The Crystal Ball: Men’s Basketball Looks ahead to Next Season

By Ryan Eigenbrode

Dylon Cormier, ′14, had stepped off the CONSOL Energy Center court less than 10 minutes before he took the microphone at the postgame press conference, his breakout sophomore season concluded. Cormier’s mind, however, had already shifted to the 2012-2013 season.

“I think this is the beginning,” said the guard who was part of the last graduating class at Baltimore’s Cardinal Gibbons High School. “This is our first year making the tournament in a long time, so we look forward to making it the next year and the year after.”

His running mate, forward Erik Etherly, ′12, echoed those sentiments, as well as the feelings of Head Coach Jimmy Patsos. “It’s definitely the beginning. Like Jimmy said, we did a few things the school hasn’t done in a while. We’re looking to do the same thing next year…have a lot of people coming back….”

Etherly’s voice trailed off as the emotion of the season-ending loss to Ohio State University in the NCAA Tournament Second Round hit again, but four days later, he was one of several Greyhounds back in the Loyola weight room and shooting at the baskets in Reitz Arena, preparing for the future.

While Loyola says goodbye to the player Patsos called his “coach on the court,” Shane Walker, and fellow senior J’hared Hall, seven of the Greyhounds’ eight players who averaged 12 or more minutes per game return to the court for the 2012-2013 season.

Etherly, who led the team in scoring (13.5 points per game) and rebounding (7.5 rebounds per game) and earned the All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference First Team honor, is one of four Loyola players who will be back after being named to the league’s postseason teams. Etherly is slated to graduate in August, but he will return for his fourth year of athletic eligibility as a graduate student next year.

Cormier, who was the team’s top scorer in 11 games and averaged 13.4 a contest, earned All-MAAC Second Team honors. Fellow guards Justin Drummond, ′14, and Robert Olson, ′13, will also don the Green and Grey next season.

Add to the mix R.J. Williams, ′15, who started 28 games at point guard and led the team in assists, Anthony Winbush, ′12, a versatile defensive stopper who will also graduate in May and come back for another run, and forwards Jordan Latham, ′14, and Julius Brooks, ′13, and Patsos has a solid core of returners who are already looking forward to opening next season.

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