Loyola-Chicago (1-1) at Tulane (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Devlin Fieldhouse (3,600) -- New Orleans, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: Loyola 1-0, Tulane 1-0. Away Record: Loyola 0-1, Tulane 1-0. Neutral Record: Loyola 0-0, Tulane 0-0. Conference Record: Loyola 0-0, Tulane 0-0. Series Record: Tulane leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Coach Ed Conroy will take aim at his 100th Division I victory as his Tulane Green Wave host the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers at Devlin Fieldhouse for non-conference action.
Loyola began its season with a four-point win over former Horizon League rival Milwaukee at home. However, the Ramblers fell to 1-1 on the season on Tuesday when they suffered a 74-69 setback to Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. This will be the first trip to Louisiana for the team since 1984. Coach Porter Moser's squad has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in both games this season. The Ramblers, who are in their first year as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, may have to overcome a learning curve as the 16-man roster has a combined total of 17 years of Division I experience.
Conroy came into the 2013-14 season with a 48-49 record as the Green Wave's head coach. Despite losing six players who decided to transfer, Conroy is now one-game over the .500 mark due after leading Tulane to an 11-point decision over NJIT in the season opener before picking up a 79-73 victory at Southern on Wednesday. The Green Wave have relied heavily on outside shooting through their first two games as they are converting only 38.2 percent of their two- point field goal tries and 40 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.
This will be the first meeting between these schools since 1947 and just the second in history. Tulane holds a 1-0 all-time series lead thanks to its 67-52 victory over the Ramblers in the inaugural bout.
Loyola has averaged 76 points per game through its first two games with the trio of Jeff White, Milton Doyle and Christian Thomas leading the way. White netted only 5.3 ppg as a freshman in 2012-13, but he is having a breakout sophomore campaign with 35 points and seven assists in two games. Doyle, who transferred into the program from Kansas just prior to last season, has knocked down 50 percent of his attempts from behind the 3-point line en route to a team-high 20.5 ppg, while the 6-foot-5 Thomas is a warrior on the interior with 14.5 points and a team-best seven rebounds per outing. Thomas's effort has not been enough to get the job done as the Ramblers are being outrebounded by an average of 9.5 boards per contest.
Junior Jay Hook had a very limited role for the Green Wave last season, but the unusually high number of departures has given him a chance to shine and he is taking full advantage. The 6-3 guard has grabbed 11 rebounds in both outings while averaging a team-high 21 ppg. Sophomore guard Louis Dabney has also thrived in an expanded role so far and paced Tulane with 24 points and nine boards versus Southern. Freshman guard Jonathan Stark is scoring 15.0 per game and dishing out a team-best 4.5 assists. Junior Trevante Drye leads the Green Wave with 13.0 boards rpg to go with his 10.5 scoring average.
Both of these teams are undersized so they should match up very well. Although Tulane has the homecourt advantage and a bright future, it will struggle to contain Doyle, who is going to be the focal point of Loyola's offense for awhile.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola-Chicago 77, Tulane 70
11/16 10:41:13 ET