Men's Hoops Heads to Pyramid
Lions finish three-game swing away from home to open season at Long Beach State on Thursday.
Nov. 13, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- The first week of the 2013-14 college basketball season continues away from home for LMU (2-0), as they head to Long Beach State (1-1) on Thursday, Nov. 14 for a 7 pm tip-off at the Pyramid. The annual meeting between the SoCal rivals continues as the teams have only missed a match-up twice since 1998, meeting every November/December except 2008 and 2011. The game can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM and through the LMU Sports Network on LMULions.com.
INSIDE THE LIONS
The Lions had three 20-point scorers in the win over the Jackrabbits on Saturday, the first time that has happened since the record-setting LMU-US International game on Jan. 5, 1991. Ben Dickinson had 22 points while Anthony Ireland and freshman Gabe Levin had 20 points each. The last time it happened, the Lions set the NCAA record for points in a 186-140 win. Five Lions went for more than 20 points (Terrell Lowery - 34, Richard Petruska - 28, Chris Knight - 27, Rahim Harris - 24, Ross Richardson - 24).
Anthony Ireland continues to set marks for the Lions. He set a career-best with 12 assists in earning his fifth career double-double on Saturday. With 34 points, 15 assists and two steals to start the season, Ireland continues to climb his way up the career record, sitting 8th all-time with 1,610 points, 7th with 399 assists and 10th with 149 steals.
The Lions finished the two games shooting 52.1 percent, including 57.6 percent in the win on Saturday. It was the Lions' best shooting night from the field against an NCAA Division I opponent since hitting 59.3 percent against Seattle on Dec. 30, 2009. The Lions hit 57.7 percent against Pacifica in the opener last season.
The Lions needed all 11 of their scholarship players in uniform as they were called for 37 fouls, equalling the program record set on Feb. 9, 2001 against Nevada. South Dakota State finished 37-for-50 (74.0 percent) from the free throw line. The 37 made free throws equals an opponent's record against the Lions as Santa Clara hit 37 on Feb. 24, 2011. No Lion actually fouled out of the game as six Lions had four fouls.
A Grand Finale: Senior Anthony Ireland enters his final season all over the record books at LMU with the projection to do even more. He enters the season as a Preseason All-WCC selection and is:
2014 Senior CLASS Award Candidate
Watch-list for the Bob Cousy Award
Preseason Lou Henson Award All-American
WCC Best Player Selection (sbnation and College Hoops Journal)
One of nation's most unknow top players (CBS)
LMU Magazine: "Ice Man"
College Hoops Daily
Ireland averaged 29.5 minutes in the first two games, a good seven minutes below his average the last two seasons of 36.9 minutes per game, the most in the West Coast Conference. Ireland, who was 14th in the NCAA last season in scoring at 20.2 ppg, finished playing just 22 minutes against GCU, fewest since the fourth game of his career (19 minutes vs. Dowling on Nov. 20, 2010). His first field goal of the game with 9:43 to play in game gave LMU a 61-55 lead. However, he would pick up his fourth foul with with 8:51 to play and would leave the game. He re-entered the game with 4:06 to play and the Lions down 66-65. He would score six points with the assist on the winner, finishing with a team-high 14 points.
While the Lions feature 10 total underclassmen on their 16-man roster, they have plenty of experience. Seniors Anthony Ireland, Ayodeji Egbeyemi, Alex Osborne and Godwin Okonji enter the 2013-14 season having played a combined 372 games in an LMU uniform. After the weekend, Ireland has played all 102 games LMU has played in during his career, playing nearly 92 percent of the available minutes the last two years. Egbeyemi has played in 85 games, while Osborne and Okonji near the century mark with 95 and 96, respectively. Okonji, who was injured in the car accident on Oct. 30 (See LMULions.com for more information), remains out indefinately.
The Lions improved to 3-2 in season openers under Head Coach Max Good, winning the last three. The Lions are 38-21 in season openers since they joined the West Coast Conference in 1955-56. This is the third time since the current coaching staff took over the program that they opened the season in a tournament. In 2008 it was the BTI Invitational at Iowa State and in 2009 it was at Montana's Grizzly Classic. LMU will play in a pair of non-conference tournaments this season, making it the 13th straight year the Lions have made an appearance in a regular-season tournament. LMU will also play in the Ezybonds Virgin Islands Paradise Jam on Nov. 22-25.