Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December 27, 2016 The Morning Dish No Comments

One way to get an otherwise obscure game into the college basketball spotlight-at least relatively speaking in a time on the sport calendar when bowl games of even the most unequivocally mediocre variety hold sway-is to be the only game on the schedule for an entire day.

Loyola Marymount can’t be faulted for its efforts to make the most of its game at Gersten Pavilion against Morgan State on Monday. The game one day after Christmas was the lone contest in all of NCAA Division I, and LMU offered free admission, free parking and $1 hot dogs for those in attendance.

It was some creative scheduling and a terrific deal for fans in Los Angeles, who had every opportunity to get a look at what just may wind up being a very good Division I team. The Lions have a chance to make some noise in the West Coast Conference this year and improved to 7-4 overall by taking care of Morgan State 70-49 Monday evening.

LMU never trailed in winning for the fifth time in six games, methodically wearing down its Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponent that traveled across the country from Baltimore for a two-game California trip that will also include a game at Cal State-Northridge on Thursday. Steven Haney scored 24 for the Lions, including 22 in the second half, and Buay Tuach notched the double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) while Hawaii transfer Stefan Jovanovic also added seven offensive rebounds on the way to 14 points. The Bears, meanwhile, played without high-scoring Tiwian Kendley, a 22.9-ppg sniper who missed another game with a stress fracture in his foot, and Todd Bozeman’s team continued to struggle to score without him, shooting just 34.5%.

Since the school’s legendary 1990 Elite Eight run after the tragic death of Hank Gathers, Loyola Marymount has seemingly been in an almost perpetual rebuilding mode. LMU has just four winning seasons since 1992, and its WCC title and NCAA bid in 1990 were also the last of both for the Lions. That’s right: it’s been 26 years and counting since Gathers, Bo Kimble, Jeff Fryer and company were bombing away for Paul Westhead, scoring 120 points per game with 15 more seconds on the shot clock than we have now.

Loyola Marymount this year, though, has recent wins on the road at Colorado State and by 16 points over a solid Portland State team, plus a one-point loss to Boise State and three-point losses to Connecticut and streaking Texas-Arlington. Coach Mike Dunlap has a roster that can be called veteran, if not exactly all experienced for LMU; the Lions feature five seniors, though two-Jovanovic and former Iona big man Kelvin Amayo-are graduate transfers.

Loyola could finish in the top half of an improved WCC…or could just be a team that is going to live on the edge all year. Seven of its games have been decided by seven points or less, including the previous six before Monday’s win. Clearly, the Lions’ margin for error is thin, especially with their 65.8% foul shooting that ranks in the bottom 100 in Division I.

The good news is: they will get every opportunity to build some momentum very early in the WCC schedule. LMU hosts Saint Mary’s and BYU in its first two conference games this week. The opportunity is there. Win both, and Loyola will be far more than a curiosity for being the only team to host a game the day after Christmas.

Today’s Menu:

  • The Big Ten gets conference play under way in earnest today, with four days remaining in December. It’s not a trend we’re particularly fond of (it feels wrong starting league play when the students are away on holiday break between semesters), but more and more are going with it. The first game is Northwestern at Penn State (3 p.m. Eastern, ESPN2) while the most intriguing is certainly Michigan State going to Minnesota (9 p.m., ESPN2), with the Golden Gophers possessing a golden opportunity to get off to a good start in conference against a Spartan team still finding its way.
  • Kent State is coming off an ugly 19-point loss to struggling Oregon State, and the Golden Flashes now go to Texas, which may have shown a glimpse of turning it around when drubbing UAB in its last game (7 p.m., ESPNU).
  • SMU travels to Memphis to open American play (9 p.m., ESPNU), with the Tigers in a position similar to Minnesota, with a terrific chance for a big win at home to announce themselves as contenders at the start of league play.

Have a very nice Tuesday.

Twitter: @HoopvilleAdam
Email: hoopvilleadam@yahoo.com

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about several big pieces of news away from game play, one of which puts a lot in perspective. We also talk about the lack of dominant teams and how this has shown up in the results, especially this past weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with a big game in the Big East, then move on to the sudden lack of undefeated teams, a big injury in the ACC, and a powerhouse that looks vulnerable in a stacked conference they have long ruled.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.