Loyola wraps up a brief two-game homestand on Wednesday, February 5, when it hosts Patriot League-leading American University at 7:30 p.m. in Reitz Arena.
The Greyhounds scored 15 fast-break points on Saturday against Army and held the Black Knights without a point on their break opportunities.
R.J. Williams moved into fourth in the Patriot League in assists per game (4.4) after handing out nine against the Black Knights. It was the second-most of his career.
Loyola continues to lead the Patriot League in steals per game, averaging 8.5 a contest. Starting guards R.J. Williams (2.5) and Dylon Cormier (2.2) are first and second, individually.
Last Time Out
Loyola built a seven-point lead early in the second half, and the Greyhounds were up four, 57-53, with 6:42 to play after a Jarred Jones jumper. Army, however, went on a 12-0 run that it stretched to 18-2 en route to a 77-71 win on Saturday afternoon.
The Black Knights scored 10 of their 18 points in that run via the free throw line, and they had a 33-23 advantage in free throws attempted in the game.
Despite going down 12 with 1:46 left in regulation, Loyola cut Army’s lead to two, 72-70, on an R.J. WIlliams three with 20 ticks left on the clock.
Jones led Loyola with 17 points on 7-of-10 from the field, and Williams added 10 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
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 American
American is Loyola’s most-played Patriot League opponent, as Wednesday’s game will be the 86th all-time installment in the series.
The Eagles, who are Loyola’s seventh most-played opponent in program history, and Greyhounds were former Mason-Dixon Conference opponents prior to each joining NCAA Division I.
With American’s victory last month, the Eagles have a one-game edge in the series, 43-42.
When the teams met on January 8 in Washington, D.C., Loyola led 26-22 at halftime, but the Eagles made 17-of-21 (81 percent) of their field goals in the second half and scored a 65-51 victory.
Loyola was up by as many as eight in the first half, but American scored the first 11 of the second half, and after the Greyhounds got back within four, 44-40, with under nine minutes left, the Eagles used another 11-0 run to pull away.
Prior to this season, American and Loyola last played November 13, 2007, the third year in a row that the teams had met on the hardwood.
The Greyhounds got past the Eagles, 71-67, that Tuesday night as Gerald Brown scored a game-high 32 points for Loyola. American led the game 29-12 in the first half, but the Greyhounds pulled within seven at the break. Loyola then scored 13 of the second half’s first 19 points to take a lead with 11:33 remaining in regulation.
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.
Jones Finds Scoring Note
Jarred Jones led Loyola in scoring for the first time in his career on February 1 against Army, knocking down 7-of-10 shots from the field for 17 points.
The game was Jones second 13-plus point game in the last two weeks, but his last (January 22 at Bucknell) was his first double-digit effort since December.
The junior forward has averaged 11 points in the Greyhounds last four games while shooting 58.8 percent (20-of-34) from the field in those games.
Jones opened the season with three games of 13 or more points in the Greyhounds’ first four, tallying 22 in the season-opener at Binghamton, 13 at Cornell and 14 at UMBC. In the fourth game of the opening stretch, he scored seven despite being limited to just nine minutes to foul trouble.
The Harford County (Md.) product then had 13 against Catholic and 15 versus Saint Joseph’s, but that output against the Hawks was his last in double-digits until the game at Bucknell (seven games).
In addition to finding his scoring stroke, Jones has also upped his numbers on the defensive side of the court, blocking five shots combined in the last two games, seven in the last four.
Against Army, Jones swatted three shots and had two steals, while he also had a pair of blocks against both Bucknell and Holy Cross.
His three against Army were one off his season- and career-high of four set in the season-opener at Binghamton. They moved his season total to 23, tying him with Jordan Latham for tops on the team. The pair are tied for sixth in the Patriot League with 1.1 blocks per game this year.
Gorski Garners Starting Role
Freshman post player Nick Gorski drew his first starting assignment as a collegian on Saturday 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 three games – he also played 11 minutes and scored four points on January 25 against Colgate – 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 last two games 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 has moved into fourth place in the Patriot League in assists per game (4.4), and he is averaging 7.5 in the Greyhounds last two games.
Williams 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 49 assists in 10 games for an average of 4.9.
The junior from Baltimore has also increased his scoring average during Patriot League play. Overall he is averaging 8.0 points per game, 8.7 against conference opponents.
Williams also grabbed a career-high tying seven rebounds on Saturday against Army, bumping his Patriot League average to 3.2 per game.
Loyola took 70 shots on Saturday against Army, thanks in part to 19 offensive rebounds. The 70 field goal attempts were the second-most the Greyhounds have taken this season behind only 74 they attempted in an overtime win at Cornell.
The Greyhounds’ 19 offensive rebounds were also their second-best total of the season, short by one of the 20 they grabbed at Connecticut.
Loyola, however, did not do a good job of converting the offensive rebounds into second-chance points. The Greyhounds finished with just eight points after grabbing offensive rebounds against the Black Knights.
Franz Rassman grabbed a career-high five offensive boards in the game against Army, while Jordan Latham and Dylon Cormier each had four.
Hubbard Hits High
Tyler Hubbard made the most of his second career, and second-straight, starting opportunity on January 29 at Holy Cross, knocking down 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point line for a season-high 13 points.
The sophomore guard made his first career start last Saturday against Colgate, and he was inserted into the starting lineup again by Head Coach G.G. Smith. Hubbard’s four threes tied a career-high, and he was four points off his career-best set in November 2012 against UMBC.
Hubbard’s threes came after a four-game stretch in which he had not made more than one in a game. Prior to that stretch, he scored 12 points when he hit 3-of-5 against Lehigh on January 8.
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 (27.7-20.3).
Away From The Friendly Confines
Loyola lost its ninth straight road game last Wednesday night at Holy Cross after winning its first three this season away from Reitz Arena.
At 3-9 on the road, the Greyhounds are shooting 38.9 percent as opposed to 45.4 percent while going 6-3 at home. Opponents are shooting 47.1 percent in their own facilities, 42.4 percent in Reitz Arena.
Loyola does shoot slightly better from 3-point range on the road, making 33.7 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 (12.2-11.2), and they also force an additional turnover at home (14.9-13.4).
With these factors, the Greyhounds are averaging nearly five points less per game on the road, 65.2, to their 71.3 points per game at home.
Dylon Cormier and R.J. Williams both posted double-doubles against Lafayette, as Cormier went for 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Williams posted 12 points and a career-best 10 assists.
It was the first time since an 88-85 overtime win against Iona College on January 30, 2011, that two Loyola players completed the feat in the same game. Erik Etherly (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Justin Drummond (14 points, 10 rebounds) managed it on that day.
Williams’ 10 assists were the most by a Greyhounds’ player since Brian Rudolph dished out 10 on February 27, 2011, in the regular-season finale at Canisius College.
Cormier To The Glass
Dylon Cormier led, or tied for the team lead, for the 11th time this season with eight rebounds against Army. Six of the Greyhounds’ nine wins this season have come when Cormier leads the team on the boards.
This season, Cormier leads the Greyhounds with 5.9 rebounds per game, a total that ranks tops among Patriot League guards and sixth overall.
He is also the top offensive rebounder in the conference, averaging 3.0 per game, a mark that is a half rebound better than any other player in the League.
Cormier has 122 total rebounds this year, with 63 coming on the offensive end.
The Greyhounds posted 11 or more steals in each of their first three Patriot League games, and they are averaging 8.7 in conference play through 10 games.
The 87 steals in its last 10 games have raised Loyola’s Patriot League-leading overall average to 8.6 per game. Through games of February 2, the Greyhounds are ranked 16th nationally in steals per game.
Loyola has had 11 or more steals in seven games through 20 contests.
R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is 12th nationally in steals per game (2.47), while Dylon Cormier is second (2.19) and 30th.
Williams posted a career-high six, tied for fifth-most in school single-game history, at Army.
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 112 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. Through games of Sunday, February 2, Cormier was 13th 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 18 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.
Cormier now has 1,659 career points through 115 career games. Next up on the career scoring list is Mike Krawczyk who scored 1,676 from 1968-72.
Cormier To The Charity Stripe
Loyola went to the free-throw line a season-high 35 times on December 19 against Stony Brook, and Dylon Cormier took 21 of the attempts.
His 21 free throw attempts were the second-most in school single-game history, one shy of tying the January 14, 2009, mark set by Jamal Barney against NJIT.
Cormier made 16 free throws, a career-best, good for a tie for fourth in single-game history. Barney holds that record, as well, with 18.
He had another game that will be entered on the Loyola charts against Navy when he made 12-of-12 at the line. It was the fifth-best performance in school history (most makes without a miss).
Through 21 games, Cormier has gone to the free-throw line 191 times (tied for fifth in Division I through games of February 2). His average of 9.2 free throws per game is tied for seventh nationally.
In his career, Cormier is 459-of-662 from the free-throw line. He is second in school history in both free throws made and attempted.
Jordan Latham tied his career-high with four blocks against Navy, and Loyola matched its season-best with seven.
Latham now has 79 career blocks, fifth-best in school history.
Die Hard Dogs
Loyola has trailed with five minutes to go in regulation in four of its eight victories this season – Binghamton, Cornell, UMBC and Navy – only to come back to win.
In their Patriot League-opener, the Greyhounds were 10 points back of Navy, 47-37, when the clock hit 5:00 in the second half, but Loyola closed the half on an 15-5 run to force overtime.
At Binghamton, the Greyhounds were down five at the five-minute mark; Cornell, seven; and UMBC, six. In the game at UMBC, the Retrievers’ lead ballooned to 10 with 90 seconds left.
Through 21 games this season, the Greyhounds are averaging 2.3 fewer turnovers per game than their opponents, tops in the Patriot League and 50th in the nation.
In Loyola’s 12 losses this season, the Greyhounds are shooting nearly eight percent worse from the floor than they are in their eight victories.
Loyola has made 46.8 percent (230-of-491) shots in nine wins versus 37.8 percent (264-of-698) in 12 losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 14.7 points less (76.2 versus 61.5) points.
As one would expect, opponents are shooting better (48.0-41.8) 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 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:
||Mike Krawczyk, 1,676
|Field Goals Made
||552 field goals made
||Gene Gwiazdowski, 565
||96 3-Pt. Made
||B.J. Davis, 104
|Free Throws Made
||459 free throws made
||Jim Lacy, 613
||Dave Wojick, 219
||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.
Loyola makes two separate trips to the Lehigh Valley for its next two games. The Greyhounds play at Lehigh University on Saturday, February 8, at 2 p.m. before visiting Lafayette College for a7 p.m. game on Wednesday, February 12.