Loyola Basketball Season Preview


Nov 26, 2013; Hartford, CT, USA; Loyola-Maryland Greyhounds head coach G.G. Smith reacts from the sideline as they take on the Connecticut Huskies in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Loyola University Greyhounds are our next stop on The Baltimore Wire local college basketball preview tour.

Last year was a bit tough for the Greyhounds, as they finished with an 11-19 overall record and tied for seventh in the Patriot League. That was Orlando “G.G.” Smith’s first year at the helm of the north Baltimore-based team.

The team is still very young, so expect another tough year, but one filled with improvement. The Greyhounds were picked to finish ninth in the conference by a survey of Patriot League Head coaches and sports information directors.

Loyola returns eight players from last year. Five freshman and a junior transfer from the University of Maine (Stefano Mancini) round out the roster. Jarred Jones should be the top scorer as he averaged 8.6 points and 4.5 rebounds last year. Eric Laster and Franz Rassman should also help the team out quite a bit. Rassman has great size at 6’10” and has legitimate three-point range, shooting 37.5 percent from deep last year, while Laster is a top-tier shooter himself, having shot 39.4 percent from deep last season.

The Greyhounds open the season Friday, November 14, in Lubbock, Texas. Smith will face his father, Tubby Smith, and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The team will then make their home debut Sunday, November 16, versus Cornell.

Another interesting game for the team will be as part of the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival Presented by HONDA at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on December 28 versus Fairfield University.

Loyola will get some decent TV exposure this year. The Texas Tech game will be televised on Fox College Sports Central. Also, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, will broadcast three of the Greyhounds’ home men’s basketball games this season, and some games will be seen on networks such as Fox Sports 2, Fox College Sports, the American Sports Network and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.

My prediction: 14-15 before the Patriot League Tournament