2 012-13 LM U BASKETBALL SEASO N PR E V I E W
YEAR OF REDEMPTION
Before the men’s team transforms into a conference threat, they must learn to build upon past success.
The women return with one of the best players in program history and welcome a new head coach.
RAMIREZ GLOBAL LEADER
Women’s basketball Head Coach Charity Elliott will bring a new intensity in her first year at LMU.
Men’s basketball has international talent thanks to Associate Head Coach Myke Scholl’s work in Africa.
B asketball Big plans in the works for this year’s Lions
November 8, 2012 Page 2
Coming off a strong record last season, men’s basketball seeks the WCC Championship. By Michael Goldsholl Staff Writer
Of the 14 active players on the LMU men’s basketball team, half are freshmen and sophomores. And of those seven Lions, only one (sophomore forward C.J. Blackwell) played in more than 20 games (33) and averaged at least 7 minutes per game (MPG) (15.1) for a Division I basketball team last season. The Lions were only expected to lose four players (forwards LaRon Armstead, Drew Viney, Tim Diederichs and guard Daniel Latimer) to graduation following the conclusion of
the 2011-12 season. However, redshirt senior guard Jarred DuBois and redshirt junior forward Quincy Lawson both opted for transfer during the offseason, with the former suiting up for the University of Utah, and the latter heading south to play for CSU San Marcos. Just like that, the Lions team that had reeled off an unexpected 21-13 record lost six of its players – three of whom played at least 21 MPG and contributed a combined 33.3 points per games (PPG) to the Lions’ offense. The five newcomers are freshmen forwards Nick Stover, Taj Adams, Marin Mornar and Adam Drexler, and sophomore transfer guard Chase Flint. Although Flint is a transfer, he hails from Utah, where he spent last year playing for the
College of Eastern Utah of the junior college Scenic West Athletic Conference. (Sophomore transfer forward Ben Dickinson is also a newcomer to the Lions, but he won’t suit up until the 2013-14 season, as he must take a redshirt year due to NCAA transfer rules.) Despite losing three of their top five players from last season, the Lions remain an early pick to finish among the top half of the West Coast Conference (WCC). In the preseason coaches’ poll, they were picked to finish fourth out of nine in the conference, trailing the WCC’s three NCAA-tournament bidded teams from last year: Gonzaga University,
Photos: Steven Douglas | Loyolan
The men’s basketball team finished last season with the most wins since 1990. They welcome freshman forward Nick Stover (left) and sophomore transfer Chase Flint (second from left) in their quest to win the WCC.
2012-13 WEST COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL 1. Gonzaga (7 first place votes) 2. BYU (1) -
3. St. Mary's (1) 4.
5. USD -
6. Santa Clara 7. USF -
15 9. Pepperdine - 12
8. Portland -
Brigham Young University and St. Mary’s College. “I feel like we’re supposed to be higher than that,” said redshirt senior forward Ashley Hamilton, who led the Lions in boards last year with 5.6 rebunds per game (RPG). “In the previous two preseason polls, they’ve had us seventh and before that they had us getting eighth. You have to go out there and play and make a run to the tournament. I don’t see
us losing too many games. I mean, conference is going to be tough, like it always is, but we’re looking forward to it. It’s a challenge for us.” The projected No. 4 team in the WCC will be led by its point guard, junior Anthony Ireland, the Lions’ reigning top scorer (16.1 PPG) and assist man (4.9 assits per game), who just received his second straight preseason All-Conference selection. “I feel like the way we’re going now, we’ve got some bodies out, but I
think, compared to last year, we’re ahead of schedule,” said the 5-foot-10-inch Ireland. “Everyone’s looking much better, and I honestly feel like we could definitely have 25-plus wins.” The “bodies” Ireland speaks of are the slew of injuries the Lions have been saddled with has they head into the season. Adams has recently started practicing after missing time due to a concussion. Mornar is suffering from pneumonia/mono, but has been cleared to participate in non-contact drills. Blackwell is still recovering from a knee injury and could miss a month of action. Redshirt junior forward/center Alex Osborne is recovering from a foot injury and is day-to-day, as of Monday, Nov. 5. Head Coach Max Good, who enters his fourth full season – but fifth overall – with the Lions, said that Blackwell is
“ahead of schedule,” while Osborne was expected to return last week, but remains in a walking boot. “I don’t want to rush [Osborne] back; we need him dramatically down the road. [Blackwell] is doing well, he’s ahead of schedule,” said Good, the reigning WCC Coach of the Year. “But we’re not hurrying that either. Usually when you hurry those situations, they back up and get worse. We have to let them heal and take their course.” The absence of Osborne, who was second on the team in offensive rebounds (43) and fifth on the team in steals last season, thins an already shallow frontcourt, which only features the 6’7 Hamilton and the 6’9 junior forward Godwin Okonji as the only two post players available with Division I experience. “I mean, we’re a small team anyway, so there’s going to be some pressure,” said Hamilton. “AO [Osborne] and Godwin are the only true fives [centers] on this team, so everyone is going to have to step up.” “ I t does put a lot of pressure, that we o n l y have two big guys on the court,” s a i d Okonji. “It doubles my job on the court. But for a big guy like me, that’s my bread and butter – operating and being a presence in the post.” Regardless of the injuries, the Lions remain confident in their squad and its chances against the rest of the West Coast Conference. “Honestly, this is the best team in the WCC, bar none,” said sophomore guard Bruce English, who started in the backcourt during the team’s exhibition against Point Loma last Tuesday, Oct. 30. “Gonzaga, BYU, St. Mary’s, all those top teams included. We beat St. Mary’s last year and it wasn’t a hard defeat. We all came together. I think we can win the WCC championship. That’s our goal right now.” While some might raise their eyebrows at English’s comments about a team that’s only postseason experience beyond the WCC Championships since 1990 has been four games in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, the team’s desire to receive a bid to March Madness is not unfounded. “I would like to think that if we can get healthy and get all of our parts, that we can play in the NCAA [Tournament],” said Good. All section graphics: Joanie Payne | Loyolan
B asketball Women’s basketball begins new era
November 8, 2012 Page 3
With a new attitude and coach, women’s basketball looks to improve this season.
students and citizens of the community,” said Husak. The players have noticed a change in culture. “You are always held accountable with Coach [Elliott],” said Cowling. “She expects a lot out of each and every one of us.” “I want these girls to be stretched as ball players and as people,” said Elliott. “In a philosophical sense, to go farther than they ever thought possible and achieve great things.” One of the players to keep an eye on is junior point guard Hazel Ramirez, who has not only transformed her game as a basketball player but as a leader in the locker room. “I’ve improved vocally,” said Ramirez. “I realize that I’m one of the leaders of this team and I need to hold people accountable. I’m also the point guard, so I need to be the loudest one on the floor, directing traffic of my teammates and looking to distribute the basketball.” “She’s an amazing ball player,”
By Dan Raffety
Asst. Managing Editor
What does it feel like to turn the page? For the women’s basketball team, it means forgetting about the losses of last season and focusing on the bright new future that is LMU women’s basketball. “It’s a clean slate, a fresh start,” said redshirt senior playmaker Alex Cowling. “Last year was last year and we have the chance to start from square one.” There’s a reason for the amnesia. The team finished seventh in the West Coast Conference (WCC) standings, ending 3-13 in conference play. The one bright spot last season was the emergence of Cowling, who led the team in points, scoring average, field goal attempts, field goals made, rebounds and overall minutes on the floor. The Lions were predicted to finish in seventh place (out of nine) in this season’s WCC Preseason Coaches Poll, the same mark they finished a year ago. However, neither Cowling nor the Lions are looking for a repeat of last season. “I’m looking to be the best teammate I can be,” said Cowling. “I’m going to play within the system and if I score, great, but I want to do whatever I can to help the team win.” The team won the WCC Tournament play-in game over the University of San Francisco 66-60, but lost in the first round to rival Pepperdine 56-45. Prior to that San Francisco victory, the team lost six straight conference games. The program went in a new direction and former Head Coach Julie Wilhoit left, who was with the program for 16 seasons. They replaced her with former UC San Diego Head Coach Charity Elliott, a fiery coach who demands high intensity on the court and a
well-rounded individual in daily life. LMU Athletic Director Dr. William Husak described a part of the process of hiring Elliott as the next leader of LMU’s women’s basket-
said Cowling. “She has really come into her own, commanding leadership. She’s the floor general, the coach on the floor. I’ve loved how she has progressed so far.” There are four freshman players on this season’s roster, and each has understood the message of the new LMU basketball team. “I’m adjusting well,” said freshman guard Deanna Johnson. “Everybody around here wants the best out of you. I love my teammates because they are constantly helping me improve every way that I can.” The focus at this point is turning a new page on last season’s dismal record and looking to the future of Charity Elliott basketball. “This is a completely different season, a completely different group,” said Cowling. “This team is closer than it has ever been before, we are practicing better than we ever have before and we know that if we continue to work, it will translate into winning basketball games.” “There is a new energy with this
team,” said Husak. “With the new coaching staff and four new freshman, the culture is changing and this team could surprise some people.” The players especially are buying into the change in culture. “We are excited to come to practice,” said Ramirez. “I don’t know if I could say that the past two seasons.” The team’s style of play will transform as well under a new coach. “We will be aggressive on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball,” said Elliott. “We want to increase the number of easy baskets we score by generating points through our defense.” The Lions’ first game will be in El Paso, Texas when they take on the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 11:05 a.m. “We are creating a new culture,” said Cowling. “I’m just so excited to face some actual competition and see how our hard work in the offseason has paid off.”
Photos: Loyolan Archives
Junior point guard Hazel Ramirez (above) is key to the Lions’ success this season. Ramirez recorded seven assists in the team’s exhibition game. Teammate Alex Cowling (left) said, “This is going to be her breakout season.”
2012-13 WEST COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL 1. BYU (5 first place votes) -
60 3. St. Mary's - 48 4. USD - 36 5. Pepperdine - 33 6. Santa Clara - 27 7. LMU - 25 8. Portland - 24 9. USF -10
2. Gonzaga (4) -
ball. “We loved her track record down in San Diego, not only because of her success, but she understood the balance of producing talent on the basketball floor with high academic
November 8, 2012 Page 4
New coach, new culture of intensity SPORTS FEATURE
Head Coach Charity Elliott looks to turn around the women’s basketball program. By Dan Raffety Asst. Managing Editor
Change is not an easy thing. Whether it’s a new job, new friends, a new city, change takes time and adjustment. The same can be said for the new head coach of the women’s basketball team, Charity Elliott, who is experiencing how tough change can be. She is embarking in a program that had the same head coach for 16 years. She has been bestowed a group of players that hasn’t had a winning record since the 200607 season, despite the individual statistics of redshirt senior guard Alex Cowling. She must change the culture that is LMU women’s basketball. “It’s a process,” said Elliott. “Change does not happen overnight, but we have been working hard to be the best we can be at this point.” The Lions have been practicing all summer with their new head coach to improve upon a dismal 2011-12 season, where they won only three conference games and had a stretch of six straight conference losses to end the regular season. “It’s a clean slate,” said Cowling. “We have a new coach, a new culture. Last season was last season. It was a different group of players and coaches. We are only focused on this upcoming season.”
Leslie Irwin | Loyolan
New Head Coach Charity Elliott (top) is looking to bring more intensity to a Lions team that went 8-22 last season. “It’s a new start,” said junior point guard Hazel Ramirez. “There is a different level of expectation and accountability on this year’s team.” Elliott was previously the head
coach at UC San Diego, where she led the Tritons to a 30-3 overall record and a 27-1 regular season record last season, winning her first 26 games of the season. In her final season, she led the Tri-
tons to a berth in the Division II Women’s West Regional Championship in 2012. Elliott finished her five-year tenure at UCSD with a record of 127-34 (.789). She led the Tritons to four NCAA Tournament appearances over that span and posted a 90-16 (.850) conference record in her time at UCSD. She also won three conference titles. “We knew about Charity [Elliott] from her time as head coach at UC San Diego,” said LMU Athletic Director Dr. William Husak. “A good indication of future success is previous accomplishment, and Charity was well accomplished not only as a head coach, but a motivator of young women.” LMU was a school that Elliott considered because of its combination of academics, location and overall message as a university. “If I did move, it had to be the right fit,” said Elliott. “LMU’s message of the whole person really struck a chord with me, not to mention the high academic standards. But in a basketball sense, we are in Los Angeles at a beautiful location – it makes it that much easier to draw athletes all over California and the rest of the nation.” LMU’s location is not just a good resource for recruits, but for Elliott’s free time. “My husband and I love outdoor activities and living in Playa del Rey, Calif.,” Elliott said. “We love going to the beach, hiking and just being outside, and this location is perfect for that.” Elliott’s practice is fast-paced and over-intensified, according to multiple players on the team. “The one word I would use is sprint, in all caps with exclama-
tion points,” said Cowling. “It is a high-intensity environment where things are nonstop. It’s drill to drill to drill.” Elliott has been impressed with how her team has responded to the change in culture just in practice, let alone once games start up. “There has been no resistance,” said Elliott. “They have done everything me and my coaches have asked of them. There has been no push back from any player, especially accomplished players like Alex [Cowling] or Hazel [Ramirez]. They have bought into our system.” The biggest attribute of this year’s team is the family environment that the team has created thus far in the preseason. “This is the closest we have been since my time here,” said Ramirez. “Even the freshmen that have come in have fit right in. We are a family.” Elliott agrees: “We care for each other. That being said, part of being in a family is holding each other accountable, and we have done a good job of that so far. But as the perils of the season wears on, we will have to fall back on our chemistry and family nature of this team.” Elliott’s first real test will be Saturday, Nov. 10 when the Lions travel to El Paso, Texas to take on the University of Texas El Paso at 11:05 a.m. “You will see an enthusiastic team who loves playing together this season,” said Elliott. “How that will translate into wins, I’m not sure, but I do know they we will play with intensity, discipline and enthusiasm every time we step out on to the floor.”
Basketball A coach transitions
November 8, 2012 Page 5
from Africa to LMU SPORTS FEATURE
Associate Head Coach Myke Scholl specializes in international recruitment. By Cruz Quinonez Asst. Sports Editor
Dr. William Husak (right) has been the Athletic Director at LMU for 15 years. He prides himself in LMU’s success in and out of the classroom.
with the LMU Athletic Director
Asst. Managing Editor Dan Raffety talks to Dr. William Husak about the basketball season. 1. What are some of your expectations for the men’s basketball team this season? I see them competing for a conference championship. This is the best chemistry I’ve seen in a group since my time as Athletic Director [AD] here at LMU. They really like each other and like playing together, and I think they will have to rely on that chemistry. 2. How about on the women’s side? They are training harder and better than they have in the past. Alex Cowling is returning for her senior season and I expect big things out of her. Hazel Ramirez is in her third year and … I think this will be her breakout year. 3. How would you describe your job as LMU’s Athletic Director? Everyday is unique. I meet with coaches, University personnel, alumni and fans. I do a lot of fundraising and planning for the future. I have a vision and I take a step toward that vision everyday. This is not a job; it’s a vocation. 4. What is your ultimate goal for LMU athletics? I want to be the best all around in the West Coast Conference. We have 19 Division I sports, 400-plus student athletes. I expect to win and get disappointed when we don’t. 5. What is your relationship with Head Coaches Max Good and Charity Elliott? I tell them that I’m not their friends, but I will be their biggest supporters and fans. There is no bad egg. I think that has a lot to do with the kinds of [players] Coaches Good and Elliott have recruited and how they and their coaching staff have developed the program. 6. What have other people told you about LMU athletics? I constantly receive feedback about how courteous our student athletes are. It’s really a good feeling to know your student athletes are displaying the kind of citizenship you expect in the community and nation. 7. Describe the process of hiring a new coach, like when you hired Charity Elliott. We are at a highly academic institution. Coach Elliott’s experience at UC San Diego, which is also a highly academic institution, was a great fit because she understood the concept and culture of what it meant to play and study at LMU. 8. What does LMU have to do to bring top recruits to campus? Every relationship starts and ends with honesty. I tell players and parents that LMU is not for everyone. There are three requirements for every student athletes that signs at LMU. The first is a commitment to winning championships. That means being in the weight room, eating well, sleeping well and getting better everyday. The second is you must want to graduate in four years. Every student athlete at LMU is on a four-year graduation track. Most schools budget a five or six year graduation plan. Even if someone redshirts, they are still progressing academically and often times will take graduate classes. And lastly, every student athlete must share their gifts and talents with the rest of the student body and community as a whole. Go out of the comfort zone, connect to the other students, become a great citizen and help other people. That’s our requirements for student athletes and if someone only has two of the three, they are not a right fit for LMU. 9. How would you rate the West Coast Conference (WCC)? Is it an advantage or disadvantage to play in? We were rated only one spot behind the Pac-12 in terms of competition last season. We are a complete conference – top to bottom. Furthermore, there is more of an opportunity to play in the WCC. 10. Are there plans for LMU to get a football team? Why or why not? No, not in my professional lifetime. … Every cent we spend on men’s athletics we would have to match it with female athletics. Where would we practice and play? Our one field is occupied with both soccer teams. We would have to increase the staff size. 11. What does LMU have to do to improve its branding on a national scale? We have to splash on the national scene with men’s basketball. We need at least 1,500 students at every home game. When that place is full, there is not a better place to play college basketball in the country Win or lose, we need 1,500 students at every home game. To read the extended version of 11 Burning Questions, visit the Sports section of laloyolan.com.
The growth of the American athlete has become a science. A science that requires a very specific formula to maintain. As early as possible, prospects are groomed to be the players we expect them to be. Their idiosyncrasies are hammered out in basketball camps as coaches everywhere search for the next Lebron James or Kobe Bryant. Men’s basketball’s Associate Head Coach Myke Scholl thinks that this method might need some examination. He thinks there is more than one way to find a great basketball player. Scholl has quite a different story than your average college coach. He’s traveled the world to help basketball grow and gave up everything he had to do so. Basketball is quickly becoming a global phenomenon, and it’s thanks to people like Scholl. “I left law school and started a foundation in South Africa, which was funded by the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation. I lived there for nine years. I was one of the co-founders of the ‘Basketball Without Borders’ program in South Africa,” said Scholl. “I was one of the coaches there. My focus was in youth development using basketball. I started a program – my foundation – ‘Love Life,’ which was the largest HIV and AIDS prevention program in the world. We ended up having 42,000 young people just there [in South Africa] playing organized basketball. We started there and started branching out into other countries.” Scholl has an impressive résumé. Besides his humanitarian efforts, he’s coached the Nigerian national team, the Sengalese national team and the South African national team. When he wasn’t coaching, he
worked in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as the Assistant Director of Recruiting for the Detroit Pistons. After reading off Scholl’s résumé, one might wonder, “Why is there is such a focus on Africa?” “I was over there on a threemonth consulting contract. I left my law business and I ended up giving up everything I had: my car, my home,” said Scholl. Scholl was a key part in the creation of the “Basketball Without Borders” program. It wasn’t an easy task, either. For a country that loves soccer and has a history with sports like rugby and cricket, basketball came was a change. “When I first moved there in 1999, it was a big struggle because the coaching structure doesn’t exist,” said Scholl. “So, we had to go in there and set up a coaching structure so that players could get more developed. Basketball has been one of the largest growing sports there, although soccer is the national pastime.” Despite these obstacles, Scholl remained dedicated to teaching the sport. He continued growing “Basketball Without Borders” and “Love Life” and bringing basketball to youths in Africa. It was through his efforts with “Basketball Without Borders” that Scholl met junior forward Godwin Okonji and junior guard Ayodeji Egbeyemi. Both players ended up choosing LMU, not just because of Scholl’s influence, but because they trusted him. “Coach has been like a longterm friend. Growing up, he was like my family. So, of course I took his invitation,” said Okonji. “He tells you what he wants. I knew him before and I know what he wants from me and that he wants the best for me.” Egbeyemi had a similar opinion, saying, “Coach Scholl is my man. He came to Nigeria when I was younger. He was like a mentor to me. I went there twice and met him there. I went to school in [Washington] D.C. and kept in touch with him. He was a big part in why I came to LMU.”
Scholl’s extensive contacts and knowledge of the African basketball scene have helped him not only in his recruiting, but also in his coaching philosophy. “The desire, the heart and the attitude of the individuals in Africa [is what makes them special]. They work so unbelievably hard and are tremendously coachable,” said Scholl. “African kids are some of the toughest kids I’ve ever met. Tough isn’t their middle name, it’s their first name because of the things they’ve had to overcome. Even South Africa, which is the 11th largest economy in the world, is still considered a Third World country. So, when they get here, they’re grateful for the opportunity they have and that gratitude goes into everything they do. And those are the types of people that really help a program.” Scholl’s approach has helped to bring key players like Okonji and Egbeyemi to LMU. But beyond LM, he has helped 73 boys and girls transfer from schools in Africa to ones in the United States, according to Scholl. To Scholl, sports isn’t about glory or fame – it’s about bettering oneself through education and humility. Sports has always been an important part of America and in the case of basketball, Africa has had a larger part to play than we might think. One of the greatest centers of all time and a 12-time NBA all-star, Hakeem Olajuwon, was born in Lagos, Nigeria, the hometown of both Egbeyemi and Okonji. Scholl noted this himself, saying, “Sports is so interwoven into the fabric of our country because athletes have shown us that you can overcome any obstacle. Through sports, we learn that you can always overcome adversity. So we teach all our athletes, international and domestic, that they’re no different than other students on campus. He added, “We teach them not to be entitled,” he continued, “and I think that’s our main message here.”
Associate Head Coach Myke Scholl (above) spent nine years helping to bring basketball to Africa, specifically in South Africa. He places a great deal of importance on players’ attitudes, heart and passion.
November 8, 2012 Page 6
THE COMPETITION West Coast Conference (WCC): MEN’S ‘11-‘12 finish (overall): 26-7
BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY (BYU) COUGARS
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS
‘11-‘12 finish (WCC): 13-3
NCAA Tournament second round, loss to Ohio State University
Nine-time WCC Tournament Champion and seven-time WCC Coach of the Year, Mark Few enters his 14th season as the Bulldogs’ head coach. He returns four of his five starters, including leading scorers senior forward Elias Harris (13.1 PPG) and sophomore guard Kevin Pangos (13.6 PPG). Despite losing 7-foot center Robert Sacre to graduation and the NBA Draft, Gonzaga intends to fill that void with 6-foot-9-inch Sam Dower, a redshirt junior. Sophomore guard Gary Bell Jr. rounds out Gonzaga’s WCC-leading four preseason All-Conference team selections, which also included Harris, Pangos and Foster.
‘11-‘12 finish (overall): 27-6 ‘11-‘12 finish (WCC): 14-2
NCAA Tournament first round, loss to Purdue University
Although the reigning WCC Champions, the Gaels took a serious blow when losing All-Conference forward and WCC-leading rebounder forward Rob Jones (10.8 RPG) to graduation. However, conference Player of the Year and senior guard Matthew Dellavedova (15.5 PPG, 6.4 APG) will lead the Gaels’ offense for one last time. Dellavedova, a preseason All-Conference selection, will be flanked by junior guard Stephen Holtsecond (also preseason NCAA Tournament round, All-Conference) and sophomore forward, the 6-foot-9, 260-pound Brad Waldow, who averaged just over losspoints to Ohio University eight andState four rebounds in less than 20 MPG last season.
‘11-‘12 finish (WCC): 12-4
NCAA Tournament second round, loss to Marquette University
Entering it’s second year in the WCC, BYU has already established itself in the upper-echelon of the conference after joining Gonzaga and St. Mary’s in the NCAA tournament last season. The Cougars are led by senior forward and lone preseason All-Conference selection Brandon Davies, who was fourth in the WCC in both scoring (15.2 PPG) and rebounding (7.7 RPG). Sophomore guard Matt Carlino, who transferred from UCLA midseason as a freshman and posted averages of 12.2 PPG and 4.6 APG, will be relied on to shoulder more of the offensive load, as BYU lost the WCC’s leading scorer, forward Noah Hartsock (16.8 PPG) to graduation.
UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO (USD) TOREROS
ST. MARY’S COLLEGE GAELS
‘11-‘12 finish (overall): 26-9
‘11-‘12 finish (overall): 13-8 ‘11-‘12 finish (WCC): 7-9
Although their record doesn’t show it, the Toreros showed flashes of great potential towards the end of last season, largely due to the scoring outburst of guard Johnny Dee. Dee, who had a team-high eight 20-plus point performances in 2011-12, returns for his sophomore year as the team’s leading scorer (13.7 PPG) and lone All-Conference selection. Completing the miniature, yet dynamic backcourt duo for USD 5-foot-7 sophomore guard Christopher Anderson, who NCAAisTournament secondpoint round, dished out the third-highest assist average in the WCC, with five assists loss toThe Ohio State University a game. 6-foot-11 junior Dennis Kramer is the only returning big man who made meaningful contributions (8.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG) last season.
WOMEN’S ‘11-‘12 finish (overall): 26-7 ‘11-‘12 finish (WCC): 12-4
BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY (BYU) COUGARS
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS 1
Lost 59-55 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to DePaul University The Cougars received five first-place votes to finish atop the WCC Coaches Preseason Rankings. Three Cougars were selected on the preseason All-WCC team isophomore guard Lexi Eaton, junior center Jennifer Hamson and graduate guard Haley Steed. The Cougars won both of their exhibition games against Chadron State College and Dixie State College. Their first game is against Weber State University on Friday, Nov. 9. NCAA Tournament second round,
loss to Ohio State University
‘11-‘12 finish (overall):22-11 ‘11-‘12 finish (WCC):11-5
Went 1-1 in the Women’s NIT Tournament
The Gaels are coming off a 22-win season, the most since the 2000-01 season. It was the only team in the WCC to have wins against the conference’s top two teams, BYU and Gonzaga University. They hope to build off a postseason appearance of a year ago and compete with the upper echelon of the WCC. Juniors Jackie Nared and Danielle Mauldin represented St. Mary’s on the preseason NCAA Tournament All-WCC Team. second round,
loss to Ohio State University
‘11-‘12 finish (WCC): 14-2
Lost to the University of Kentucky in the Regional Semifinal round
Eight-time WCC champion Gonzaga Bulldogs find themselves second in the WCC Coaches’ Preseason Ranking for the first time since the 2007-08 season. The team is coming off two NCAA Tournament victories last season. Gonzaga has two guards in the preseason All-WCC team in senior Taelor Karr and junior Haiden Palmer. The team starts its season on the road when it travels to NCAA Tournament second round, Riverside, Calif. to take on UC Riverside on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.
loss to Ohio State University
UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO (USD) TOREROS
ST. MARY’S COLLEGE GAELS
‘11-‘12 finish (overall): 28-6
Lost in the fifth round of the Women’s NIT Tournament
‘11-‘12 finish (overall): 26-9 ‘11-‘12 finish (WCC): 12-4
The University of San Diego Toreros will try and build off of their improbable run in the Women’s NIT Tournament. When they made it tothe fifth round of the national tournament. During that round, they lost to Oklahoma State University.
NCAA Tournament second round, loss to Ohio State University
*listed by Preseason rank
B asketball Do your part to promote school spirit
November 8, 2012 Page 7
With a promising season on the horizon, students should be in the stands. By Michael Goldsholl Staff Writer
hen making the decision to come to LMU, incoming students are making quite the sacrifice: Not only are they giving up four years of college football games every Saturday of the first s e m e s t e r, but they are also choosing a university whose basketTwo Plus the Foul ball team By Michael Goldsholl hasn’t been to the big Staff Writer dance since 1990. (For context, that’s before the majority of LMU underclassmen were even born.) However, such a predicament gives each of LMU’s 6,000-or-so students the chance of a lifetime: The potential to witness the triumph of the underdog. Those such as myself who have grown up supporting teams that always raise championship banners and have purple-and-gold-patterned parades down Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles, have never had the opportunity to truly feel the excitement of being the underdog. Seeing schools such as George Mason, Butler and Virginia Commonwealth Universities blow up the odds and write
their own Cinderella tales, I – and I’m sure many others – have always envied those who could legitimately call themselves fans of those programs. I will reiterate the question I asked almost two years ago: Why can’t LMU have that heartwarming underdog story that everyone will talk about for years, too? If anything, being a die-hard hoops fan for the last 13 years has taught me that anything is possible, anything by anyone at anytime. (More likely, Kobe Bryant and his heroics have spoiled and fooled me into believing that.) But if you look at LMU’s nonconference schedule for 2012-13, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for the Lions to capitalize on that and put up Murray State-like win numbers heading into conference play. I’m not saying this is going to happen, but aren’t you, the loyal fans, going to want to be there if it does? For everyone who opted not to make the 17.3-mile drive to the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena last season and missed the Lions’ upset victory over then-No. 17 UCLA Bruins, and the just as many who passed up on the Lions’ home stunner of the No. 25 St. Louis University Billikens, I have this to say: Don’t make the same mistake again. Nothing gets a team geeked up for a game like a packed home crowd. Take Brigham Young University (BYU), for example. It has a solid roster, but one of its biggest advantages is its outrageous fan base. (And I mean outrageous in the most
complimentary way possible.) Not only do BYU’s fans pack the 20,900-seat arena for every home game, but they travel in droves with the team, too. During the LMU-University of San Francisco (USF) game in the WCC Championships last March, the loudest people in the stands were the hundreds of BYU fans waiting for their Cougars to play next. Their dedication isn’t just serious; it’s unmatched. The athletic spirit at schools like BYU, USC and others isn’t just because their teams are consistently good. Those fans will be in attendance and screaming like lunatics for 40 minutes whether or not their team is 10-0 or 0-10 – it doesn’t matter, they just love it. As I will be spending my final year at LMU on press row of the men’s games and not in the stands with the LMU faithful, I implore you to fill Gersten every time there’s a home game. The team will reward you with thrilling performances (see: 16-point second-half comeback vs. USF last season) and it will create that much more momentum and buzz heading into the conference championships. I can’t (and won’t) guarantee a brilliant Lions season in 201213. But I will guarantee that if Hank’s House is rockin’ for every single home game, this year at LMU will be unlike any other. I guarantee it.
This is the opinion of Michael Goldsholl, a senior English major from Santa Barbara, Calif. Please send comments to email@example.com.
Photos: Loyolan Archives
A filled Gersten Pavilion student section is not a consistent sight at LMU. A more familiar sight is empty seats and a quiet crowd.
Students, Faculty, and Staff Collaborate to Revitalize the All-New Electric
Pep Band Musician, Crew, Vocalist, and Media Positions Available! Contact: PepBand@lmu.edu
See the rst issue of the Loyolan in January for more details. The Who
Michael Jackson Maroon 5 Glee Cast
B asketball Discipline will define Lions’ season
November 8, 2012 Page 8
The men’s team has high expectations and will need to mature to meet them.
aybe it’s just because I’ve seen the entire series of “Friday Night Lights” too many times, but nothing creates more expectations for me than the start of a sports season. This could be due to an array of lingering thoughts and flashbacks to the previous year, that everyone had ample time during the Two Plus the Foul off-season hiBy Michael Goldsholl atus to dwell on and reStaff Writer play over and over again in their heads. “We expect to win every time we play,” said LMU Head Coach Max Good at the WCC’s Media Day last week. “We tell our guys if we play the Lakers next Saturday at 2 p.m. and the Clippers at 8 p.m., we expect our guys to show up and be competitive and let the chips fall where they may. You win these games on the road, obviously it fuels your energy.” The 2012-13 men’s basketball season will be no different for the Lions, who are set to begin a fresh schedule of hoops with great expectations of their own. On the heels of their best finish since the team’s historic 1989-90 Elite Eight run, the Lions are expected to build off of their 21-13 record, one that included three convincing victories over top-25 ranked teams. But for some, this storyline might sound a little familiar. Three years
ago, the Lions had reeled off an unexpected 18-15 record, despite being predicted to finish dead last in the West Coast Conference (WCC) in the preseason coaches poll. (A justifiable selection, as the team had eked out only three wins over the course of a 31-game schedule during 2008-09.) But how did they follow it up? By being picked second in the 2010-11 preseason poll (even receiving one first place vote) and taking a tumble down the standings, finishing the year in second-to-last place with a 2-12 record in WCC play. The players and coaches can talk all they want about their expectations and goals for the upcoming season. Wherever those projections and aspirations fall on the spectrum of reality is understandable. They are competitive people who dedicate their lives to the game of basketball. If they don’t think they are going to the NCAA tournament or don’t have that goal every year, they are wasting their time. You play to be the best. You play to win. That’s the root of competition, no matter what kind of character or person it builds. Injuries will occur as they do – it’s sports – freak, unavoidable (and unfortunate) accidents happen. But at the end of the day, one will never hear Max Good, nor any other respectable coach, publicly blame injuries for their team’s drastic shortcomings. I don’t believe that the amount of talent on Gonzaga, BYU or St. Mary’s is that much greater than what LMU puts on the floor. In the 2010, 2011 and 2012 NBA Drafts, only one player (Robert Sacre, Gonzaga) who spent the majority of his collegiate career in the WCC has been selected within the 60 picks. The difference is clearly not talent. Anyone who has seen junior guard Anthony Ireland play knows
he would be able to hold his own against the nation’s best (and he did so this summer, at the Adidas Nations Camp). The difference comes down to discipline, urgency and maturity. Not in the sense of adolescent development, but rather, the maturity to sink the open shot and/or make the extra effort on the defensive end. That extra effort, where a player could get away with standing pat and no one would think differently, but instead he dives on the floor or sprints down court like he’s Usain Bolt to prevent a fastbreak basket – when a player has the maturity to do that, everyone takes notice. And that’s what has separated LMU from the top-tier of the WCC. For the most part, their recruits have, at best, been just slightly better in terms of ranking than the Lions’ recruits. I have many expectations for the Lions this year, but only one that I think holds absolute value. And that is to see them become a team that leaves it all on the floor – a team that doesn’t care if they’re playing a team in the top-25 or a Community Center rec team. Redshirt senior forward Ashley Hamilton hit this point right on the nose when I asked him about the lack of top-25 teams currently on the Lions’ schedule. “We like playing top-25 teams,” he said. “We tend to let off the gas a little bit sometimes when we don’t play those teams. So it’s about being focused and having the same intensity throughout all the games and making sure that we do what we’re supposed to do.” That’s the first step to possessing the maturity of a team like Gonzaga, St. Mary’s or BYU. Those guys bring it every single night, no matter who they are playing. And LMU has showed this ability, too.
Redshirt senior forward Ashley Hamilton (5) needs to be one of the key contributors for the Lions this season because of his versatility both in and out of the paint. When they pulled off a 16-point comeback in the final 7:25 in a home matchup with USF, it wasn’t because of talent. It was because every single person – including every player for the Lions in Gersten Pavilion that night – was breathing in a sense of urgency instead of oxygen. When they went up to No. 16 St. Mary’s house last year and won by 15 points, that wasn’t a fluke. They turned the tables on the Gaels and for that night, the Lions were the disciplined team that hit its open shots and made all of the right plays on defense. Or, as sophomore guard, Bruce English, attributes, “We all came together.”
This isn’t a question of the Lions’ effort or desire to win. Of course they want to win. No one spends 40-plus hours a week practicing something they don’t care about. But it falls back to that concept of on-court maturity, and always maintaining it. When you think you can take one play off, that’s when you shouldn’t. Don’t just have the expectations of great things happening; have the expectation of yourself to do great things. This is the opinion of Michael Goldsholl, a senior English major from Santa Barbara. Calif. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“There is something other than baskebtall going on here...” -Paul Westhead
B asketball Lions content with being underdog
November 8, 2012 Page 9
TheWCC doesn’t expect much from the women’s team, but they just might surprise us all.
ow does one measure improvement, women’s basketball team? Hypothetically if there are more wins on the schedule than there was the year before, it’s an improved season. In some cases, if players score more or have higher rebounding n u m b e r s Raff’s Rap than the priBy Dan Raffety or season, it Asst. Managing Editor is also an improvement. But how about for this year’s women’s basketball team under new Head Coach Charity Elliott? When the dust settles on the 2012-13 season, how will you as a team – as a program – define improvement from the dismal season of last year? It will be measured by intensity. The word intensity in itself is an abstract term, with no clear-cut definition. But everyone knows intensity when they see it. It means diving for loose balls, tight, non-binding defense and players developing as leaders to bring the team up when times are down. Because, let me tell you, women’s basketball team, there will be down times this season. Four freshmen now in-
Redshirt senior forward Alex Cowling is the leader of the 2012-2013 women’s basketball team. She led the team in scoring last season and was selected to be apart of the 2012-2013 Preseason All-WCC Team. habit your roster, players who have not seen the rigors of collegiate basketball. You have the challenge of improving upon the dismal record of last season, ridding the hopes of winning and replacing it with the expectation of victory. Your offensive and defensive systems are now changing. Although everything may work
seamlessly in practice, when it comes down to game time, it is a whole new ballgame. Lean on the leaders of the club: Alex Cowling, the best player on the roster, the woman who led in virtually every offensive category last season, and Hazel Ramirez, the floor general, the point guard who is coming into her own as one of the team’s top talents.
That being said, two people cannot carry a team. Others need to step up. Know the role Coach Elliott assigns you. And play that role to the best of your ability. This season is a fresh start, a new opportunity to turn the page from last season and start anew. Other members of the WCC don’t expect you to be great. Prove them wrong.
Considering the WCC Preseason Coaches Poll has you finishing seventh out of nine in the conference standings, that’s no better than last season. In their estimation, they don’t see improvement. Use that as an advantage. Take people by surprise, be OK with being the underdog and spoil every single opponent’s parade. Lean on your head coach. Embrace the fiery attitude of Elliott. Use active hands, get steals, break into transition and finish with easy baskets. Don’t be afraid to rely on the freshmen. Just as I watched your practice, I can tell you all legitimately like each other and that chemistry will translate into wins. Keep the continuity together and rely on a freshmen talent just as much as you would a veteran leader. You know how good you can be and so do a lot of people in the program. However, until you prove it on the floor, until it’s solidified in the win column, it’s all for not. This will be an exciting time for LMU women’s basketball, but remember, improvement does not only mean wins and losses or even better play for the roster – it’s that intensity that Coach Elliott has instilled upon you in the off season, which will carry you through the rigors of a collegiate basketball season. Go get ‘em, Lions. This is the opinion of Dan Raffety, a junior communication studies major from Eagle Rock, Calif. Please send comments to email@example.com.
LMU GREEKS WILL
HELP PROTECT THIS HOUSE! ALL-FRATERNITY TAILGATE
BEAT THE WAVES!
BEAT THE DONS!
November 8, 2012 Page 11
Pep band 2012: New look, same approach This year’s LMU pep band takes an updated approach to a struggling school tradition.
his column has been harder to write than I thought. A lot harder. But that’s not an excuse; I just need to buckle down and do it. Word by word. My love for pep band hasn’t changed since the last time I wrote about it. (Shameless promotion: check out “Pep band for Droppin’ Dines life” in our archives onBy Nathan Dines line.) But Sports Editor this year, the band has experienced a complete transformation from years past. My freshman year, I joined the pep band because, one, I would play the trumpet until my fingers fell off (look at my arm, I have the ink to prove it), and two, this was the only venue I could keep playing at a college without any jazz band or wind ensemble for brass instruments. I didn’t mind the lack of classes, but I was definitely excited to sit courtside at Division I basketball games and play/ heckle my heart out. This excitement was not lost. I graveled my voice pestering opponents, felt dizzy blowing my lungs out and had a blast every season-ending trip to Las Vegas. And that sentence barely
Chris Delgado | Loyolan
As a four-year member of the LMU pep band, Nathan Dines (above) has been an integral part of the horn section. As the band changes shape, he reflects on a fruitful four years in the band. puts into perspective how much fun we really had. But like all things in life, change is inevitable. Even as the band progressed with Mark Santos, a local high school band teacher hired to improve upon the foundations of the band, we had pitiful student representation. There are sure as hell more than a dozen solid musicians with brass or woodwind experience at this school, yet we
could barely put together eight to 10 on any given game night. Even if we outnumbered the student section at a majority of women’s games, that was no excuse for a band clearly struggling for support. For these reasons, I understand why the band had to change. I vividly remember talking with Mark one day about this year’s band, later getting a call from him and learning that he would no longer be our band leader. I won’t lie, I was immediately sad and angry at the situation, all at once. In his two years with us, he did his best to convert our ragtag status. But it didn’t take long for me to focus on the future of the band. For those who don’t know me, I am not a moper, and as a senior, time really is of the essence. So I contacted Assistant Athletics Director Karina Handeland and put my name out there as a contact person for the new director and waited. Now, for any of you at Midnight Madness this year – and sober enough to remember the night – the latest version of the band made great strides. (As a quick side note, do not come up to me and tell me you like the new pep band. We have been at LMU since the 2001-02 season,
so this year’s product is only the latest, updated version of the 10-plus year old band.) First of all, we sounded great. Second, this is the first year in my time here that our sound has been produced through the speakers, a major bonus for anyone out of range of our instruments. And lastly, we are making the most of what is given to us. This year’s Mark Santos is Bradley Smith, special programs coordinator in Student Affairs here at LMU. But in a past life, Brad was a professional musician. “As a young teenager I decided I wanted to be a rock star, and I got damn close. I traveled and played for 25 years in the music industry,” he said. “Looking back, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I don’t miss it.” Brad is different than any band leader I’ve ever worked with. His chops on the guitar are clear every time we have a stoppage, and he breaks into anything from “Stairway to Heaven” to “Nights in White Satin.” Knowing he played with some well-known bands, I only wish I saw him onstage at a professional gig. But that professional element follows him around as well. Every time we practice, he treats us like real musicians. We fig-
ure out what notes to play, work with him on various riffs. He doesn’t coddle us – he doesn’t need to. I have never worked with a musician like Brad, but I am proud to say that I now have that experience under my belt. The newest and most foreign part of the band this year is the “core band.” Along with Brad, a handful of other adult musicians scattered across LMU’s campus make up a rock band that the traditional pep band now complements. At first, this idea rubbed me the wrong way. I have been in school bands for about half my life, and never in my experiences have I been a complement to a core band. So, admittedly, I was hesitant when I heard that the band would be set up this way. Although I still think back to the pep bands of my first three years, I make a point to never dwell on the past for too long. So why wouldn’t I embrace the newest pep band? Like I said before, Brad knows what he’s doing. Even with a small core band and horn section, we have the personnel to get the job done. “The band [members] that we have right now are very good, in terms of their dedication and authenticity as musicians,” Brad said. “I think that we simply need to be good, and a lot of problems will be solved.” And like I said about our one gig so far, we sounded very good at Madness. Brad and I would both be quick to admit, though, that there is always room for improvement. With the latest version of the LMU pep band, time will tell if our efforts lead to greater student involvement. As one of the select few members who were a part of the band four years ago, I can say today’s band is very different. But different does not mean bad. Before I left our interview, Brad said, “My sense is that we’ve exceeded everyone’s expectations in a short time.” Maybe we have and maybe we haven’t, but the fact that we’re still having fun is what keeps me in the band. Come out to a game, support the team (and the band) and who knows – you may even witness the NCAA’s best-dressed hecklers in action. This is the opinion of Nathan Dines, a senior communication studies major from Medford, Ore. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Delgado | Loyolan
The 2012 pep band played its first gig of the year at last month’s Midnight Madness. According to new band leader Bradley Smith, “My sense is that we’ve exceeded everyone’s expectations in a short time.”
November 8, 2012 Page 12
MEN’S BASKETBALL FRESHMEN/NEWCOMER BIOS Nick Stover Position: Forward/Guard Height: 6’6” Weight: 200 pounds High School: Windward High School, Los Angeles, Calif. Brief: Arguably the best prospect LMU has landed since Hank Gathers (Patson Siame isn’t officially an LMU Lion yet), Nick Stover boasted a rating of 90 on his ESPN.com recruiting profile – a number that Anthony Ireland, Ashley Hamilton and Jared DuBois can’t even claim. And for those who can trace time back to 2007, even former LMU recruit Orlando Johnson (who is now with the NBA’s Indiana Pacers) was 14 rating points below Stover coming out of high school. Stover, a two-time state champion in high school, is a freshman with the body of a junior. He’s another local signee, giving LMU its seventh Southern California product. Basketball runs in his family as his brother, Anthony, is a former UCLA Bruin and his mother and father both played collegiate basketball at CSU Northridge and Pepperdine, respectively.
Taj Adams Position: Forward Height: 6’7” Weight: 180 pounds High School: Fairfax High School, Los Angeles, Calif. Brief: Adams is another player with L.A. roots who brings height and athleticism to the LMU program. He was recruited as a two-star player with a rating of 82 on his ESPN.com recruiting profile. His size and quickness make him a matchup nightmare at either forward spot, as he can take the bigger forwards off the dribble with ease and back down smaller defenders just as well. In his lone season at Fairfax High School (he spent his first three years at West Adams Preparatory High School) he led his team to a 20-10 record as a senior.
Adam Drexler Position: Forward/Guard Height: 6’5” Weight: 185 pounds High School: Northland Christian High School, Houston, Texas Brief: For the seasoned hoops fan, the first thing that catches the reader’s eye is this player’s name. No, it’s not a coincidence he is the son of NBA Hall of Fame guard Clyde Drexler. A walk-on for LMU, Adam Drexler is a believer in hard work; in high school he volunteered with the YMCA as a coach as well as for Habitat for Humanity. He played two sports in addition to basketball, as he was on the school’s lacrosse and track and field teams, too.
Chase Flint Position: Guard Height: 6’1” Weight: 180 pounds Last Played: College of Eastern Utah (Junior College), Prince, Utah Brief: The Lions’ first junior college transfer since they landed Vernon Teel (‘11, now playing professionally in Latvia) in 2008, Flint comes to LMU as a sophomore, despite being one of the oldest players on the team. After graduating from Utah’s Davis High School in 2008, Flint went on his Latter Day Saints Mission for two years before returning in 2011, when he joined the men’s basketball program at the College of Eastern Utah. Playing in one of the “best junior college conferences in the country,” according to Head Coach Max Good, Flint was ranked among the top seven leaders in scoring (13.6 PPG), rebounding (7.8 RPG), field goal percentage (48.7 percent), assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4), steals (2.7), 3-point field goal percentage (41.2 percent), assists (5.4 APG), free throw percentage (77.9 percent), 3-pointers made (1.9 per game) and minutes (30.9 MPG). He also played football in high school, serving primarily as a cornerback and wide receiver for which he was selected all-conference.
Marin Mornar Position: Forward/Center Height: 6’9” Weight: 185 pounds High School: Consortium College Prep, Detroit, Mich. Brief: Monar was a late addition to the Lions’ 2012 class of recruits, signing with the team in mid-July. He’s tall, long and wiry, but is a gym rat who has range on his shot. He breaks the mold of LMU bringing in local talent, as he is a native of Croatia – specifically the capital, Zargreb – he’d only been in the United States for a year prior to attending LMU. He left home when he was 18 so that he could move to the United States and pursue his dream of playing Division I basketball. In his lone year at Consortium, Mornar posted averages of 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.6 blocks, helping his team finish the season with a 19-4 record.
Ben Dickinson Position: Forward Height: 6’9” Weight: 230 pounds Last Played: The State University of New York at Binghamton Vestal, N.Y. Brief: He won’t see any court time this year, as he is forced to redshirt due to NCAA transfer rules, but when he becomes eligible next season, LMU will add a talented young forward to the frontline. In his first and final season at Binghamton, Dickinson averaged 13.5 PPG (405 total points) and 6.1 RPG, breaking the school’s freshman scoring record and his 184 rebounds were five shy of the freshman record as well. He was first among freshmen in the American East conference in rebounding and second among first years in scoring. He is an engineering major who played high school basketball for Gonzaga High School in Alexandria, VA. When he is allowed to play next season, he will be a redshirt sophomore with three years of eligibility remaining.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER BIOS Brianna Kennedy Position: Center Height: 6’3” High School: Bonita High School, La Verne, Calif. Brief: Kennedy was a defensive presence all four years in high school, being named the Defensive Most Valuable Player each year at Bonita High School. She was a four-time All-Hacienda League selection. ESPN HoopGurlz listed her as the No. 59-ranked forward in the 2012 recruiting class. She led her team to the Division 3A CIF Southern Section title game as a junior and the first round of the CIF state tournament as a senior. She also played volleyball and track in high school. She is majoring in biology.
Chelsea Barnes Position: Guard/Forward Deanna Johnson Position: Guard Height: 5’10” High School: Diamond Ranch High School, Covina, Calif. Brief: Barnes was a three-sport athlete in high school, lettering in volleyball, track and basketball. She was a two-time team captain for her high school basketball team and received high athletic honors. She was a four-time All-San Gabriel League selection, two-time All-City selections and two All-Area recognitions. She led her team to the 3AA California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Semifinal round her junior and senior seasons. She is a psychology major.
Height: 5’7” High School: Norco High School, Corona, Calif. Brief: Johnson led her high school team to the 2AA quarterfinals her junior season and the title game her senior year. She was also a team captain her last year at Norco High School. She was ranked by ESPN HoopGurlz as one of the top 50 point guards in the 2012 recruiting class. “I really have liked LMU so far,” said Johnson. “Coach Elliott has been very supportive, but everything is a bigger deal here in college.” She is majoring in business.
Sophie Taylor Position:Guard/Forward Height: 5’10” High School: Acalanes High School, Lafayette, Calif. Brief: Taylor led her high school team to the Division III North Coast Section Championship and to the first round of the CIF Championships in her final season in Lafayette, Calif. She was selected as an All-Diablo Foothill League and was ranked by ESPN HoopGurlz as the No. 119 forward in the 2012 recruiting class. She is majoring in physics.
Photos: LMU Athletics Information provided by Michael Goldsholl, staff writer; Dan Raffety, asst. managing editor
November 8, 2012 Page 13
Meet the new voice of Lions basketball SPORTS FEATURE
Jesse Kass is the new announcer for men’s basketball this season. By Ray Ferrari Staff Writer
Every important sports clip has it: the defining play, accompanied by the voice of the announcer who amplifies the excitement of what that moment means for sports history. For LMU men’s basketball, there’s a new voice: his name is Jesse Kass. Since 2001, LMU men’s basketball fans have been listening to Jeff Lampe call the games. But after moving to Denver, Colo., Lampe has passed the torch to Kass, his understudy and an LMU alumnus. “Jeff was a great help for me. He’s probably the nicest person I’ve ever met and he was a great mentor,” said Kass. “He took me under his wing right away. He was always extremely prepared and never flustered under any situation. The game moves fast out there, but he was always under control and that’s something I’ve tried to model after him.” Aside from Lampe, Kass said his favorite announcers growing up were NBA announcers Chick Hearn, Marv Albert, Kevin Harlan and Ralph Lawler. Kass has listened to many of their broadcasts and has studied what they do and how they do it. Kass will be a familiar voice and face for the LMU community when he takes center stage this season. He grew up in San-
ta Monica before moving to the bluff to attend LMU. A communication studies major, Kass was very involved with Lion sports before graduating in 2010. Through his work in the Sports Information Department as well as working with LMU radio station KXLU, Kass was initially the play-by-play announcer for men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and baseball. “My passion for sports ignited my passion for broadcasting,” Kass said. “Once I got to college, it was something I became interested in and it just kind of snowballed from there.” As an established voice on campus, Kass began getting better opportunities in the athletics world. During his junior year at LMU, he was able to fill in for Lampe whenever he could not make a road trip. This allowed Kass to step in and travel with the team on a few occasions. During his senior year of college, Kass was named sports radio manager, assigning radio jobs to fellow students. His performance with the basketball team his junior year allowed him to stay on the next year with Lampe during the 2009-2010 seasos. Kass and Lampe continued to do games together after Kass graduated as well. Once he finished at LMU, Kass continued to pursue a career in broadcasting. He earned an internship at the Foxxhole channel on Sirius Satellite Radio, where he was able to host the talk show “After the Game” with NBA legend Gary “The Glove” Payton. Kass has also done some play-by-play for high school football in Southern California and
Jesse Kass (left) became the new announcer for men’s basketball after previous announcer Jeff Lampe (right) moved to Denver, Colo. wrote for Clippers101.com. For Kass, the dream job would be doing play-by-play for any professional basketball team, especially the Knicks, Lakers or Clippers. But Kass likes where he is now, saying, “LMU is certainly not a bad place to start.” This season, Kass will be back in the spotlight at Gersten Pavilion and will be traveling with the team every week for the first time. “While Jeff can’t be replaced,
we will definitely be able to move on. Jesse is an amazing young talent in the industry,” said Associate Athletics Director John Shaffer. “While he will not fill Jeff ’s shoes – no one really can – Jesse has a style that is his, and LMU will be lucky to have him, I hope for a long time.” Kass will be joined by Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Drew Rossi as the color commentator for most of the season. When Lampe was
gone last year, Kass would slide over and do play-by-play with Rossi filling in at color. “We’re supposed to be paired up for pretty much every game. So we will probably start to gel at some point soon,” said Rossi. “He’s really good at what he does, and I’m looking forward to working with him.” As the players’ strength and conditioning coach and someone who sees them every day, Rossi brings good background knowledge and experience to the job. “I can give the fans a little bit of an inside point of view from where I work with them day to day, what I see and how it translates to the basketball court,” said Rossi. Rossi is in just his second year at LMU, but has also worked as a strength coach in the NBA D-League and as a personal trainer. This duo will look to play a big role for the LMU fan base this season. “There are a lot of LMU Lions across the country. I hope my broadcasts keep that sense of community and keeps the LMU spirit alive across the country,” said Kass. Kass is certainly excited for this personal opportunity, but he is also passionate about the team itself. He has loved Lion basketball for a long time and is pleased to have a front row seat to the program’s progression. “Because we don’t have football, basketball is king here,” said Kass. “It will be tough to reach the level of the 1989-90 team, but we’re definitely on the right track. I think LMU basketball is going to be a force in the WCC for a while to come.
Follow LMU basketball all season long on Twitter.
November 8, 2012 Page 14
DREW VINEY UPDATE LMU GRAD PLAYS OVERSEAS
Drew Viney Although his collegiate career with the Lions came to a close in March 2012, forward Drew Viney, who graduated from LMU in May, has not yet ceased his basketball career. After making the Miami Heat’s summer league roster, Viney started three of four games for the reigning NBA champions. In four summer league contests, the 6-foot-8-inch forward posted averages of 9.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 2.0 APG in just 22.3 MPG, including a 12-point, four-rebound and five-assist performance in a 50-point victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Las Vegas, Nev. on July 16. While Viney’s stint with the NBA didn’t go beyond the Las Vegas Summer League, his professional career continued, as on Aug. 24, it was announced that the former Lion had signed a two-year contract with the Polish basketball club, Asseco Prokom Gdynia of the Euroleague. Through four games, Viney has yet to see any floortime for Asseco Prokom in his debut season. However, the Polish team has only won
one of its first four games. In an introductory Q&A with Viney posted to the club’s website on Sept. 4, Viney praised the quality and level of play in the Euroleague: “I know the level of competition is right under the NBA and that’s my main target, and I am not gonna keep my eyes away from there. ... I know that if I do good in this league and our team does well, I think we can make some noise out here. I am excited to play in Poland – everybody welcomed me here really well, I am excited to be here.” Viney, a three-year starter for LMU after transferring from the University of Oregon in 2008, graduated with career totals of 1,364 points and 535 rebounds. He received All-West Coast Conference in each of his three seasons with the Lions and boasts the third-highest 3-point percentage in LMU men’s basketball history, shooting at a 41.9 percent clip from beyond the arc.
NBA SUMMER LEAGUE STATS (MIAMI HEAT) 2012 FOUR GAMES PLAYED, THREE STARTS 9.5 PPG 5.5 RPG 2.0 APG 1.0 SPG
39.4 FG% 35.7 3 PT% 70 FT%
LIONS GIVE IT THEIR
ALL EVERY GAME SO SHOULD
YOU BE A PART OF
LMU BASKETBALL THIS SEASON BY BEING IN THE STANDS.
– Michael Goldsholl, staff writer Photo: LMU Athletics
16.4 PPG (15th all-time) 1,364 total points (15th all-time) 143 3-pointers made (seventh all-time) 41.9 three-point percentage (third all-time) 85 blocks (fifth all-time) 535 rebounds (20th all-time) 79.9 free throw percentage (18th all-time) 2011-12 First Team All-WCC 2010-11 All-WCC Honorable Mention 2009-10 First Team All-WCC Preseason All-WCC in 2010-11 and 2011-12 Career-high 30 points vs UC Irvine on Nov. 18, 2009
POP CULTURE What’s the homecooked meal you miss the most?
What’s your hidden talent?
What’s your most overused phrase?
What’s the best thing about L.A.?
What’s your pet peeve?
What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?
“We out here tryna function”
If you were an animal, what would you be?
What’s a movie that can make you cry?
What’s the best fast food place?
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
People eating with their mouths open
It’s my home
People walking slowly in front of me
“Just do you”
People talking with their mouth full
Baked mac & cheese, fish
“But forreal doe”
ANTHONY IRELAND, JUNIOR GUARD
The noise of socks on dry feet
I’m secretly hilarious
“Coach Carter” “Rugrats”
When peole touch my face
“Tom and Jerry”
GODWIN OKONJI, JUNIOR FORWARD
“Secret Life of Bees”
MARIN MORNAR, FRESHMAN FORWARD
All of them
NICK STOVER, FRESHMAN FORWARD
I can clap really loud “Demasiado”
My family is here
We’re here In-N-Out
“The Time Traveler’s Wife”
Anything my dad makes
Knowing the lyrics to every song
I don’t miss it
BRUCE ENGLISH, SOPHOMORE GUARD
HAZEL RAMIREZ, JUNIOR GUARD
TAYLOR ANDERSON, SOPHOMORE GUARD
Speak any language
BRIANNA KENNEDY, FRESHMAN CENTER ALEX COWLING, REDSHIRT SENIOR GUARD/FORWARD DANI LENOIR, REDSHIRT SENIOR GUARD
Photos: LMU Athletics Interviews conducted by Andrew Moore and Sam Borsos, Sports interns
vs. Point Loma Nazarene vs. Pacifica University at SMU at CSU Bakersfield vs. Oral Roberts Great Alaska - Second Round Great Alaska - Final Round vs. Long Beach State vs. Portland State at Northern Arizona vs. Ole Miss at Saint Louis vs. Morgan State vs. CSU Bakersfield at BYU * at St. Mary's (CA) * vs. Santa Clara * vs. Portland * at San Diego * at San Francisco * vs. Pepperdine * vs. Gonzaga * vs. San Diego * at Portland * at Gonzaga * at Pepperdine vs. St. Mary's (CA) * vs. San Francisco * SEARS BracketBusters at Santa Clara * vs. BYU * WCC – Play-in Game ** WCC – First Round ** WCC – Quarterfinals ** WCC – Semifinals ** WCC – Championship **
W, 75-52 7:00 p.m. PT 4:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 6:00 p.m. PT TBA TBA 7:00 p.m. PT 5:00 p.m. PT 5:30 p.m. PT 8:00 p.m. PT 12:30 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT TBA 1:30 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 1:30 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 8:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT TBA TBA TBA 4:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT TBA TBA 8:00 p.m. PT TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
Men’s schedule 10/30/12 11/09/12 11/11/12 11/17/12 11/22/12 11/23/12 11/24/12 11/29/12 12/01/12 12/05/12 12/19/12 12/22/12 12/27/12 12/29/12 01/03/13 01/05/13 01/10/13 01/12/13 01/16/13 01/19/13 01/24/13 01/31/13 02/04/13 02/07/13 02/09/13 02/14/13 02/16/13 02/21/13 02/23/13 02/28/13 03/02/13 03/06/13 03/07/13 03/08/13 03/09/13 03/11/13 * INDICATES CONFERENCE MATCHUP ** INDICATES TOURNAMENT GAME
TIME starts NOW.
vs. The Master's at UTEP at New Mexico State vs. Long Beach State vs. Utah State vs. Cal State Fullerton vs. Iowa State (N) vs. Tulsa/Illinois (N) vs. Colorado State at UCLA vs. UC Santa Barbara vs. Oregon State at Cal Poly at Wyoming vs. Pepperdine * vs. St. Mary's (CA) * at Santa Clara * at San Diego * vs. San Francisco * vs. Portland * at BYU * at Gonzaga * at Portland * vs. Santa Clara * vs. Gonzaga * vs. San Diego * at Pepperdine * at St. Mary's (CA) * vs. BYU * at San Francisco * WCC – Play-in Game ** WCC – First Round ** WCC – Quarterfinals ** WCC – Semifinals ** WCC – Championship **
W, 88-58 11:05 a.m. PT 5:30 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 2:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 11:30 a.m. PT TBA 7:00 p.m. PT 2:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 2:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 1:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 2:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 2:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 2:00 p.m. PT 5:00 p.m. PT 6:00 p.m. PT 2:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 2:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 2:00 p.m. PT 7:00 p.m. PT 2:00 p.m. PT TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
11/03/12 11/10/12 11/12/12 11/15/12 11/17/12 11/20/12 11/23/12 11/24/12 11/28/12 12/02/12 12/05/12 12/15/12 12/20/12 12/29/12 01/03/13 01/05/13 01/10/13 01/12/13 01/17/13 01/19/13 01/24/13 01/31/13 02/02/13 02/07/13 02/09/13 02/14/13 02/21/13 02/23/13 02/28/13 03/02/13 03/06/13 03/07/13 03/08/13 03/09/13 03/11/13