Loyola welcomes former MAAC rival Fairfield to Reitz Arena Saturday

November 15, 2013 | WNST Staff

Game Information
Opponent Fairfield Stags
Date Saturday, November 16, 2013
Time 8:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Reitz Arena
Television MASN (Baltimore/Mid-Atlantic) | SNY (New York/Connecticut)

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

  • Loyola University Maryland welcomes a familiar foe to Reitz Arena, but this time as a non-conference opponent.
  • The Greyhounds will host their former Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rival Fairfield University on Saturday, November 16, at 8 p.m.
  • The game will air live on MASN, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, in the Baltimore-Washington and Mid-Atlantic areas, and it will be simulcast on SNY in the New York and Connecticut region.
  • Loyola is off to its first 2-0 start since the 2005-2006 season.
  • G.G. Smith became the first Loyola coach since Skip Prosser in 1993-1994 to win his first two games as the Greyhounds’ head coach.

Last Time Out    

  • Dylon Cormier scored seven unanswered points in a stretch of 54 seconds late in the second half to tie the score at 73-73, and after the teams ended regulation tied at 79-79, Cormier score eight of Loyola’s 14 points in overtime to secure a 93-89 victory over host Cornell University last Sunday.
  • Cormier finished with career-highs of 34 points and 11 rebounds for his first collegiate double-double, whileJarred Jones added 13, and Jordan Latham and Eric Laster each had 10.
  • Loyola’s bench outscored Cornell’s 30-13 in the game.
  • The Greyhounds had a 2:1 assist:turnover ratio, dishing out 14 helpers.

Turn On The Television    

  • Saturday’s game is the first of four-straight, and nine overall, Loyola men’s basketball games that will be televised. MASN will air the broadcast in the Mid-Atlantic region, while SNY will simulcast the broadcast in the New York and Connecticut areas.
  • Mark Viviano will call the play-by-play, and Craig Esherick will handle color analysis duties.

Cormier Earns League Acclaim    

  • Dylon Cormier had a career-high setting opening weekend in the Greyhounds’ victories over Binghamton University and Cornell University, and he was named the Anaconda Sports Patriot League Player of the Week on Monday for his efforts.
  • Through two games this year, Cormier is averaging 32.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game.
  • He set and reset his career-high in scoring last weekend, tallying 31 in the season-opening win over the Bearcats before going for 34 less than 48 hours later against Cornell.
  • Against the Big Red, Cormier had a career-high 11 rebounds for his first collegiate double-double, and he had three steals in both outings.

Series History Versus Fairfield    

  • Loyola and Fairfield will meet for the 56th time on the hardwood Saturday night with the Stags entering the game with a 36-19 advantage in the previous meetings.
  • The Greyhounds won both meetings last season, rallying from a late second-half deficit to force overtime in the first game and then pulling away in the second half for a win on the road in the second.
  • In the first game, Loyola held Fairfield scoreless for the final 4:47 of regulation and the first 1:39 of the extra period.
  • Fairfield led 47-41 with 4:47 on the second-half clock, but the Stags would not score again in regulation as Loyola went on an 8-0 run that spanned into overtime where Jordan Latham scored the first basket. Although the Stags tied the game after Latham’s bucket, Dylon Cormier put Loyola in front for good at 2:49. Neither team led by more than six in the game.
  • In the second game, at Fairfield, Dylon Cormier and Erik Etherly became the first pair of Greyhounds to score their 1,000th points in the same game. Loyola built a 10-point lead in the second half that the Stags eventually cut to three, but the Greyhounds secured the win with free throws late.
  • The teams split their regular-season meetings in 2011-2012 each winning on the other’s home court, but Loyola won the rubber match, 48-44, at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass., in the MAAC Championship game.

Quick Start    

  • Loyola’s 2-0 record through the first week of the year marks the first time since 2005-2006 that the Greyhounds have opened the season with a pair of wins.
  • It is also the first time in Loyola’s Division I era (since 1981-1982) that the Greyhounds started 2-0 with both wins coming on the road.
  • G. G. Smith also became the first Loyola head coach since Skip Prosser to win his first two games at the helm of the Greyhounds program.

Down The Stretch    

  • As good as Dylon Cormier has been this season, he has been at his best during the waning minutes of games. In the final 10 minutes – last 10 of the second half at Binghamton, final five of regulation and five minutes of overtime at Cornell – of Loyola’s first two contests, Cormier has scored 28 points, more than half of the Greyhounds’ 50 during that time period.
  • In the final 10 minutes of each game, Loyola has outscored opponents, 50-39, more than the nine-point combined differential in the two wins.
  • Loyola has also shown an advantage on the boards during the final 10 minutes of games, outrebounding foes, 29-21.

Cormier’s 30+ Point Games    

  • Dylon Cormier is the first player in Loyola men’s basketball history to post two 30+ point games to start the season.
  • He is the first Loyola player to score 30 or more in back-to-back outings since Andre 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.

Bench Contributions    

  • Loyola’s bench players have averaged 31 points in the first two games, led by the 17.5 points per game average of Jarred Jones. The Greyhounds non-starters scored 32 in the opener against Binghamton and then had 30 versus Cornell.
  • The players coming off the bench have done their scoring in an efficient manner, shooting .561 from the field, and they are playing just 39 percent of the available minutes in the games.
  • Meanwhile, Loyola’s opponents’ non-starters are averaging just 11.5 points per game through two contests.

Latham Big In OT    

  • Jordan Latham played all five minutes of the Greyhounds’ overtime period at Cornell, and the senior forward came up with four big points, all off offensive rebounds.
  • After Cornell scored the first points of the extra period, Latham pulled down a rebound off a Jarred Jones miss and laid it in to tie the score at 81-81, and then with the Greyhounds trailing again by a pair, he tipped in a rebound from five feet out to knot the score at 85-85 with 2:07 to play. Loyola would take the lead for good 23 seconds later.
  • Latham finished the game with 10 points and a career-high seven rebounds. He also blocked two shots, giving him 59 for his Loyola career to move into a tie with Anthony Smith (1995-1997) for ninth all-time at the school.

The Difference A Year Makes    

  • When talking about his coaching philosophies, first-year head coach G.G. Smith has said that he would like the team to play a bit faster on the offensive end than in past years, and that has shown up in the statistics through two games.
  • Loyola’s 79 and 93 point outputs in just two contests would both rank in the top five of single-game scoring totals from the 2012-2013 season when the team averaged 66.9 points per game.
  • Conversely, it has led the Greyhounds to allowing more points, 74 and 89, considerably higher than last year’s 63.5 points per game.

Jones Breaks Out    

  • Jarred Jones had a career night in the season-opener against Binghamton, recording personal bests in points (22), rebounds (7), field goals made (8), field goal attempts (11) and blocked shots (4).
  • The sophomore carries Loyola’s offense in the first half when it was otherwise stagnant, scoring nine points in just over five minutes. During that span, Loyola scored just two other points, but a Jones layup at 11:12 closed the Binghamton lead to four.
  • Jones tied for game-high, and led Loyola, with six offensive rebounds. His boards led to 10 Greyhounds points.
  • While his offensive production was critical, his four blocked shots were just as important. Jones swatted two Binghamton layups with weak-side help in the final 2:10 of regulation. The first block came in transition, and the second was on a drive from the left side. Both shots would have given Binghamton the lead if not for the blocks.
  • He followed that game with a 13-point, 7-rebound effort against Cornell.

Quality Minutes From Gorski    

  • True freshman Nick Gorski picked some nice spots to contribute in the opening games, particularly in his 13 minutes off the bench Sunday at Cornell. The Richmond, Va., product scored seven points and had four rebounds against the Big Red.
  • In the second half, Gorski knocked down a three from the top of the perimeter at 11:59, pushing Loyola back in front for the first time since the first 30 seconds of the half. He then used a strong post move and scored in the paint almost two minutes later to tie the score at 66-66.

Laster In Double Figures    

  • After averaging just 5.3 minutes in 27 games last season, Eric Laster saw his role exand dramatically this season, starting the first two games on the wing. He tied for the team lead in minutes played (34) at Cornell, and he scored in double figures (10) for the first time as a collegian.
  • In two games, Laster has shot 5-of-11 from the field an 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Last season, he was just 10-of-31 (.323) overall and 1-of-7 (.143) from behind the arc.

For Starters    

  • Loyola opened its 2013-2014 campaign Friday night with a 79-74 win over Binghamton. The Greyhounds led for just 11 minutes, 3 seconds of the game, but they held the Bearcats without a field goal for the final 2:44.
  • Binghamton scored the first seven points of the game before Dylon Cormier scored out of a timeout at the 17:06 mark. The Bearcats extended their first-half lead to nine, 17-8, on two Jordan Reed free throws at 13:34, but Loyola scored the next seven points to get within a pair on Nick Gorski’s first collegiate points, a layup at 10:19.
  • An Eric Laster three at 5:03 gave the Greyhounds their first lead of the game, 29-26, and his second three of the half, at 3:11, put Loyola up six.
  • Binghamton cut the lead to one at halftime and went back in front early in the second half. It led by six twice in the second half, but Loyola scored seven in a row after the second occurrence to take a lead of its own.

In The Final Five    

  • Loyola outscored Binghamton, 14-4, in the final five minutes of Friday night’s game, holding the Bearcats to 1-of-6 from the field. Meanwhile, the Greyhounds made 3-of-5 field goals and 7-of-9 free throws.
  • Dylon Cormier scored nine of the 14 for Loyola during that stretch, hitting a three, a transition layup and 4-of-5 free throws.
  • Defensively, Loyola forced three Binghamton turnovers, all coming on Greyhounds steals, two by Eric Laster and one by Cormier. R.J. Williams was involved in two of the three turnovers, forcing the action to create steal opportunities.
  • Jarred Jones also had two key blocked shots during the stretch (more later).

Dog Debuts    

  • Three players made their Greyhound debuts at Binghamton with two of them seeing their first collegiate action. Nick Gorski and Damion Rashford both played their first college basketball game, while Denzel Brito saw his first action for Loyola Maryland.
  • Brito transferred prior to the 2012-2013 season from Loyola University Chicago where he started 21 games, and appeared in 54, over two seasons for the Ramblers. He played 25 minutes in his Greyhounds debut after more than 20 months without playing a collegiate game.

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.

Meet The Staff    

  • Joining G.G. Smith on the Greyhounds’ bench this season will be assistant coaches Keith Booth, Josh Loeffler and Dan Ficke and director of operations Kevin Farrell.
  • Booth spent the last two seasons as an assistant women’s coach at Loyola after serving as an assistant to Gary Williams for seven years at the University of Maryland. An All-American and four-time All-ACC player at Maryland, Booth won an NBA Championship with the Chicago Bulls.
  • Loeffler brings considerable Patriot League experience with four seasons, and two League Championship Game appearances (2010 and 2011), at Lafayette College. He was also the head coach at NCAA Division III school Stevens Institute of Technology from guided the Ducks to a 46-13 record in two seasons and an NCAA Sweet 16 bid in 2007.
  • Ficke is a graduate and four-year lettermen of Loyola where he also earned his master’s degree. The last three seasons, Ficke has been a member of the staff at Wake Forest University where he was the Special Assistant to the Head Coach and Director of Scouting and Recruiting.
  • Farrell returns for his second season as the Greyhounds’ director of operations and sixth overall with the program. He was a four-year manager for the team as an undergraduate at Loyola.

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.

New Dogs    

  • Seven players will make their Loyola debuts this season with the roster featuring two juniors who transferred from other schools, three redshirt freshmen and two true freshmen.
  • Denzel Brito will suit up for the Greyhounds after spending 2010-2012 at a different Jesuit school with a similar name: Loyola University Chicago. As a sophomore in 2011-2012, Brito started 21 games for the Ramblers and led the team in assists with 3.5 per game, while averaging 7.0 points and 2.5 rebounds. In their last four games, he averaged 11.0 points.
  • Stefano Mancini joined the team before the fall semester. The former Gatorade Player of the Year for the State of Maine spent the 2011-2012 season at the University of Maine.
  • Forward Josh Forney and guards Damion Rashford and Sean Tuohy Jr. all redshirted last season for the Greyhounds and will see their first collegiate action this season.
  • True freshmen Nick Gorski and Jevon Patton were the first signees by the new coaching staff at Loyola and joined the program this fall. Both Gorski and Patton led their respective high school programs to state titles in 2012-2013, Gorski at Benedictine Prep in Richmond, Va., and Patton at Olympic High School in Charlotte, N.C.

Gone, But Not Forgotten    

  • Five players earned their Loyola degrees and left the program after exhausting their eligibility last season: forwards Erik Etherly and Julius Brooks, swingman Anthony Winbush and guards Robert Olson and Luke Wandrusch.
  • Etherly returned from an early-season shoulder injury to average 15.7 points and 6.5 rebounds while earning All-MAAC First Team and NABC All-District I Second Team honors for the second year in a row. He finished with 1,245 points and 669 rebounds in three seasons at Loyola.
  • Olson was the team’s third-leading scorer with 12.7 points per game, and he also averaged 4.2 rebounds as a guard. A 2012 All-MAAC Third Team member, Olson graduated with 1,264 career points and the second-most 3-pointers made in a career (211).
  • Winbush was the quintessential multi-role player for the Greyhounds; he saw action at every position but center last season offensively, and he frequently defended the opponents’ best player, regardless of position. He led the team in overall rebounds (197), was second in overall assists (76) and averaged 7.0 points per game.
  • Brooks provided toughness, rebounding and inside scoring for the Greyhounds, playing in 34 games and starting 10. He averaged 4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and nearly a blocked shot a game as a senior.
  • Wandrusch was a four-year walk-on to the program who was a solid addition to the Greyhounds’ scout team.

New Year, New Coach, New League    

  • Many things associated with the Loyola men’s basketball program have changed, such as first-year head coach G.G. Smith moving up after spending six years as an assistant on the Greyhounds’ bench.
  • Loyola will also be a member of the Patriot League for the first time in 2013-2014. The school announced in August 2012 that it would make the move to the conference, and the move became official on July 1, 2013.
  • The Greyhounds will compete against American University, fellow Patriot League newcomer Boston University, Bucknell University, Colgate University, College of the Holy Cross, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy.

Preseason Patriot League Picks    

  • Loyola senior guard Dylon Cormier was one of five players named to the Preseason All-Patriot League First Team, an honor shared by Bucknell’s Cameron Ayers, Holy Cross’ Dave Dudzinski, Boston University’s D.J. Irving (player of the year) and Lehigh’s Mackey McKnight.
  • As a team, the Greyhounds were slated to finish fifth, just six points out of third place. Boston University was the unanimous pick to win the league, followed by Lafayette, Army, Bucknell, Loyola, Lehigh, Holy Cross, Colgate, American and Navy.

Turn The TV On    

  • In a continuing agreement with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), five Loyola men’s basketball games will be broadcast by the regional sports network this season. Additionally, those games will be carried by various other RSNs nationwide.
  • The Greyhounds’ November 16 home-opener against former MAAC foe Fairfield University will be broadcast, as will the November 20 game at UMBC and the December 7 affair at Mount St. Mary’s. MASN will also broadcast the Greyhounds’ February 15 game against Boston University. MASN will also pick up the ROOT Sports Pittsburgh feed of Loyola’s game at West Virginia University on December 2.
  • Two Loyola games will air nationally on CBS Sports Network as part of the Patriot League’s television package. The Greyhounds will be featured on back-to-back Monday nights in January, starting with a January 13 game in Reitz Arena against Lafayette, followed by the January 20 contest at Boston University.
  • Another pair of games will also be televised, with SNY originating the November 26 game at the University of Connecticut and ESPN3 carrying the December 30 contest at the University of Miami.

Brito, Laster Spend Summer Overseas    

  • Two Loyola players, – Denzel Brito and Eric Laster – gained valuable experience playing overseas during the summer of 2013.
  • Brito trained with the Cape Verdean National Team prior to their play in the FIBA African Championships. However, due to a FIBA exclusion, he was not able to participate in the event itself.
  • Laster played in five games on a tour that visited Belgium, England and The Netherlands. He was lauded for his wing play by writers who covered the events against professional teams in those countries.

Cormier On The Charts    

  • Dylon Cormier enters 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:

21st    1,244 points
Next    Erik Etherly, 1,245
Field Goals Made
24th    412 field goals made
Next    Tracy Bergan, 416
3-Pointers Made
17th    79 3-Pt. Made
Next    Anthony Walker, 81
Free Throws Made
9th    341 free throws made
Next    Gerald Brown, 365
23rd    172 assists
Next    Mark Rhode, 179
6th    142 steals
Next    Mike Powell, 154

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    

  • Loyola will play another game on the airwaves of MASN when it makes the cross-Baltimore trek to UMBC for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off on Wednesday, November 20.