Men's Hoops Takes National Stage
Jan. 12, 2014
Lafayette hits the road to play Loyola Maryland in the first ever Patriot League meeting between the two schools.
The Leopards are in search of their first Patriot League victory and look to snap a six-game losing streak.
Lafayette dipped to 0-5 in Patriot League play following an 89-78 loss to Boston University on Saturday. It is the first time under head coach Fran O’Hanlon that Lafayette has started its conference schedule 0-5.
Lafayette is 2-6 on the road this season, while Loyola holds a 4-2 mark in games played at Reltz Arena.
Dan Trist has scored in double figures in 10 games this season. Trist is third on the team with 13.4 points and leads the squad with 5.9 rebounds per night. He has scored in double figures in Lafayette’s last four games. The junior is also seventh in the conference in field goal percentage, hitting 56.6 percent (77-of-136).
Dan Trist is seventh in the Patriot League in rebounding (5.9 per game) and third in the conference in offensive rebounds (2.4 per game).
Lafayette dropped to 0-6 on the year when surrendering more than 85 points after its 89-78 setback to Boston.
Lafayette’s 75.1 points per game scoring average leads the Patriot League. Loyola is seventh in the conference at 69.3 points per game.
Sophomore Ben Freeland has seen his minutes increase over Lafayette’s last six games. The 6-9 forward has averaged 14.3 minutes off the bench, while scoring 2.8 points and pulling down 3.2 rebounds per outing.
When Fran O’Hanlon looks down at the opposite bench on Monday night, he will see a familiar face in Loyola assistant coach Josh Loeffler. Loeffler spent four years on O’Hanlon’s staff from 2008-2012 before going to Rutgers for the 2012-13 season, where he served as the Director of Basketball Operations. During his time in Easton, Pa. Loeffler helped Lafayette reach the Patriot League championship game on two occasions. He is in his first season on G.G. Smith’s staff at Loyola.
DAY OF REST
During Fran O’Hanlon’s tenure as the head coach on College Hill, Lafayette has played in 94 games with one day or less off between games. In that time the Leopards have a 46-48 overall mark, but are 18-29 in true road games. Monday night’s tilt at Loyola gives Lafayette only one day of rest after playing Boston University on Saturday afternoon.
LOOKING FOR STABILITY
Only two players, junior Joey Ptasinski and freshman Nick Lindner have played in every game this season for Lafayette. Of the 15 players on Lafayette’s roster, six have missed at least one game due to injury, including four starters, and Fran O’Hanlon has used seven different starting lineups. In addition, 10 players have made at least one appearance in the starting five.
GUARDING THE THREE
Over Lafayette’s last three games, its opponents are having tremendous success dialing from long distance. Navy (11-14), Bucknell (12-15) and Boston (15-30) have combined to hit 38-of-59 from beyond the arc, a 64.4 percent clip. When figuring in Army’s 9-for-20 effort from downtown, Lafayette’s Patriot League opponents are shooting 59.5 percent. The Terriers’ 15 three-pointers were the most given up by Lafayette since Vanderbilt knocked down 15 on Dec. 21, 2011.
For the first time all season, Lafayette’s bench outscored its starters (49-29) against Boston University. After Dan Trist and Nick Lindner each picked up two fouls in the opening four minutes against Bucknell, Fran O’Hanlon decided to have the duo come off the bench in an effort to avoid early foul calls against two of his regular starters. The tactic worked as Trist (19) and Lindner (16) combined for 35 points in the loss to the Terriers.