|Calmer coach Jimmy Patsos brings success to Loyola (Md.) basketball program|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 08 February 2008 10:53|
Patsos ran a vacuum over the locker room floor. Then he rearranged a board listing the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings, moving Loyola past Niagara into third place.
Patsos was simply trying to keep busy after receiving two technical fouls, an automatic ejection. He was teed-up twice in a row during a single stoppage of play four minutes before halftime in Loyola's 81-69 victory Thursday night.
``My job is to represent the school with class, and I think I do. I didn't curse,'' Patsos said. ``My job is also to protect the school's image, and I will do that. We have worked very hard to earn respect in this league.''
-8 start, the Greyhounds are 14-11 and 9-4 in the MAAC.
Much of the credit goes to Patsos, who was an assistant at the University of Maryland when the Terps won the national championship in 2002. In his early days at Loyola, Patsos was a madman on the sideline, often shouting at his players and the refs while running back and forth in front of the bench.
In spite of those two technical fouls he received Thursday night, Patsos insists he has mellowed.
``I've grown up since I've been here,'' he said.
Maybe it's true. This year, by his count, he's only received three technical fouls - including one against Marist that Patsos took intentionally to put some life in his uninspired team.
``He's calmed down a lot,'' said senior guard Gerald Brown, who scored 33 against St. Peter's and also received a technical foul.
``I've always said Gerald Brown would be a good coach, so I got ejected and Gerald got a technical,'' Patsos said. ``I always tell Gerald, 'I know you want to be like me.'''
Said Brown: ``Jimmy took one for the team, so I said I would take one for the team. It was for motivation.''
Brown still has some playing to do before he gets into coaching. Loyola hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since 1994, when the late Skip Prosser guided the Greyhounds to the MAAC title.
Brown is eager to end the drought, but even if Loyola doesn't make it this season, he will leave knowing that he helped Patsos steer the team in the right direction. Brown, who played his high school ball in Baltimore, began his college career at Providence before coming to the small Jesuit school in his hometown.
``Growing up here in Baltimore, I saw Loyola maybe once on TV. When I first transferred here, I thought it could be the start of something new,'' Brown said. ``It's changed a lot. I'm trying to set an example and open it up for someone in the future. I just want to be a trendsetter.''
With Brown leading the way, Loyola is 7-1 since Jan. 13. Playing for the fourth time in eight days, the Greyhounds never trailed against St. Peter's in a win that left them just 1 1/2 games behind first-place Rider in the MAAC.
``A great win for the program,'' Patsos said. ``I was really pleased with how they played in the second half - from what I heard.''