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Thirty years after Mayflower crime, I’ve pardoned Irsay and moved on from the hate

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Thirty years after Mayflower crime, I’ve pardoned Irsay and moved on from the hate

Posted on 28 March 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

(Originally published on March 28, 2011, I think this is appropriate for where my life stands with #JennStrong & #BmorePositive mojo. nja)

Twenty-seven years ago today I awoke to see my father crying in my kitchen in Dundalk. It was one of two times that I ever saw him cry. The Baltimore Colts’ infamous ride of the Mayflowers out west on I-70 just two months after I started interning at The News American defined the end of my childhood at 15 and the beginning of my lifelong education about money and the real world of sports for the remainder of my sports fan and business life as a journalist.

It’s been a tumultuous quarter of a century plus a year for my feelings of anger, anguish, desperation, loss and bad vibes about the Colts leaving Baltimore on March 28, 1984. My Pop died in 1992 and never got to see the Ravens come back to town to avenge the loss of the horseshoe. I never got to go to one more football game with my father. And over the years, it’s really been a civic badge of honor to hate on all things Irsay and Indianapolis.

Nestor and Mini Bob

I’ve been to Indianapolis more times than I can count since 1996 – always for a football game or the annual March combine. There’s never been a time that it hasn’t taken me 15 minutes on the ground there to get ill seeing the horseshoes and “Go Colts” kind of marketing that is ubiquitous in Indy from the minute you land at the airport. It drives my wife batty — my almost irrational instant anger, ranting and self-inflicted torture when I’m in Indianapolis. I’ve always figured that I’d proudly be like the old dudes in Brooklyn, still pining away about the Dodgers 50 years later.

Here’s an example:

It’s taken me years of internal therapy and self soothing to calm myself when I see the game day experience there in Indy as those Midwestern hillbillies parade around in my father’s stolen laundry. In many ways, our “friend” Merton From Indianapolis (and no, none of us has any idea who he is or where the whole gimmick started – honest to God!) sort of exemplifies the entire experience of dealing with their fans when you travel to the “friendly heartland.”

My loathing of all things Irsay and Indianapolis is a bit legendary – there are plenty of pictures of me carrying Bob Irsay’s head on a stick through the streets of Indy — and my rants and raves throughout the 1990s are all very “on the record” and still accurate. What happened to this community at the hands of Bob Irsay and how I saw it affect my father and the psyche of the citizenry here will never been forgotten. The degrading and demoralizing “begging” to get back into the league that fell on Herb Belgrad. Paul Tagliabue’s “build a museum” expansion declaration in Chicago. All of it…I’ll remember those feelings and emotions for the rest of my life. Most Baltimoreans older than me — and I was born in 1968 – still can’t begin to imagine a world without the Colts of that generation. If you’re from Baltimore, sports is etched into your DNA.

(And if you doubt those feelings, imagine how you’d feel if the Ravens packed up and left tomorrow morning and never played another game here? For you young’ins that’s essentially what happened here in 1984…)

But after long and careful consideration – and as today’s 26th anniversary of the dastardly

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Maryland women receive top five preseason ranking

Posted on 03 October 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland women’s basketball team is ranked No. 5 nationally in the USA Today Sports preseason basketball magazine poll. This is the second straight year the Terps will start in the top five.

The Terrapins went 26-8 in the 2012-13 season and advanced to the program’s fifth Sweet Sixteen in head coach Brenda Frese’s 11 years. Maryland finished tied for second in the ACC.

This year, the Terps return four of five starters, two-time ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas, and bring on four talented newcomers in Lexie Brown, A’Lexus Harrison, Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, who made up the nation’s No. 5 recruiting class.

USA Today Sports Preseason Basketball Magazine Top 25

1. UConn
2. Stanford
3. Duke
4. Tennessee
5. MARYLAND
6. North Carolina
7. Kentucky
8. Louisville
9. Notre Dame
10. California
11. Nebraska
12. Texas A&M
13. Baylor
14. Dayton
15. Oklahoma
16. Penn State
17. LSU
18. Colorado
19. Georgia Tech
20. Oklahoma State
21. Iowa State
22. Michigan State
23. South Carolina
24. Purdue
25. Marist

Italics indicate Terps’ 2013-14 opponents.

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Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas Named ACC Player of the Year

Posted on 01 March 2012 by WNST Staff

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Maryland women’s basketball sophomore Alyssa Thomas was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, announced by ACC Commissioner John Swofford Thursday. The conference’s top individual honor is voted on by the league’s “Blue Ribbon Panel,” which consists of national and local media members, as well as school representatives.

Thomas, a native of Harrisburg, Pa., is just the second sophomore ever to be honored with the league’s top honor in its 29-year history. Duke’s Alana Beard won in 2002 as a sophomore. Beard and Thomas were both named ACC Rookie of the Year in their respective freshman seasons.

She is the fourth Terrapin to win the honor and the third in the last five years. Vicky Bullett won in 1989, Crystal Langhorne was honored in 2008 and Kristi Toliver won in 2009.

“First, I have to thank my teammates and our coaches. They push me every single day and we play hard for each other,” Thomas said. “This is such an honor because there’s so many great players in our league.”

Thomas, the ACC’s leading scorer, is averaging 17.0 points per game and 17.7 points per conference game. Her 8.5 rebounds per ACC game are fifth-best in the league. She was named ACC Player of the Week Monday and recorded a total of four weekly honors this season – more than any other player in the league.

“What a tremendous honor for Alyssa and we’re really appreciative that the voters recognized the incredible season she’s had for Maryland,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “We also know that there were other worthy candidates. I think Alyssa’s had more legendary-type moments in one season than most have in a lifetime. Her will to win is unsurpassed and I don’t think anyone plays harder for her team. She’s easy to coach and she responds to being challenged. Of course, this could not have happened without her tremendous teammates and the staff.”

“We feel like we’ve helped her improve, but really, what you see from Alyssa all started back home in Harrisburg, where she was raised by an incredible family and community. As a person and a player, she’s one of the people you want to wear your uniform and to represent your school. We’re incredibly proud and happy for her and our program.”

Thomas proved to be a game-changer for the Terrapins. In their third ACC contest of the season, Thomas scored 18 second half points, including the winning jumper with 17.0 seconds left, to help Maryland come back from a 20-point deficit to top Georgia Tech. Two days later, she made a reverse layup at the buzzer to force overtime at North Carolina. The Terps would go on to win 76-72.

In the Terrapins’ 63-61 win over No. 5 Duke on Feb. 19, Thomas pulled in 12 rebounds but made one of the best defensive plays of the season on the last play. With four seconds left in the game and the Terps with a two-point lead, Thomas helped get a stop in the paint to force the ball outside. As the Blue Devils swung it around the arc to Haley Peters on the opposite side of the court from Thomas, she sprinted to Peters and blocked the potential game-winning shot as the buzzer expired, sealing the win for the Terrapins. It would be Duke’s lone loss in ACC play.

A week later, she scored 22 of her 24 points in the second half to lead Maryland to a 65-50 win at North Carolina State in the regular season finale. In one 10-minute span in the second half, she rattled off 16 straight points for the Terrapins and finished with a career-high 17 blocks and four rebounds.

Thomas has scored in double figures in 25 of 28 games this season with eight double-doubles. The Terrapins won four straight to end the regular season. In that four-game span, Thomas averaged 17.0 points, 13.3 rebounds and four assists per game.

“What Alyssa has done this year against some stiff competition is nothing short of remarkable and has been so much fun to watch,” Maryland director of athletics Kevin Anderson said. “Alyssa represents all that we are here at Maryland with her incredible work ethic, love for her team and leadership on and off the court. Congratulations to her and her teammates, Coach Frese and the rest of the program for their part in this special award.”

Four members of the fifth-ranked Terrapins squad were named to the All-ACC Teams announced Monday. Thomas earned first team honors, while Tianna Hawkins made the second team. Lynetta Kizer and Laurin Mincy each earned honorable mention honors and Kizer was enamed the ACC’s Sixth Player of the Year. Brene Moseley was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team Tuesday and Alicia DeVaughn was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team Wednesday.

The Terrapins (25-4, 11-4 ACC) will open play in the 35th Annual ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament Friday evening at approximately 8 p.m. as the No. 3 seed. They will play either sixth-seeded Virginia or 11th-seeded Boston College, depending on Thursday’s result.

All eight games on Thursday and Friday will be broadcast on the league’s regional sports network (RSN), which includes Comcast SportsNet +, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Florida and the New England Sports Network. Friday’s contest can be seen locally on Comcast SportsNet +. The entire tournament can also be seen on ESPN3 and Maryland’s games will also be shown online on the Terps’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MarylandWomensBasketballFans.

For more information, visit the official site of the 2012 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament at www.theACC.com/SheCanPlay. Fans can also follow the upcoming Tournament games on Twitter at @ACCwbb.

Maryland is ranked No. 5 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Division I Top 25 Coaches’ poll and No. 6 in this week’s Associated Press rankings.

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Four Maryland Women Tabbed All-ACC

Posted on 28 February 2012 by WNST Staff

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Four members of the Maryland women’s basketball team were named to the 2011-12 Women’s Basketball All-ACC teams, as announced today by ACC Commissioner John Swofford.

The accolades are voted on by the league’s “Blue Ribbon Panel,” which consists of national and local media members, as well as school representatives.  Alyssa Thomas earned First Team honors, Tianna Hawkins was named to the Second Team, while Lynetta Kizer and Laurin Mincy earned Honorable Mention Honors.

Kizer also earned the fifth annual ACC Sixth Player of the Year honor. The ACC Sixth Player of the Year accolade is nominated and selected by a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches among players that started fewer than 33% of their team’s games.

Thomas, the ACC’s leading scorer, averaged 17.0 points per game and 17.7 points per conference game. Her 8.5 rebounds per ACC game are fifth-best in the league. She earned her fourth ACC Player of the Week honor Monday for a total of four weekly honors this season – more than any other player in the league.

Thomas, who was named ACC Rookie of the Year last season, has scored in double figures in 25 of 28 games this season with eight double-doubles. The Terrapins won four straight to end the regular season. In that four-game span, Thomas averaged 17.0 points, 13.3 rebounds and four assists per game.

Hawkins, a junior forward, leads the nation with her field goal percentage of 64.4 and is the league’s best offensive rebounder with 4.7 per contest. She is No. 9 in the ACC in scoring with 14.0 points per league game and second in overall rebounding with 9.5 a contest.

Mincy proved to be one of the league’s best shooters with her three-point field goal percentage of .390, which was good for No. 2 in the conference. She finished 11th in the league in scoring with 13.4 points per game and seventh with her free throw percentage of 82 percent. Mincy was easily one of the ACC’s most improved players, after she averaged 4.9 points per game as a freshman, to 13.4 points per contest this year as a sophomore.

Kizer ranks 21st in the league with 11.6 points on 46.4% shooting this season after only starting one of the Terrapins’ 26 games. She added 5.8 rebounds per game, fourth-most on the Maryland roster.

A senior from Woodbridge, Va., Kizer posted three double-doubles and had eight consecutive games with double-figure points during conference play. She recorded 16 points and a season-high 12 rebounds, including the 900th of her career, against No. 6 Miami in mid-February.

The Terrapins (25-4, 11-4 ACC) will open play in the 35th Annual ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament Friday evening at approximately 8 p.m. as the No. 3 seed. They will play either sixth-seeded Virginia or 11th-seeded Boston College, depending on Thursday’s result.

All eight games on Thursday and Friday will be broadcast on the league’s regional sports network (RSN-Comcast SportsNet/Comcast SportsNet PLUS in Baltimore). The entire tournament can also be seen on ESPN3.

For more information, visit the official site of the 2012 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament at www.theACC.com/SheCanPlay. Fans can also follow the upcoming Tournament games on Twitter at @ACCwbb.

Maryland is ranked No. 6 in both the latest Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Division I Top 25 Coaches’ polls.

All-ACC First Team
Chelsea Gray, Duke
Shenise Johnson, Miami
Alyssa Thomas, Maryland
Elizabeth Williams, Duke
Riquna Williams, Miami

All-ACC Second Team
Sasha Goodlett, Georgia Tech
Tianna Hawkins, Maryland
Tyaunna Marshall, Georgia Tech
Ariana Moorer, Virginia
Chay Shegog, North Carolina

All-ACC Third Team
Cierra Bravard, Florida State
Bonae Holston, NC State
Natasha Howard, Florida State
Haley Peters, Duke
Stefanie Yderstrom, Miami

All-ACC Honorable Mention (More than 15 points)
Laura Broomfield, North Carolina; Lakevia Boykin, Wake Forest; Ataira Franklin, Virginia; Marissa Kastanek, NC State; Lynetta Kizer, Maryland; Laurin Mincy, Maryland

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Navy Adds Shaun Nua to Football Staff

Posted on 26 January 2012 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo announced today that Shaun Nua has joined the staff as an assistant coach and will assist Dale Pehrson in coaching the defensive line.  Niumatalolo also announced that Justin Davis will move from the defensive line to assist Tony Grantham at outside linebackers. Nua replaces Napoleon Sykes, who left Navy in January to coach at UNC-Charlotte.

Nua comes to the Naval Academy from Brigham Young, where he assisted for the past three seasons.  He is a 2005 graduate of BYU where he received his bachelor’s degree and is currently pursuing his graduate degree.

Over the past two seasons, Nua helped the Cougars achieve the nation’s 24th-best total defense in 2010 and the 13th-ranked defense in 2011. BYU won its bowl games both years while finishing the 2011 season ranked No. 25 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll with a 10-3 record.

“Shaun is a bright and enthusiastic coach and I’m very excited to have him join our staff,” said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo.   “He is a man of character and coaches with a great deal of passion.  I went to BYU last spring to watch a couple of spring practices and he immediately caught my attention with the way he coached. He will be a great asset.”

“I am very excited to be at Navy,” said Nua. “I have so much respect for these young men and what they do here at the Naval Academy and what they are going to do after graduation.  I am fired up about having a role in helping these young men progress on the football field and I am very grateful that Coach Niumatalolo has given me this opportunity.”

“Shaun is an exceptional coach and an exceptional person,” said Brigham Young head coach Bronco Mendenhall.  “He has an outstanding defensive mind blended with great optimism, and he is an excellent teacher who cares for the players in his charge.  Our players and coaches are sorry to see him leave, but excited for him and his opportunity at Navy. Shaun has a very bright future in the coaching profession.”

As a player, Nua was a 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive end at BYU from 2002-04 before being drafted in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nua played four years in the NFL, three seasons with Pittsburgh and one in Buffalo, including a winning trip to the Super Bowl with the Steelers his rookie year in 2006.

Nua earned All-Mountain West Conference Second-Team honors as a senior.  He played in all 23 games of his BYU career, appearing in 12 games his junior season in 2002 and 11 games as a senior in 2004 (redshirted in 2003 due to an injury).  He totaled 54 tackles in his two seasons, including 10 sacks and 16 tackles for loss. His four sacks were second on the team behind longtime NFL veteran Brady Poppinga his junior season, while his six sacks led the Cougars his senior year.

Born on May 22, 1981, Nua is a native of Pago Pago, American Samoa.  He transferred to BYU from Eastern Arizona Junior College, where he earned junior college All-America honors. He prepped at Tafuna High School in Tafuna, American Samoa where he was an all-league performer as a defensive end.

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Loyola Pays Visit to Bucknell Wednesday Night

Posted on 28 December 2011 by WNST Staff

Opponent Bucknell Bison
Date Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Lewisburg, Pa. | Sojka Pavillion
TV Bucknell Webstream
Series Record Bucknell leads, 5-1
Last Meeting Bucknell 70, Loyola 59 – Dec. 28, 2010, at Loyola

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will play its final game of 2011 on Wednesday, December 28, when it takes on Bucknell University at 7 p.m. in Lewisburg, Pa., at Sojka Pavilion.

Both the Greyhounds and Bison are coming off six-day layoffs for Christmas after they both played on December 22, Bucknell at Boston University and Loyola at the third-ranked Kentucky Wildcats.

Series History

Bucknell and Loyola will play for the seventh time on Wednesday. The Bison lead the all-time series 5-1 after defeating the Greyhounds 70-59 a year ago to the date of this game.

The teams played in 1986-1987 and 1987-1988, and then twice during the 1992-1993 campaign, with Bucknell winning each time.

Loyola snapped the skid against the Bison with a 55-49 win in Lewisburg on December 28, 2009.

Road Warriors

Wednesday’s game will close a six-game road swing for the Greyhounds. They have not played at Reitz Arena since defeating Marist in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opener on Thursday, December 1.

Loyola is 3-2 on the current slate of road games, winning the first three before falling at St. Bonaventure and Kentucky.

The Greyhounds return to Baltimore for the first of three-straight home games on Monday, January 2, to play Niagara.

Back-to-Back Tournament Teams

For the only time this season, Loyola will be facing teams that appeared in the 2011 NCAA Tournament in consecutive games.

Both teams bowed out to eventual National Champion Connecticut, Bucknell falling 81-52 in the West Region First Round, while Kentucky lost 56-55 in the Final Four.

Highest Ranked Opponent

Loyola took on Kentucky on December 22 in Rupp Arena when the Wildcats were ranked No. 3 in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls.

The Wildcats’ No. 3 rankings matches the highest-ranked opponent Loyola has faced in program history, equalling that of Kansas in January 2008.

Kentucky’s announced crowd of 22,774 was the largest a Loyola athletics team has ever played in front of.

Switching It Up

Jimmy Patsos started the sixth different lineup combination of the season last Thursday against Kentucky when forwards Jordan Latham and Shane Walker and guards Dylon Cormier, Justin Drummond and Robert Olson were in the starting five.

Latham and Drummond both made the second starts of their careers. Latham also started the season opener at Wake Forest, and Drummond opened the game Florida Gulf Coast game.

Back To Form

After scoring fewer than 10 points for back-to-back games at Mount St. Mary’s and St. Bonaventure, the first time he was in single digits since January, Erik Etherly posted a double-double at Kentucky with team highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The double-double was Etherly’s fifth this season and ninth of his career. His most recent feat came on December 7 at George Washington when he scored 12 and matched his career-best with 15 rebounds.

Etherly has scored in double figures in 20 of the Greyhounds’ last 22 games, going back to January 28, 2011, against Siena. In those 22 games, Etherly has averaged 14 points per contest.

Slowing Lamb

Entering the December 22 game against the Greyhounds, Preseason All-SEC and Dick Vitale Solid Gold selection Doron Lamb was leading the Wildcats at 16.7 points per game.

Loyola held the sophomore to nine points and limited him to just five shots (he entered averaging 11 field goals attempted) in 31 minutes of action. The nine points were his second-lowest of the season and came two days after he scored a season-best 26 points against Samford.

Low TOs

Loyola and Kentucky combined for just 19 turnovers in Lexington, and the Greyhounds matched their season-low with only nine.

The Greyhounds have posted just nine turnovers in three of their last five games, all coming on the current swing of games away from Reitz Arena – at Siena, Mount St. Mary’s and Kentucky.

Latham Continues Contributions

Jordan Latham has seen increased playing time in the last three Loyola games, seeing 18 minutes of action at Mount St. Mary’s and 17 at both St. Bonaventure and Kentucky, the top three totals of his career.

He scored just two points at The Mount and four at St. Bonaventure, but his size, effort and solid defense were noted by the coaches, leading to increased time on the floor. Latham then tallied a career-high seven points against the Wildcats.

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.).

Last Time Out

Loyola cut No. 3 Kentucky’s lead to four points on the first possession of the second half on an Erik Etherly dunk, but the Wildcats fended off the challenge and eventually went on a 15-2 run en route to a 87-63 victory.

Twice in the first half, Kentucky appeared ready to break the game wide open. The Wildcats scored nine straight after Dylon Cormier’s opening bucket, but Loyola then reeled off six-straight to make it a 9-8 game. Later, Marquis Teague made two free throws to put Kentucky up 33-23 only to see Loyola pull within a pair, 33-31, on an Etherly dunk with 4:30 remaining in the half.

Streak Snapped

St. Bonaventure University defeated Loyola 76-6, snapping the Greyhounds’ eight-game winning streak. Loyola had reeled off the span of wins since falling in its season-opener at Wake Forest.

The winning streak was 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.

Drummond’s Career Day

Justin Drummond put together a career-high scoring effort in the Greyhounds’ loss at St. Bonaventure, finishing with 26 points to eclipse the 22 he scored last February against Canisius.

Drummond, who came off the bench and played 32 minutes, made 10-of-19 shots, both of his 3-point attempts and all four of his free throws. He also led Loyola with five rebounds.

Drummond spread his 26 points evenly between the two halves, scoring 13 in each. He scored six-straight points as Loyola held the Bonnies scoreless for over two minutes in the second half, trimming St. Bonaventure’s advantage from 12 to six with 4:06 to play.

First Time With One

St. Bonaventure limited Loyola’s scorers, holding all players under 10 points, save for Justin Drummond’s 26. It was the first time this season that just one player was in double figures and just the third time (George Washington and Mount St. Mary’s) that less than three have tallied 10 or more.

Honors Abound For Cormier

Loyola sophomore guard Dylon Cormier picked up a couple of awards for his recent play, earning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week and Jesuit Basketball Spotlight National Player of the Week honors on December 12, 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 (16.8), 3-point percentage (.424) and steals (1.8) and is third in rebounding (5.0).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 44-of-107 (.411) in its last six contests. The numbers were buoyed by 8-of-15 (.533) and 6-of-11 (.545) performances against Florida Gulf Coast and George Washington, respectively.

Crashing The Boards

Loyola has outrebounded opponents by 43 this season, 405-362, through 11 games this season.

The Greyhounds’ advantage has been even more dramatic on the offensive glass where they have outrebounded opponents, 165-119. They have pulled down offensive boards on nearly 50-percent of missed shots this season.

Loyola’s 23 rebounds at St. Bonaventure were the fewest by the Greyhounds this season, and the -12 is the biggest deficit they have seen in the rebounding battle this year.

The offensive rebounds have come from guards and forwards. Guard Dylon Cormier and forward Erik Etherly lead the team with 28 each, while guard Justin Drummond has 25, and forward Shane Walker has 24.

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.

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.

Men’s & Women’s Coaches With 100

Loyola University Maryland is one of just 26 mid-major schools that has men’s and women’s basketball coaches with 100 or more victories at their current school after Greyhound women’s coach Joe Logan got his 100th on December 18 in a win at George Washington.

Loyola is the only school in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to have accomplished the feat, and it is one of only five institutions at which the coaches have both won 100 or more games in 10 or fewer seasons.

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.

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

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Coppin’s Mitchell Tries Again For Win 400 Wednesday at St. Joe’s

Posted on 21 December 2011 by WNST Staff

Dec. 20, 2011

PHILADELPHIA – Saint Joseph’s (8-3) will look to make it four straight when the Hawks host Coppin State (4-6) on Wednesday evening at Hagan Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.

GAME NOTES: • With SJU’s next win, Phil Martelli will tie the school record for career victories. He now has 308 wins while current record-holder Bill Ferguson registered 309 in 25 seasons (1928-53). • The Hawks received three votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll for this week after earning five last season. It is the first time since 2007-08 that SJU has received votes in one of the weekly rankings. • SJU has won three in a row and five of the last six. • C.J. Aiken is the nation’s leader in blocked shots with his 4.7 average, while the Hawks rank third (8.1) as a team in the NCAA Statistics of Dec. 19. • Langston Galloway was the Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week and the Big 5 Player of the Week. • Saint Joseph’s is in the midst of a string of five consecutive home games on campus. The only other time this occurred in school history was February 1990. • Saint Joseph’s is again sporting one of the youngest teams in the nation, with no seniors, two juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen.

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CAA Showdown Saturday Night on WNST as Towson Hosts George Mason

Posted on 03 December 2011 by WNST Staff

Tigers Open CAA Play Against George Mason Saturday

Towson Men’s Basketball To Face Fifth Team Ranked Or Receiving Votes In National Polls

TOWSON, Md. - The Tigers are set to open Colonial Athletic Association play Saturday evening against rival George Mason. Tip time is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Towson Center and all fans attending the NCAA FCS Football Playoff game at Johnny Unitas® Stadium can attend the Tigers’ men’s basketball game free of charge.

Saturday night’s game can be heard live on AM1570 WNST.net. Coverage begins immediately following the conclusion of the Towson-Lehigh NCAA FCS Playoff game and can be heard here.

Towson (0-6) is coming off an 86-56 setback at UMass on Wednesday evening. Senior Robert Nwankwo posted his third double-double of the season with 19 points and 14 rebounds against the Minutemen.

The Tigers continued to dominate the glass in their last outing, holding a 50-43 rebounding advantage in the loss. Towson has now outrebounded its opponents in all but two games this season.

Including Saturday’s contest, the young Tigers quad will have played five teams ranked or receiving votes in the national polls.

George Mason, which is receiving votes in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, is riding a three-game winning streak and coming off a 61-57 victory over Bucknell. The Patriots are led by Preseason All-CAA First Team honoree Ryan Pearson. The senior ranked in the top-15 of both scoring and rebounding among league players last season, and is the conference’s fifth highest returning scorer. This season Pearson is averaging 20.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

Saturday’s game will be the 38th all-time meeting between Towson and George Mason. The Tigers won six of the first nine meetings between the squads, but have won just two of the last 28. George Mason has never lost to Towson as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. Their last loss to the Tigers was a 78-71 defeat in Towson in 1993.

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Friedgen’s Comments Were Hurtful, But Let’s Agree to Do Deeper Thinking Here

Posted on 01 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

I’ve allowed myself over 30 hours to drink up the comments made by former University of Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen on my radio show Thursday afternoon.

In that time, I’ve heard from Terrapins fans around the globe. I’ve seen the interview written about by national outlets like ESPN, CBS Sports, USA Today, New York Daily News, Yahoo! Sports, NBC Sports, Washington Times, Washington Post and more. I’ve been told the interview has been discussed on national and local radio shows, TV shows, message boards and more. I thank everyone who passed along the conversation via Facebook, Twitter and more traditional conversation.

The interview, which happened live Thursday on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net, can be heard here in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault. I wholly encourage you to listen to the entire interview, as the context can be lost in transcription.

Of course, here’s the part where I share with you the transcription again, courtesy of the Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens…

Clark: I think the one thing everyone wants to know is what are you up to right now?

Friedgen: Well, right now, I’m sitting on my deck looking over the marsh into the — reading a USA Today.

Clark: Not a bad life.

Friedgen: No, I’m enjoying it very much. I do miss our players. I don’t miss all the other stuff, but I do miss the players. I miss the interaction with them. I miss dealing with them. I’m a little bit surprised I don’t miss all the stuff that goes around.

Clark: Well, you did it —

Friedgen: Forty-three years. I may get back into it. I may have a couple other things that pop up. I may be back, so we’ll see.

Clark: Is it tough for you to watch? Have you sat down and watched any Maryland games or is it tough for you to do that. I know you love the kids, but I also know you’re a Maryland alum, and it’s got to be a little painful.

Friedgen: Well, it’s not painful because I watch it for the kids. I could care less about Maryland. I’ve burned my diploma. I’m flying a Georgia Tech flag right now.

Clark: [laughing] That’s hurtful coach. I don’t want to hear that. I’m a Maryland alum.

Friedgen: Well, they talk about Maryland pride. They didn’t show me a whole lot of Maryland pride, either getting the job or getting fired.

Clark: OK.

Friedgen: I had a unique experience. I couldn’t get the game last week so I had to go to a sports bar to watch it. I never knew all that stuff went on, people cheering for all this stuff. It was a whole new experience. My daughter came down this week. I went fishing with her. I’ve never done these things with my kids. She caught a 28-inch redfish. She was ecstatic. I never experienced some of this stuff. It’s like my whole life has changed. I’m kind of catching up on some things I probably should have done a lot earlier in my life but haven’t been able to do it.

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UConn Not UNanimous…Are UKidding?

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UConn Not UNanimous…Are UKidding?

Posted on 07 April 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

So now we know who Mike Adras and Northern Arizona University are, and maybe that was the point all along. For those still playing catch up, Adras is the rogue head coach who cast a great deal of attention upon himself by casting votes for both Ohio State (#1) and Kansas (#2) ahead of the actual National Champion UConn Huskies in the final USA Today Coaches Men’s Basketball Poll. To his credit, at least Adras had the guts to stand up and identify himself, or as stated already, maybe that was the point all along. Otherwise, it would seem to stand to reason that Adras would have had some lengthier and better thought out explanation than that which he offered; essentially saying that in comparing their bodies of work he felt both Ohio State and Kansas had proven themselves better than Connecticut. That alone though is a semi-worthy argument at least.

All too often, both sets of weekly rankings seemingly adapt to the “power rankings” mindset, attempting to quantify who’s best right now as opposed to who has the best body of work overall. Whether or not that’s correct is certainly fodder for a discussion unto itself. Look back at the week 14 rankings, the first published polls after Ohio State’s loss at Wisconsin. That week the Buckeyes dropped their first contest of the season, in a building in Wisconsin where no one seemingly goes away with a win, on the back of an out of this world shooting performance by Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor fueling a comeback from 15 points down.

 

The Badgers went into that match-up ranked 13th by the AP and 14th by USA Today and wound up 10th in both polls in week 14 as a result. The Buckeyes, as a result of their loss, went from unanimous #1 in both polls in week 13, to 2nd in the AP and 3rd in the USA Today polls in week 14. In both polls, Kansas and Texas each received more first place votes than the Ohio State. Kansas lone loss at the time was to an unranked (then) Kansas State, and the Longhorns had losses to Pitt, UConn and USC yet received more first place votes (23-14 in the AP & 13-3 in the USA Today) than Ohio State in both polls.

 

Maybe the real point the Adras was trying to make (yet failed to disclose) was that there is no point to a post-season poll. The beauty contests that decide football seasons and give us fodder for debate during the season are really of little if any significance in sports where true championship tournaments are staged. Perhaps the simple fact that the pollsters have asked for a final take on the field, and left 1st place open to interpretation indicates that they were inviting this debate all along.

 

Wouldn’t it be much smarter to take #1 off the table for the voters? Maybe #2 as well should be preordained to the tourney’s runner up. If that were the case, and coaches and writers were asked to assess the rest of the field, tallying for us the 2nd and/or 3rd place votes would provide real fodder for discussion and debate. How much credit does VCU get for playing as many tournament games as both Butler and UConn and for winning as many as the Bulldogs and more than anyone else but the Huskies? How does that compare with the bodies of work compiled by Ohio State and Kansas?

 

This year, seemingly more than any other, there were teams that had good regular seasons, and there are teams that had good tournament seasons. There didn’t seem to be many (or any) teams that can say they had great runs in both. That would be a fun debate. Instead we are left to debate exactly what point Adras was trying to make in the first place…if indeed there was a point to be made at all.

 

Should voters from week to week and/or at season’s end attempt to reward the best overall body of work, or attempt to assess which team is playing best right now? Was BYU graded on their body of work or their prowess minus Brandon Davies’ services? How should they have been graded? Is there a point to a post-season poll in the first place?

 

One question we certainly found out the answer to was: Who the hell is Mike Adras? Now we’re left to contemplate what point, if any, he was trying to make. Maybe he’s just a hater, or maybe the point was just to get his name out there…that it did. And last but not least…Are there really Lumberjacks in Arizona?

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