A Look Back at @Towson_MBB's Trip to Loyola
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 11/27/2012
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Jimmy Patsos knows a little about rebuilding. The Loyola University head basketball coach took over the Greyhounds after they suffered a 1-27 season under former coach Scott Hicks in 2004. Patsos didn't turn things around in his first season, guiding the team to a 6-22 record. But in his second year, the 'Hounds were 15-13, which was their first winning record since the 1993-94 season.
 
Now in his ninth season at Evergreen, Patsos has his Greyhounds in prime position to repeat as MAAC Champions.

As for Towson head coach Pat Skerry, he has to go through some of those same growing pains. Some of that showed on Monday night at Reitz Arena.
 
After a slow start, Loyola was in control most of the night, defeating the Tigers, 65-53, on its home court. Towson was sluggish offensively, shooting just 32.1 percent from the field and making only two of 12 attempts from beyond the arc. The Tigers also committed 15 turnovers and dished out just four assists.
 
"Hats off to Loyola," said Skerry. "They played a very good game. Their experience and cohesiveness showed. We were excited to play, but we were clearly not sharp on the offensive end of the floor and they made us pay for that. It just felt like we were running in sand all night. A good and experienced club will do that."
 
Skerry and Patsos are natives of Massachusetts, who both played Division III basketball (Skerry at Tufts; Patsos at Catholic). They both are also extremely intense from the opening tip until the final buzzer.
 
"Pat is doing a great job there," said Patsos after the game. "I like him and have known him a long time. It's tough. I took over a one-win program. It's all steps. (The late Loyola and Wake Forest head coach) Skip Prosser had the greatest line ever when I took this job. He said, 'how do you eat an elephant', I said, 'I don't know'.  He said, 'one bite at a time'.

“The battle of York Road is coming. I hope we start to play in the future more. I'm impressed with what's going on with Towson basketball. Those inside guys are good. We were just a little deeper than them."

This was a disappointing result for a team that was coming off a 3-1 road trip at the Comfort Suites Invitational at Eastern Kentucky last week. Maybe the week of inaction and holiday break hurt their momentum. One thing is certain; this is a pretty mature team that will figure it out. All you have to do is look at their point guard, freshman Jerome Hairston, who led the team with 13 points in a losing effort. He doesn't react to losses like a freshman normally would, which is refreshing.
 
"We beat ourselves," said Hairston. "We go through that stuff hours upon hours. We work on all those small things. We came out in the game and we were anxious. We have a lot of newcomers. We went about it in a way that we were newcomers. You could tell who the more experienced team was out there tonight. We went about it as rookies and just didn't come out there with a veteran attitude."
 
The Tigers (3-3) have five more days to prepare for another local rival, UMBC. The Tigers and Retrievers will battle on Saturday at 7 p.m. from the RAC Arena in Baltimore. Towson won't actually be "home" until December 15 when the Tigers face North Dakota State.
 
"I think we have all the tools but sometimes we just don't know how to use them as a team," said Hairston." We're not all one yet. We need to get our chemistry together. It will come, but it will take a lot of work."


-TowsonTigers.com-

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