Loyola dropped its first two games on the West Coast in the Apple Invitational Tournament at Stanford, but the box scores from those contests indicate Greyhound followers will get a real treat when Michael Reese makes his Baltimore debut Dec. 3.
Reese, a 6-foot-8 transfer from Boston College, made an impressive Loyola debut, averaging 26 points and 7.5 rebounds, and was the only Greyhound on the all-tournament team. Reese had 18 points and seven rebounds in Friday's 98-56 loss to host Stanford and followed with a 34-point, eight-rebound effort in Saturday's 90-82 loss to Pacific in the consolation game.
"I'm not pleased with how we played," coach Tom Schneider said. "But Mike Reese had a hell of a weekend. Hopefully, we can get things together [tonight]. We're playing very good teams, and I think it can only help us in the long run."
"[Against Pacific,] I was pleased in the way we bounced back against a team that was third in the Big West last year. We had a bad 6-minute stretch in the second half where we couldn't score, and that hurt."
* UMBC: Although the Retrievers suffered their worst Division I loss Saturday, 122-58 at 12th-ranked Kansas, coach Earl Hawkins tried to emphasize the positives he saw in his team.
What Hawkins liked the most was that UMBC was out-rebounded only 42-38, with sophomore center Sony Nixon leading all players with 13.
But that was the only statistical area in which UMBC was able to compete with Kansas. The Retrievers were down by 30 at the half, and the final deficit was two points shy of the worst defeat in school history, a 116-50 loss to Mount St. Mary's Feb. 28, 1986.
"We got decent inside shots for our inside people, but we just didn't convert," said Hawkins, whose team hit 20 of 61 field goals (30.5 percent). "But I'm happy that all the guys played hard, and even with the score what it was we didn't quit. Kansas is a very tough team and, for us, not the greatest team to open against."
Hawkins most likely will get a real indication of his team tomorrow, when the Retrievers play at Bucknell.
* NAVY: Coach Pete Herrmann is hoping his fast-break offense and his team's defense can produce better results than in Saturday's 85-62 loss at Hofstra. It was a second-half disaster for the Midshipmen, who scored seven field goals after halftime while allowing the Flying Dutchmen to shoot 83 percent.
As expected, it will be the performance of point guard Victor Mickel that will determine whether the Midshipmen will succeed this season. In his first game as a starter, Mickel scored four points (he attempted one field goal) and handed out five assists. Erik Harris, last year's point guard, averaged 20 points and 6.2 assists.
* GAME OF THE WEEK: Tonight's game between Towson and Colorado. The Tigers are playing for an at-large NCAA berth this season and would benefit from beating a so-called major school.