College Basketball Nation: Drew Viney

Loyola Marymount is looking Good

December, 2, 2011
For Loyola Marymount, taking down UCLA in the season opener might not end up being the highlight to its season after all.

After an upset win against Saint Louis earlier this week, the Lions have now beaten ranked opponents in consecutive tries for the first time since their emotional run in the 1990 NCAA tournament following the death of star player Hank Gathers.

That's enough to make LMU at least one of the top teams in Southern California, and the Lions are doing it without some of their best players. Drew Viney, the West Coast Conference's second-leading returning scorer, wasn't cleared to practice until Thursday following offseason foot surgery. Ashley Hamilton, who led the upset of UCLA with 23 points, has missed the past three games after suffering a foot injury of his own.

But this year, coach Max Good is unwilling to let injuries slow down the team's progress like they did last season when his roster was decimated. With guard Anthony Ireland averaging 16 points and nearly 4 assists, the Lions look like they're for real after disappointingly tying for last in the WCC last season.

From the Los Angeles Times:
In that 11-21, LMU lost 10 games by a total of 34 points — two of the losses were in double overtime. Injuries to six of the team's top eight players resulted in their sitting out a total of 66 games over the course of the season. For most coaches, that would end the summary.

Not Good.
"Max Good did a terrible job," he says. "I will go to my grave disliking myself for last season."

He says he tried too hard, yelled too much at his players during games and mismanaged the injuries.

But that's gone, or, as Good says, "Nothing gets beat quicker than excuses." He also says, "You're only as good as your next game, not your last one."

LMU's Drew Viney to miss start of season

October, 4, 2011
Loyola Marymount senior forward Drew Viney, the West Coast Conference's second-leading scorer, had surgery Monday on a stress fracture in his left foot and is expected to miss the start of the season.

The 6-foot-8 Viney led the team in both scoring (17.2 ppg) and rebounding (6.6 rpg) in 27 games as a junior. He has had issues with his feet throughout his career. As a freshman at Oregon, Viney missed most of the season due to a stress fracture in his right foot. He also missed games last season due to calf injuries and migraines, but still managed to finish in the WCC's top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and blocks.

Viney is out indefinitely following surgery and expected to miss at least the team's season opener at UCLA. His injury is just the latest that has hampered a Lions program looking to move up in the WCC. They tied for last place and won only two conference games last season while a whopping seven players missed games due to injury.

Viney became the third All-WCC honorable mention standout to go down with an offseason injury. Pepperdine returning leading scorer Lorne Jackson is expected to redshirt the season after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament during a pick-up game in June. Santa Clara forward Marc Trasolini, the team's leading rebounder, tore the ACL in his left knee during the team's preseason tour of his native Vancouver and will also redshirt the season.

Gonzaga dominates conference honors

March, 1, 2010
Gonzaga coach Mark Few has been named the West Coast Conference's coach of the year, guard Matt Bouldin is the player of the year and forward Elias Harris is the newcomer of the year.

Bouldin, Harris and guard Steven Gray were named to the all-conference first team.

Saint Mary's center Omar Samhan was selected for the first team and also named defensive player of the year.

The other first-team players are Portland's T.J. Campbell and Robin Smeulders, Loyola Marymount's Vernon Teel and Drew Viney, San Francisco's Dior Lowhorn and Saint Mary's Mickey McConnell.

Good day for Loyola Marymount, not Zags

February, 19, 2010
Exactly two weeks to the 20th anniversary of the death of Hank Gathers, Loyola Marymount pulled off a historic win in Hank's House.

LMU stunned No. 9 Gonzaga 74-66 at Gersten Pavilion on Thursday, marking the Lions' first win against a ranked team since Bo Kimble and the 1990 team captivated the nation by beating Alabama in the Sweet 16 while playing with the grief of Gathers' death. Since that day in Oakland, the Lions had been 0-35 against Top 25 teams.

[+] EnlargeAshley Hamilton
AP Photo/Alex GallardoAshley Hamilton scored 17 points and had six rebounds in Loyola Marymount's upset of No. 9 Gonzaga.
After this one, though, the students were rushing the court.

Second-year coach Max Good put the upset in perspective, as he hoped it would be the start of LMU's return to at least something resembling the glory days.

"Everyone's running around all excited," Good said by phone. "The wins are just a little less miserable than the losses."

The Lions, at 14-13 with road wins against Notre Dame and USC, have more victories this season than in the previous two combined (eight). This despite being plagued by injuries and lacking a single senior on their roster.

Credit Good, known for being a foul-mouthed disciplinarian, for kick-starting the Lions' return thus far to respectability and getting players he half-jokingly calls "social misfits" to perform.

"My first job is to make these kids graduate," Good said before repeating the mantra he uses on them.

"Prisons and cemeteries are full of people that make bad five-second decisions."

Even during the game, Good sent sophomore guard Kevin Young to the bench, and the two exchanged words while Good said he was trying to explain an error made on the court. Good followed him to the end of the bench and appeared to very briefly put his hand on Young's neck.

Asked if he regretted the physical contact, Good said, "I was just trying to get him calmed down. Of course not. Anyone that got that has too much time on their hands.

"Kevin is just a very emotional kid and very intense competitor and sometimes will sulk. He's not a good kid. He's a great kid."

Ashley Hamilton scored 17 points to lead LMU, and Oregon transfer Drew Viney added 16 points and 10 rebounds to help the Lions to the upset.

Gonzaga, meanwhile, is appearing vulnerable and could take a hit in its tournament seeding after shooting 34.4 percent and suffering its second West Coast Conference loss. The Zags lead Saint Mary's by a half-game and Portland by a game in the standings, but have already swept both teams.

"Gonzaga’s still Gonzaga," Good said. "The rest of the teams are validated because they set the bar. That’s where we want to get to."