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Blog Entry

Tiny Dancers: Loyola Greyhounds

Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:38 pm
 
It's already a lovefest on Twitter for the Greyhounds and their coach, Jimmy Patsos. Patsos' story will become something you can recite instantly by the start of the Greyhounds' first tournament game, as the bartender-turned-basketball coach will receive as much love from the media as any other. The reason for that is his team's 48-44 MAAC championship win Monday night over No. 4 Fairfield. Loyola played itself to a No. 2 seed this season, and after Fairfield took care of top-seeded Iona in the semis, Loyola won the rubber match with the Stags.

Patsos won the league's Coach of the Year award this year as well.

It's the second NCAA tournament bid for the Greyhounds in program history. Their other one came 18 years ago, in 1994, when a young Skip Prosser guided the team there in his first and only season in Maryland.

This team is solid at rebounding on the offensive glass, good at getting to the foul line -- and miserable at defending 3-pointers. The team doesn't have the look of a Cinderella, but Patsos and the program's story more than makes up for that. There won't be many, if any, teams and coaches that cherish the first tournament weekend more than this one.

Jimmy Patsos, left, and the Greyhounds will be the loveable underdogs of this year's field. (US Presswire)

Player to know: Erik Etherly. Etherly is considered one of the five best players in the league by opposing coaches. He's extremely versatile, leading the team in scoring (13.6), rebounding (7.6) and second in assists (1.9). At 6-7, he can play inside to out, but he is definitely best in the paint, where he's a reliable shot-maker and one of the best glass hogs in the conference. Chances are the Greyounds will be overmatched at almost every position in their first game except for this one.

The Vitals:

  • Record: 24-8 overall, 13-5 in MAAC
  • Most recent tournament appearance: 1994, No. 15 seed, lost 81-55 to Arizona.
  • We’re thinking: 15 seed
  • KenPom ranking: 133
  • Sagarin ranking: 137
  • RPI: 86
  • Best wins: at Bucknell, vs. Iona
  • Worst losses: vs. Niagara, at Marist
  • Notable stat: This is nuts. For six years, from '99 to '05, Loyola was a mess. It won 29 games, total. That's just five more than what the Hounds did this season. 
-- Matt Norlander
Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: March 7, 2012 12:10 am
 

Tiny Dancers: Loyola Greyhounds

Jimmy deserves it! Loyola probably doesn't have a snowball's chance because they'll all be in foul trouble by halftime but it's great tosee them there.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com