"I have always a sacred veneration for someone I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher." - Jonathan Swift
Game #9-471: Manhattan Jaspers vs. Loyola (Md.) GreyhoundsMarch 9, 2013 9:30 pm
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - There are certain situations in life that we just know intuitively are dangerous for us. Wise people do what they can to avoid such scenarios as much as possible, or at least keep them to a minimum, as enticing as they may seem to us from afar. Experience helps us, nothing teaches intelligent life on this planet more than having been there before, and not repeating the actions that lead to the undesirable consequences.
Sometimes, however, there is nowhere to escape. Duty or obligation or making a living dictates that we need to be somewhere and a certain time, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it.
When Jimmy Patsos and Loyola finished third in the MAAC this season, it meant the Greyhounds would be slotted into the annual MAAC After Dark game, the sixth and final game of the Saturday proceedings, laughably scheduled for 9:30 p.m., but the odds would be better that Patsos would be confined to his hotel room for the whole weekend than it would to have things go according to the MAAC official schedule.
Sure enough, the Loyola-Manhattan game finally began at 10:29 p.m. EST, 59 minutes late without a single overtime to deal with in the entire day. Patsos' opponent, Manhattan and Steve Masiello had been here before last year, they were the No. 3 seed last year, dropping an absolute heartbreaker to Siena in overtime well after midnigh
In case you're new here, the annual MAAC After Dark game
is known for general insanity and craziness, fueled by a crowd that may or may not have visited an establishment or two before the extremely late start time.I've seen Patsos a few times this season
, and generally he's been much calmer than his caricature, but not in MAAC After Dark. He was halfway on the court screaming, subbing, getting in his players' faces, and of course, the requisite technical foul, which came just 4:26 into the contest. Clearly, Patsos and MAAC After Dark were not going to form a harmless compound.
And the Greyhounds didn't handle it much better than their coach in the early-going. They tried to pressure, but all that did was leave the one consistent shooter (maybe remove the word consistent) Manhattan his, Shane Richards, wide open in transition, and it was 18-5 Jaspers seven minutes in.
Loyola had two contributors - Jordan Latham and Robert Brooks - suspended for a pregame altercation of all things last week against this same Manhattan squad
, a game Loyola won at home late (the Jaspers also had Mohamed Koita banned for this one), so their bench was thin enough, with foul trouble making stretching their depth to its limits and beyond.
But, led by Dylon Cormier, Loyola was able to climb back to with four at the half with Patsos screaming and yelling all the way. It was interesting to listen to the crowd's reaction. Normally, there would be outrage from opposing fans when Patsos runs onto the court or berates one of his players in frustration, but not from the Manhattan faithful on this evening, quickly leading into morning. Possibly it was the hour, but more likely that the Jaspers have now seen Patsos so many times that they're used to him, coupled with the fact that their younger head man, Steve Masiello, has a lot of the same tendencies, although it must be said that Masiello was barely noticeable in this game with Patsos stealing the spotlight.
Per regulation, MAAC After Dark had its share of crazy incidents, including when went into the boxscore as an Emmy Andujar layup, but was actually him being stripped of the ball, which then hit off his leg, bounced up onto the rim, and somehow bounced through the basket. The boxscore also records a Richards superhoop later in the half, but doesn't tell you that his defender Anthony Winbush had lost a shoe 30 seconds earlier and was trying to chase him on one leg, the other sliding around like you did on the kitchen floor when you were young. A referee actually had to clear the dead weight in live action like hockey officials do when a player breaks his stick. You see something new every day, right?
Again Manhattan pulled away in the second half, attacking the rim at every opportunity and just outmuscling the stunned Greyhounds, who were the defending champions. The lead ballooned to 12 before Loyola made one final, desperate charge to steal it. Cormier's three-point play got the Greyhounds within 53-52 with 2:42 left, and bizarrely, Manhattan wouldn't see much of the ball the rest of the way.
After Cormier missed a running layup, Rashaun Stores misfired on a superhoop with time running down on the shot clock with 1:06 to go. The Greyhounds would get four shots in the next minute, the ball ping-ponging around off backboard and rims, Loyola desperately trying to keep its season alive. Strangely, there wasn't a stoppage to be had, the exciting conclusion played straight through without commercial interruption.
Finally, after miss No. 4, Stores was fouled with 3.3 seconds left, made both free throws, and Robert Olson's (who had a tough night which I blamed on his shorter haircut) desperation 35-foot prayer was not answered at the buzzer.
Manhattan, dealt such a cruel blow in MAAC After Dark last year, was headed to the conference semifinals, even without their top scorer from a year ago, George Beamon, who was injured early in the season.
The clocks at the MassMutual Center has already sprung forward for themselves at midnight, so it wasn't quite as late as this would appear, but Daylight Savings Time wasn't going to help with the sleep deprivation issues this weekend, for me or the teams in question.
I wanted to get home, but I did watch Patsos after the final buzzer as he appeared to storm after a few people before departing the court. Uh oh, I thought.
But a second look showed he wasn't really storming, he was smiling and thanking. As it turned out, which it being Loyola's last game as a member of the MAAC (they head to the Patriot League next season), Patsos just wanted to personally thank as many MAAC officials as he possibly could before departing.
The MAAC puts its press conferences online (at the bottom here), and so Sunday morning I got up and watched what Patsos had to say. Other than taking a jab at the time of the game (it was nearly 1 a.m. when the press conference started, which was really 2 with the savings time issues), he talked positively about everything and everyone, especially his own players: how much he loved them, what great human beings they are, how they're going to be great people in a few years.
As opposed to a similar press conference where he famously (at least here) thanked Kyle even in one of his lowest moments, Patsos has a little more job security these days with last year's MAAC title to his credit and a solid season this year, even with this disappointing loss. I can't excuse everything he did on the court, nor to I condone any of it, really.
But, as I've talked about before this season, it's easy to put people into boxes, stereotype them, make them one-dimensional. It makes it easier that way, easier for the writer or reporter, and easier for the consumer because it makes thinking optional.
It's not, however, reality. And if there's one guy who knows that as well as anyone, it's our old buddy Jimmy Patsos.
MANHATTAN 55, at LOYOLA (MD.) 52
MANHATTAN 13-17 (10-9) -- A. Williams 5-14 9-13 19; D. Kates 1-3 3-4 6; R. Colonette 2-3 3-5 7; S. Richards 3-9 0-0 9; R. Stores 1-7 6-6 9; R. Brown 6-13 0-4 12; E. Andujar 2-5 5-6 9; M. Alvarado 1-5 1-2 3; C. Jones 0-2 0-0 0; R. McCoy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-47 18-27 55.
LOYOLA (MD.) 21-11 (12-7) -- E. Etherly 1-10 4-4 6; D. Cormier 4-12 5-6 14; A. Winbush 4-6 3-4 12; R. Olson 3-10 0-0 8; J. Jones 2-3 3-3 7; F. Rassman 0-0 0-0 0; E. Laster 0-0 0-0 0; T. Hubbard 0-0 0-0 0; L. Wandrusch 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-41 15-17 47.
Three-point goals: MAN 5-18 (M. Alvarado 0-1; D. Kates 1-3; R. Stores 1-4; C. Jones 0-1; S. Richards 3-9), LMD 4-12 (A. Winbush 1-1; R. Olson 2-6; D. Cormier 1-5; R. Williams 1-3); Rebounds: MAN 34 (R. Brown 12), LMD 28 (D. Cormier 7); Assists: MAN 10 (R. Brown 2), LMD 6 (D. Cormier 3); Total Fouls -- MAN 15, LMD 17; Fouled Out: MAN-None; LMD-R. Williams.
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