Loyola (11-18, 6-10) will play in their final home of the ’08-’09 men’s hoops season tonight at Reitz Arena when the Greyhounds will hit the court with Rider at 7pm. The program will honor Marquis Sullivan, Dan Ficke, and Brad Farrell, the team’s three players appearing for the final time in front of their home fans during a pre-game celebration on Senior Night.
Coming into the contest Rider stands alone in third place in the MAAC standings at 10-6, while Loyola is in a 7th place tie with St. Peter’s at 6-10, with both squads 1 game back of 7-9 Iona. The three all have two games remaining and are vying for the all-important 6th place seed in the MAAC Tournament. Teams seeded seventh through tenth have to play on the first night of tournament play in a quarter-final play-in game, making for a grueling task of needing four wins in four nights to make a miracle run to the big dance.
Looking at the schedules, Loyola is home tonight and ends the season at Iona. On Sunday, the Gaels will take on St. Peter’s tonight before hosting the ‘Hounds at home. St. Peter’s will play Manhattan Sunday afternoon to close their season. So, for the 6th seed, it all comes down to the last weekend with Iona holding a game game lead over Loyola and the Peacocks.
Needless to say, if Loyola fancies itself in a rematch with Rider in a #3 vs. #6 MAAC quarterfinal, it is imperative for them to close their up and down season on a high note with back-to-back W’s in their final two games. If they can’t pull it together at all… the harsh reality is that Loyola could, in a worst case scenario, finish 11-21 and on a 9 game losing streak.
Let’s hope for the wins.
As for Sullivan, Ficke, and Farrell playing in their last few games in Green and Gray, the one thing you can say about Farrell, who came into the program in ’04 and Sullivan and Ficke in ’05, is that they have seen it all. When they walked onto the Evergreen Campus, Loyola was in the wake of a 1-27 season, now, leaving the program they have seasons of 18 and 19 wins under their belts. That’s something to really be proud of for those guys.
Marquis Sullivan, a Westminster, MD native, is the only one of the three to play consistent minutes from the very start of his career. He will leave Loyola having enjoyed a distinguished career; Maqruis is the school’s all-time leader in 3′s made, will finish around with 1,250 points, and having been a recipient of the MAAC’s 6th Man of the Year Award in ’07 when MAAC coaches recognized him as a 3rd Team All-Conference performer. Sullivan, who played his high school ball with Rudy Gay at Archbishop Spalding, was the first recruit to commit to Coach Patsos after his first season and has had a flair for the dramatic in his time in a Greyhound uniform. I’ve always said he’s got the best, most pure form, text-book release of a jump shot I’ve ever seen up-close. Throughout his entire career MAAC coaches knew that if their team allowed him an inch of a curl screen on the wing… it was all over… even if he was 4 feet behind the arc.