2007-08 Loyola (MD) Basketball Preview
Loyola (MD) Greyhounds
Overall Rank: #101
Conference Rank: #2 Metro Atlantic
2006-07: 18-13, 12-6, 3rd (t)
2006-07 postseason: none
Under Coach Jimmy Patsos, Loyola has seen a drastic improvement. And the short term rebuilding will culminate with the 2007-2008 season where the Greyhounds are expected to compete for a MAAC title. Not too shabby for a team that had just one win the year before Coach Patsos took over. With the top four scorers returning and a host of others, this is no longer a team that will be content with a middle of the pack conference finish, and they will end up a lot closer to the top than the middle when all is said and done.
The lone lost starter is Josko Alujevic. The forward, who averaged 8.6 points and 4.8 rebounds as senior, could battle on the inside and step outside and hit the long ball. Replacing the numbers will not be a problem, but finding somebody else with the ability to stretch the defense will cause some problems. Shane James, a versatile part-time starting guard, has also run out of eligibility.
Depth will not be much of a concern anyway, but the Greyhounds have a few newcomers who will battle for quality minutes. Joe Miles averaged 11.0 points per game two years ago for Marshall before opting to transfer to his home state of Maryland. The sharpshooter may have to be relegated to the bench, but he has enough talent to be starting. Point guard Brian Rudolph and redshirt freshman off guard Tony Lewis will likely have to wait their turn to crack the regular rotation, but both have the potential to be too impressive to leave on the bench as freshman. The most intriguing prospect is small forward Isaac Reid. The 6-5 Angleton, Texas native is a great athlete and a superb scorer and rebounder. While he can play either forward spot, Reid will probably spend the 2007-2008 season being groomed to replace Gerald Brown next season at the three spot.
Who to Watch:
Luckily for Greyhound fans, they have a year before they have to worry about replacing Brown. The 6-4 senior lit up the MAAC during his first year with the program, scoring 22.2 points per game. The former Providence Friar is not just a great scorer, but he will get on the glass, dish out his fair share of assists and be a pesky defender. While Brown will take all the big shots and can hit from long range, the best outside shooter on the team is Marquis Sullivan. The 6-1 junior knocked down 2.8 long balls per game at a 42.9 percent clip. Getting the ball to Brown and Sullivan will be the job of Brett Harvey. The 6-0 New City, New York product had a pleasantly surprising freshman campaign and proved to be a quality ball handler and scorer. The 4.2 assists and 2.4 turnovers per game are great numbers for a freshman and should get even better this year.
The frontcourt is in good hands with Omari Isreal, Michael Tuck, Hassan Fofana and Jawaan Wright. Isreal, a 6-8 and 225 pound senior, averaged 9.1 points and 5.7 boards last year and is a big presence in the paint on both sides of the floor. Tuck’s role in the frontcourt has been one of mostly doing the dirty work until last season when the 6-7 forward became much more dynamic. Tuck can step outside and hit the outside jumper, but will do some scoring inside as well. Even after spending most of last year on the bench, Tuck is ready for a full-time starting gig and breakout season. Hassan Fofana has yet to reach his full potential, but the 6-10, 270 pound senior is at least a big body who will help on the glass and be a presence under the basket on the defensive end.
Projected Post-season Tournament: none
Projected Starting Five:
Brett Harvey, Sophomore, Guard, 7.4 points per game
Marquis Sullivan, Junior, Guard, 13.1 points per game
Gerald Brown, Senior, Guard, 22.2 points per game
Michael Tuck, Senior, Forward, 9.1 points per game
Omari Isreal, Senior, Forward, 9.1 points per game