Sunday, February 27, 2011

Final WCC standings, tournament seeds

Final WCC Regular Season Standings Standings
1. Saint Mary's, Gonzaga         11-3
3. San Francisco                      10-4
4. Santa Clara                           8-6
5. Portland                                7-7
6. Pepperdine                            5-9
7: San Diego, LMU                   2-12
WCC Tournament Seeds
1. Saint Mary's
2. Gonzaga
3. San Francisco
4. Santa Clara
5. Portland
6. Pepperdine
7. University San Diego
8. Loyola Marymount University

First round match-ups Friday will see LMU vs. Portland at 6 p.m. and San Diego vs. Pepperdine following the first game. The winner of LMU's game will face Santa Clara on Saturday.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

LMU drops another heartbreaker, set to be eighth seed in tourney

It's pretty painful to lose another heart-breaker, but to be honest I think I'm becoming pretty numb to it. The Lions dropped their final game of the regular season tonight, falling to San Francisco 77-75. With 13 seconds and the ball, LMU needed just a basket to force overtime. Freshman guard Anthony Ireland got a decent look from the corner of the key, but the ball rolled off the rim. Ireland, who never gave up on the play, also hit just rim on both of his put-back attempts.

The dagger in the heart of the Lions was once again defending the three. After doing a great job at it all night, and forcing the Dons to shoot just 4-23 from beyond the arc, LMU found itself up by five with just under two minutes to play. But after turning the ball over, the Lions gave up back-to-back threes to San Francisco and couldn't recover.

With the loss, the Lions find themselves the eighth seed at next weekend's WCC Tournament in Las Vegas. LMU will face Portland in first-round action Friday at 6 p.m. A win tonight would have instead seen LMU match-up much more favorably against Pepperdine.

There are, however, two bright spots to take out of tonight's game. The Lions shot an astonishing 95.7 percent from the free throw line, and went a perfect 15-15 from the stripe in the second half. Secondly, LMU received a big offensive game from Drew Viney for the second contest in a row. After going for 30 points Thursday at Santa Clara, Viney led the Lions with 22 points tonight on 7-14 from the field. With Viney putting his shooting woes from earlier this season behind him, the Lions definitely have the right pieces in place to make a Tournament run.

I'll write later this week about key's for Friday's game, etc. But this has been such a tough season, I just really hope we can continue to play competitive games in Vegas but close a couple out, exactly what we haven't been able to do all season long. The fans deserve it, and a bunch of these players and coaches deserve it too.

Regular season play concludes tonight

Coming off of its second double-OT loss of the season, LMU will face a strong University of San Francisco team tonight to wrap up the regular season. The Lions are a disappointing 2-11 in conference play while the Dons, who were picked to finish in the bottom half of the league, are a surprising 9-4, just one game behind first-place teams Gonzaga and Saint Mary's.

The Lions and Dons met earlier this season in a game a Gersten Pavilion in which San Francisco won 61-60. Leading scorer Drew Viney sat out the majority of the second half of that game with migraines, after getting off to a hot start and scoring 11 first-half points on 4-7 from the field. The Lions played impressive defense in the game, holding San Francisco shooters to just 37 percent from the floor and 18 percent from long distance. LMU had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but failed to do so. Freshman Ayodeji Egbeyemi led all Lions with 15 points.

LMU is coming off of another heartbreaking loss. The Lions, who eventually lost to Santa Clara by six points Thursday in double OT, struggled mightly from the free throw line, shooting just 64 percent as opposed to the Broncos 88 percent. Viney had his biggest offensive game of the season, pouring in 30 points in the loss.

The Lions are currently tied with the University of San Diego for the worst record in the WCC. The WCC Tournament begins in Las Vegas on Friday night, and all seeding for the tournament will be determined tonight at the conclusion of the four conference game's on the schedule for this evening. It is a foregone conclusion that LMU will be seeded either seventh or eighth, meaning that they will need to win four games in four days to win the tournament.

If LMU is able to earn the seventh seed, they will face rival Pepperdine for the third time this season in Las Vegas on Friday. The Lions beat Pepperdine at the WCC Tournament one year ago.

If LMU is seeded eighth for the tournament, it is still unclear who they would play. Both Santa Clara and Portland would be the option.

Tonight's game at San Francisco tips off at 7 p.m. I am in San Francisco and will be tweeting live from War Memorial Gymnasium. Check out live updates, beginning at 7 p.m., here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Follow live on Twitter

Follow along live with my thought's on tonight's game on Twitter.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lions to wrap up conference play in NorCal

Drew Viney is averaging 16.0 ppg in WCC play | Courtesy of Facebook
LMU will head out on its final conference road-trip of the season tomorrow, when it takes on Santa Clara at 8:30 p.m. The game, which can be seen live on ESPNU, is the second meeting of the year between the two teams. Santa Clara took the first meeting, 79-72.

Currently tied for seventh in the conference with a 2-10 record, the Lions are looking to turn things around before heading to the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas March 4. LMU is hoping a healthy Drew Viney will be on the court for the Lions in March, as he returned with a bang last week after missing three games due to migraines. Viney is currently third in the conference in scoring, averaging 16.0 points per game.

The Lions are coming off of a disappointing loss to Portland State in a Sears BracketBuster game and a win over Pepperdine in the team's last conference game. Santa Clara is coming off of back-to-back losses at Gonzaga and Portland, but currently sit tied with Portland for fourth place in conference with a 6-6 WCC record.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Live Chat: LMU @ Portland State

BracketBuster Game: Watch online, chat here

So it looks like LMU's BracketBuster game against Portland State is available to watch online. At game time (4 p.m.), check this link here:

The Bottom Line with Julia Pine will also be hosting a live chat for Lions fans during the game. Come back during the game to weigh in on how the Lions are playing and more!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lions travel North for BracketBuster Game

Freshman Anthony Ireland has averaged an impressive ten ppg this season | Julia Pine
Many Lions fans circled tomorrow's date on the calendar at the start of the season, thinking/hoping it would be a significant one for LMU Basketball. Unfortunately, this Sears BracketBuster match up will feature two teams who have underachieved this year, as the 10-17 Lions will take on the 11-14 Portland State Vikings at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

The Lions, however, would like to start playing solid basketball before the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas and are coming off of a narrow victory over Pepperdine on Wednesday. While the game wasn't pretty, it was the kind of game the Lions have been unable to win all season. "Our goal is to be at our best when we hit the West Coast Conference tournament," Head Coach Max Good told the Los Angeles Loyolan after the win.

Portland State is led by Charles Odum, who is averaging a team-high 14.4 points per game, and shooting an impressive 45 percent from three-point land. The Vikings are 1-1 against WCC teams this season, having beaten Pepperdine in Novemeber before losing to Portland in December.

One result of the BracketBuster contest will be the fact that Portland State will travel to LMU in the next two seasons for a game at Gersten Pavilion.

This is the Lions final non-conference game of the year before wrapping up conference play next weekend in the Bay Area with games against Santa Clara and San Francisco.

The game can be heard live on or 88.9 FM.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

LMU holds on for narrow victory over Pepperdine

Drew Viney led the Lions with 21 points | Julia Pine
It wasn't pretty, and yet again the Lions blew a 14-point lead, but this time the outcome was different, as LMU held on for a three-point 82-79 victory over Pepperdine in the final home game of the season. Drew Viney returned after missing three games and made an immediate impact for the Lions, leading the team in points and rebounds with 21 and seven, respectively.

Vernon Teel honored before the game
LMU jumped out to a 14-point lead midway through the second half before letting Pepperdine's Mychel Thompson and Lorne Jackson go on an offensive explosion. Thompson ended the game with 29 points, but his last second three at the buzzer bounced off the rim, securing the victory for the Lions.

LMU is now 2-10 in WCC play. Down South, San Diego pulled off a shocking upset over WCC-leading Saint Mary's to also improve to 2-10.

Griffin Reilly honored before the game
Tonight's game was Senior Night at LMU, as Vernon Teel, Larry Davis, and walk-on Griffin Reilly were honored before the game. Davis sat out the entire game due to illness, but both Teel and Reilly got the start. Teel finished the game, his last in Gersten Pavilion, with 11 points and four assists. He also knocked down two crucial free throws in the final minute of play to help LMU secure the victory.

Anthony Ireland, Ayodeji Egbeyemi, and LaRon Armstead joined Teel and Viney in double-figure scoring.

Larry Davis, with his mother,
being honored before the game
Ashley Hamilton, who had 19 points in the Lions loss to Pepperdine earlier this season, sat out the game due to illness. The L.A.-rivals split their series for the second time in two years, with the home team winning four of the last four contests.

The Lions will now take a break from WCC play to participate in ESPN's BracketBuster event. LMU will travel to Portland State on Saturday. The game starts at 4 p.m. and Lions fans can listen live on

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Senior Night approaches as Lions seek win over rivals

The final game of the home season is upon us, as the Lions host the Pepperdine Waves tomorrow night. The Lions, who are 1-10 in conference play, will try to get a win for seniors Vernon Teel and Larry Davis, who will be playing in their final game at Gersten Pavilion.

The Waves enter with a conference record of 5-6, and pulled out a victory despite trailing by four with 2:25 to play. Since playing the Lions, Pepperdine said goodbye to leading-scorer Keoin Bell, who was suspended from play for the remainder of the 2011 season for conduct detrimental to the team.

The Lions received a great game from redshirt sophomore Ashley Hamilton in the team's first matchup against the Waves, as the power forward went 7-7 from the field for a team-high 19 points. Neither Drew Viney nor Vernon Teel started that game, but both made significant contributions in the loss. Viney had 17 points while Teel had a game-high nine assists and 13 points.

LMU will look to pick up some momentum before the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas, with only three games left on the conference schedule.

The game tips off at 8 p.m., and all fans in attendance will receive bobble-head dolls courtesy of The Los Angeles Loyolan.

Bottom Line is now on Twitter

The Bottom Line with Julia Pine is now on Twitter! Follow for up-to-the-minute LMU Basketball coverage and more.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Injury updates: Garibay and Viney

Another disappointing, frustrating loss today. But as I mentioned in my previous post, unfortuntely all of the Lions games until Vegas are meaningless. That being said, it would be nice to see solid team play before then so that us fans know it exists.

Also, redshirt freshman center Edgar Garibay played just five minutes against Portland today, appearing to have badly sprained his ankle in the first period. From what I have heard, Lions fans should not expect to see him back on the court this season. I really feel for Garibay, who had finally seemed to have found some sort of groove after a long rehabilitation from offseason knee surgery.

Some good news for LMU fans, however, is that Drew Viney said to some fans during today's game that he would be back on the court Wednesday against Pepperdine for the Lions home finale.

The Lions host Pepperdine Wednesday at 8 p.m for Senior Night. Both Vernon Teel and Larry Davis will be playing their final game in Gersten Pavilion. The game will be on ESPNU.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Looking Forward: Migraines and more

Drew Viney will be key to the Lions success in Vegas | Courtesy of Facebook

Another close loss last night. The final score is in no way indicative of the closeness of the game, as the Lions trailed by just four points with four minutes to play, and had numerous attempts to cut that lead down to two. Yet again, however, key turnovers cost the Lions from making a full-fledged comeback.

Junior leading scorer Drew Viney missed his second straight games with affects from migraines. Could the outcome of the game have been different if Viney had played? Definitely. Should we have been able to win that game without him? Definitely. Viney's name was spoken a lot in Gersten yesterday as fans were wondering "what if Viney had played last night," but let's not forget that Viney played when this team lost to San Diego, Pepperdine, and Santa Clara. The truth is with or without Viney in the lineup, this team has yet to play a full 40 minutes of basketball in any game this conference season.

But it is also clear that this team's offense runs so much better when Viney is on the floor (although to give credit where credit is due, the team played phenomenal defense last night in Viney's absence). 

After the game, Loyolan Sports Editor John Wilkinson spoke with Head Coach Max Good about Viney's current status. "He’s still got to see a neurologist [today]," said Good. "The [migraine] medication they thought was making him anemic and kind of weak.  It was like he was kind of tired and drained."

To read the full Loyolan story, click here.

And for those fans wondering why a migraine has kept Drew out of two and a half games this season, a close family member of his has chosen to explain that on the LMU Lions fan message board. I can assure you that this poster is close to the situation, but I will respect any privacy on their identity past that point.

So what does this mean for LMU? Well clearly, and unfortunately, the Lions will not play another meaningful until they step onto the court at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas in March. This conference regular season is a wash, and it is apparent that we will probably enter the tournament as the seventh seed. However, I still believe that while this team may have lost its chemistry and confidence, it has not lost its talent that we all believed was enough to win them a WCC Title. There is no reason this team can't string together a couple of exciting wins at the WCC Tournament. However, Lions fans have got to pray that Viney's migraine situation clears up by then, as he will be vital to any successes we have in Vegas.

Until then, the best we can hope for is to treat the remainder of this regular season as tournament prep. I would like to see Godwin Okonji and Edgar Garibay get big minutes, as they seem to have been improving each game and should play a huge factor at the Tourney. I would like to see a consistent rotation set in place by Head Coach Max Good, so that each and every player knows his role come WCC Tournament time. And lastly, I would like to see the mental mistakes begin to be eliminated from play. If that can happen, there is no doubt that LMU is just as good a team as any in Vegas. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Five schools offer Ajayi Scholarship

Arizona, Florida, Loyola Marymount, Seton Hall and Wake Forest have offered high school center Lekan Ajayi a scholarship for next season, according to The Tucson Citizen.

As reported earlier, Ajayi will be visiting LMU with his mother on Monday, and staying through Wednesday when the Lions take on rival Pepperdine.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Drew Viney update

Courtesy of Facebook
Drew Viney's status for tomorrow night's game against Gonzaga is still unknown, but in a Spokesman-Review article today Lions Head Coach Max Good made the situation regarding Viney's injury/illness a little more clear. "“Drew didn’t have any problems last year, but he’s had [migraines] off and on this season,” Good said. “We tried to give him different medicine but he lost his energy, he’s just tired and anemic.”

Viney missed the entirety of LMU's game against Saint Mary's last weekend after feeling side-affects from the new medication. He suffered migraines in the Lions home game against San Francisco, missing most of the second half.

The Lions hope to get Viney's situation taken care of as soon as possible, as the junior forward is leading the team in points and rebounds per game.

*UPDATE: A lot of people are checking out this story today. Please read an update here, however.*

LMU hosts 5-3 Gonzaga tomorrow night

Just 355 days ago LMU fans rushed the court after a win over No. 9 Gonzaga
Flashback to February 19, 2010 ‒ The Lions entered Gersten Pavilion that night with a 13-13 record, astonishingly better than the 3-25 record from the year prior. Finally healthy for the first time in two months, LMU upset No. 9 Gonzaga. The win was the first ever for the Lions on their home court, and propelled the season into a full-fledged turnaround. LMU put together a winning season for the first time in years, making it to the semifinals of the WCC Tournament and eventually being asked to participate in a postseason tournament.

Flash-forward 355 days, and the Lions are yet again set to host Gonzaga in Gersten Pavilion tomorrow night. This time, however, LMU is in the midst of a most disappointing season, as the team holds a conference record of just 1-8.

Gonzaga, however, is having a disappointing season of its own. Beginning the year with a preseason ranking of No. 12, the Bulldogs are currently unranked and have suffered their worst start to conference play this decade. The Zags hold the conference's fourth spot in the standings, with a 5-3 record, but are in risk of handing over the WCC Regular Season Crown for the first time this century. Many feel that if the NCAA Tournament were to start today, mid-major perennial powerhouse Gonzaga would not be invited.

The Lions and Bulldogs have met once already this year, with Gonzaga putting together a tremendous second half to beat LMU 79-59. The two teams were tied at the half.

The Lions were dominated in the paint, being outscored 46-16. The Zags' Robert Sacre did most of the damage, finishing the game with 18 points on 9-15 from the field. The Lions, however, were without center Godwin Okonji, who was out with a broken nose. Backup center Edgar Garibay was also limited to just 14 minutes due to foul trouble.

LMU will be trying to snap a two-game losing streak (and a seven-game conference losing streak) tomorrow. Gonzaga, on the other hand, is coming off of a non-conference loss to Memphis and a close victory over Portland.

Drew Viney, who sat out of the Lions' last game against Saint Mary's due to the effects from recent Migraines, is questionable for tomorrow's contest.

Tomorrow's game tips off at 8 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.

Monday, February 7, 2011

High school center sets visit to LMU

Despite behind amidst a disappointing season, LMU coaches are still working hard to set a bright future in place for the Lions. High school senior Lekan Ajayi, a 6'11" center from North Carolina, has scheduled visits to LMU and Florida, and also plans to visit Seton Hall, Tennessee, and either Arizona or Miami. According to college basketball blogger Adam Zagoria, Ajayi will visit LMU Feb. 14-16, where he will most likely have the opportunity to watch the Lions take on Pepperdine on the night of the 16th.

Ajayi, who is originally from Lagos, Nigeria, will take his mother along with him on his visit to LMU. The Lions currently have two other roster players from Lagos (Ayodeji Egbeyemi and Godwin Okonji).

Ajayi is averaging 9.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks this season.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


The Lions are now 1-7 in conference play after an embarrassing loss to USD. I was at the women's game, so I didn't see much of the game (just the last minute or so) but at this point there's not much to say. To be honest, I thought we would be 6-2 at this stage of WCC play. This team has a tremendous amount of talent and potential and it has all been wasted this season. It's extremly disappointing.

Drew Viney, our best player, had only eight shot attempts. Vernon Teel, and I don't care how much other fans want to make him the scapegoat, is our second-best player and he played only 13 minutes. At this point, Max Good is pushing all sorts of buttons and nothing is working.

I'll be up at Saint Mary's on Saturday night hoping for a shocking upset over the Gaels on ESPN2. With this team you never know, but I am definitely expecting the worst. At this point, It's All Bad.

Lions travel South to take on Toreros

Photo Courtesy of Facebook
After snapping their five-game losing streak in a non-conference game Monday, the Lions will now travel to San Diego to take on the Toreros tonight. LMU is 1-6 through the first half of WCC play, with the team's lone win coming at home against the Toreros one month ago. San Diego is still look for its first conference win.

Conference play has been rough for the Lions, as three of their six losses have been by three points or less. They now find themselves in seventh place in the WCC standings.

The Lions were led by Drew Viney in Monday's win, as the junior forward contributed 26 points and 10 rebounds in the 17-point win. Ashley Hamilton added an additional 16 points and nine rebounds on a night when the Lions had 21 second-chance points. Seattle University had just eight.

LMU will face a Torero team tonight who is just 4-18 overall this season. Tip-off in San Diego is at 7 p.m., and the game can be heard live in the Los Angeles area on KXLU 88.9 FM. You can also watch the game online at