Jan. 18, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
With a 73-68 win over Portland on Monday, the Loyola Marymount men's basketball team will hope to continue its momentum as they start the longest road trip of West Coast Conference season at Santa Clara on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m. After two games of WCC play, the Lions (4-14, 1-1) are led by junior Corey Counts at 17.5 points and 5.5 assists per game while the Broncos (8-8, 0-1) are led by junior John Bryant with 17.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per contest. The game can be heard live on KXLU 88.9 FM and LMULions.com
INSIDE THE LIONS
The Lions have been getting balance from their young roster as no player averages more than 30 minutes and nine different players have scored 10 or more points in a game this season. Freshmen duo Orlando Johnson and Tim Diederichs have started all 18 games this season and are averaging 25.0 and 27.6 minutes per game, respectively. In addition, the third true freshman on the squad, Brandon Walker, has also played in 16 game of the 18 games and is averaging 14.5 minutes per contest. He missed the Gonzaga and Portland games due to a sprained ankle. No freshman in LMU history is listed to have started every game in their first year of action (however, Forrest McKenzie averaged 29.8 minutes per game as a freshman in 1981 to set the all-time freshman scoring record and games started was not recorded for that season). Johnson earned West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors on Dec. 17 with his 25-point, 8-rebound performance at UCR and then did one better with a 26-point performance against Wagner. He leads the team in scoring with 13.3 points per game while sophomore Shawn Deadwiler jumped into double figures at 10.1 after going for 13.0 points in the first two WCC games. After going nearly a decade with no more than 10 three-pointers in one game as a team, the Lions have already done it twice this season. They went for 12 in the win over Mercer and then 11 at UC Riverside. The three-point total is the most since the Lions hit 12 on Jan. 29, 1999 against Saint Mary's. The Lions are second in the WCC in three-pointers with 94.
WHERE IT COUNTS
In 2005-06, junior Corey Counts attended a try-out to join the Loyola Marymount men's basketball program as a walk-on. He made the team and as he looked to gain more playing time, he broke his jaw. He then played 25 games at an average of 12 minutes per game a year ago for the injury-riddled Lions. As a junior, he has become the Lions floor leader and it reached a high-point in the first weekend of WCC play. He went for 21 points, seven assists and just two turnovers against the defending champs and then added 16 points and five assists in the win over Portland. He hit 7-for-8 from the field and 5-for-6 from the three-point line against Gonzaga while hitting 6-for-6 free throws in the final 1:30 to clinch the victory over Portland. In addition, he does it in the classroom. He was named to the 2007 West Coast Conference Winter All-Academic team for his performance both in the classroom and on the hardwood for the LMU basketball team. Counts has a 3.08 GPA and is an Economics major. A sign of things to come came in the win over Presbyterian, scoring 10 points with six assists off the bench, hitting 3-for-4 from the field, including 2-for-3 from the three-point line and charity stripe. He earned his first start against Boise State and came through with nine points and five assists, hitting the game winner - a bank three-pointer from 30-feet with 17 seconds left on the game clock and just two seconds on the shot clock. He is averaging 17.5 points in the two WCC games and 6.3 points overall. He has a team-best 57 assists while shooting 24-for-54 (44.4 percent) from the three-point line this season. He leads the teams in assists and averages 23.0 minutes per contest.
IN THE WCC
As of games through Jan. 15, freshman Orlando Johnson leads the team in scoring and is ranked 11th in the West Coast Conference at 13.3 points per game. Shawn Deadwiler ranks 20th at 10.1 ppg. In rebounding Johnson is ranked 11th in the WCC at 5.3 per game while senior Jon Ziri is 14th at 4.7. Johnson also ranks 15th in the WCC in field goal percentage at 45.1 percent while Deadwiler is ranked fourth in the WCC in free throw percentage at 82.7 percent. As for the long ball, Corey Counts, thanks to his 5-for-6 effort Saturday, is ranked third at 44.4 percent while Johnson is 13th at 38.2 percent. Johnson and Deadwiler are tied at 10th with 1.61 three pointers made per game. As for assists, Counts is ranked seventh at 3.17 and Deadwiler is 9th at 2.94. Ziri is ranked second in steals with 2.17 per game and Johnson is ranked 7th in offensive rebounds at 2.39.
Freshman Orlando Johnson is already making a name for himself just 18 games into his career and is on pace to become one of the all-time leading freshman in LMU history. Johnson scored 26 points with six rebounds and three assists in the overtime setback to Wagner. The point total ranked third all-time in LMU history for a freshman and came on the heals of his 25-point, eight-rebound performance against UC Riverside to earn West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors on Dec. 17. Johnson has four games with 20 or more points as his 23 points against Presbyterian ranks 12th all-time and his 21 in the win over Mercer ranks 20th all-time. In addition, Johnson had 11 rebounds in the win over Boise State to rank fourth all-time by a freshman.
ALL-TIME FRESHMAN RANKINGS
Johnson has scored 239 points with 95 rebounds through 18 games. He heads into the Santa Clara game ranked ninth all-time in freshman scoring, replacing Stanley Thorne, who had 222 points in 1999-00. Charles Dorsey is 8th with 257. He is ranked 9th in rebounds, replacing Bill Neu, who had 94 in 1975-76. Damian Martin is 8th with 98. Johnson is averaging 13.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, which would rank 3rd and 2nd, respectively. He is on pace to set the all-time freshman record in scoring (Luther Philyaw - 1972-73 - 379 points) and rebounds (Andy Osborn - 2001-02 - 152 rebounds).
EVEN TOUGHER AT HOME
The Lions home schedule, which featured a "BCS" school for just the 29th time since 1905 when Mississippi State came to Gersten Pavilion on Dec. 19, is one of the toughest in recent years. The combined record of the Lions opponents at home this season is 92-39 (.702) and prior to Portland (6-11), the record was 86-28 (.754). The Lions are 1-7 so far at home this season, and those setbacks have come to Arkansas Little Rock who is 11-5, San Diego State who is 12-4, UC Santa Barbara who is 13-4, Mississippi State who is 12-5, Wagner, who is 12-4, Sam Houston State is 13-2, and Gonzaga 13-4. The Lions are now 192-164 all-time in Gersten.
SCOUTING SANTA CLARA
Santa Clara enters Saturday's game at 8-8 and 0-1 in the WCC under first year Head Coach Kerry Keating.They have dropped three straight and five of six after defeating Denver at home in overtime, 74-65 on Dec. 28. The Broncos opened conference play with a 76-45 loss on the road to Saint Mary's. SCU features one of the top players in the WCC in junior center John Bryant. He is second in the WCC in scoring at 17.9 points per game and third in rebounds with 8.9. Senior Brody Angley is second on the team with 11.6 points per game and is second in the WCC in assists at 4.9 per game. The Lions swept the Broncos last year, including a 67-66 buzzer beater in the second to last game of the season that knock Santa Clara out of the WCC regular season title.
LAST TIME VS. SANTA CLARA
Senior Adoyah Miller hit a 19-footer with five seconds remaining to lift Loyola Marymount to a 67-66 win over Santa Clara in West Coast Conference play in front of 2,980 at Gersten Pavilion Saturday night. The Lions improve to 13-16 overall and 5-8 in the WCC while Santa Clara falls to 20-8 overall and 10-3 in the WCC, two of the losses to LMU. The Lions improve to 3-1 against the leagues top two teams in Gonzaga and Santa Clara. Playing in their first home game since knocking the Zags from first place on Feb. 5, the Lions did it to the Broncos who are now tied with the Bulldogs for the top spot in the WCC with one game left in the regular season.Senior Matthew Knight finished with 17 points and nine rebounds while Marko Deric added 15 points and five rebounds. John Montgomery finished with 12 points and five assists. Miller finished with nine points, his first game not hitting double digits since the first game of conference play on Jan. 6. However, he hit the shot when the Lions needed it. LMU trailed by five, 66-61 with 1:51 remaining when senior John Montgomery hit a jumper to cut it to 66-63. Montgomery continued his clutch free throw shooting with a pair with 44 second remaining to make it a one-point game, 66-65. The Lions defense forced the Broncos into a backcourt violation with 22 seconds remaining to give the Lions the last shot.
- GO LIONS -