Basketball looking to freshmen for future
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 13:10
Loyola’s men’s basketball team started practicing with the intention of integrating new players while improving on last season’s progress.
The Wolf Pack is coming off of a 20-win season, the first since 1948, according to head coach Michael Giorlando. The team also won the West division of the Southern States Athletic Conference.
However, the team will look very different this year. Five senior players graduated last year and the team has added seven new faces with incoming freshmen and transfers. Biology senior and center Steve Davis will be the lone senior on this year’s team.
Giorlando feels that the team has been focused on the goal of winning more than 20 games and the West division again. He said that the players have been working hard in practice to achieve these goals.
“There’s competition at every position,” Giorlando said.
Business junior and wing Robert Lovaglio is the leading scorer and rebounder among returning players. He will also serve as team captain this year. Lovaglio said he is excited about the returning talent as well as the new talent on the team.
“There’s a lot of youth and players with bright futures on this team,” Lovaglio said. “Everyone can contribute in a certain way.” Giorlando singled out biology sophomore and point guard Kyle Simmons as a player that is primed to step up this year, while Lovaglio said that he is expecting a big year out of Davis.
Giorlando said that the team’s core philosophy remains the same: no transition baskets, don’t allow high percentage shots and finish possessions with strong rebounding. On offense, the team will run a four out, one in motion offense as well as the triangle offense. Lovaglio feels that the current roster works well with the team’s system.
“We have a great combination of shooters and penetrators that balance our style of play well,” Lovaglio said.
Spring Hill College head coach Robert Thompson has coached against the Wolf Pack every year that Giorlando has been at Loyola. Thompson said that the team will not beat themselves.
“They are very disciplined and do an excellent job executing their offensive sets. We know it will be a very hard fought game when we play Loyola,” Thompson said via email.
The team plays its first game on Nov. 3 in The Den against Carver College. The Pack also plays two games against NCAA Division-1 programs this season, including the Battle of Freret Street against Tulane University on Nov. 27. Conference play opens up on Nov. 16 against Emmanuel College.
Karl Gommel can be reached at email@example.com