March 17, 2012
LMU men's basketball (20-12) and its record-setting season continues when they host Weber State (25-6) in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) on Sunday, Mar. 18 at 3 p.m. The Lions advanced in the postseason for the first time since the Elite Eight season of 1989-90. The game will be streamed live through the CIT website and can be heard live on KXLU 88.9 FM. Tickets can be purchased through the LMU Box Office on the LMU campus or by calling (310) 338-5466.
INSIDE THE LIONS
LMU enters the second round of the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament at 20-12 overall on the season after going 11-5 (4th) in the WCC. Its the Lions' first 20-win season since the Elite Eight team of 1989-90. In addition, the Lions 11 conference wins is the most since that season and it is tied with the 1967-68 team for the third most conference wins in program history.
Senior Drew Viney and sophomore Anthony Ireland were named First-Team All-WCC, while Head Coach Max Good was named WCC Coach of the Year, as announced by the WCC on Feb. 28. In addition, Ireland earned second-team NABC All-District honors, the first Lion on record to earn the honor. The Lions have now had a pair of All-WCC selections in each of the last three seasons. Ireland and Viney are one-two on the team in scoring at 15.8 and 15.1 points per game, respectively. Viney is the 14th player in school history to earn three All-WCC honors. Ireland had his ninth 20-point game with 26 in the first-round win over Cal State Fullerton and finished the regular season ranked second in the league in scoring. He was an All-Freshman selection a year ago.
Entering the CIT, LMU is ranked 29th in the NCAA Division I National Rankings in three-point field goal defense and 37th in free throw percentage.
The Lions are holding opponents to a league low 30.6 percent from long range overall, while limiting opponents to just 28.4 percent in WCC games. The Lions have held 14 teams under 30 percent for the game, including BYU's 2-for-25 (8 percent), Pepperdine's 2-for-15 effort (13.3 percent) as well as Gonzaga and Portland to 15.4 percent (2-for-13). In non-conference they held UCLA to 13.3 percent and North Texas' to 15.8 percent.
The Lions lead the WCC in free throw percentage at 74.1 percent on the season, good for 37th in the NCAA. In the last two games at Gersten Pavilion, they have hit 62-of-75, including a 31-for-35 (88.6%) clip in the regular season final against Santa Clara and then a 32-for-40 (80%) clip against CSF in the first round of the CIT. The Lions' top-six scorers hit better than 73.5 percent, including Jarred DuBois' 87.3 percent and LaRon Armstead's 87.0 percent, who are one-two in the WCC. Armstead qualifies for NCAA rankings, and sits at 27th nationally. Anthony Ireland is 12th in the WCC at 76.8 percent.
With the home win over the Titans in the CIT first round, the Lions earned their 11th win at Gersten Pavilion on the season, tied for the second most (1986, 1990, 1996) since the building opened in 1981-82. The 14-0 record at home in 1987-88 is the most in school history. In addition, the 48,305 combined attendance is also second most in school history, second behind the 1989-90 season's 48,442.
The win at Saint Mary's in the final road game of the season improved the Lions to 7-1 on the road in WCC play and 9-3 overall away from home. Its the best conference road record since going 6-1 in that 1989-90 season, and the seven wins matches the road win total of the 1987-88 team, who went 14-0 in league play. In addition, the Lions finish the regular season at 9-3 on the road, its best road record since winning 11 games in that Elite Eight season. Included in this season's road record was a six-game road winning streak to start WCC road play, matching the 1990-91 team for the most consecutive road wins (overall).
The Lions' posted a 60-point second half in erasing a 19-point deficit in the comeback win over San Francisco on Feb. 4. It was the most points in a single half since they scored 69 in the second half against USC on Nov. 30, 1993. The Lions hit 11 three-pointers in that win, and with another 10 against Portland on Feb. 9, they have hit double-digit three-pointers six times this season, ranking fifth in the WCC with 6.4 three-pointers. The Lions hit seven against Saint Mary's and improve to 9-2 on the season when they hit at least seven. Heading into the season, the last time they hit 10 or more three-pointers in a game was 10 against USF on Jan. 14, 2010. The 11 made is the most since hitting 12 against Mercer on Nov. 24, 2007.
MORE NUMBERS: The Lions are 16-2 when leading at the half (9-1 in WCC), 12-1 (6-0) when outrebounding their opponent, 19-5 (10-2) when shooting better than 40 percent, 12-1 (6-0) when holding their opponent to less than 40 percent, and 14-0 (7-0) when scoring 70 or more points.
The Lions have played in three overtime games in a season for the first time since 2007-08, winning all three. It is the first time in program history the Lions have won three overtime games in a single season.
The Lions have found success in the big games under Head Coach Max Good. The trip to the 2012 CIT is the team's second postseason trip in three seasons. Prior to Good's arrival, it was 20 years since the Lions last made a trip to postseason play. The Lions are 3-2 this season (W - #17 UCLA, #23 Saint Louis, #16 Saint Mary's; L - #23 Gonzaga, #16 Saint Mary's) against ranked opponents, 4-4 in the last three season under Good. The games against UCLA and Florida State were the eighth and ninth time under Head Coach Max Good the Lions played a team from the "BCS" conferences. The Lions are 3-6 in those meetings, defeating USC (67-59), Notre Dame (87-85) and now UCLA (69-58), all on the road. In addition, Good has led the Lions to more road wins and more conference wins than any head coach since Paul Westhead.
Injuries once again have forced change in the Lions starting five as the Lions have started nine different line-ups. Three of the Lions' top-seven - top scorers Jarred DuBois, Drew Viney and Ashley Hamilton - combined to miss 27 games this season. The Lions have found some consistency, starting the same five for 11 straight games toward the end of the season, going 8-3 in those games. The Lions inserted senior Tim Diederichs in the starting line-up during the final game of the year for Senior Day and then DuBois earned the start in place of LaRon Armstead in the WCC tournament due to a strained back. Armstead did play. In 2010-11, LMU's top-seven missed 66 games as the Lions featured 16 different starting line-ups... Junior Jarred DuBois missed two games (La Sierra, North Texas) due to soreness in his foot and then three more games (at Pep, Gonzaga, at BYU) after suffering a concussion against San Diego on Jan. 7... Junior Ashley Hamilton, who was the Lions' leading scorer after three games, suffered an injury to his right foot against Harvard and missed the next 12 games... Senior Drew Viney missed 10 of the Lions' first 12 games after a stress fracture in his foot the week prior to the start of the season in October. He returned to the line-up full-time against Vanguard on Dec. 27... Prior to the team's departure to USF Dec. 31, redshirt sophomore Edgar Garibay asked for and was granted his release from the program.
AT THE POINT
Sophomore Anthony Ireland started the season scoring 22 or more points in four of five games, and with his 26 points in the CIT opener, he now has nine games with 20 or more on the season and 11 in his young career. He is the only Lion to play every game this season and he is second in the WCC in minutes played at 36.4 per game. The first-team All-WCC selection is third in the WCC in scoring at 15.8 points per game and fourth with 4.8 assists per contest. He earned his second WCC Player of the Week honor with 16 points and seven assists in the win over ranked Saint Mary's, and 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the win over Valpo. His first was after his 27-point effort in the win over BYU and he became just the second Lion since 1998 to earn a double-double with points and assists when he did it against Vanguard (14 pts, 10 assists). He had 21 assists in the final two non-conference games, going for a career-high 11 against Morgan State on Dec. 21. It is the most in back-to-back games since Terrell Lowery in 1990. He now has 154 assists on the season and 245 career assists in his career. His season total is the 13th most in LMU history and his career total ranks 14th all-time. He also has 53 steals (tie for 17th all-time) on the season (1.66 spg) to rank fourth in the WCC.
Three-time All-WCC selection Drew Viney entered 2011-12 needing just a single point to become the 31st player in LMU history to reach 1,000 career points. After having to miss the first six games due to a stress fracture in his foot, it took exactly 12 seconds in his first game back against Columbia to hit the century mark. Viney knocked down a 12-foot jumper to become the 31st player in school history to reach a 1,000 points. Then with five rebounds against San Diego (Feb. 23), he became the 13th player in program history with 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. He had his 11th career double-double in the win over Pepperdine, which ranks tied for 12th at LMU. He enters the CIT second round averaging 15.1 points, 5.5 rebounds with 19 blocks, 28 steals and 33 assists in 22 games. He is second on the team with 36 three-pointers. His career numbers continue to move up in the LMU career record books. Here is where he is as of Mar. 16: 15th with 1,332 points 15th with 16.4 ppg t-18th with 461 made field goals 21st with 998 field goal attempts 8th with 137 three-pointers made 10th with 329 three-pointer attempts 4th with a 41.6 three-point field goal percentage 19th with 273 free throws made 26th with 342 free throws attemted 18th with a 79.8 free throw percentage 20th with 525 rebounds 5th with 83 blocks 28th with 87 steals.
LaRon Armstead continues to show why he is the Lions' senior leader, becoming the 30th player in LMU history to appear in 100 games in his career, and now ranks tied for 22nd with 107 games played. Fellow senior Tim Diederichs became the 31st to hit a 100 in the game against Gonzaga. He is 28th with 103 games played. Armstead came off the bench to score 22 points against then #23 Saint Louis, becoming a mainstay in the Lions' rotation since. He went for double figures in six of seven games before the Morgan State game, and has returned to that form in the WCC, going for 14 in the win over Pepperdine. Against the Waves he hit a big three-pointer for a 57-51 lead late, and then after the Waves cut the lead to five, he grabbed three straight defensive rebounds. His heart was evident against San Francisco in the WCC tournament, scoring nine points with two rebounds in 21 minutes despite a strained lower back. Then in the first game after the passing of his mother (March 6), he went for 16 points and five rebounds in 33 minutes against CSF on Wednesday. He is fifth on the team with 8.3 points per game while adding 2.7 rebounds, and 21 steals. In addition to his free throws, he has hit 33 three-pointers, third on the squad.
Redshirt junior Jarred DuBois, who began play with the Lions in the same 2008-09 campaign with senior LaRon Armstead, played just five games a year ago due to foot surgery and was granted a medical redshirt. After missing three games due to a concussion, he returned against Santa Clara to score nine points, hitting his final point on a free throw to give him 1,000 points in his career. He is the 32nd player in LMU history to do so. He is averaging 10.1 points per game this season after going for 15 against Saint Mary's to rank 21st in the WCC. In his career at LMU, he is fifth all-time with 146 career three-pointers, 15th with a career three-point percentage of 37.0, fifth with a career free throw percentage of 84.3 percent and 17th with 230 career assists.
The LMU men's basketball team earned an 88-79 win over Cal State Fullerton to advance in the postseason for the first time since the 1989-90 season, earning a chance to host Weber State in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament on Sunday, March 18 at 3 p.m. Tickets for the Lions second round game are on sale now through the LMU Box Office by calling (310) 338-5466 or visiting the box office, which opens at 1:30 p.m., on the day of the game. This will be the fifth meeting between Weber State and LMU, but the first since 1997. The Wildcats have won all four previous meetings, three coming in Utah and the other at a neutral site in 1974. The Wildcats enter the game at 25-6 overall after going 14-2 in the Big Sky Conference. They fell in the Big Sky title game to Montana, 85-66. Weber State is led by NBA prospect Damian Lillard, who is one of five finalists for the Cousy Award and was the NABC District Player of the Year and the Big Sky Player of the Year. He enters the game averaging 24.4 points per game, hitting 93 three pointers (42.1 percent). LMU is one of 16 teams left in the 2012 CIT as second round action gets started on Saturday, March 17. Eight games remain, with five taking play Saturday and the final three on Sunday.
- GO LIONS -