara, 69-57, in Western New York on January 27.
Justin Drummond averaged 22.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in the two games against Niagara, scoring 23 at home and 21 on the road. He was 14-of-27 from the field and 15-of-17 from the foul line in the two games.
First Time As A Two
Loyola enters the MAAC Championships as a No. 2 seed for the first time in 23 trips to the tournament. Prior to this year, the Greyhounds had never been higher than a three seed, the slot they held in 2006-2007.
Best MAAC Finish
Loyola defeated Manhattan on Sunday afternoon to earn its 13th Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory of the season, setting a program record in the process.
The Greyhounds twice finished their MAAC schedule 12-6 (2006-2007 and 2007-2008), a game shy of this year’s record.
Loyola also finished alone in second place in the conference standings, improving on its previous best finish when it tied for second with a 10-4 league mark in 1996-1997.
The Greyhounds’ victory over Boston University on February 19 was their 20th of the season, setting a school Division I record.
Loyola, which moved to NCAA Division I in 1981-1982, had won 19 games in 2007-2008 and 18 in 2006-2007.
Patsos Named Coach Of The Year
On Thursday night, 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 has guided the Greyhounds to a school Division I high 21 wins and a program MAAC record 13 victories. He earned his 100th career coaching victory in November and guided the Greyhounds to the No. 2 seed in the MAAC Championships.
Drummond Picks Up 6th Man Award
Justin Drummond became the fifth Loyola player to earn MAAC 6th Man Of the Year honors in the last eight seasons when he picked up the award on Thursday night. He led all bench players in the league with 11.2 points, fourth on the team, and he was third on the squad with 4.2 rebounds per game.
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 has led Loyola in scoring (13.3) and rebounding (7.4) during conference play, and he is second overall on the team with 13.1 points per game. He also is tied for fourth in the league with teammate Shane Walker with 37 blocked shots, and he is fourth in field-goal percentage (.542).
Cormier has led the team throughout the season in scoring with a 13.6 points, and he has shot 45.7-percent from the field. Cormier is third in the conference with 1.7 steals per game, and he has topped the 20-point mark seven times this year.
Drummond has come off the bench in 25 of the Greyhounds’ 29 games this year and is fourth on the team with 11.2 points per game. The guard is also third in rebounding (4.2). He has scored in double figures 15 times this year.
Olson has been one of the top 3-point shooters in the conference this year. He has shot .441 from behind the arc, second-best in the MAAC, and has averaged 11.4 points per game. The junior guard entered the month of January averaging less than nine points per game, but since then he has been the team’s second-leading scorer at nearly 13 a contest.
More Than 60 Years
The last time the Loyola men’s basketball program won 20 games in a season, 1948-1949, the following things were going on in the world, 63 years ago:
Harry Truman began his first full term as President of the United States.
Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman premiered on Broadway.
NATO was formed.
The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merged to form the NBA.
The first jet-powered airliner, the de Havilland Comet, took flight.
Billy Joel, Joe Theismann, Bruce Springsteen & Meryl Streep were born.
Milestones And Firsts
Loyola has accomplished several milestones and firsts throughout the 2011-2012 season. Here is a sample of a few:
First 20-win season in Division I history.
Program MAAC record with 13 league wins and best conference finish (2nd).
Tied school Division I record with eight non-conference wins (1993-1994).
Longest winning streak in school Division I history (8, Nov. 14-Dec. 10). Also, second longest winning streak in D-I history (7, Jan. 19-Feb. 10).
First back-to-back sellouts of Reitz Arena since the venue opened in 1984 (Feb. 3 and 10).
Snapped Bucknell’s 18-game home court winning streak.
Winning Without A Three
Loyola completed a rare accomplishment last Sunday at Manhattan, defeating the Jaspers despite not making a 3-pointer in the game. The Greyhounds attempted just eight from behind the arc, one more than their season low of seven at New Hampshire on November 20.
The last time the Greyhounds won a game without making a 3-pointer was February 27, 1996, when they defeated Siena, 67-53, in Reitz Arena, a span of 438 games. Loyola was 0-of-9 in that win over the Saints.
Last Time Without A Three
Sunday’s game also snapped a streak of 331 straight games with at least one 3-pointer. The last time Loyola did not made a three in a game was February 3, 2001 when it went 0-of-13 and lost at home to Marist, 85-50.
The Greyhounds had made at least one from behind the arc in every game Jimmy Patsos had coached.
The last time no starters scored in double figures was on November 24, 2010, when the Greyhounds lost 51-48 at Vermont.
It was the first time Loyola had won a MAAC game without having a starter score 10 or more, going back to the 1989-1990 season when the Greyhounds joined the conference.
Good Time For Top Game
Anthony Winbush scored in double-figures for the first time all season in the Greyhounds’ victory over Manhattan, tallying 12 points to go with a season-high tying eight rebounds.
Winbush came off the bench to knock down 4-of-7 shots and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line. Six of his rebounds were on the offensive boards, a career-high, and he had a team-high three steals.
He converted a fast-break layup off an Erik Etherly half-court outlet pass to tie the game for the first time in the second half with 3:35 to play.
Sunday’s win at Manhattan was the third time this season that the Greyhounds came back from a 10-plus goal deficit to win. Manhattan led by 11 four times, including with 11:36 in the second half.
The Greyhounds also rallied form 15-point deficits to defeat Boston University at home and Fairfield on the road.
Making The Difference
Manhattan led 50-39 with 11:36 to play on Sunday after Kidani Brutus knocked down a three. Loyola, however, scored 23 of the final 33 points to win the game.
During that stretch, Loyola went 8-of-13 from the field, while the Jaspers were 4-of-12. The Greyhounds also made 7-of-9 free throws, while Manhattan converted just 1-of-3 from the line.
The biggest difference in statistics was that the Greyhounds outrebounded the Jaspers, 12-2, with four offensive rebounds during the run. Manhattan did not have any offensive boards. Erik Etherly grabbed five rebounds, and he matched Justin Drummond’s six points, as well during the final 11:36.
Getting On The Boards
Loyola defeated Manhattan despite not having a starter in double figures, going 0-of-8 from 3-point range and committing 21 turnovers. Loyola’s biggest statistical boon was in the rebounding column where the Greyhounds grabbed 40 boards to Manhattan’s 20.
Loyola is 10-2 this season when four or more players score in double figures, and prior to Friday’s defeat at Rider, it had not lost since the season-opener on November 11 at Wake Forest. The Greyhounds are 19-3 when three or more players top 10.
Transversely, the Greyhounds are just 2-5 when two or fewer players tally 10 or more with their only wins coming on December 7 at George Washington and Sunday at Manhattan.
45-Percent Or Better
Loyola improved to 11-1 this season when shooting 45.0-percent or better from the field with its win over Manhattan. The only loss the Greyhounds have suffered when shooting that mark or better was on February 24 when they went 25-of-55 (.455) from the field at Rider and lost by four.
20 Or Less
In holding the Jaspers to 19-of-52 from the field, Loyola moved to a perfect 6-0 this year when holding opponents to 20 or fewer field goals made. The Greyhounds have beaten Manhattan twice this season when allowing just 19 field goals made.
Stand On 21
Loyola committed 21 turnovers in the game against Manhattan, tying its season-high for miscues. The Greyhounds, however, have won both games in which they committed 21 turnovers, also defeating George Washington on December 5.
Including a game in which it had 20 turnovers at Fairfield, Loyola is 3-0 when coughing up the ball 20 or more times.
Last Time Out
Manhattan led by 11 with 11:36 to play in regulation after Kidani Burtus knocked down his fourth 3-pointer of the game, but Loyola went on to score 23 of the game’s final 33 points to defeat the Jaspers, 62-60, to clinch second place in the MAAC.
A Shane Walker putback dunk with 7:52 to go pulled the Greyhounds within three, but Mohamed Koita made a three from the left corner to extend Manhattan’s advantage back to six.
The teams traded jumpers in the paint before Loyola went on a 7-0 run. Anthony Winbush caught a halfcourt outlet pass by Erik Etherly and scored to tie the game at 57-57 with 3:35 left, and R.J. Williams made 1-of-2 at the line with 2:29 to go, pushing the Greyhounds up by one.
George Beamon converted on a traditional 3-point play with 2:16 left, but that is the last Manhattan would score. The Jaspers forced a turnover, but as Loyola was pressing, Justin Drummond slipped into the passing lane, stole the ball and dunked to tie the game with 1:44 left. Etherly then scored the final points with 61 ticks left on a putback of his own.
Loyola’s three most recent losses underscored the importance for the Greyhounds of capitalizing on a few areas of the box score.
Seven of Loyola’s eight losses have come when scoring fewer transition points – and the eighth loss was in a game that the teams tied in the category – than its opponents.
The Greyhounds also dropped to 2-6 this year in the eight games they have shot fewer free throws than their opponents, compared to 16-2 when shooting more.
Loyola is also 4-8 when its opponents have a better field-goal percentage, compared to 16-0 when the Greyhounds shoot at a better clip.
Leading The Charge
Robert Olson and Erik Etherly paced the Greyhounds in their 18 MAAC games as the top two scorers. Etherly again is slightly ahead of Olson, scoring-wise, tallying 239 (13.3 per game) points to Olson’s 225 (12.5).
The duo shot 48.6-percent from the field (159-of-327) during league play, and Olson was 42-of-94 (.447) from 3-point range.
Olson’s Last 15
Robert Olson entered the month of January averaging 8.9 points per game through Loyola’s first 11, and he stayed right on that track in the first two games of 2012, scoring a combined 17.
Since then, however, he has averaged 13.6 points per game, starting with a 16-point game on January 7 against Canisius. The game against the Golden Griffins started a stretch of 11-straight in which Olson scored 11 or more points and had 15 or more seven times. During the last 15 games, Olson has shot 67-of-134, an even 50-percent, from the field and 41-of-84 (.488) from behind the 3-point line.
Currently, he is second in the MAAC In 3-point percentage and 13th in field-goal percentage, fourth amongst guards.
With his next three, his 61st of the season, Olson will move into a tie with Charlie Bell (2003-2004) for 10th in Loyola single-season history. His 132 career threes are sixth in school history.
Reitz Was Rockin’
The Greyhounds’ games in Reitz Arena against Rider and Iona were both been sellout crowds of 2,100. It marked the first time since Reitz opened in December 1984 that the gym has had back-to-back sellout crowds.
The crowd on February 3 against Rider was the building’s first sellout since November 14, 2008, against Mount St. Mary’s.
Six Under Sixty
For the first time in its NCAA Division I history (since 1981-1982), Loyola held six consecutive opponents to fewer than 60 points.
During the span, all Loyola victories, the Greyhounds have held Siena, Saint Peter’s (twice), Niagara, Canisius and Rider to an average of 53.2 points per game.
The Greyhounds previously had held three teams to sub-60 performances just once since joining Division I, and that came during 1981-1982, their first season at this level. The last time a Loyola team held six-straight teams under 60, regardless of division, came in January-February 1977 when it held six teams in a row – Southampton, Saint Peter’s, Randolph-Macon, Mount St. Mary’s, Baltimore and Philadelphia Textile – to 59 or fewer. The Greyhounds, however, were just 3-3 in that stretch.
During The Six
Loyola’s success during the six games was reflected in several statistics. Opponents were shooting .387, .046 lower than the season average of .433. Also, Loyola held foes to .241 from 3-point range, more than 10 points lower than the season mark of .350.
Following the Greyhounds’ game at Iona on January 15, Loyola was ranked 265th in field-goal percentage defense (.449), 325th in 3-point defense (.389), and 163rd in scoring defense (66.2).
After the six games the Greyhounds to 193rd in field goal percentage defense (.443), 215th in 3-point defense (.350) and 71st in scoring defense (62.8).
Almost 20 Years
Rider’s 46 points were the fewest Loyola has allowed since the Greyhounds defeated Niagara, 68-45, on February 21, 1992, a stretch of 521 games.
Loyola has now held opponents to 49 or fewer points eight times since joining NCAA Division I in 1981-1982. The Greyhounds did it twice each in 1981-1982, 1984-1985 and 1991-1992 and once in 1983-1984.
Tied For Third In Road Wins
As of the beginning of the week, Loyola’s 11 road wins are tied for third in NCAA Division I. Murray State leads the way with 13 wins away from home, and Wagner is second with 12, while the Greyhounds were tied with MAAC foe Iona, Drexel, Cleveland State, Lehigh and Robert Morris.
Walker Moves Into Second
Shane Walker blocked two Fairfield shots in the first three minutes of the game, and he then swatted a Maurice Barrow layup with 13:58 on the clock, tying him for second all-time at Loyola in blocked shots. He now has 130 in his career, second all-time.
The 19 steals are the second-most in school history, one more than the Greyhounds posted in a November 29, 1997, game at Kent State. It is also the most Loyola has recorded against a Division I opponent. The school single-game record of 20 came on February 28, 1996, when the team closed the regular-season against St. Mary’s (Md.).
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. Patsos, who is in his eighth 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).
Two Of A Kind
Although unofficial, research shows that Jimmy Patsos is one of only two coaches in the last 20 years to take a team that won just one game the year prior to his arrival.
Brigham Young finished the 1996-1997 season with a 1-25 record. Steve Cleveland took over the following season and tallied 138 wins until his departure for Fresno State after the 2004-2005 season.
Men’s & Women’s Coaches With 100
Loyola University Maryland is one of just 26 mid-major schools that has men’s and women’s basketball coaches with 100 or more victories at their current school after Greyhound women’s coach Joe Logan got his 100th on December 18 in a win at George Washington. Loyola is the only school in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to have accomplished the feat, and it is one of only five institutions at which the coaches have both won 100 or more games in 10 or fewer seasons.
Baltimore Bred And More From Nearby
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. Three players – sophomore guard Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons), sophomore forward Jordan Latham (City) and freshman guard R.J. Williams (St. Frances) are products of schools within the city limits.