Posted on 28 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 27 March 2012 by Luke Jones
In honor of the New Orleans Saints being hammered with discipline from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell due to a shocking bounty scandal, The Morning Reaction offers the Tuesday Top 7 sports figures you’d like to place a bounty on.
Included in parentheses is the reward Luke Jones and Drew Forrester would offer upon completion of the hit on each individual.
Disclaimer: The Morning Reaction does not condone violence, and this was done for amusement purposes only.
Luke Jones’ Top 7 … (To hear his explanation, click HERE)
7) Roger Clemens (autographed Andy Pettitte baseball)
6) Terrell Owens (a year’s supply of popcorn)
5) ESPN personality Skip Bayless (authentic Terrell Suggs jersey)
4) LeBron James (paid trip to Game 7 of the NBA Finals since “King” James certainly won’t show up)
3) Albert Belle (all of Luke’s Halloween candy for the next five years)
2) Barry Bonds (autographed Hank Aaron bat and an adjustable Giants cap for the ever-growing head)
1) WWE chairman Vince McMahon (paid trip to Wrestlemania XXVIII)
Drew Forrester’s Top 7 … (To hear his explanation, click HERE)
(Continue on next page)
Posted on 27 March 2012 by Luke Jones
After longtime linebacker Jarret Johnson signed a four-year contract with the San Diego Chargers two weeks ago, the Ravens began the process of finding his replacement at the strong-side linebacker position.
Pass rush specialist Paul Kruger is the consensus choice among options currently on the roster, and coach John Harbaugh confirmed that notion at the NFL owners’ meetings in Florida on Tuesday. Selected in the second round of the 2009 draft, Kruger struggled to find a role on the defense in his first two seasons before becoming a regular contributor in passing situations last season.
“I think Paul is probably the leading candidate for the ‘Sam’ linebacker job,” Harbaugh said. “I could very definitely see him doing that. When we lost [Johnson], I went back and watched all of Paul’s tape. I watched every one of his plays from last year just to try and get a feel just for whether or not we’d be comfortable with him in there. He did a nice job in coverage, he set the edge well.”
The 26-year-old Utah product collected 5 1/2 sacks while playing in all 16 games last season after struggling to simply avoid the inactive list in his first two seasons. Kruger had only one sack and five tackles over 20 games in 2009 and 2010 as the coaching staff evaluated whether he was better suited for defensive end or linebacker.
He and rookie defensive end Pernell McPhee became mainstays of the defensive line on third down last season as the pair combined for 11 1/2 of the Ravens’ 48 sacks. Now, new defensive coordinator Dean Pees will take a long look at Kruger as the replacement to the run-stopping, blue-collar Johnson, who started every game at strong-side linebacker over the last five seasons.
“Obviously, he’s a very good pass rusher,” Harbaugh said. “I believe Paul can do it. I think he will do it.”
Kruger’s ability to play the run and to drop in pass coverage remains a mystery after limited opportunities in his first three professional seasons. The Ravens will look hard at the draft if a prospect such as Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw or North Carolina’s Zach Brown is available early, but with other positions to address and limited cap space to potentially add another veteran linebacker, Kruger may find himself in position to be the starter when the preseason begins.
“He wants to be that guy and he wants to do it as well or better than how it’s been done for the Ravens,” Harbaugh said. “That’s what you want out of one of your players.”
Of course, Harbaugh’s comments should be taken with a grain of salt when you remember we’re four months away from the start of training camp. The coach is clearly going to show as much faith as he can in players currently on the roster without dwelling too much on hypothetical additions down the road.
The other player mentioned by some as a potential candidate to replace Johnson is 2010 second-round pick Sergio Kindle, but Harbaugh didn’t exactly speak about him in the same encouraging terms as he did with Kruger. Active for only two games last season, Kindle more closely resembles a player fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster than a viable starting option after the slow recovery he endured from a fractured skull just days before the start of the 2010 training camp.
While it’s true that Kindle has never had the benefit of a full offseason program at the team’s Owings Mills facility, it’s clear he has plenty of work to do before the Ravens can afford to keep him on the roster for a second straight season.
“If he comes back and becomes a player in the NFL, it’s going to be an unparalleled accomplishment,” Harbaugh said. “You know what? We think it can happen, and we’re going to know by the end of training camp.”
Ever since kicker Billy Cundiff missed a last-second 32-yard field goal that would have sent the AFC Championship game into overtime, fans and media alike have pondered how the Ravens should handle the kicker position next season.
As he did when he spoke to WNST.net at the NFL Combine last month, Harbaugh reiterated that he fully expects Cundiff to handle kicking duties again this fall. However, the Ravens are looking to create some competition for the incumbent kicker in the preseason.
Whether the Ravens choose to add a veteran or sign a rookie following the draft, Harbaugh sees no reason why they shouldn’t explore every avenue to get better — while clearly maintaining faith in the 2010 Pro Bowl selection.
“I say that so I’m not ruling anything out, but Billy is our kicker,” Harbaugh said. “I would anticipate Billy [being] our kicker for the opening game of the season. I think he’ll have a great preseason. I think he’ll have a great season next year, but everybody gets competition and he’s no exception.”
Running without Rice?
Posted on 25 March 2012 by WNST Staff
FOXWORTH ELECTED NFLPA PRESIDENT, SMITH RE-ELECTED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Hasselbeck, Light, Moore, Watson join NFLPA Executive Committee during annual meeting
MARCO ISLAND, Fla. (March 25, 2011) – Domonique Foxworth was nominated and elected without opposition as President of the NFL Players Association today at the NFLPA Board of Player Representatives Meeting. DeMaurice Smith was reaffirmed unanimously as Executive Director by the board on March 22.
“One of the most important things I learned from Kevin is about responsibility,” Foxworth, a free agent cornerback, said to the board following his election. “Players like to say, ‘The NFLPA is our organization.’ There is a wealth of experience and talent in this room, and I will reach out to each and every one of you about your interests and passions. If we work as hard as we did during the lockout now in peacetime, we will be the strongest organization in the world.”
Foxworth’s unanimous election to the post follows four years of service on the executive committee. In 2007, he was elected by the Broncos as a Player Representative and was named the Broncos’ Walter Payton Man of the Year. In 2008, he ran and was elected as the youngest Vice President of the NFLPA Executive Committee.
Newly elected to serve on the Executive Committee are Matt Hasselbeck (Tennessee Titans), Matt Light (New England Patriots), Brandon Moore (New York Jets) and Ben Watson (Cleveland Browns).
They join current Executive Committee members Charlie Batch (Pittsburgh Steelers), Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints), Brian Dawkins (Denver Broncos), Scott Fujita (Cleveland Browns), Jeff Saturday (Green Bay Packers) and Brian Waters (New England Patriots) who were re-elected by unanimous affirmation. There are also two chairs for former players on the NFLPA Executive Committee, currently held by Cornelius Bennett and Jim McFarland.
With the 2012 election, Kevin Mawae, Sean Morey, Tony Richardson and Mike Vrabel cycle off the NFLPA Executive Committee.
“We don’t take on roles of leadership in order to pad our stats, build our resumes, or strengthen our positions,” Mawae said as he retired from the post of NFLPA President, a spot he held for four years. “We become leaders so that we can serve others who themselves don’t yet have the wherewithal, the knowledge, or the experience to lead. We don’t coerce, manipulate, or force. We simply serve.”
“It’s been a blessing,” Richardson said. “The biggest thing I’m proud of is taking advantage of every opportunity we were offered, from education to development to benefits, because if I didn’t do it, how could I tell the young guys they should be doing it? Every decision we made was for the betterment of our organization. My only agenda, ever, has been to serve the players.”
“We get a chance to play an amazing game and compete on the highest level, and I feel fortunate to have stood shoulder to shoulder with some of the greatest men in this game,” Morey said. “I appreciate our leadership letting me talk, trusting me, helping me understand the negotiation process and keeping me disciplined and focused.”
Hasselbeck, a Boston College graduate, has been playing in the NFL since 1998 and owns nearly every single-season and career record for quarterbacks with the Seattle Seahawks. The three-time Pro Bowler was first elected to the NFLPA Board of Player Representatives in 2008. Off the field, Hasselbeck is involved with numerous charitable efforts, including raising funds and awareness to help provide clean water to those in need.
Light was first elected as a Player Representative in 2008 and has served continuously since. A graduate of Purdue University, his career in the NFL has consisted of four Pro Bowl selections and three Super Bowl championships. A member of the Patriots’ 50th Anniversary Team, he established the Light Foundation which provides youth with unique outdoor experiences to help them become stronger individuals and better members of their communities.
Moore is an offensive lineman with the New York Jets and graduate of the University of Illinois. He has served as on the NFLPA Board of Player Representatives since 2007 and was a recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award in 2011. The Pro Bowl selection created the Moore Family Foundation to provide disadvantaged youth with positive holiday experiences, school supplies and other important needs.
Watson, a tight end for the Cleveland Browns, was first elected as a Player Representative in 2010. The graduate of the University of Georgia was a first round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. A Super Bowl Champion with the New England Patriots, Watson created a foundation to support charities that provide educational and enrichment opportunities. He is also a spokesperson for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and volunteers for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.
The 2012 NFLPA Board of Player Representatives Meeting continues through March 26.
Posted on 22 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 19 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Peyton Manning Odds
Peyton Manning – Total Passing Yards in the 2012 Regular Season?
Peyton Manning – Total TD Passes in the 2012 Regular Season?
Peyton Manning – Completion % in the 2012 Regular Season?
Peyton Manning – Total Interceptions in the 2012 Regular Season?
Peyton Manning – Will his first pass of the season be complete, incomplete, or an Interception?
Complete -180 (5/9)
Incomplete +150 (3/2)
Interception +1000 (10/1)
Peyton Manning – Will he win 2012 NFL MVP?
Peyton Manning – Will he win 2012 Comeback Player of the Year?
Tim Tebow Odds
Tim Tebow – Which team will he be on for Week 1 of the Regular Season?
Jacksonville Jaguars 3/2
Denver Broncos 7/4
Miami Dolphins 7/4
New England Patriots 7/1
Cleveland Browns 12/1
Tim Tebow – Will he start as a QB in the NFL Week 1 of the Regular Season?
Denver Broncos – Regular Season Wins
Will the Denver Broncos play against The New York Giants in the 2013 Super Bowl?
Will the Denver Broncos win the AFC?
Will the Denver Broncos win the AFC West?
2013 SUPER BOWL XLVII ODDS (odds current, 3/19/2012) (odds on 2/6/2012)
Green Bay Packers 13/2 6/1
New England Patriots 15/2 7/1
New Orleans Saints 10/1 8/1
Denver Broncos 12/1 50/1
Houston Texans 12/1 12/1
San Francisco 49ers 14/1 18/1
Baltimore Ravens 15/1 14/1
Philadelphia Eagles 15/1 12/1
New York Giants 16/1 15/1
Pittsburgh Steelers 18/1 12/1
Dallas Cowboys 20/1 18/1
San Diego Chargers 22/1 16/1
Chicago Bears 25/1 30/1
Detroit Lions 25/1 18/1
Atlanta Falcons 28/1 22/1
New York Jets 30/1 16/1
Carolina Panthers 40/1 50/1
Cincinnati Bengals 40/1 40/1
Miami Dolphins 40/1 35/1
Seattle Seahawks 40/1 60/1
Arizona Cardinals 50/1 30/1
Kansas City Chiefs 50/1 50/1
Oakland Raiders 50/1 50/1
Tennessee Titans 50/1 40/1
Washington Redskins 50/1 60/1
Buffalo Bills 75/1 60/1
St. Louis Rams 75/1 75/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 75/1 75/1
Indianapolis Colts 100/1 50/1
Jacksonville Jaguars 100/1 100/1
Minnesota Vikings 100/1 75/1
Cleveland Browns 150/1 100/1
Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).
“Our Super Bowl odds have been down for a couple weeks until we knew where Peyton would go since this signing would have such a huge impact on every team’s odds. Denver who we had at 50-1 before we closed the odds have dropped to 12-1 and as I expected the public is taking them regardless as soon as we opened this morning. We were a bit lucky that Denver came out of nowhere in the Manning Sweepstakes so not too many people bet them at 50-1.”
-Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager
Posted on 15 March 2012 by Luke Jones
After Ben Grubbs hit the open market on Tuesday, what felt like the inevitable became reality two days later as the Pro Bowl left guard said goodbye to the Ravens by signing a five-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.
The deal is reportedly worth $36 million and includes a $10 million signing bonus and $16 million in guaranteed money. After losing star left guard Carl Nicks to Tampa Bay a day earlier, the Saints made it clear Grubbs was their target to replace him and paid him as such. The former Ravens guard was regarded by most as the second-best guard available behind Nicks.
“There were a lot of things I had to factor in – winning, the locker room, coaches and location,” Grubbs told the Saints’ official Twitter account. “Location is at the bottom of my list but it is still important to me. When I looked at New Orleans, they had all the variables in the right place. It was an easy choice for me.”
Selected with the 29th overall pick of the 2007 draft, Grubbs was a mainstay on the Baltimore offensive line over the last five seasons. His exit leaves a major void on the left side as general manager Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens visited with free-agent guard Evan Mathis on Thursday and will now look at remaining options on the open market.
With the Ravens only holding between $8 and $9 million of projected salary cap space and needing to address several needs this offseason, it was widely assumed they would be unable to retain Grubbs’ services despite having made a “substantial offer” in coach John Harbaugh’s words a few weeks ago. Unable to reach an agreement with agent Pat Dye prior to Tuesday, the Ravens knew their chances of keeping Grubbs diminished greatly once he hit the open market.
A source tells WNST.net’s Drew Forrester the Ravens offered Grubbs $32.5 million, which would have matched the total money of the contract awarded to Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda last summer. Yanda’s five-year contract included a $10 million signing bonus.
Many have questioned whether the Ravens should award another substantial contract at the guard position with current left tackle Bryant McKinnie’s contract set to expire after the 2012 season, but Grubbs was regarded by most as the Ravens’ top offensive lineman. With McKinnie set to turn 33 in September, the Ravens will need to make major decisions regarding the left side of their line in the coming months.
Grubbs’ departure is arguably an unprecedented outcome for the Ravens in dealings with their former first-round picks. Of players selected in the first round in the history of the franchise, the only other one to leave via free agency in which one could argue the Ravens would have liked to retain was cornerback Duane Starks, who departed in 2002 with the Ravens in the middle of a massive salary-cap purge.
The 28-year-old Grubbs had never missed a game in his career prior to being sidelined for six games in 2011 with a turf toe injury. Grubbs’ return to the lineup in early November stabilized an inconsistent offensive line and helped catapult Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice to lead the league in yards from scrimmage. McKinnie credited Grubbs as the main reason why he was able to quickly acclimate himself to the Ravens after being signed late in the preseason last August.
In addition to left guard, the Ravens must address the center position with veterans Matt Birk and Andre Gurode both free agents. They remain in negotiations with Birk’s agent Joe Linta and are scheduled to meet with him this week.
A former standout at Auburn, Grubbs becomes the third unrestricted free agent to depart Baltimore after defensive end Cory Redding and linebacker Jarret Johnson signed deals elsewhere on Wednesday.
Posted on 14 March 2012 by WNST Staff
|Opponent||NCAA Second Round – Ohio State Buckeyes|
|Date||Thursday, March 15, 2012|
|Location||Pittsburgh, Pa. | CONSOL Energy Center|
|Series Record||First Meeting|
|Last Meeting||First Meeting|
Loyola University Maryland will make its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament when it takes on The Ohio State University Buckeyes on Thursday, March 15, 2012. The teams are slated for a 9:50 p.m. tip-off in Pittsburgh, Pa., at the CONSOL Energy Center.
The Greyhounds were tabbed as a No. 15 seed in the tournament, while Ohio State, the Big 10 runners-up, are a No. 2.
Watch Or Listen
The game will be broadcast on TNT with Kevin Harlan calling the play-by-play. For the second-straight game, Len Elmore will provide the analysis. He will be joined by fellow analyst and NBA great Reggie Miller. Marty Snider will report from the sideline for TNT.
Fans in the Baltimore are can tune in to LoyolaGreyhounds.com where Gary Lambrecht will handle play-by-play duties, and Jim Chivers will provide analysis.
The national radio broadcast will be distributed by Dial Global Media. Scott Graham will call the game with analysis from Kevin Grevey.
Second NCAA Trip
Loyola is making its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 18 seasons, a span of 17 years, 11 months and 23 days. In all, it will have been 6,569 days between NCAA Tournament Games for the Greyhounds.
This year’s freshmen – Tyler Hubbard and R.J. Williams – were less than one year old the last time Loyola played in an NCAA match.
The last time the Greyhounds played in the NCAA Tournament, they were also No. 15 seed. They took on No. 2 Arizona on March 18, 1994, and were defeated by the Wildcats, 81-55, en route to Arizona’s second Final Four.
Loyola and Ohio State will meet for the first time when they take the court Thursday.
The Greyhounds are 2-8 all-time against Big 10 schools. The last time Loyola met a team from the conference, it defeated Indiana University, 72-67, on December 22, 2012, in Bloomington.
Loyola won its second MAAC Championship in 23 years in the conference on Monday, March 5, defeating Fairfield University, 48-44, in the lowest scoring championship game in league history.
The Greyhounds held Fairfield to just six second-half field goals and 28.8-percent shooting in the game.
Loyola, which finished second in the conference during the regular season and earned the No. 2 seed in the league tournament, defeated Niagara University and Siena College in the MAAC Quarterfinals and Semifinals, respectively.
Defense Wins Championships
The Greyhounds played outstanding defense in the MAAC title game, holding Fairfield to 44 points and 28.8-percent shooting for the game. The 44 points were the fewest Loyola had allowed in a game this season. It was the fewest points a Loyola opponent had scored since the Greyhounds held Dartmouth to 41 in a 58-41 decision on November 24, 2009.
Loyola allowed the Stags to shoot just 6-for-31 (.194) in the second half, scoring only 22 points, the fewest points against the Greyhounds in any half this season.
After trailing by four points (30-26) at halftime, Loyola held Fairfield without a point for the first 7:48 of the second half, and without a field goal for the first 8:48. In that period, the Greyhounds outscored the Stags 11-1 to take a 37-31 lead.
Loyola has completed the turnaround from finishing the 2003-2004 season with the lowest RPI in NCAA Division I basketball. The Greyhounds finished that season with a 1-27 record the season before Jimmy Patsos took over as head coach.
Since then, Loyola has gone 122-122 and culminated the turnaround by winning a school Division I record 24 games thus far in 2011-2012.
Patsos is one of only three coaches at the Division I level in the last 20 years to take over a program that had won zero or one game the year prior to then win 100 games at the school. He joins Steve Cleveland (BYU) and Pat Douglass (UC-Irvine) as the others.
Outstanding Performance By Etherly
Erik Etherly was named the MAAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player after averaging a team-best 17.3 points and 5.7 rebounds over the three games.
Etherly was in double figures in each of the three games, including back-to-back 20-point games for the first time in his career in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.
He followed that with 10 points, seven rebounds and a career-high five blocks in the MAAC title game vs. Fairfield.
He shot 20-for-38 (.526) from the floor and 11-for-14 (.786) from the foul line, while finishing with nine blocks.
Drummond, Olson Earn All-Tournament Honors
Along with Etherly, Justin Drummond and Robert Olson were both named to the MAAC All-Tournament team.
Olson averaged 9.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and a team-best 4.3 assists, while shooting 10-for-23 from the floor and 5-for-11 (.435) from 3-point range. He had a career-high six assists in the MAAC Semifinal win over Siena.
Drummond, the MAAC Sixth Player of the Year, averaged 8.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 22.0 minutes of action. He was a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line.
Loyola recorded its best shooting performance of the season on in the MAAC Quarterfinal on March 3 against Niagara, going 29-of-46 from the floor, good for 63-percent.
The outing was 10 percentage points better than the Greyhounds’ previous best this season when they shot 52.9-percent from the field (27-of-51) at Bucknell on December 28, 2011.
Loyola’s 29 field goals made were its second-most of the year, behind the 32 it made on February 10 against Iona.
The Greyhounds continued their good shooting in the MAAC Semifinal against Siena, making 50.9-percent of their shots (27-of-53). Loyola also converted on 7-of-13 3-pointers, for its second-best 3-point percentage of the season, 53.8-percent.
Sharing The Rock
Loyola matched its season-high with 18 assists against Siena in the MAAC Semifinal, tying the mark it posted in two games against Canisius and in a non-conference game versus Florida Gulf Coast, all Greyhound wins.
Three Loyola players – Robert Olson (6), R.J. Williams (5) and Anthony Winbush (3) – combined for 14 of the assists.
The Greyhounds improved to 8-0 this season when Williams has four or more assists.
Big Buckets By Bush
Anthony Winbush scored just 16 points in the Greyhounds’ MAAC Championships run, but five of his field goals have come at critical junctures in the victories.
Winbush hit two 3-pointers midway through the first half of the MAAC title game that were part of a 10-3 Loyola run, giving the Greyhounds a 16-9 lead with 10:12 left in the half. Prior to the two 3-pointers, Winbush was 3-for-15 (.167) from downtown on the season.
In the Semifinal game vs. Siena, he tallied Loyola’s fifth and sixth points of the game, scoring in the paint at 12:13 to stop an 11-0 Siena run that had the Saints ahead 11-4. He then made a jumper at 6:31 that put the Greyhounds ahead 17-16 in the first half.
In the Quarterfinal victory over Niagara, Winbush’s first half basket with 2:32 on the clock broke a 31-31 tie.
Stretch Of Threes
When Kyle Downey cut through the lane and laid in a basket with 16:42 to go in regulation, it pulled Siena within three, 32-29. Robert Olson responded for the Greyhounds, however, knocking down a three at 16:25 that started a 12-4 Greyhounds run that saw the Greyhounds go 4-of-4 from 3-point range.
Dylon Cormier and Shane Walker each hit threes during the span, and Olson capped it with a three off the dribble at 14:12, making Loyola’s lead 44-33.
Against The Nation’s Leading Rebounder
Loyola held Siena’s O.D. Anosike, the leading rebounder in NCAA Division I, to a season-low five boards. It was just the fourth time this season Anosike, who entered the game averaging 12.8 rebounds per game, was held to single-digits on the glass. His previous low this season was eight.
Cormier & Etherly Over 20
For the third time this season, Dylon Cormier and Erik Etherly both eclipsed the 20-point mark in the same game against Niagara. Cormier finished with a game-high 23, and Etherly had 21.
The duo previously topped 20 together at UMBC and at home against Iona, both Greyhounds’ wins. Etherly now has four 20-point games this season after tallying 21 against Siena. Cormier has hit the plateau eight times this year.
Shane Walker notched his third double-double of the season in the MAAC Quarterfinal vs. Niagara, going for 13 points and 12 rebounds. He scored nine of his points in the first half, scoring seven of Loyola’s first nine points of the game. He also had four assists and blocked two shots in 37 minutes of action.
Best MAAC Finish
Loyola defeated Manhattan last Sunday afternoon to earn its 13th Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory of the season, setting a program record in the process.
The Greyhounds twice finished their MAAC schedule 12-6 (2006-2007 and 2007-2008), a game shy of this year’s record.
Loyola also finished alone in second place in the conference standings, improving on its previous best finish when it tied for second with a 10-4 league mark in 1996-1997.
The Greyhounds’ victory over Boston University on February 19 was their 20th of the season, setting a school Division I record.
Loyola, which moved to NCAA Division I in 1981-1982, had won 19 games in 2007-2008 and 18 in 2006-2007.
The overall school record for victories, 25, game in 1948-1949.
Patsos Named Coach Of The Year
On Thursday night, Jimmy Patsos became the first Loyola coach to earn The Rock/Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors by a vote of his peers in the league.
Patsos has guided the Greyhounds to a school Division I high 23 wins and a program MAAC record 13 victories. He earned his 100th career coaching victory in November and led the Greyhounds to the No. 2 seed in the MAAC Championships.
Drummond Picks Up 6th Man Award
Justin Drummond became the fifth Loyola player to earn MAAC 6th Man Of the Year honors in the last eight seasons when he picked up the award on Thursday night. He led all bench players in the league with 11.1 points, fourth on the team, and he was third on the squad with 4.2 rebounds per game.
Drummond joins Charlie Bell (2005), Michael Tuck (2007), Marquis Sullivan (2008) and J’hared Hall (2011) as Jimmy Patsos-coached players to win the award.
For the first time since the league expanded to three All-MAAC teams in 1998, four Greyhounds received all-league honors, topping all teams in the conference. Erik Etherly was named to the All-MAAC First Team, Dylon Cormier to the Second, and Justin Drummond and Robert Olson to the Third.
Loyola led all teams in the MAAC with its four selections, just in front of Iona’s three.
The Greyhounds’ previous high was at the end of the 1997-1998 season when Mike Powell (1st), Jason Rowe (2nd) and Roderick Platt (3rd) earned All-MAAC honors.
Etherly led Loyola in scoring (13.3) and rebounding (7.4) during conference play, and he is second overall on the team with 13.4 points per game. He also is tied for fourth in the league with teammate Shane Walker with 39 blocked shots, and he is fourth in field-goal percentage (.540).
Cormier has led the team throughout the season in scoring with a 13.9 points, and he has shot 46.5-percent from the field. Cormier is third in the conference with 1.7 steals per game, and he has topped the 20-point mark eight times this year.
Drummond has come off the bench in 26 of the Greyhounds’ 30 games this year and is fourth on the team with 11.1 points per game. The guard is also third in rebounding (4.2). He has scored in double figures 15 times this year.
Olson has been one of the top 3-point shooters in the conference this year. He has shot .440 from behind the arc, second-best in the MAAC, and has averaged 11.3 points per game. The junior guard entered the month of January averaging less than nine points per game, but since then he has been the team’s second-leading scorer at nearly 13 a contest.
More Than 60 Years
The last time the Loyola men’s basketball program won 20 games in a season, 1948-1949, the following things were going on in the world, 63 years ago:
Harry Truman began his first full term as President of the United States.
Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman premiered on Broadway.
NATO was formed.
The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merged to form the NBA.
The first jet-powered airliner, the de Havilland Comet, took flight.
Billy Joel, Joe Theismann, Bruce Springsteen & Meryl Streep were born.
Milestones And Firsts
Loyola has accomplished several milestones and firsts throughout the 2011-2012 season. Here is a sample of a few:
First 20-win season in Division I history.
Second MAAC title in school history and first since 1994.
Program MAAC record with 13 league wins and best conference finish (2nd).
Tied school Division I record with eight non-conference wins (1993-1994).
Longest winning streak in school Division I history (8, Nov. 14-Dec. 10). Also, second longest winning streak in D-I history (7, Jan. 19-Feb. 10).
First back-to-back sellouts of Reitz Arena since the venue opened in 1984 (Feb. 3 and 10).
Winning Without A Three
Loyola completed a rare accomplishment at Manhattan, defeating the Jaspers despite not making a 3-pointer in the game. The Greyhounds attempted just eight from behind the arc.
The last time the Greyhounds won a game without making a 3-pointer was February 27, 1996, when they defeated Siena, 67-53, in Reitz Arena, a span of 438 games. Loyola was 0-of-9 in that win over the Saints.
No Starters In Double-Figures
Loyola also won the Manhattan game without a starter in double-figures. Dylon Cormier and Erik Etherly each scored nine from the starting line, but Justin Drummond (13) and Anthony Winbush (12) scored 25 of the Greyhounds’ 29 bench points in the win.
The last time no starters scored in double figures was on November 24, 2010, when the Greyhounds lost 51-48 at Vermont.
It was the first time Loyola had won a MAAC game without having a starter score 10 or more, going back to the 1989-1990 season when the Greyhounds joined the conference.
The February 26 win at Manhattan was the third time this season that the Greyhounds came back from a 10-plus goal deficit to win. Manhattan led by 11 four times, including with 11:36 in the second half. The Greyhounds also rallied form 15-point deficits to defeat Boston University at home and Fairfield on the road.
Loyola overcame a low scoring afternoon in the Manhattan win when just two players, Justin Drummond (13) and Anthony Winbush (12) topped 10 points.
Loyola is 11-2 this season when four or more players score in double figures, and prior to the defeat at Rider, it had not lost since the season-opener on November 11 at Wake Forest. The Greyhounds are also 21-3 when three or more players top 10.
Transversely, the Greyhounds are just 2-5 when two or fewer players tally 10 or more with their only wins coming on December 7 at George Washington and at Manhattan.
45-Percent Or Better
Loyola improved to 13-1 this season when shooting 45.0-percent or better from the field with its win over Siena. The only loss the Greyhounds have suffered when shooting that mark or better was on February 24 when they went 25-of-55 (.455) from the field at Rider and lost by four.
Loyola’s three most recent losses underscored the importance for the Greyhounds of capitalizing on a few areas of the box score. Seven of Loyola’s eight losses have come when scoring fewer transition points – and the eighth loss was in a game that the teams tied in the category – than its opponents.
The Greyhounds also dropped to 2-6 this year in the eight games they have shot fewer free throws than their opponents, compared to 19-2 when shooting more.
Loyola is also 4-8 when its opponents have a better field-goal percentage, compared to 18-0 when the Greyhounds shoot at a better clip.
Olson’s Last 17
Robert Olson entered the month of January averaging 8.9 points per game through Loyola’s first 11, and he stayed right on that track in the first two games of 2012, scoring a combined 17.
Since then, however, he has averaged 13.0 points per game, starting with a 16-point game on January 7 against Canisius. The game against the Golden Griffins started a stretch of 11-straight in which Olson scored 11 or more points and had 15 or more seven times. During the last 15 games, Olson has shot 75-of-150, 50.0-percent, from the field and 45-of-94 (.478) from behind the 3-point line.
Against Niagara, he hit two threes and moved into sole possession of 10th on the single-season threes list at Loyola. His 136 career threes are sixth in school history.
Six Under Sixty
For the first time in its NCAA Division I history (since 1981-1982), Loyola held six consecutive opponents to fewer than 60 points.
During the span, all Loyola victories, the Greyhounds have held Siena, Saint Peter’s (twice), Niagara, Canisius and Rider to an average of 53.2 points per game.
The Greyhounds previously had held three teams to sub-60 performances just once since joining Division I, and that came during 1981-1982, their first season at this level.
The last time a Loyola team held six-straight teams under 60, regardless of division, came in January-February 1977 when it held six teams in a row – Southampton, Saint Peter’s, Randolph-Macon, Mount St. Mary’s, Baltimore and Philadelphia Textile – to 59 or fewer. The Greyhounds, however, were just 3-3 in that stretch.
Walker Moves Into Second
Shane Walker blocked two Fairfield shots in the first three minutes of the game, and he then swatted a Maurice Barrow layup with 13:58 on the clock, tying him for second all-time at Loyola in blocked shots. He now has 130 in his career, second all-time.
Runs have been a big part of the Greyhounds’ success this year. Here is a look at some runs of note:
|at UMBC||16-4, 8:08||35-31, 19:16 (2)||51-34, 11:08 (2)|
|Marist||15-3, 5:47||61-57, 6:03 (2)||76-60, :16 (2)|
|at Siena||13-0; 4:27||0-2, 19:28 (1)||13-2; 15:35 (1)|
|Canisius||18-4, 10:14||57-53, 10:14 (2)||75-57, 2:11 (2)|
|at Fairfield||36-21, 16:42||30-45, 16:42 (2)||66-63, Final|
|Siena||22-2, 7:36||40-47, 10:35 (2)||62-49, 2:49 (2)|
|Saint Peter’s||20-5, 8:13||15-20, 8:55 (1)||35-25, :48 (1)|
|at Niagara||15-2, 5:42||44-46, 7:48 (2)||59-48, 1:58 (2)|
|at Canisius||24-2, 12:04||16-22, 8:02 (1)||40-24, 15:58 (2)|
|Rider||18-0, 8:06||6-5, 16:50 (1)||24-5, 8:55 (2)|
|Iona||36-17, 12:50||11-10, 13:40 (1)||47-28, 00:50 (1)|
|Boston U.||16-3, 4:37||34-34, 16:05 (2)||50-37, 11:28 (2)|
|Siena||16-2, 5:17||9-16, 10:49 (1)||22-18, 5:32 (1)|
|Fairfield||11-1, 8:48||26-30, 20:00 (2)||37-31, 11:12 (2)|
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|
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.
Posted on 14 March 2012 by Luke Jones
With Cory Redding and Jarret Johnson signing contracts elsewhere on Wednesday, the next potential departure from the Ravens could be even more painful in left guard Ben Grubbs.
The Pro Bowl lineman visited with New Orleans and took a physical on the second day of free agency. With former Saints left guard Carl Nicks signing a reported five-year, $47.5 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that includes $31 million guaranteed, it could signal the end of the Ravens’ chances of retaining Grubbs.
Nicks’ departure from the Saints opens up a void on the New Orleans offensive line and also shifts Grubbs to the top of the list of available interior linemen. It was already expected that Grubbs would have to take less money in order to remain in Baltimore, but the benchmark set by Nicks’ contract dwarfs any potential offer made by the Ravens.
A number of teams are reportedly in the market for a guard including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Cleveland, so there is likely a suitor to meet agent Pat Dye’s demands for his client.
Not waiting idly for Grubbs to make a decision, general manager Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens will welcome free-agent guard Evan Mathis to town for a visit. The 30-year-old spent the 2011 season with the Philadelphia Eagles after three seasons with Cincinnati, making him quite familiar with the AFC North.
“I got to see it for myself for a couple years,” Mathis said on AM 1570 WNST on Wednesday. “It was always a challenge playing teams like the Ravens and the Steelers with those really stout [defenses]. It’d be cool to be a part of again. I want to be on a good team and I want to have a chance to compete. I’m a competitor. I want to win a Super Bowl, and I want to play for an organization that has that chance.”
Mathis became a full-time starter for the first time last season after spending his first six seasons primarily as a backup, but he graded out favorably with the Eagles, rating as the best left guard in the NFL in ProFootballFocus.com’s grading system. The 6-foot-5, 302-pound lineman is considered by most as one of the better guards on the open market.
Though older and with less upside than Grubbs, Mathis would represent a solid replacement at a more reasonable cost. A product of the University of Alabama, Mathis was a teammate to Johnson, who signed a four-year contract with the San Diego Chargers on Wednesday.
That means Newsome — also an Alabama alum — is very familiar with the veteran guard.
“I would love to play for a guy like Ozzie,” said Mathis, who revealed Newsome is a family friend. “If I didn’t want to play for him, I wouldn’t be taking the visit. I like what the Ravens do and I like what Ozzie has always done, so I’m taking this visit and seeing how things play out.”
Multiple reports say the Ravens also have interest in former Texans right tackle Eric Winston and will welcome him to Owings Mills for a visit. The 28-year-old Winston was surprisingly cut earlier this week after six seasons in Houston.
Putting aside the price tag that the talented Winston would demand, his potential addition is an interesting notion considering current right tackle Michael Oher has two years remaining on the original five-year deal he signed as a rookie.
The Ravens seemingly signaled they didn’t think Oher was cut out for the left tackle position by signing veteran Bryant McKinnie last August, so it’s difficult envisioning Oher moving back to the left side. For what it’s worth, Oher played guard in his first season at Ole Miss, but it’s unclear whether the Ravens would consider moving the 2009 first-round pick to the interior line.
McKinnie has one year remaining on his current contract.
To hear Mathis’ full interview with WNST.net’s Glenn Clark on Wednesday afternoon, click HERE.
Posted on 13 March 2012 by Luke Jones
Two Ravens free agents have already scheduled visits with other teams after failing to come to terms on new contracts prior to hitting the open market on Tuesday afternoon.
Pro Bowl left guard Ben Grubbs has scheduled a Wednesday visit with the New Orleans Saints, according to multiple reports. With Saints guard Carl Nicks the top interior lineman on the open market and rumored to be heading to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Grubbs would be a suitable — and more affordable — replacement on the New Orleans offensive line.
Veteran defensive end Cory Redding was on his way to visit Chuck Pagano and the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday evening, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. With Pagano targeting free agents from the defense he worked with as the Baltimore defensive coordinator in 2011, Redding would provide strong veteran leadership as well as a more affordable price than linebacker Jarret Johnson, who has also been rumored as a potential target for Indianapolis.