With experienced seniors leading the way, Lions wrap-up summer session hungry for more.
Men's basketball advances to quarterfinals with 64-61 win over San Diego in WCC opening round.
Lions' team play continues but can overcome plus-15 edge for Beavers at the charity stripe.
Four Lions score in double digits for 86-62 win on Alumni Family Day.
Adom Jacko goes for 22 points and 10 rebounds as Lions earn win in season-opener.
The 2014-15 college basketball season officially began last week and the LMU men's basketball team hit the Gersten Pavilion court for a full week of practice. LMU Sports Network was there with the first version of it's inside look on LMU basketball with its series Mike'D Up. LMUSN put a microphone on new Head Coach Mike Dunlap as the Lions continue its opening week of practice.
For the last 19 years, the start of the college basketball season in Southern California has been made known thanks to the Los Angeles Athletic Club Wooden Award Tipoff Luncheon. On Wednesday, it was no different as the annual luncheon recognized the 13 NCAA Division I programs in Southern California.
It has been a little more than a week since the LMU men's basketball team returned from Spain, hitting the ground full speed as the first week of fall classes are in the books. The LMU Sports Network caught up with Head Coach Mike Dunlap to talk about the trip and it's impact on the team heading into the 2014-15 season.
Showing its reach across the globe, LMU continued its tour while sending back some well wishes as they spent their final day in Madrid before flying to Barcelona on Sunday morning. The Lions had a full pre game practice, followed by the coaches participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. They then took on the Angola National Team, who is participating in the upcoming FIBA World Championships in Spain.
From the time he was a pup, Mike Dunlap knew he was going to be a coach. In March, he returned to his alma mater to lead the LMU men's basketball program. He is the fifth and final Inside the Lions feature looking at the new basketball staff.
Photos from the opening weekend of the 2016-17 basketball season
2016 West Coast Conference Basketball Championships quarterfinals from Las Vegas
2016 WCC Basketball Championships from Orleans Arena
Senior Day and the Wells Fargo PCH Cup at Gersten Pavilion
West Coast Conference action from Gersten Pavilion.
On March 12, 2014, Loyola Marymount University Athletics Director Dr. William Husak named Mike Dunlap, a 1980 graduate of LMU, as the 26th head coach of the men's basketball program. Dunlap returned to the Westchester campus with more than 30 years of college and NBA coaching experience. He enters his third season at the helm of the Lions in 2016-17.
Dunlap's first season with the Lions was about setting a foundation for years to come. And his second season, he considered it "year one" with this new foundation. Year two saw the Lions peak down the stretch, winning three of their last four, including a pair of overtime victories of top-half programs San Francisco and Pepperdine. They finished 14-17 overall, 6-12 in the WCC, and earned a win in the WCC tournament.
"The first-year was about establishing the foundations of this program," said Dunlap. "We have made some great strides in establishing a culture necessary to build a successful program. Year two was our first with this foundation and we built on some good things as the season progressed. This year was about what we did as a program more than the outcome itself."
Part of the new foundation were capital improvements. The Lions renovated the men's basketball locker room area, including new film operations with a brand new video display system. LMU also expanded the athletic training rooms, adding nearly 1,200-square-feet while converting the old training room into a wet-room - complete with hydrotherapy stations. This past summer, the University also allocated use of the Burns Back Court within the Burns Recreation Center as the official practice home of LMU basketball. In addition, the Lions will play in Gersten Pavilion with a brand-new, state-of-the-art video LED system by Daktronics in 2015-16. Included in the new system is a center-hung scoreboard.
The Lions finished Dunlap's first season 8-23, playing most of the season with just seven scholarship players due to injuries. His second season featured just five players who played in a Lion uniform the year prior with eight new faces to the program. The "togetherness" of the new group showed down the stretch, posting a six-win improvement from year one.
Dunlap enters his 16th season as a head coach at the collegiate level with a 350-145 record (.724).
Known for his player development and on-the-floor coaching, Dunlap was most recently the head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats for the 2012-2013 season, becoming the first coach in NBA history to win three times as many games as the year before. He also spent time with the Denver Nuggets, recently served as a top assistant at Arizona, Oregon, and St. John's, and won a pair of NCAA Division II National Championships at Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colo. He began coaching right after graduating from LMU and he brings that experience back home.
"His reputation is founded on being an outstanding player development coach and a game strategist of the highest level," said Husak. "I would think that any player we currently have in our program or is committed to LMU would want to have the opportunity to develop and play under Mike Dunlap's tutelage. His former players and coaches who have worked with him have provided me with anecdotes and feedback that their experience playing for and working with Mike was rewarding and transforming."
Before arriving in Charlotte, Dunlap spent six years as an assistant coach in the professional and college ranks. Prior to his work as an assistant, he spent nine seasons as the head coach at Metro State, leading his teams to the national titles in 2000 and 2002 while earning NABC Division II Coach of the Year honors in both of those seasons. Coach Dunlap, whose teams went to the NCAA Tournament in each of his nine seasons, posted an overall record of 248-50 (.832), winning five Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles.
In 2006, Coach Dunlap left Metro State to become an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets under George Karl. In two seasons with the Nuggets, he helped the team to a 95-69 record that included a 50-win season in 2007-08, the team's first in 23 years.
"No coach or coaching staff can expect their players to develop without hard work in the gym," said Dunlap. "Whether that is in the gym to watch and recruit a player, or being on the floor with the players. Being in the gym with the players is my favorite part. That is where development happens. It is a time-related endeavor."
Dunlap then spent the 2008-09 season as associate head coach at the University of Arizona under legendary coach Lute Olson and the 2009-10 season as associate head coach on Ernie Kent's staff at the University of Oregon before joining Steve Lavin at St. John's in 2010. During the 2011-12 season, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the team and served as acting head coach in all but four games while Lavin recovered from surgery to treat prostate cancer.
"Mike's recruiting network, both nationally and internationally, is extensive. He understands the type of basketball player we need to be successful in the WCC," said Husak. "He also appreciates what the academic challenges are at LMU as well as the expectation for recruiting athletes of high character and integrity. The reason that he understands is because he is an alum, who was a former player and coach for the Lions. It is great to have an alum leading the Lions. Mike Dunlap's arrival as our head coach indeed signals that he is the right person to lead our program for years to come."
Dunlap's previous head coaching experience also includes three seasons with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia's National Basketball League and five seasons at California Lutheran University. From 1994-97, he led the 36ers to a 59-33 record (.641) and three straight appearances in the NBL Final Four, including advancing to the Grand Final game in 1995.
Before going to Australia, Dunlap was head coach at Division III California Lutheran from 1989-94, where his teams posted an 80-54 record (.597) and won three straight Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles from 1992-94, while also advancing to the Sweet 16 in 1992 and 1994.
"The life blood of any program is recruiting, and I feel I can go into New York, California, Australia, all over the world and have a chance to recruit players," said Dunlap. "My background not only allows me to recruit but to compete against the best coaches in the world, from the NBA to college. I have been fortunate to be a part of every level of basketball in the US and that background is going to help."
His college coaching experience also includes five seasons with the Lions (1980-85), one season at the University of Iowa (1985-86) and three seasons at the University of Southern California (1986-89).
Dunlap has had several articles published nationally, including: "Shooting: The Simple Approach" (1990), "The Free Throw" (1990), "Let Your Feet Do the Talking" (1989), "Motion Offense" (1987) and "Basic Framework for Achieving Academic Eligibility for Your Players" (1987).
A native of Fairbanks, Alaska, Dunlap earned an associate of arts degree in science from Pierce College in 1978, before attaining a bachelor's degree in English from Loyola Marymount University in 1980.
Dunlap and his wife have three children. An avid runner, Dunlap has a 100-mile race to his credit.
The Dunlap File