Loyola tries to snap funk Saturday at Colgate

February 21, 2014 | WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Colgate Raiders

Saturday, February 22, 2014  |  2:00 p.m.

Hamilton, N.Y. | Cottrell Court  |  PLN

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland plays its penultimate regular-season road game of the year on Saturday, February 22, in Hamilton, N.Y., where it will take on Colgate University

The Greyhounds are looking for their first conference road win of the season.

Jordan Latham led Loyola in scoring, tying with Jarred Jones for team-high honors, for the second game in a row against Bucknell on Wednesday night. It was the third time in his career he has paced Loyola in points.

Latham is averaging 9.1 points in Patriot League play after finishing non-conference play averaging 5.0. He is shooting 49.5 percent from the field in the 15 League games.

 

Last Time Out

The Greyhounds had their worst half of the season in the first 20 minutes on Wednesday night against Bucknell, scoring just 14 points to trail by the same number at halftime. Loyola rallied, however, taking a lead of as many as seven in the second half before ultimately falling, 55-53, to the Bison.

R.J. Williams made a driving layup with 1:13 left for Loyola, but Cameron Ayers hit a 3-pointer from the right win to put Bucknell up, 55-53, with less than 16 seconds left.

Jarred Jones’ layup attempt with four seconds remaining rolled around more than half of the rim before falling off to give the Bison the win.

 

 

Patriot League Network

Saturday’s game against Colgate 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.

 

Series History Versus Colgate

Loyola and Colgate will meet for the second time as Patriot League foes and the fourth time overall when the teams take the floor on Saturday afternoon.

The teams had not played in over 30 years before Loyola hosted the Raiders on January 25, 2014, in Reitz Arena.

Dylon Cormier and R.J. Williams scored 16 of Loyola’s final 18 points, and the Greyhounds held off the Raiders, 67-60, in that contest. Cormier finished with 21 points, and Williams had a career-high 15

Colgate led by as many as nine early in the first half, but Loyola ended up with a 31-24 halftime advantage.

Loyola won the programs’ first meeting on December 22, 1974, taking a 79-78 decision in the opening round of the Scranton Holiday Tournament.

The Raiders were 56-54 winners the next time the teams squared off. They met in the Albright Invitational Consolation Game on December 30, 1983, in Reading, Pa.

 

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 last 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.

He followed that game by leading the team in scoring for the second game in a row, tying Jarred Jones with 13 points, on Wednesday night against Colgate. He had career-highs of seven free-throws made and 11 attempted in that contest. It was the first time in his career that he had led the team in scoring in back-to-back games.

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 15 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 9.1 points in League contests.

In conference games, Latham is shooting 49.5 percent (33.8 non-conference), and he is also better at the free-throw line, making 67.4 percent as opposed to 47.4.

Latham has also rebounded better, 4.2 in the League, up from 3.4, and his blocked shots per game are 1.5, higher than his previous 1.1.

The improved play in the Patriot League has raised his cumulative totals to 7.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

In Patriot League play, his 1.5 blocked shots are fourth in the conference, and his 1.3 overall are 6th.

 

Laster Impression

Eric Laster has set career-highs in scoring in two of the Greyhounds’ last four 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 26 games, 23 starts, this year, Laster is second on the team with an 8.2 points per game average. He is shooting 41.2 percent from the field and 40.5 percent form 3-point range. The sophomore also has averaged 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He played a career-high 37 minutes on February 19 against Bucknell to raise his minutes per game to 27.3.

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.

 

Turnover Back In Line

After two games in which the Greyhounds had two of their top three turnover totals of the season – 17 at Lafayette and 22 versus Boston University – they had their lowest mark of the year with just five against Bucknell.

It was the sixth time this season Loyola finished a game with nine or fewer miscues. It is 4-2 in those games with both losses coming at the hands of the Bison.

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.

Overall, turnovers have not been a major issue for the Greyhounds this season. They are averaging 12.0 giveaways per game this year, fourth fewest in the Patriot League. Additionally, Loyola is tops in the conference in turnover margin, averaging 2.12 fewer per game than its opponents.

 

Block Party

Jordan Latham and Jarred Jones have combined for 21 blocked shots in the last five games for the Greyhounds (Latham 12, Jones 9), helping Loyola take over the Patriot League lead in blocked shots per game (4.3).

Latham had four versus American, and Jones tallied four at Lehigh.

Latham had three against both Boston University and Bucknell to retake  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).

 

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-ing For Points

Jarred Jones has scored in double figures each of the last two games – 10 against Boston University and 13 versus Bucknell – after recording just seven points in a three-game stretch from February 5-12. Prior to that skid, he scored 17, his second highest total of the year, on February 1 versus Army.

He also has six rebounds in each of the last three Greyhounds games.

 

Jones On The Defensive End

Although he struggled offensively during a stretch, 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 has at least two steals in each of Loyola’s last seven games, dating back to January 29 against Holy Cross. He also has blocked two or more shots in five of the last seven games with a career-high tying four on February 8 at Lehigh. He is second on the team with 32 blocks and seventh in the League with 1.3 per game.

Jones is also seventh in the Patriot League in steals per game. He averages 1.5 per game with a total of 39.

 

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 (4.0). 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 58 assists in 14 games for an average of 4.1.

The junior from Baltimore has also increased his scoring average during Patriot League play. Overall he is averaging 7.7 points per game, 8.1 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 (27.7-20.1).

 

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 44.9 percent while going 7-5 at home. Opponents are shooting 46.4 percent in their own facilities, 43.7 percent in Reitz Arena.

The Greyhounds turn the ball over at a rate of almost one per game more on the road (12.4-11.6), and they also force nearly two more turnovers at home (15.1-13.4).

With these factors, the Greyhounds are averaging nearly seven points less per game on the road, 62.7, to their 69.1 points per game at home.

 

Sticky Fingers

The Greyhounds posted 10 steals against Bucknell on February 19, marking the sixth time in 16 Patriot League games that they have grabbed 10 or more. Through February 21, Loyola leads the League with 8.4 steals overall.

Through games of February 20, the Greyhounds are 17th nationally at 8.38 steals per game. Loyola has had 11 or more steals in eight games through 26 contests.

R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is 14th 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 120 in his career, Williams is 10th on the career chart. His 55 this season are tied for ninth on the school single-season chart.

 

Cormier’s Scoring

Dylon Cormier had 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 Thursday, February 21, 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.

 

Over 1,600

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 had 1,659 career points through 115 career games.

 

Telling Stat

In Loyola’s 16 losses this season, the Greyhounds are shooting more than 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 37.7 percent (343-of-909) in 16 losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 14.9 less (74.8 versus 59.9) 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:

 

Scoring
7th 1,659 points
Next Mike Krawczyk, 1,676
Field Goals Made
10th 552 field goals made
Next Gene Gwiazdowski, 565
3-Pointers Made
13th 96 3-Pt. Made
Next B.J. Davis, 104
Free Throws Made
2nd 459 free throws made
Next Jim Lacy, 613
Assists
20th 210 assists
Next Dave Wojick, 219
Steals
2nd 185 steals
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.

 

High Marks

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.

 

Up Next

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.

Following that contest, Loyola will close the regular-season in nearby Annapolis, Md., where it will take on the U.S. Naval Academy at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 1.

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