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Your Monday Reality Check: Cult of Paterno still dangerously strong

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Your Monday Reality Check: Cult of Paterno still dangerously strong

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Glenn Clark

Have you ever read the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson?

The story is quite famous. At Perry Hall High School I probably had to read it at least twice. Perhaps even if you haven’t read it you’d be familiar with one of the many pop culture references to the story.

Let me try to jog your memory a bit with an even shorter version of the short story. Every year, members of a village gather together for an event known as “the lottery.” One member of every household in the village grabs a slip of paper hoping to avoid grabbing the marked slip. After it is determined who picked the marked slip, every member of the person’s household re-selects slips. They then determine which household member has selected the marked slip and promptly stone that person to death.

Yep.

In the lottery captured by the short story, the marked slip was initially selected by Bill Hutchinson. His wife Tessie Hutchinson was the unfortunate “winner” of the lottery, bemoaning how the process was “unfair” before her end.

As gruesome as the story sounds, there’s such a level of brilliance to it. Particularly brilliant is how Jackson never really explains how the lottery came about or why the village continues to participate in the exercise. It is understood that some members of the village have discussed disbanding the lottery but the tradition continues nonetheless.

During the entire Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal that has engulfed Penn State University, I’ve thought about the short story over and over again. I thought about it the night PSU students rioted after the firing of head coach Joe Paterno. I thought about in the weeks and months after Paterno’s death. I’ve thought about it a ton during the days since the release of the Freeh Report.

I’ve thought about it because it has remained clear that the cult-like following of Paterno and Penn State football has somehow continued and the culture that enabled such heinous crimes to continue still very clearly exists.

I’ve mostly thought about it because I believe at least some if not many of the Cult of Paterno members have to be otherwise right-thinking individuals. I don’t know why those villagers kept going back to participate in the lottery year after year in Jackson’s story. I don’t know why a group of college-educated people choose to ignore (or at least excuse) fact and simply say they’ll support their former head coach anyway.

Maybe I shouldn’t say I don’t know why. I probably do. The fact is that the Cult of Paterno just doesn’t want to believe truth because they’ve already consumed the Kool-Aid. There is no going back. They’re not just members of the cult, they’ve become the foundation after the coach’s death.

(I want to take this time to point out what most other analysts have also done. This is not a conversation about everyone everywhere that has been connected to Penn State. This is a conversation about a particular group of people. Some Penn State students, alumni and fans have been able to stand up and accept the truth about their heroes and the football program they worship. I’ve had the good fortune of speaking to many of them in the past week. They deserve a great deal of credit. They are not part of the Cult of Paterno.)

(Continued on Page 2)

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Your Monday Reality Check-Horse Racing, Orioles in similar spot for three weeks

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Your Monday Reality Check-Horse Racing, Orioles in similar spot for three weeks

Posted on 21 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’ve attempted to put events I’ve attended into words for years.

Baltimore Ravens football games, University of Maryland football and basketball games, a multitude of local hoops and lacrosse games and even a press conference or twenty have quickly turned into 600-1400 words worth of type off my fingers.

Almost every time I’ve written something, even the columns I’ve been particularly pleased with, I’ve looked somewhere else on the web and thought to myself “damn, that person can WRITE” after reading what they had to say about the same event.

Such was the case again this weekend. I had already decided my Monday morning column would be related to the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes, but I hadn’t exactly decided what angle I was going to take. It only took me a trip to my friend Kevin Van Valkenburg (of ESPN The Magazine/Hug It Out Radio fame and late Baltimore Sun)’s Facebook page for me to once again utter the phrase.

It wasn’t because of something KVV had written this time though. It was one of his colleagues’ stories he had linked, and it made me say “damn, Jeff MacGregor can WRITE.”

MacGregor scribed this exceptional postscript to an incredible victory from Kentucky Derby champ I’ll Have Another, celebrating the excitement of an underdog champ at the coming buildup to a Triple Crown chance in the context of a fledgling sport.

Many commenters on ESPN.com and throughout social media however were turned off by the nature of MacGregor’s tone, most notably this line…

“None of which matters, because horse racing is dead.”

MacGregor didn’t really say anything we haven’t already accepted as fact, we’ve just been more apt to use a kinder term like “struggling” or “suffering” instead of flat out placing the industry in a black bag and shipping it to the morgue.

Horse racing HAS been troubled for some time. The depth of the fall has been particularly evident in the state of Maryland, where “the sport of kings” has been all but nonexistent for years. Sure, the industry shines for a few days each spring at Pimlico and each fall at Laurel Park, but even on the brightest day the problems in the industry are obvious.

Unlike some, I have no interest in fighting with MacGregor. I think he’s absolutely right. I just feel as though the potentially monumental turn for horse racing in the next month can be celebrated whether or not the sport is staring into the face of imminent doom.

I’ll Have Another’s charge to the wire Saturday was breathtaking. 14 days earlier we had no way to know that an unknown trainer (Doug O’Neill) and jockey (Mario Gutierrez) had a longshot in position to track down the exceptional favorite (Bodemeister) trained by the Hall of Famer (Bob Baffert) and ridden by a Hall of Famer (Mike Smith) as well. On Saturday we knew it was possible but found it no less amazing.

“There’s no way this can happen again.”

You definitely heard me make the argument for Bodemeister throughout the week. “There’s no speed horse to take Bodemeister out to a dangerous speed this time. The race is 1/16 of a mile shorter. There are nine fewer horses to crowd things at the front and push the favorite too much early. There’s just no way things can shape up for I’ll Have Another as perfectly as they did in Louisville.”

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Maryland to visit Northwestern in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Posted on 14 May 2012 by WNST Staff

The 14th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods on Nov. 27-28 will be highlighted by North Carolina at Indiana, Ohio State at Duke and North Carolina State at Michigan, six programs expected to be highly ranked entering the 2012-13 season. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event matching top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioners Cup.

All 12 games will also be available via WatchESPN, which delivers live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 on PCs, smartphones and tablets to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon FiOS TV.

The 2012 Challenge involves nine teams ranked in an ESPN.com early preseason top 25, including five of the top nine: No. 1 Indiana, No. 5 Michigan, No. 6 NC State, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 9 Michigan State.

The ACC won the first 10 Challenges while the Big Ten captured the Commissioner Cup for the third consecutive event, including an eight to four win advantage over the ACC last year. In the event of a 6-6 tie, the Commissioner’s Cup will remain with the conference that won the previous year. 2012 Challenge highlights:

  • Off a Ratings High: ESPN’s telecast of Ohio State’s 85-63 victory over Duke last year was the highest-rated and most-viewed Challenge game ever, averaging a 2.6 rating and 2,618,000 households. The telecast propelled ESPN to its most-viewed Challenge, averaging 1,555,000 households, based on a 1.6 rating.
  • One more Shot at the Dozen: Duke, which has won 11 of its 13 Challenge games, will host Ohio State in its quest for an event-record 12th victory. Duke lost to Ohio State last year and to Wisconsin in 2009.
  • First Challenge Matchups: Four of the telecasts will feature first-time Challenge matchups: Virginia at No. 22 Wisconsin, Maryland at Northwestern, No. 9 Michigan State at Miami and Georgia Tech at Illinois.
    • In addition to first-time Challenge games, several of the teams are infrequent opponents: Michigan State and Miami have never met; Northwestern and Maryland played one other time, a Northwestern victory in 1958; Virginia and Wisconsin split its two games, Virginia in 1975 and Wisconsin in 1999; and Illinois has defeated Georgia Tech in six of its seven games, including the last one in 2001.
  • Tourney Teams: Eleven teams between the two conferences played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament: Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, NC State and Virginia from the ACC, and Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.
  • Following a First with a Rematch: Boston College and Penn State and Nebraska and Wake Forest will follow first-time Challenge meetings with a second consecutive showdown in the event.
    • Boston College, which won its first five games, lost to Penn State last year, while Nebraska lost its Challenge debut to Wake Forest.
  • Threepeat: Five of the games will mark three-time Challenge matchups: North Carolina at Indiana (Indiana win in 2001 and North Carolina in 2004), NC State at Michigan (Michigan win in 2003 and NC State in 2006), Ohio State at Duke (Duke win in 2002 and Ohio State in 2011), Iowa at Virginia Tech (won by Virginia Tech in 2006 and 2009) and Purdue at Clemson (Purdue win in 2003 and Clemson in 2007).
  • Three and one more: Minnesota and Florida State will meet for the fourth time (Minnesota won in 2000 and Florida State in 2004 and 2007).

2012 ACC/Big Ten Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined):

Date Game
Tue, Nov 27 No. 13 North Carolina at No. 1 Indiana
  No. 6 NC State at No. 5 Michigan
  No. 25 Minnesota at Florida State
  Maryland at Northwestern
  Iowa at Virginia Tech
  Nebraska at Wake Forest
Wed, Nov 28 No. 8 Ohio State at No. 15 Duke
Virginia at No. 22 Wisconsin
No. 9 Michigan State at Miami
Purdue at Clemson
Georgia Tech at Illinois
Boston College at Penn State

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More people watch the Kentucky Derby than the Super Bowl?! Pimlico Thursday Thoughts

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More people watch the Kentucky Derby than the Super Bowl?! Pimlico Thursday Thoughts

Posted on 09 May 2012 by Gary Quill

Well, not according to the overnight ratings. In reality, only 9% of households tuned in to watch the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby, that’s a 6% increase from 2011. The 20 share (i.e. percentage of all TV’s in use at the time) is a far cry from the 47 share the NFL’s biggest game of the season received this year.

So how is it that more folks could have watched the Derby than NFL’s Big Game?! Allow me to present the evidence.

Jay Cronley writes at ESPN.com that this year’s television rating numbers are misleading. Ratings are provided by a count of how many televisions are turned to a certain station at a certain time. With an event like the Derby, Cronley says, those ratings do not take into account the Derby parties where multiple people are watching at one home, or, more importantly, the large number of people at tracks around the country watching the simulcast feed. If the people at tracks and other sites watching the race were counted, “it would be hard to find a sporting event watched more than this Derby,” he writes adding, “If half the horse race enthusiasts were home with their televisions tuned to the Kentucky Derby, instead of being at unrated tracks and off-track betting establishments, horse racing numbers would be through the Twin Spires and into the troposphere.”

Fact: The 2012 Derby out-rated the Masters final round and a prime time Daytona 500 that came with a Bruckheimer-esque fiery explosion. Comparing to the Super Bowl (and secondarily to the NFL) doesn’t work either because they’re different types of events. Might as well compare it to the Academy Awards to see if the Derby holds its own (it does).

OK, before you Doubting Thomas’ chime in with “what about all the Super Bowl parties” when it comes to measuring household televisions turned in to a concern channel and time?!” Consider this you ignore slut(s) (re: Dan Aykroyd’s SNL Point-CounterPoint character)…

1. The average Derby party has more than 20 in attendance and upwards to 200 based on personal experience and knowledge of such parties. NFL “Big Game” parties can vary in size.

2. Most horse racing enthusiasts will watch the Derby from their local track or OTB. We’re talking a couple hundred tracks and at least three times as many OTB’s. At what other venue would fans who watch the NFL “Big Game” (not sure if I can say the “SB” word) go other than a party or at home? TV ratings do not reach race tracks or OTB’s.

3. On-site attendance… Kentucky Derby: 165,307 versus NFL “Big Game”: 68,658
side note: Day before the (aka Oaks Day), on-track attendance: 112,552

4. International audience: Thoroughbred horse racing is followed and takes place on every continent except Antarctica. You can’t say that about American Football. So even though the NFL “Big Game” is broadcast all over the world… so is the Kentucky Derby.

5. Time of year and day… Kentucky Derby: 1st Saturday in May (4-7pm EDT) versus NFL “Big Game”: 1st Sunday in February (6pm-10pm EST).
Hmmm, ya think more people are willing to stay inside on a Sunday night in the dead of winter versus a Saturday afternoon in the spring?!

6. When the ratings company says that 9% of sets were watching, was that during the actual 2 minutes of the race, or is it averaged over the entire time of the 3 hour telecast? Surely the casual fan will tune in around 6pm EDT (2 hours into the telecast after they get home from Lowe’s or Home Depot), just in time to see the horses come onto the track and see the race. At “Big Game” parties (which typically start 2-3pm EST) or any household on a Sunday in February, the television gets turned on early afternoon in anticipation of the game.

7. Amount bet legally on… Kentucky Derby: $187 million vs. NFL “Big Game”: $93.9 million

8. Chick dig horses. Percentage of women who watch the… Kentucky Derby: 51% vs. NFL “Big Game”: 46%

I rest my case. Bring on the cross-examination and/or rebuttal.

Pimlico Turf starting gate

Recapping selections from Day 22 (Sunday, May 6th) had 6 winners (3 Top Selections) with the $2 Early Double ($53.00); $2 Exactas in the 1st ($19.80), 2nd ($24.20), 3rd ($83.40), 8th ($7.40), 9th ($11.20) and 10th ($38.20) races; $1 Trifecta in 1st ($27.50) and 9th ($12.10); $1 Pick-3 in race 8-10 ($18.80) and Late Double ($13.20).

The BEST BET (22 9-6-2) and LONGSHOT PICK (22 2-2-8) were major disappointments as they not only off-the-board, but finished dead last in their respective races.

Selections for Day 23 at Pimlico Thursday, May 10th card are posted below.

1st race post is 1:10pm EDT. Track Condition… Dirt: FAST Turf: OFF

1st race – $12,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#3 – Thunder Feet (2-1)
#1 – Spring Pow Wow (3-1)
#6 – Evil Lad (5-2)

2nd race – $12,500 Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile OFF Turf
#11 – Joepaul’streasure (7-5)
#8 – Grandiloquent (10-1)
#7 – Wachacha (4-1)

3rd race – $8,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile
#5 – Acceptance Letter (5-1)
#3 – Tyler’s Smile (8-1)
#8 – Our Prince Charlie (5-2)

4th race – $5,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. OR 4 y.o. & up NW3L – 6 furlongs
#9 – Go Six Go (5-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PICK $$$
#2 – Don Dadda (7-2)
#3 – The Devil You Say (5-1)

5th race – $31,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile OFF Turf
#6 – Marimba Man (9-2)
#12 – Once And For All (7-2)
#2 – Whatdoyousee (6-1)

6th race – $5,000 Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up NW2L – 1 1/16 mile
#3 – Indys Valay (3-5)
#7 – Promessa Doce (10-1)
#4 – Oh Please (8-1)

7th race – $25,000 Opt Claiming N2X for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 OFF Turf
#9 – Delicate Genius (8-1)
#1 – Lady Charlie (4-1)
#6 – Ketubah (10-1)

8th race – $33,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. fillies – 6 furlongs
#7 – Monster Sleeping (2-1)
#2 – Bren’s Friend (8-5)
#8 – Always Pettit (6-1)

9th race – $5,000 Claiming N2Y for 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile
#7 – Silver Slugger (5-1)
#6 – Lionofwallstreet (2-1)
#8 – Palo Duro Canyon (8-5)

10th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 5f OFF Turf
#10 – Malibu Beach Bunny (3-1) *** BEST BET ***
#1 – My Celtic Star (9-5)
#8 – Sicut Quercus (5-1)

Good Luck!

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Maryland Officially Inks PF Mitchell

Posted on 12 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Mitchell Signs to Play for Terps

Georgia power forward heading to College Park

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Charles Mitchell, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Marietta, Ga., has signed a National Letter of Intent to play men’s basketball at the University of Maryland, head coach Mark Turgeon announced Thursday.

Mitchell, who attended Wheeler High School, has become the fourth prospect to sign a NLI to play with the Terrapins in the 2012-13 season.

Mitchell is listed by Rivals.com as the No. 12 prospect in the nation at his position. A four-star recruit by Rivals, Mitchell is ranked 92nd nationally in the Rivals150.

Combined with early signees Shaquille Cleare (6-9, C, Houston, Texas), Jake Layman (6-8, SF, Wrentham, Mass.) and Seth Allen (6-1, SG, Fredericksburg, Va.), Scout.com currently has Maryland rated as the 13th-best recruiting class nationally.

CHARLES MITCHELL (6-7, 250, PF, Marietta, Ga., Wheeler HS)

A four-star recruit by Rivals.com, who was listed as the 12th-best center prospect nationally… Averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds for Wheeler that reached the Sweet 16 of the Georgia Class 5A state tournament… Ranked 92nd nationally by Rivals.com… Informed the Terrapin staff of his commitment just before the Terps played Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament… Chose Maryland over Seton Hall, Cincinnati, Florida State, Tennessee and Florida.

Turgeon on Mitchell: “It’s a great day for our program to be able to add Charles Mitchell to the Maryland basketball family. We have recruited Charles hard since we got to Maryland. His mom did a lot of things right while raising Charles to be a respectful kid and extremely hard worker. He is going to be a great addition to our frontcourt. Charles is a wide-bodied post who plays hard, is an excellent rebounder and can score around the basket. Charles fits in perfectly with the rest of our 2012 class, as he has a tremendous upside and will have a significant impact on our basketball program.“

Mitchell Quotes:

On why he chose Maryland:
“First of all it’s a great coaching staff with Coach Turgeon, Coach Bino, Coach Hill and Coach Spinelli. I have a great relationship with them. I’ve known Coach Bino since I was 14-years-old since he came to our school to recruit other players… I love the fan support and the whole history of Maryland basketball. I wanted to come to a school that supports basketball and where the team is important to the fans.”

On how excited he is about the freshmen class:
“I’m actually very excited about it because I feel like we can come in and really make a difference. We want to come in and be a real competitive program in the ACC and nationally.”

On what he wants to accomplish at Maryland:
“Some of my goals at Maryland are to build us back into a great program and hopefully compete for a national championship. I want everyone to respect us and bring us back to being a contender for the ACC championship and hopefully the national championship.”

Sandra Glass, AAU Coach: “I know for one he just loved the fan base. He enjoys playing in front of big crowds; that’s what he’s been doing all of high school. He also told me that the coaching staff has been nothing but real with him. Bino has been recruiting in our program since Charles has been here, and it was just a joy to be able to be under a coach that knew him before basketball… The sky is the limit for Charles. He has a tremendous work ethic. One thing I do like about Charles is that he’s a fast learner; he can adapt to things faster than most 17 and 18-year-olds.”

Doug Lipscomb, Wheeler HS head coach: “I knew he liked [College Park] a lot. I knew he had a good relationship with the coaching staff, too… He’s been a blessing to have around. We’re going to miss him. If you think about Wheeler basketball the last four or five years, you think Chuck’s been in high school a long time. He’s been on varsity a long time.”

Dave Telep, ESPN.com: “There are no secrets about Charles, you know what you’re going to get. He’s a presence in the lane is going to be a blue-collar post player. When he finds a strength and conditioning program, he’ll have a chance for his game to take a notch up. Mark Turgeon is a laser-focused coach when it comes to working with bigs. I have a strong belief in Mark as a developer of post guys.”

Some quotes courtesy The Baltimore Sun

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Ray Rice Advances To Final Eight in Madden Cover Voting

Posted on 04 April 2012 by WNST Staff

April 4, 2012 – Fans have come out in force to support their favorite Madden NFL 13 cover athlete candidates, casting 16 million votes to date. This year’s vote tally has already eclipsed last year’s 13 million votes, with three rounds still to go. Voting continues at ESPN.com/MaddenVote through April 25 when the next Madden NFL 13 cover athlete will be announced on ESPN’s SportsNation at 5 p.m. ET.

ROUND 3 BREAKDOWN OF MADDEN NFL 13 COVER VOTE CAMPAIGN 

§  Cam Newton vs. Larry Fitzgerald
§  Patrick Willis vs. Victor Cruz
§  Aaron Rodgers vs. Ray Rice

§  Calvin Johnson vs. Rob Gronkowski

 

 

Second round voting highlights include:

 

§  Upset of the Week

§      No. 6 seed Calvin Johnson (WR, Detroit Lions) over No. 3 seed Arian Foster (RB, Houston Texans)

 

§  Largest Voting Differential

§      No. 1 seed Cam Newton (QB, Carolina Panthers) over No. 8 seed Antonio Gates (WR, San Diego Chargers)

§      No. 2 seed Rob Gronkowski (TE, New England Patriots) over No. 7 seed Jared Allen (DE, Minnesota Vikings)

§  Closest Matchups

§      No. 5 seed Ray Rice (RB, Baltimore Ravens) over No. 4 seed Drew Brees (QB, New Orleans Saints)

§      No. 4 seed Larry Fitzgerald over No. 5 seed LeSean McCoy

 

Round 3 voting is now open and fans can make their selections exclusively atwww.ESPN.com/MaddenVote to determine which of the eight NFL players advance to the next round of the Madden NFL 13 cover athlete voting campaign. Every Wednesday throughout the campaign, fans can tune in to SportsNation at 5 p.m. ET for analysis and commentary on the competition.

Fans can visit the Madden NFL Facebook page (www.facebook.com/EASPORTSMaddenNFL) orSportsNation page (www.facebook.com/SportsNation) to join discussions surrounding the Cover Vote.  Fans are also encouraged to tweet their Cover Vote picks using the hashtag #MyMaddenCoverVote on Twitter.

To view or download assets* for the Madden NFL 13 cover athlete voting campaign including player screenshots, b-roll, and renders, please visit: http://maddennfl13.newslinevine.com/cover-vote.html 

NOTE – All player assets are taken from Madden NFL 12.

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Rice, Suggs In Running For Madden 13 Cover

Posted on 08 March 2012 by WNST Staff

EA SPORTS AND ESPN’S SPORTSNATION KICK OFF MADDEN NFL 13 COVER ATHLETE FAN VOTE

This Year’s Campaign Expands to 64 Players – With Play-In Round Featuring Two Athletes

From Each NFL Team Represented in Head-to-Head Matchups

March 7, 2012 – EA SPORTS™ and ESPN announced today the return of the award-winning Madden NFL Cover Vote campaign, where fans can cast their vote for the next athlete to grace the cover of one of the highest-selling videogame franchises in North America. Last year, nearly 13 million votes were cast through ESPNSportsNation.com and ESPN mobile in both companies’ most successful cross-platform activation. Tenth-seeded Cleveland Browns running back, Peyton Hillis, trucked through the six week competition all the way to the ultimate end zone – the Madden NFL 12 cover.

This year’s competition will incorporate more athletes and more chances to vote as the field has been expanded to 64 NFL players, putting even more control in the hands of the fans. Beginning today through March 21, fans can visit the SportsNation Facebook page to choose among the 64 candidates in a play-in round (each matchup features two players from the same NFL team) to advance to the official 32-player, seeded tournament.  The winners of the play-in round will be unveiled with the official seeded, 32-player bracket on March 21 on ESPN’s “Madden Cover Vote Special” from 5-6p.m. EST.  To ensure their favorite player advances to the next round, fans are encouraged to vote daily and tweet their picks using #MyMaddenCoverVote on Twitter.  Every Wednesday between March 21 and April 25, fans can tune into SportsNation on ESPN2at 5p.m. EST to check out the latest Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote standings.

In addition to the SportsNation Facebook page, fans will be able to vote in the play-in round via the open Web through widgets embedded on blogs, websites and more.  Each widget features an individual match-up for each of the 32 total teams in the league.  For the cover vote from March 21-April 25, all voting must be cast at ESPN.com/MaddenVote.

The star-studded list of candidates participating in the play-in round features past Super Bowl winners, perennial Pro Bowlers and some of the most popular players in the NFL including Drew Brees, Arian Foster and Rob Gronkowski. The full list of matchups featured in the play-in round are:

AFC

Ravens Terrell Suggs vs. Ray Rice Jets Mark Sanchez vs. Darrelle Revis
Steelers Troy Polamalu vs. Ben Roethlisberger Bills Stevie Johnson vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick
Browns Joe Thomas vs. Joe Haden Dolphins Reggie Bush vs. Brandon Marshall
Bengals Andy Dalton vs. AJ Green Patriots Wes Welker vs. Rob Gronkowski
Texans Arian Foster vs. Andre Johnson Chargers Phillip Rivers vs. Antonio Gates
Colts Dwight Freeney vs. Robert Mathis Broncos Tim Tebow vs. Von Miller
Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Blaine Gabbert Chiefs Dwayne Bowe vs. Derrick Johnson
Titans Jake Locker vs. Chris Johnson Raiders Sebastian Janikowski vs. Shane Lechler

NFC

Bears Jay Cutler vs. Matt Forte Rams Chris Long vs. Brandon Lloyd
Lions Calvin Johnson vs. Matt Stafford 49ers Vernon Davis vs. Patrick Willis
Vikings Percy Harvin vs. Jared Allen Seahawks Marshawn Lynch vs. Earl Thomas
Packers Aaron Rodgers vs. Clay Matthews Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald vs. Patrick Peterson
Falcons Matt Ryan vs. Julio Jones Eagles Michael Vick vs. LeSean McCoy
Saints Drew Brees vs. Jimmy Graham Giants Victor Cruz vs. Jason Pierre-Paul
Panthers Cam Newton vs. Steve Smith Cowboys Jason Witten vs. DeMarcus Ware
Buccaneers Josh Freeman vs. LeGarrette Blount Redskins Brian Orakpo vs. Ryan Kerrigan

The Madden NFL 13 cover vote marks the third-consecutive year that EA SPORTS has asked fans to help shape the face of the Madden NFL franchise through a cover athlete voting campaign.  It also marks the second year of its collaboration with ESPN’s SportsNation.

Madden NFL 13 is developed in Orlando, Florida by EA Tiburon.  For more information about Madden NFL 13, please visit: http://www.ea.com/madden-nfl. To download assets pertaining to the Madden NFL 13 please visit http://maddennfl13.newslinevine.com.

All player participation has been facilitated by National Football League Players Incorporated, the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association.

EA SPORTS™ is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, global videogame competitions and breakthrough digital experiences. EA SPORTS delivers experiences that ignite the emotions of sport through industry-leading sports simulation videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA basketball, NCAA® Football, Fight Night boxing, EA SPORTS MMA and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, and EA SPORTS Active.

For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit www.easports.com to connect, share and compete.

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company’s game franchises are offered as both packaged goods products and online services delivered through Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 100 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.

In fiscal 2011, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.6 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster franchises such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield™, and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.

EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Active, The Sims and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Mass Effect is a trademark of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd.  Battlefield is a trademark of EA Digital Illusions CE AB.  John Madden, NFL, FIFA, NHL, NBA, NCAA, Tiger Woods, and PGA TOUR are trademarks of their respective owners and used with permission.  Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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PLAY-IN ROUND VOTING THRU FACEBOOK & OPEN WEB

Thanks for your interest in SportsNation’s Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote.

EA Sports and ESPN’s SportsNation have chosen two players from each NFL team to be included in a social play-in round for the Madden NFL 13 cover.

Starting March 7th on SportsNation’s Facebook page and on voting matchups called ‘sapplets’ or ‘widgets’ embedded across open web (info below), fans will be able to vote on matchups from each NFL team to send one representative into the final bracket of 32 players at ESPN.com/MaddenVote on March 21st.

If you choose to embed one of the 32 individual voting ‘sapplets’, you can use the next page that includes all 32 embed codes for all 32 NFL teams. They post to your site much like a YouTube clip and can increase time spent on your site as well as traffic by generating debate about matchups.

The social Play-in vote launches on Wednesday, March 7th and closes two week later on Wednesday, March 21st. The Facebook tab and voting ‘sapplets’ will be live during those two weeks.

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Only fired ESPN editor knows truth behind his offensive Lin headline

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Only fired ESPN editor knows truth behind his offensive Lin headline

Posted on 20 February 2012 by Luke Jones

I don’t know Anthony Federico.

Nor am I going to tell you what was going through his mind late Friday night during what would be his last shift as an editor for ESPN.com.

What we do know is he wrote the offensive “chink in the armor” headline in reference to New York Knicks phenomenon Jeremy Lin and his turnover-laden performance in a loss to the New Orleans Hornets. And it resulted in Federico’s termination on Sunday as ESPN scrambled to defuse a firestorm questioning the sports media empire’s integrity and sensitivity in describing the NBA’s first American-born point guard of Taiwanese descent who has taken the sports world by storm over the last two weeks.

The choice of headline was at best a negligent colloquialism and at worst a blatantly racist construction with no place in media or society.

Wherever the truth may lie, ESPN had to act definitively to protect its brand. Federico is unemployed as a result.

The 28-year-old offered an apology in an interview with the New York Daily News published Monday morning, saying the headline choice was “just an honest mistake” and one he had used “at least 100 times” in his career. Federico went on to say he completely understood his former employer’s decision to fire him and made no appeal for ESPN to reconsider it decision.

Do we believe him?

And before answering the question, how many times have you used the expression “chink in the armor” over the course of your life?

You can put your hand down. I just did.

We’re not talking about one of the many contrived puns — rumor has it Lin-sanity, Lin-spiration, and Lin-teresting are already on the docket for Merriam-Webster approval — seen as an attempt to be clever on social media. This isn’t an antiquated expression in the same sense of a headline writer hypothetically using the word “gay” in reference to a homosexual athlete being “lighthearted and carefree.”

In using the phrase “chink in the armor” in total ambiguity, I have a difficult time believing the thought of the offensive slur for a Chinese person would enter most minds at first blush.

Of course, Federico doesn’t have that luxury. Regardless of his true intent and whether Lin’s ethnicity even entered his mind, he was paid as an editor to hold a mastery of the English language and be fully aware of the nuances and context of the phrase in reference to Lin and the Knicks. And, on that alone, Federico was negligent and deserved to be disciplined.

Federico told the New York Daily News it was the last headline he wrote that night before heading home at 2:30 a.m. The distasteful headline appeared on ESPN’s mobile website at 2:30 before being removed at roughly 3:05 Saturday morning.

Valid excuse or not, how many of us have found ourselves exhausted and not thinking clearly at the end of a long shift? And has that fatigue ever resulted in a mistake, big or small?

Again, hands down.

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Maryland Announces 24 Man Recruiting Class for 2012

Posted on 01 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Maryland Adds 24 Recruits for 2012 Season

Terps ink 12 recruits on both sides of the ball, including 11 area players

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Maryland head football coach Randy Edsall announced Wednesday the addition of 24 recruits for the 2012 season, 20 of whom signed national letters-of-intent.

The class includes both 12 offensive and defensive players, with 11 of the prospects hailing from the Maryland/Washington, D.C., area, more than double last year’s total, and five incoming players labeled as four-star recruits.

“I’m excited about the depth and quality of this class,” Edsall said. “All of these student-athletes are outstanding individuals who come from winning programs, have a great work ethic and leadership skills, and understand the team concept. Our staff did a great job in identifying the players who fit the profile we’re looking for in a Maryland football player.”

According to ESPN.com, five of the top 18 players in the state are heading to Maryland, including a pair of SuperPrep All-Americans in offensive lineman Mike Madaras and running back Wes Brown, who were teammates at Good Counsel (Md.) High School.

“We were able to make some in roads in our prime recruiting areas of Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania,” Edsall said. “We got into some areas and schools which we haven’t been able to in a long time.”

Maryland fulfilled a number of needs on both sides of the ball with running back, linebacker and defensive back the most represented positions.

“I’m really pleased with the balance of this class,” Edsall said. “This is a class which will come in and blend in well with our returning players.”

In addition to Brown, the Terps added another four-star player in Albert Reid, the 2011 D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year, as well as Kenneth Goins and Joe Riddle, to their backfield. That group comprised the second-best running back class in the nation, according to Scout.com.

Abner Logan is the most highly regarded of the five linebackers who will join the team in the fall. Logan was a four-star selection by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com. Rivals.com has the Maryland linebacker class pegged as 16th-best in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

All-state performers Brock Dean, one of five players from Pennsylvania, Stefan Houston, Shawn Petty and Avery Thompson will join Logan as first-year linebackers in the program.

The Terps also added five defensive backs, including Sean Davis of Maret School in Washington, D.C., Alvin Hill, one of three signees from the state of Georgia, and Anthony Nixon, the lone New Jersey recruit.

Isaac Goins and Zach Dancel are a pair of transfers who will join the secondary. Goins, who played at Contra Costa (Calif.) College the last two years, enrolled in classes last month and will have two years of eligibility remaining. Dancel, who played at Good Counsel with Brown and Madaras, will join the team in the fall. He is transferring from the University of New Mexico at the end of the spring semester.

The Terps only recruited two offensive linemen, but both are four-star products. In addition to Madaras, Nick Brigham, who hails from Atlanta, will join the team in the fall.

Amba Etta-Tawo is the third product from the state of Georgia and one of three wide receivers in the class, joining Malcolm Culmer and Levern Jacobs, who enrolled in classes in January after spending the fall semester at Milford (N.Y.) Academy.

Defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson of Pittsburgh, who signed with the Terps in 2011, is the third spring enrollee. Roman Braglio, a consensus All-Maryland player, is the other addition along the defensive line.

The Terps are adding a pair of quarterbacks with Scout.com ranking that position No. 10 in the nation.

Caleb Rowe of Landrum, S.C., is the 26th-ranked pro-style QB in the country and Perry Hills, of Pittsburgh, is viewed as the No. 29 signal-caller in the nation.

Maryland also has a quality addition at tight end. P.J. Gallo of Holland, Pa., is the 23rd-ranked tight end in the nation according to Scout.com.

2012 Maryland Recruiting Class

 

Name                        Pos.     Ht.      Wt.     Yr.-Elig  Hometown (High School/Previous School)

Roman Braglio           DL        6-3      240    Fr.-HS     Owings Mills, Md. (McDonogh High School)

Nick Brigham             OL        6-2      280    Fr.-HS     Atlanta, Ga. (Marist School)

Wes Brown                RB        6-1      210    Fr.-HS     Olney, Md. (Good Counsel High School)

Malcolm Culmer         WR       6-0      180    Fr.-HS     New Jersey N.J. (Willingboro High School)

Zach Dancel^             DB       6-0      185    So.-TR    Ellicott City, Md. (Good Counsel High School/New Mexico)

Sean Davis                DB       6-1      185    Fr.-HS     Washington, D.C. (Maret School)

Brock Dean                LB        6-0      210    Fr.-HS     Harrisburg, Pa. (Bishop McDevitt High School)

Amba Etta-Tawo         WR       6-2      175    Fr.-HS     Powder Springs, Ga. (McEachern High School)

P.J. Gallo                  TE        6-2      225    Fr.-HS     Holland, Pa. (Council Rock High School South)

Isaac Goins#              DB       6-0      185    Jr.-TR     Hercules, Calif. (El Cerrito High School/Contra Costa College)

Kenneth Goins           RB        5-10    210    Fr.-HS     Baltimore, Md. (Gilman School)

Alvin Hill                    DB       5-11    190    Fr.-HS     Locaust Grove, Ga. (Luella High School)

Perry Hills                  QB       6-3      205    Fr.-HS     Pittsburgh, Pa. (Central Catholic High School)

Stefan Houston          LB        6-2      192    Fr.-HS     Clarksburg, Md. (Clarksburg High School)

Levern Jacobs#          WR       6-0      180    Fr.-HS     Temple Hills, Md. (Suitland High School/Milford Academy)

Quinton Jefferson*     DL        6-4      250    Fr.-HS     Pittsburgh, Pa. (Woodland Hills High School)

Abner Logan              LB        6-1      220    Fr.-HS     Cambridge, Mass. (Dexter School)

Mike Madaras            OL        6-5      293    Fr.-HS     Olney, Md. (Good Counsel High School)

Anthony Nixon           DB       6-1      200    Fr.-HS     Pittsburgh, Pa. (Central Catholic High School)

Shawn Petty               LB        6-2      228    Fr.-HS     Greenbelt, Md. (Eleanor Roosevelt High School)

Albert Reid                 RB        5-10    177    Fr.-HS     Washington, D.C. (Friendship Collegiate Academy)

Joe Riddle                 RB        6-0      195    Fr.-HS     Frederick, Md. (Linganore High School)

Caleb Rowe               QB       6-2      185    Fr.-HS     Landrum, S.C. (Blue Ridge High School)

Avery Thompson        LB        6-2      205    Fr.-HS     Chesapeake, Va. (Grassfield High School)

* – signed in 2011 and enrolled in January; # – enrolled in January; ^ – transfer who will enroll in the fall

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Loyola Looks To Keep Streak Going Sunday at St. Bonaventure

Posted on 18 December 2011 by WNST Staff

Opponent St. Bonaventure Bonnies
Date Sunday, December 18, 2011
Time 2:30 p.m.
Location St. Bonaventure, N.Y. | Reilly Center
TV St. Bonaventure Webstream
Series Record St. Bonaventure leads, 7-0
Last Meeting St. Bonaventure 98, Loyola 73 – Jan. 27, 1975 at St. Bona.

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will return to the court, after taking the week off for final exams, on Sunday, December 18, to take on St. Bonaventure University at 2:30 p.m.

The eight-day layoff the Greyhounds will close is their longest of the season.

Series History

The Greyhounds will be looking for their first-ever win against St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies have won all seven of the previous games.

The teams first met on the hardwood in March 1927, a 33-18 St. Bonaventure victory. The sides met again in 1936-1937 and then not again until Nap Doherty’s Greyhounds took on the Bonnies on December 22, 1967. They met again during the 1969-1970 and 1970-1971 seasons when St. Bonaventure was ranked No. 5 and No. 19 by The Associated Press. Bona’s 1969-1970 team, a squad that advanced to the Final Four with future Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Lanier in his senior year, was the highest-ranked team Loyola would face until playing No. 3 Kansas on January 8, 2008.

Sunday’s game will be the first meeting between the teams since January 27, 1975, a 98-73 St. Bonaventure win.

A Good Run

Since falling at Wake Forest on November 11 in the season-opener, the Greyhounds have reeled off eight-straight victories. The winning streak is the longest in the school’s NCAA Division I history (since 1981-82), and it is the longest since the 1964-1965 team won eight in a row during January and February.

Honors Abound For Cormier

Loyola sophomore guard Dylon Cormier picked up a couple of awards for his recent play last week, earning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week and Jesuit Basketball Spotlight National Player of the Week honors, both for the first time in his career.

Cormier averaged 20.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in a pair of wins over George Washington University and Mount St. Mary’s University.

This season, Cormier leads Loyola in scoring (17.8), 3-point percentage (.452), steals (1.9) and is third in rebounding (5.0).

Garnering Attention

Loyola’s eight-game winning streak has received more attention of late from the national media. The Greyhounds were ranked 15th in the latest edition of the ESPN.com Mid-Major Power 15 Rankings, and they checked in at 23rd in the current CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25.

It is the first time Loyola has been ranked in the CollegeInsider.com poll since late in the 2007-2008 season.

The Greyhounds are one of two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams – Iona the other – that is ranked in both polls. The Gaels are 11th on ESPN.com, fifth in the CollegeInsider.com edition.

Walker Off And Running At Mount

Shane Walker scored his first five points of the game last Saturday at Mount St. Mary’s from the free-throw line, but he made a 3-pointer from the top left of the arc with less than five seconds to go in the first half, pushing the Greyhounds’ lead to seven at the break.

In the second half, he continued his scoring effort, tallying 12 of his team-high 20 points in the second 20 minute stretch. He made another three and finished the game 10-of-13 from the charity stripe, setting career-highs in free throws made and attempted.

Walker’s 20 points were a season-high, and the game marked the eighth time in nine games this year he has scored 10 or more.

His only sub 10-point outing came one game earlier when he scored just four points at George Washington. Both of his field goals against the Colonials were big ones, however. The first came after George Washington cut Loyola’s one-time 20-point advantage to just eight with 5:18 to play, and the momentum appeared to have shifted to the Colonials. On the ensuing possession, R.J. Williams misfired on a jumper, but Walker came from the weak side to grab the rebound and lay it off the glass for his first points.

Minutes later, Walker took advantage of a mismatch at the top of the perimeter and drove down the right side of the lane, laying another basket off the backboard to put Loyola up 15 in the final 90 seconds.

He also had a season-best nine rebounds against George Washington.

Big Shots From Bobby

Robert Olson was just a point behind Shane Walker for team-high honors at Mount St. Mary’s, finishing with a season-high 19. He was 6-of-11 from the field and 3-of-7 from behind the arc.

He scored 16 of his points after halftime, making a three 43 ticks in after the Mountaineers had cut Loyola’s lead to four. He then had a traditional 3-point play and one from behind the arc in consecutive possessions with less than five minutes left to push the Greyhounds lead to 12 on two occasions.

Doing It On Defense

Mount St. Mary’s pulled within five points, 46-41, with 9:01 left in the second half last Saturday, but the Greyhounds defense keyed their next run.

Loyola went on a modest 7-0 run that covered four minutes, 20 seconds, but the forced a Mount turnover and did not allow an offensive rebound during the stretch. On the offensive end, the Greyhounds scored on three of five possessions, using a good chunk of the shot clock each time.

Timing Was Right

Justin Drummond scored all nine of his points in the first half at Mount St. Mary’s, although he did not make his first two field goals until less than 90 seconds were left in the stanza.

Aggressive play by Drummond, on the offensive glass and driving to the basket, put Drummond at the free throw line for six attempts, of which he made five, in the game’s first 17 minutes.

With under a 90 seconds in the first half, Drummond twice took the ball on the low block, backed his defender down and scored off the glass. His four points were in the middle of a 9-0 run Loyola used to close the half and go from two down to seven up at the break.

Streak Snapped

Erik Etherly did not score on Saturday at Mount St. Mary’s, marking the first time in 39 games at Loyola the forward has been held without a point. It also snapped a 19-game streak of scoring 10 or more points for Etherly.

Best Start In Division I History

Loyola’s victory against Siena on December 3 moved the Greyhounds’ record to 6-1 and gave the 2011-2012 team the best start in school Division I history, improving on the 5-1 start the Greyhounds achieved in 2005-2006.

The Greyhounds also are 2-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for the first time in the 23 years in the league.

Last Time Out

Mount St. Mary’s came out strong in the 167th all-time meeting between the teams, taking a five point lead in the first half, but Loyola scored the final nine points of the frame to go up by seven on a Shane Walker three with four ticks left on the clock.

Julian Norfleet pulled The Mount to within four on two occasions early in the second half, but Robert Olson made one of his three 3-pointers the first time, and a 5-0 mini-run fueled by four Shane Walker points pulled the Greyhounds further in front.

Norfleet led all scorers with 23, but Walker was close behind with 20, and Olson had 19. Dylon Cormier added 15, while Anthony Winbush led all players with eight rebounds, a season-high.

Back-To-Back Career Nights

Dylon Cormier tied his previous career-high of 20 points against both Coppin State and UMBC earlier this season, matching the amount he scored last season as a freshman, also against UMBC.

He recorded his third 20-point effort of the season on December 3 at Siena, scoring 22, and he set another career-high one game later with a game-best 26 in the win over George Washington.

This season, Cormier has averaged 18.3 points per game through eight games, scoring 15 or more five times. Last season, Cormier scored 10 or more in 12 games, something he has already done eight times this year.

His points have come in a variety of ways. At Siena, he knocked down 5-of-6 threes, while against the Colonials, he posted 10-of-13 from the free-throw line. Earlier in the year, he scored 20 at UMBC behind a 15-of-17 effort from the charity stripe.

Cormier also registered a career-best nine rebounds against George Washington.

Doubled Up

Erik Etherly posted his second double-double in three games, scoring 12 points to go with a career-high tying 15 rebounds at George Washington. This season, Etherly has double-doubles in half of the Greyhounds’ eight games, and all four have come in victories. Wednesday night’s effort was the ninth of his career.

Up to and including that game, Etherly scored in double-figures for 19-straight games, starting January 28, 2011, against Siena. In those 19 games, Etherly averaged 14.3 points per game.

Threes Starting To Fall

After starting the season cold from behind the 3-point arc – the Greyhounds made just 11-of-56 (.196) in their first four games – Loyola has seemingly reversed the trend, making 35-of-77 (.454) in its last five contests.

The Greyhounds were 6-of-16 (.375) against Florida Gulf Coast, 8-of-15 (.533) in the Marist tilt, 8-of-19 (.421) at Siena, a season-best 6-of-11 (.545) at George Washington and 7-of-16 (.438) at Mount St. Mary’s.

During the last five contests, Dylon Cormier has made 10-of-16 (.625) 3-pointers, while Robert Olson has hit 10-of-23 (435). R.J. Williams is 4-of-7 (.571); Justin Drummond, 5-of-12 (.417); and Shane Walker, 5-of-15 (.333).

Crashing The Boards

Loyola has outrebounded opponents by 63 this season, 352-289, through nine games, an average of 7.0 per contest.

The Greyhounds’ advantage has been even more dramatic on the offensive glass where they have outrebounded opponents, 143-101. They have pulled down offensive boards on nearly 50-percent of missed shots this season.

Last Saturday’s eight offensive rebounds against Mount. St. Mary’s were the fewest Loyola has had this season and the first time it has grabbed less than 13 offensive boards.

The offensive rebounds have come from guards and forwards. Dylon Cormier, Shane Walker and Erik Etherly lead the team with 23 each, while Justin Drummond is right behind with 22. Anthony Winbush has 12.

Productive Minutes For Latham

Jordan Latham played a career-high 18 minutes for Loyola in the frontcourt at Mount St. Mary’s. While the 6-foot-8 forward scored just two points, he played solid interior defense for the Greyhounds that included swatting a shot into the third row of the stands.

Latham is a new addition to the Loyola side this season after transferring during the offseason from Xavier. He was granted an NCAA waiver and will be immediately eligible to play for the Greyhounds in 2011-2012 rather than having to sit out the typical year-in-residency.

Latham returned to his home city when joining the Greyhounds. The 6-foot-8 forward played high school basketball a mere 2.5 miles from Loyola’s campus at the storied Baltimore City College, a high school that has produced two sitting U.S. Congressmen (Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.) and a U.S. Senator (Ben Cardin D-Md.).

Stopping A Scorer

The Greyhounds’ scouting report heading into the George Washington game focused on stopping the Colonials’ leading scorer, Tony Taylor. Mission accomplished.

The Greyhounds yielded just six points to Taylor, who averaged more than 15 per game entering the contest. Taylor, who was also honored before the game for recently scoring his 1,000th career point, made just 3-of-8 shot attempts and was held with a 3-point make.

Solid MAAC Start

Loyola did something earlier this month it had never accomplished in 22 previous seasons in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Greyhounds went 2-0 in their first two league games, defeating Marist at home and Siena on the road.

The Greyhounds also won their conference opener for the first time since 2005-2006, marking just the fourth time in 23 seasons they were 1-0 in the MAAC.

Thievery

Loyola caused 20 Siena turnovers, and the Greyhounds were credited with 19 steals. R.J. Williams led the way with a career-high five, while Erik Etherly, Dylon Cormier and Robert Olson each had three.

The 19 steals are the second-most in school history, one more than the Greyhounds posted in a November 29, 1997, game at Kent State. It is also the most Loyola has recorded against a Division I opponent. The school single-game record of 20 came on February 28, 1996, when the team closed the regular-season against St. Mary’s (Md.).

Consistency Is The Key

Up until the George Washington win, three Loyola players – Dylon Cormier (13, 20, 20, 16, 14, 15, 22), Shane Walker (12, 15, 12, 15, 10, 11, 10) and Erik Etherly (11, 15, 27, 11, 15, 14, 11) have scored in double figures in each of the Greyhounds’ first seven games, something never accomplished by the same three players in the program’s Division I history.

Walker was held to just four against the Colonials, but Cormier finished with 26, and Etherly had 12.

The last time three Loyola players scored 10 or more over a six-game stretch was the 1997-1998 season when Mike Powell, Jason Rowe and Roderick Platt accomplished the task in consecutive games from January 25-February 15, 1998. Loyola was 5-1 in those games.

The Greyhounds had not had the same three players score 10 or more in four-straight games since Gerald Brown, Marquis Sullivan and Michael Tuck did it against Rider, UC-Davis, Canisius and Marist from February 18-March 2, 2008. Loyola was 3-1 during that stretch.

R.J. Racks Up More Minutes

Freshman R.J. Williams made the first start of his collegiate career on November 20 at New Hampshire and has started the four games since then, playing 31 or more minutes in each.

With the increased playing time, Williams has also seen more productivity. After scoring eight points in the first four games of the season, he has scored eight versus both Florida Gulf Coast and Marist. Against the Red Foxes, he finished with a career-high six assists, the most by a Loyola player this season.

Four of Williams’ assists came in the final 11:16 of the game as Loyola outscored Marist, 29-15, during that stretch.

Williams continued his solid play against Siena, dishing out four assists to go with six points and a career-high five steals.

Spreading The Wealth

Five Loyola players scored in double figures in the Marist contest, the second time this season (Coppin State) the Greyhounds have had five score 10 or more.

In the first seven games of the season, at least three Loyola players have scored 10 or more in every game, and in all but one, four or more have topped the 10-point mark.

In the Greyhounds’ January 30 victory last year over Iona, six players scored in double-figures, and the team’s top two scorers at the time did not even dress for the contest. It was the first time that a Loyola team had six players score in double figures since December 6, 1991, when the Greyhounds matched the feat in a 98-84 overtime home victory against Mount St. Mary’s.

Running Away

Runs have been a big part of the Greyhounds’ success early this year. Here is a look at some runs of note:

Opponent Run Start Finish
Coppin State 10-1, 4:26 31-32, 1:36 (1) 41-33, 17:11 (2)
UMBC 16-4, 8:08 35-31, 19:16 (2) 51-34, 11:08 (2)
FGCU 22-5, 6:53 15-16, 8:08 (1) 37-21, 1:11 (1)
Marist 9-0, 1:50 47-48, 11:16 (2) 56-48, 9:26 (2)
Marist 15-3, 5:47 61-57, 6:03 (2) 76-60, :16 (2)
Siena 13-0; 4:27 0-2, 19:28 (1) 13-2; 15:35 (1)
Geo. Wash. 17-0; 3:58 18-19, 6:28 (1) 34-19, 2:30 (1)
The Mount 9-0, 1:55 24-26, 1:59 (1) 33-26, :04 (1)

Triple Digit Blocks

Shane Walker’s block of a Kevin Cantinol layup 1:25 into the second half against Florida Gulf Coast was the 100th rejection of his Loyola career. He is now one of three Greyhounds all-time to log 100 or more blocked shots, joining Brian Carroll (217, 1997-2001) George Sereikas (117, 1989-1993).

Century Mark

Head Coach Jimmy Patsos became the third coach in Loyola history to win 100 games when the Greyhounds defeated UMBC, 73-63, on the road. Patsos, who is in his eighth season, took over a team that finished 1-27 during the 2002-2003 season. He won his 100th game in his 215th career game.

Last season, Patsos moved into third-place all time at Loyola in victories, trailing only Lefty Reitz (349 wins, 1937-44, 1945-61) and Nap Doherty (165, 1961-74).

Loyola All-Time Coaching Wins List
1. 349 Lefty Reitz 1937-1944, 1945-1961
2. 165 Nap Doherty 1961-1974
3. 106 Jimmy Patsos 2004-present
4. 85 Mark Amatucci 1982-1989
5. 72 Gary Dicovitsky 1976-1981

Two Of A Kind

Although unofficial, research shows that Jimmy Patsos is one of only two coaches in the last 20 years to take over a team that won just one game the year prior to his arrival.

Brigham Young finished the 1996-1997 season with a 1-25 record. Steve Cleveland took over the following season and tallied 138 wins until his departure for Fresno State after the 2004-2005 season.

Two Over Twenty

Erik Etherly and Dylon Cormier both hit, or exceeded, the 20-point plateau at UMBC with Etherly scoring 27 and Cormier chipping in 20.

It marked the first time since January 3, 2009, a stretch of 80 games, that a pair of Greyhounds scored 20 in the same game. On that date, Jamal Barney poured in 41 at Canisius, while Brett Harvey had 22.

Getting To The Line

As a team, Loyola went to the free-throw line 46 times at UMBC, making 31. The 46 attempts are the sixth-most all-time and most since the 2004-2005 squad attempted 53 on December 5, 2004, against Niagara.

Loyola’s 31 free throws made rank 11th on the school single-game chart and were the most since making 32 on January 14, 2009, versus NJIT.

Although his shot was not falling at UMBC, Dylon Cormier still found ways to be productive on the offensive end of the floor. The sophomore guard was just 2-of-9 from the field, but he went to the free-throw line 17 times, making 15, and finished with 20 points.

Cormier’s 15 free throws made are tied for sixth in Loyola single-game history, matching the total made by Mike Powell at Saint Peter’s on December 6, 1997, and Donovan Thomas against Marist on February 23, 2003. The 15 makes were the most by a Loyola player since Jamal Barney set the school record with 18 on January 14, 2009, against NJIT. His 17 attempts rank tied for sixth all-time.

Cormier At His Best Against City Competition

Dylon Cormier matched his career-high with 20 points on Monday night in the win over Coppin State, and he matched that total, also finished with that same total on Thursday against UMBC.

The pair of 20-point performances match his freshman-year high of 20, also against UMBC, in the second game of his collegiate career.

Through three games this season, Cormier is averaging 17.3 points after leading the Greyhounds with 13 in the opener against Wake Forest. He is shooting 51.6-percent (16-of-31) from the field, third on the team.

Baltimore Bred And More From Nearby

Since taking over as head coach in 2004, Jimmy Patsos has put an emphasis on recruiting locally, and it has never shown as much as on this year’s roster. Three players – sophomore guard Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons), sophomore forward Jordan Latham (City) and freshman guard R.J. Williams (St. Frances) are products of schools within the city limits.

Six more players played in high school within 50 miles of Loyola, as the crow flies (thanks daftlogic.com): Shane Walker & Tyler Hubbard, Montrose Christian, 32.6 miles; Robert Olson, Georgetown Prep, 33.9; Justin Drummond, Riverdale Baptist, 33.9; Anthony Winbush, T.C. Williams, 43.7; and Erik Etherly, Annandale, 47.9.

What’s Next?

The Greyhounds continue their current six-game road trip with one more game before Christmas. Loyola will face the nation’s current No. 3 team, Kentucky, in Rupp Arena on Thursday, December 22, at 1 p.m. in a game that will be televised on Fox Sports South and air on many Fox Sports affiliates nationwide.

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