Loyola opens hoops season with exhibition against Seton Hill

November 05, 2012 | WNST Staff

Opponent Seton Hill University Griffins
Date Monday, November 5, 2012
Time 7:30 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Reitz Arena

Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball will hit the hardwood for the first time in front of a crowd against outside competition on Monday night when it hosts Seton Hill University in an free exhibition game that will start at 7:30 p.m. in Reitz Arena.

The Greyhounds, who finished the 2011-2012 season with a school Division I record 24-9 mark, are gearing up for their 2012-2013 regular-season opener on Friday, November 9, against Binghamton University at 7:30 p.m. Last year, the Greyhounds on the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 18 years.

Monday’s exhibition, which is free of charge to all fans, will be broadcast live on Hounds Unleashed for those unable to attend. The game, like all non-televised home contests this season, will be streamed free of charge through the video arm of LoyolaGreyhounds.com and is available on all computers and most smart mobile devices.

Seton Hill will provide an excellent test for the Greyhounds. The Division II Griffins compete in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, known as one of the toughest in the nation.

Three Loyola players were named to the Preseason All-MAAC teams yesterday, led by senior forward Erik Etherly who garnered a First Team nod. Senior guard Robert Olson and junior guard Dylon Cormier both were named to the Second Team.

Etherly led the Greyhounds in scoring (13.7 points per game), rebound (7.5 rpg) and blocked shots (50) last season and was named the MAAC Championships Most Valuable Player as the Greyhounds won the title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 18 years. He also was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District II Second Team, becoming just the second player in school history to earn district honors from the coaches.

He is now one of five players – joining Siena College’s O.D. Anoskie, Manhattan College’s George Beamon, Iona College’s Lamont Jones and Fairfield University’s Derek Needham – eligible to be named MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, an honor that will be announced on Friday, November 9, during the MAAC Preseason Awards Show that will air live on ESPN3. The MAAC Preseason Poll will also be announced at that time.

Cormier finished the year with a 13.4 points per game average and led the Greyhounds with 51 steals. He raised his shooting percentage from .379 to .461 from his freshman to sophomore years and led the Greyhounds in scoring 11 times while topping the 20-point mark seven times.

Olson, who Wednesday was named one of 30 candidates for the national Senior CLASS Award, emerged as one of the nation’s top shooters from long range last season. He averaged 11.1 points per game and made 66 3-pointers during the year, the sixth-most in school single season history. He enters his senior season third on the Greyhounds’ all-time 3-point percentage chart (.4107) and sixth in career threes (138).

Joining the three will be a host of veterans that include graduate student Anthony Winbush, a versatile player who can line up at all five positions on the court, and senior Julius Brooks, a tough forward who is a tenacious rebounder and shot blocker.

Winbush came off the bench for much of the season, seeing six starts and playing in all 33 games, and averaged 3.2 points and 3.0 rebounds. He also was second on the team in steals with 39, behind only Cormier’s 51.

Brooks, who has started at times in his career, provided valuable minutes off the bench last season as a post player. He enters the season 16th in Loyola history in blocked shots.

Jordan Latham is back for his second year at Loyola and will see more minutes in the post after averaging more than 12 per game last year. The junior saw his minutes rise steadily as the year wore on, and he made his presence known in the MAAC Championship Game when he contributed five points, five rebounds and two emphatic blocked shots.

R.J. Williams returns to the team after starting 29 games last season and leading the team with 85 assists. With those team-leading assists, he committed just 49 turnovers and had 38 steals in the backcourt.

In addition to those players, veterans Luke Wandrusch and Chido Onyiuke return to lend depth to Head Coach Jimmy Patsos’ lineup, along with a slew of newcomers guards Tyler Hubbard – a redshirt freshman who will see his first game action this year – Eric Laster, Jarred Jones and Sean Tuohy, Jr., and post players Franz Rassman and Josh Forney.