Loyola Marymount Lions
2012-2013 Overall Rank: #107
Conference Rank: #4 West Coast Conference
Loyola Marymount Team Page
Three years ago Loyola Marymount reached the CIT and had high expectations heading into the 2010-2011 campaign. They failed to come anywhere near those expectations and won just two games in West Coast Conference play. Last season the Lions once again reached the CIT and once again the expectations are a little higher. Can they live up to those expectations this time and at least get back to the postseason?
2011-12 Record: 21-13, 11-5
2011-12 Postseason: CIT
Coach: Max Good
Coach Record: 53-75 at Loyola Marymount, 295-298 overall
It will not be easy without a handful of contributors who helped LMU reach an 11-5 mark in conference play last season. Drew Viney missed part of last season and did not always appear to give it his all, but he could score. The 6-8 forward averaged 15.2 points per game during his senior campaign and was a great outside shooting threat. In fact, Viney could pretty much do a little bit of everything. The frontcourt also lost part-time starter LaRon Armstead. The 6-5 Armstead really stepped up his game during his senior campaign and averaged 8.0 points per contest. Quincy Lawson started a dozen games, but averaged just 12.5 minutes per contest, although depth in the frontcourt is never a bad thing to have. The major loss on the perimeter is Jarred DuBois. He only started 13 games, but DuBois averaged 10.1 points per contest and was a nice offensive spark when he did come in off of the bench.
Coach Max Good loaded up on wings with this recruiting class and some of them will be needed to contribute right away. Taj Adams, a lanky athletic 6-7 Los Angeles product may be the best of the bunch. His size gives him a great advantage on the wing. He will need to gain some strength over time, but Adams has the skills to be a great player for Loyola Marymount. Nick Stover, walk-on Adam Drexler and combo guard Chase Flint will add depth to the perimeter. Flint, a transfer from Eastern Utah, will likely need to step right into the backup point guard role. Marin Mornar is a very interesting prospect. The 6-9 Croatian played some high school ball in Detroit and should be able to help out on the glass and on the defensive end of the floor. Once he bulks up his 185 pound frame, Mornar will be a tough power forward.
Who to Watch:
Five major contributors return and will likely make up the starting lineup…at least to start the season. Running the point will be Anthony Ireland. The junior is coming off of a great season, leading the team with 16.1 points, 4.9 assists and 1.7 steals. Ireland will have to keep up the scoring while some other players get used to their increased roles, but he is certainly capable. Ayodeji Egbeyemi started 14 games as a sophomore. He is a great athlete who needs to work on his shooting and his overall skills, but they are coming along. C.J. Blackwell might be as close to Viney as this group is going to get. Blackwell is a big 6-5, 240 pound sophomore who can do a little bit of everything. His numbers may never equal that of Viney’s, but his versatility will help fill Viney’s void. Blackwell can play the four spot and he could end up seeing more minutes there with the depth the newcomers bring to the wing, but Ashley Hamilton will definitely be in the starting lineup. Hamilton is another athletic frontcourt player and is coming off of a fine, albeit shortened, 2011-2012 campaign. He averaged 11.0 points and a team high 5.6 rebounds. Junior forward Godwin Okonji will round out the probable starting five. Okonji is not much of an interior scoring threat, but he is a fine rebounder and by far the best shot blocking threat the Lions are returning. It is his defense that keeps him on the floor, but a little more production offensively would go a long way.
The starting five is pretty solid, but this group seems to be missing a piece or two. Ireland and Hamilton can do plenty of scoring and Blackwell has a very high ceiling, but this group probably will have trouble against the top teams in the West Coast Conference. However, that could still be good enough for fourth place in the conference and a return trip to the postseason.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
Projected Starting Five:
Anthony Ireland, Junior, Guard, 16.1 points per game
Ayodeji Egbeyemi, Junior, Guard, 4.0 points per game
C.J. Blackwell, Sophomore, Forward, 6.2 points per game
Ashley Hamilton, Senior, Forward, 11.0 points per game
Godwin Okonji, Junior, Forward, 3.7 points per game