LOS ANGELES – The 1987-88 Loyola Marymount men’s basketball team was special. This was the only LMU team to have a perfect conference schedule, going 14-0 in the WCAC that season. Their 25-game winning streak still stands as the program record. The 1987-88 team led the NCAA in scoring, the first of three-straight LMU teams to do so, averaging 110.3 points per game. Paul Westhead received his praises as well, earning both NABC District Coach of the Year and Conference Coach of the Year.
— LMU Athletics (@LMULions) February 6, 2018
Then there were the players. It was a special group of 16 players that worked together to not only win three-straight games in three nights in the conference tournament to make the NCAA tournament, but edged their first round opponent, Wyoming, in the Big Dance to face a strong North Carolina team in the second round.
The team hit 719 free throws that year, a conference and program record that stands to this day. That season, the Lions led the conference in not only scoring, but in rebounding (38.2 rpg), made threes (8.7 per game), assists (19.7 apg), steals (11.3 spg), and scoring margin (+13.1 ppg).
Corey Gaines’ 8.7 assists per games still ranks second in the West Coast Conference record book, and Hank Gathers’ 721 points that season is 13th best in the conference all-time.
Jeff Fryer made 86 threes that season and Bo Kimble knocked down 74, ranking them fifth and seventh in the program record books, respectively. That team didn’t just shoot for volume, they were accurate as well. Corey Gaines ranks second in the LMU program record book at 50.6 percent from long range that season, just above Enoch Simmons in third with his 46.7 percent clip from distance and Jeff Fryer sits 11th all-time with a mark of 41.3 percent.
Mike Yoest’s 206 made free throws that year was the second greatest single-season from the charity stripe in LMU history, and his 71 steals ranks third to this day.
Both Hank Gathers (278 rebounds) and Mark Armstrong (258 rebounds) were machines on the glass, each ranking in the top-20 for single seasons rebound totals in program history.
The records and accomplishments go on-and-on. The list is long, and it should be for a team that finished 15th in the final AP Poll Ranking of 1988. There was talent on that team, not just the four all-conference players (Gaines, Gathers, Kimble, and Yoest), but from top to bottom.
On Saturday, at halftime of the PCH Cup rivalry against Pepperdine, this team will be honored, 30 seasons after their memorable year. Several players from that team, as well as Coach Paul Westhead will be back on the Bluff and honored for their accomplishments on the court and as Lions. Additionally, the voice of that season, Bernie Sandalow will receive recognition for his 41 years behind the microphone as LMU’s men’s basketball public address announcer. The Hall-of-Famer will speak to the crowd leading up to the player and coach recognitions.
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