(New Orleans, La.) The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team garnered 24 votes in the NAIA’s preseason poll released Tuesday evening. The Wolf Pack received the 28th most votes in the poll.
“We are grateful for the recognition, but our focus is to get prepared for the upcoming season. We have three top 25 teams on our schedule, and we look forward to the challenge. Our players understand that success is earned through hard work and we will continue to work hard in preparation for the season,” said Loyola head coach Dr. Michael Giorlando.
Loyola enjoyed their best season in recent memory in 2011-12. The Wolf Pack finished the year as the Southern States Athletic Conference West Division Champions with a 20-10 overall record and 11-7 mark in SSAC play. It was the first 20 win season since Jack Orsley’s 1947-48 squad and highest winning percentage (.679) since that same year.
The Pack returns two starters off of last year’s squad, junior Robert Lovaglio and sophomore McCall Tomeny. Lovaglio, who was named All-SSAC, finished last season scoring 16.1 points per game and shooting at a 50.9% clip from the field. He also led Loyola with 6.9 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game. Tomeny was named to the SSAC All-Freshman Team last season. The Baton Rouge native averaged 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
The Wolf Pack will have to replace guard Corey Gray, who graduated in May. Gray was named NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, 2nd team All-Louisiana, and All-Conference in the SSAC. He finished his career with 1,387 points, which ranks ninth on the Loyola all-time scoring list. Loyola will also have to replace starters forward Cameron Cates (All-SSAC West Division) and guard Chris Joseph, who also graduated.
Loyola will face off against three schools ranked in the preseason poll: #15 Lee on November 30, #19 Xavier on November 13 and December 12, and #24 Southern-New Orleans on November 9 and December 15.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The first regular-season top 25 poll will be announce on December 4th.
# # #