Loyola Greyhounds vs. Bucknell Bison
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | 7:30 p.m.
Baltimore, Md. | Reitz Arena | PLN
Quick Hits About The ’Hounds
Loyola University Maryland plays its second-straight home game on Wednesday, February 19, at 7:30 p.m. when it hosts Bucknell University in Reitz Arena.
Loyola has won five of seven Patriot League games in Reitz Arena this year. The Greyhounds are 7-4 overall at home this season.
After shooting 52 percent from the field on Saturday night against Boston University, Loyola is shooting eight percent better in games at Reitz Arena as compared to those away from home (.462-.382). It also averages nearly two assists more (12.1-10.3).
Jordan Latham is averaging 8.9 points in Patriot League play after finishing non-conference play averaging 5.0.
Last Time Out
Loyola outshot and outrebounded Boston University on Saturday night, but 22 Greyhounds turnovers led to 27 Terriers points in an 87-22 loss in Reitz Arena.
The Greyhounds shot 52 percent from the field (26-of-50) and had a 13-rebound advantage (37-24), but Boston University created 13 of the turnovers via steals.
Loyola’s steals allowed and turnovers committed were season highs.
Jordan Latham had his first career double-double, making 10-of-16 field goals and finishing with career-bests of 25 points and 10 rebounds.
Eric Laster also had a career-high with 18 points, knocking down 6-of-7 shots, including both of his 3-pointers.
Patriot League Network
Wednesday’s game against American will air live on the Patriot League Network.
The contest, and all of Loyola’s remaining, non-televised home and road games will be streamed, free of charge, in high definition and can be accessed at www.patriotleague.tv.
Gary Lambrecht will call the play-by-play, and Jim Chivers ’05 will provide color analysis.
Series History Versus Bucknell
Loyola and Bucknell will meet for the 10th time on the hardwood when the teams take the floor Wednesday night in a series that the programs had played the past four years prior to Loyola joining the Patriot League.
The Bison hold a 7-2 lead in the all-time series. The teams completed a four-game home-and-home series last year, and stretch in which the visiting team defeated the road team in each meeting.
Bucknell broke that streak of the road team winning on January 22 when the Bison dealt Loyola a 70-60 loss in Lewisburg, Pa.
Cameron Ayers made 10-of-10 free throws in the game for Bucknell and finished with 19 points for the Bison. Bucknell took 34 free throws to Loyola’s 16 in the game, and the Bison made 27.
Loyola had a five-point lead five minutes into the second half, but Bucknell tied it on a Ryan Hill three with 14:46 left. Dylon Cormier tallied 20 for Loyola to lead all players.
Start Of A New Era
Loyola’s January 2 game against Navy marked the start of a new era for Loyola basketball, the Greyhounds’ first game as a member of the Patriot League.
Loyola announced in August 2012 it would join the 10-school League, and it officially became a member on July 1, 2013.
The Greyhounds had been members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) since 1989-1990.
Academic Honors For Rassman
Last week, sophomore forward Franz Rassman was named to the Capital One Academic All-America District II Team for his excellence in the classroom.
Rassman, who has started 20-of-21 games and is averaging 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, is now eligible for Academic All-America honors along with district honorees from around the nation.
Cormier Has Hand Surgery
Dylon Cormier, the leading scorer in the Patriot League (21.2 points per game) fractured his left hand in a loose-ball scramble on Saturday, February 1, against the U.S. Military Academy, and he had surgery on February 5 to stabilize the break, likely ending his season.
Cormier was also second in the Patriot League in steals (2.2) and fifth in rebounds (5.8) at the time of his injury.
Career Night For Latham
Jordan Latham recorded career-highs in several categories on Saturday night against Boston University, logging his first collegiate double-double with bests of 25 points and 10 rebounds.
Latham made 10-of-16 field goals and 5-of-8 free throws (career-highs in both made and attempted for both) while also blocking three shots and tying his personal-best with two steals.
The senior forward from Baltimore scored 16 points in the first half, more than any other Loyola player has tallied in the opening 20 minutes this year. He played a career-high 33 minutes, as well in the game.
His previous scoring high of 17 came in December 2012 at Florida Gulf Coast University, and he had a high of seven rebounds earlier this season at Cornell University.
Latham And The League
In Loyola’s 14 Patriot League contests, Jordan Latham has significantly raised his scoring contributions. He finished Loyola’s regular-season slate of 11 games with a 5.0 points per game, but he has bumped that up to 8.9 points in League contests.
In conference games, Latham is shooting 50.5 percent (33.8 non-conference), and he is also better at the free-throw line, making 68.6 percent as opposed to 47.4.
Latham has also rebounded better, 4.3 in the League, up from 3.4, and his blocked shots per game are 1.4, higher than his previous 1.1.
The improved play in the Patriot League has raised his cumulative totals to 7.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.
Eric Laster has set career-highs in scoring in two of the Greyhounds’ last three games. He recorded 18 points on February 15 against Boston University, clipping his previous best of 17 on February 8 at Lehigh.
Laster’s 18 against the Terriers came in a much more efficient manner than the 17 against the Mountain Hawks. He made 6-of-7 from the field, including both of his 3-point attempts, against Boston University after hitting 6-of-15 at Lehigh.
Through 25 games, 23 starts, this year, Laster is second on the team with an 8.4 points per game average. He is shooting 42.0 percent from the field and 41.0 percent form 3-point range. The sophomore also has averaged 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.
In 27 games as a freshman in 2011-2012, Laster averaged 0.8 points and 0.4 rebounds in 5.3 minutes of action per game.
Loyola has seen its turnovers rise sharply in its last two games, posting two of its three highest miscue totals against Lafayette and Boston University. After posting 17 against the Leopards, Loyola had a season-high 22 versus the Terriers.
Thirteen of the turnovers against Boston University came via Terriers’ steals in a game Loyola was playing without starting point guard R.J. Williams due to an injury.
The game against Boston University was just the sixth time this season that the Greyhounds have committed more turnovers than their opponents. They are 2-4 in those games.
Turnovers have not been a major issue for the Greyhounds this season. They are averaging 12.3 giveaways per game this year, third fewest in the Patriot League. Additionally, Loyola is tops in the conference in turnover margin, averaging 1.8 fewer per game than its opponents.
Jordan Latham and Jarred Jones have combined for 16 blocked shots in the last four games for the Greyhounds, helping Loyola take over the Patriot League lead in blocked shots per game (4.2).
Latham had four versus America, and Jones tallied four at Lehigh.
Latham had three against Boston University to take over the seasonal team lead from Jones. The duo is sixth and seventh, respectively, in blocked shots per game in the Patriot League, averaging 1.3 and 1.2 a contest.
Patton’s Playing Time
With R.J. Williams out against Boston University due to an injury, Jevon Patton saw a season-high 23 minutes at the point guard spot.
The freshman from Charlotte scored just two points, but he dished out six assists, the third most in a game by a Loyola player this season (Williams has had games with 10 and nine assists).
Tuohy Into The Box Score
Redshirt freshman guard Sean Tuohy Jr. scored the first points of his collegiate career on Saturday against Boston University, grabbing a rebound before being fouled and converting two free throws.
Hubbard Hits From Deep
Tyler Hubbard had one of the best 3-point shooting nights in school history against American, making 6-of-7 attempts on his way to a career-high 20 points.
Hubbard’s six threes are tied for sixth-most in school single-game history, and they were the most since Robert Olson and J’hared Hall both hit six in a game at Manhattan on January 7, 2011.
The sophomore out of Washington, D.C., made three in both halves with his only miss coming in the first. He also made both of his free throw attempts after being fouled with 25 seconds left. He eclipsed his previous career-high of 17 scored on 6-of-7 shooting, 4-of-5 from behind the arc, in a November 14, 2012, game against UMBC.
A week earlier, Hubbard scored his previous season-high of 13 at College of the Holy Cross when he made 4-of-6 from deep.
Winning Without Boards
Loyola posted a season-low 17 rebounds on February 5 against American, but the Greyhounds also had the distinction of tying the mark for the fewest rebounds in a win by a NCAA Division I team this season (according to Stats, Inc.)
Delaware and Indiana State also had 17 rebounds in wins over College of Charleston and Pepperdine, respectively, this season. Ironically, Delaware’s win with 17 boards came on the same day as Loyola victory over American.
Jones On The Defensive End
While he has scored just 17 points in Loyola’s last four games, Jarred Jones has continued to be a solid defensive player for the Greyhounds. In those games, he has blocked seven shots and come up with 10 steals.
He had four blocked shots at Lehigh to match his career-high set in the season-opener at Binghamton. He is second on the team with 30 total blocked shots and is seventh in the conference with 1.2 per game.
Jones is also eighth in the Patriot League in steals per game after nabbing four against American. He averages 1.3 per game with a total of 37.
Gorski Garners Starting Role
Freshman post player Nick Gorski drew his first starting assignment as a collegian on February 8 against Army, and the Richmond, Va., native scored nine points in 22 minutes of action.
The start came on the heels of his first extended playing time since December. He made all three of his field goals and both of his free-throw attempts last Wednesday, finishing with career-highs of nine points and five rebounds in 18 minutes at Holy Cross.
Prior to the last six games Gorski had seen 10 or more minutes just twice this season. He tallied 13 minutes and scored seven points in an overtime win at Cornell, and he then played 16 minutes on December 21 against Saint Joseph’s.
His 18 points in the two games against Holy Cross and Army nearly doubled his previous output this season. He entered the Holy Cross game with 23 points through 16 contests.
Setting Up The Shots
R.J. Williams finished the February 1 game against Army with nine assists, one off his career-high of 10 set on January 13 against Lafayette.
Williams is sixth in the Patriot League in assists per game (4.1). He had 34 assists in eight non-conference games, and he entered January and Patriot League action averaging 3.8 per game. Since then, Williams has 55 assists in 13 games for an average of 4.2.
The junior from Baltimore has also increased his scoring average during Patriot League play. Overall he is averaging 7.8 points per game, 8.2 against conference opponents.
Gotta Get To The Line
The Greyhounds have seen their most success this season when getting to the free-throw line consistently. They are 6-2 when attempting 25 or more free throws (wins over Binghamton, Cornell, Fairfield, UMBC, Navy and Lafayette; losses to Stony Brook and Saint Joseph’s). In the Loyola’s three other wins, Catholic, Lehigh and Colgate, it took 19, 24 and 18 free throws, respectively.
Overall, Loyola is getting to the free-throw line more than seven fewer times in losses than wins (27.7-20.6).
Away From The Friendly Confines
Loyola lost its 11th straight road game on February 12 at Lafayette after winning its first three this season away from Reitz Arena. At 3-11 on the road, the Greyhounds are shooting 38.2 percent as opposed to 45.4 percent while going 7-3 at home. Opponents are shooting 46.4 percent in their own facilities, 42.4 percent in Reitz Arena.
Loyola does shoot slightly better from 3-point range on the road, making 31.2 percent of shots from behind the arc as compared to 28.0 at home.
The Greyhounds turn the ball over at a rate of one per game more on the road (12.4-11.2), and they also force an additional turnover at home (14.9-13.4).
With these factors, the Greyhounds are averaging nearly nine points less per game on the road, 62.7, to their 71.3 points per game at home.
The Greyhounds posted 11 steals against American on February 5, marking the fifth time in 14 Patriot League games that they have grabbed 10 or more. Through February 18, Loyola leads the League with 8.3 steals overall.
Through games of February 18, the Greyhounds are tied for 17th nationally with Syracuse at 8.32 steals per game. Loyola has had 11 or more steals in eight games through 25 contests.
R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is 17th nationally in steals per game (2.4), while Dylon Cormier is second (2.19) and 25th.
In the January 25 game against Colgate, Cormier had two steals, moving him past Tracy Bergan and into second on the all-time steals list at Loyola. Bergan was in attendance at the game as part of the Greyhounds’ 1994 NCAA Tournament team that was honored that night. He now has 185 in his career.
With 117 in his career, Williams is 11th on the career chart.
Dylon Cormier has been one of the top scorers in the nation this season, averaging 21.2 points per game through 21 and the time of his injury. Through games of Monday, February 17, Cormier was 14th in the nation in points per game.
Cormier scored 20 or more points in the Greyhounds’ first five games, and he had three 30-plus point efforts during that stretch, as well.
Overall, he has 14 20-plus point games in 21 contests, and he has recorded 25 or more eight times.
On November 20 at UMBC, Cormier had a career-high 12 field goals and went 9-of-13 from the line to match his career-best with 34 points (also set on November 10 at Cornell).
No Loyola player in the school’s Division I era (since 1981-1982) had started the season with five-straight 20-point games. Andre Collins, who set the school single-season scoring record at 26.1, started the 2005-2006 season with 20 or more points in five of six games, but he scored just 16 in the Greyhounds’ third game of the season.
Cormier was the first player in Loyola men’s basketball history to post two 30+ point games to start the season.
He was also the first Loyola player to score 30 or more in back-to-back outings since Collins went for 34, 36 and 39 in three-straight games (all on the road at VMI, Delaware and Providence) from December 29, 2005-January 3, 2006.
In the first half of the game at Bucknell, Dylon Cormier hit the 1,600 career points mark, becoming the seventh player in school history to do so, the fifth in the program’s tenure at Division I.
At Boston University, Cormier moved into seventh-place all-time at Loyola in scoring, passing Mike Powell and his 1,580 points. At the time of his injury, Cormier now had 1,659 career points through 115 career games.
In Loyola’s 15 losses this season, the Greyhounds are shooting nearly nine percent worse from the floor than they are in their eight victories.
Loyola has made 47.0 percent (249-of-530) shots in 10 wins versus 38.1 percent (325-of-853) in 15 losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 14.4 less (74.8 versus 60.4) points per game.
As one would expect, opponents are shooting better (47.0-42.5) in the games they’ve won.
Start Of The Smith Era
G.G. Smith was named the 20th head coach in Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball history on April 12, 2013. Her garnered his first head coaching win on November 8, 2013, in the season-opener against Binghamton.
The 1999 graduate of the University of Georgia spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Loyola for Jimmy Patsos who took the head coaching position at Siena College in March.
Loyola amassed a 106-87 record (.549) during Smith’s six years as an assistant. The 106 wins and the .549 winning percentage are the best of any six-year stretch during Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982-1983).
As a player, Smith was a three-year starter and four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs from 1995-1999. Smith helped the Bulldogs advance to the 1996 NCAA Sweet 16 and another tournament appearance in 1997. He left Georgia as the school’s career leader in games played (129), wins in a season (24) and 3-pointers in a game (nine).
Smith is the son of current Texas Tech University Head Coach Tubby Smith. The elder Smith led the University of Kentucky to the 1998 NCAA Championship and is in his 23rd season as a head coach. G.G. Smith played for his father from 1995-1997 at Georgia.
Look Back At 2012-2013
Loyola finished the 2012-2013 season with a 23-12 record, marking the first time in the school’s Division I history (since 1982-1983) that the Greyhounds have posted back-to-back 20-win seasons.
The Greyhounds finished their final season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 12-6 mark, tying for second place.
After falling in the first round of the MAAC Championships, Loyola its first-ever bid tot he CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Following the Greyhounds’ 2012 appearance in the NCAA Tournament, it was the first consecutive postseason bids in school Division I history and the first since 1953 in any division of competition.
Erik Etherly and Dylon Cormier became the first set of Loyola teammates to be named to the All-MAAC First Team in the same year.
Five players – Julius Brooks, Etherly, Robert Olson, Luke Wandrusch and Anthony Winbush – graduated after the season, leaving behind combined career totals of 3,413 points, 1,930 rebounds, 575 assists and 395 steals.
Cormier On The Charts
Dylon Cormier entered his senior season at Loyola with a chance to climb many of the Greyhounds’ career statistical charts. Here is a look at where he stands:
|Next||Mike Krawczyk, 1,676|
|Field Goals Made|
|10th||552 field goals made|
|Next||Gene Gwiazdowski, 565|
|13th||96 3-Pt. Made|
|Next||B.J. Davis, 104|
|Free Throws Made|
|2nd||459 free throws made|
|Next||Jim Lacy, 613|
|Next||Dave Wojick, 219|
|Next||Jason Rowe, 272|
Into The Fold
Loyola signed three high school seniors in the early signing period to comprise its Class of 2018.
Forward Cam Gregory (Waldorf, Md./St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes) and guards Chancellor Barnard (Columbia, Md./Glenelg Country School) and Colton Bishop (Winston-Salem, N.C./Forsyth County Day School) will join the program in the fall.
For more on the trio, visit http://loyo.la/MBB-NLIs-13.
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 2003-2006.
Following that Bucknell game, Loyola travels to Hamilton, N.Y., for a Saturday, February 22, game at Colgate University.
The Greyhounds return to Reitz Arena for their final regular-season home game against College of the Holy Cross on Wednesday, February 26. Loyola will celebrate its four seniors – Dylon Cormier, Jordan Latham, Chido Onyiuke and manager Zan Cheema – prior to the game.