Detroit Hosts Loyola In HL First Round Tuesday

#10 Loyola (7-22, 1-17 HL) at #3 Detroit (18-13, 11-7 HL)
Date: Tues., Feb. 28, 2012
Tip Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Detroit, Mich.
Arena: Calihan Hall (8,295)
Live Stats:
Live Video: Horizon League Network
All-time Series: Loyola leads, 67-53
Series streak: Detroit, W7
This Year: Dec. 31- @Loyola, W, 65-54; Jan. 25- @Detroit, W, 67-52

Detroit enters the Horizon League Tournament as the third seed in the 10-team field. The Titans will host 10th-seed Loyola Tuesday night in a first round match-up with the winner advancing to a quarterfinal contest against the winner of Youngstown State and Green Bay, played at top-seed Valparaiso on Friday.

Loyola comes into Tuesday’s game with 22 losses, but has played well of late, going 2-4 down the stretch with a pair of overtime defeats. The Ramblers rely on the frontcourt tandem of Ben Averkamp and Walt Gibler to shoulder the scoring load. Averkamp, a HL Second Teamer, scores a team-best 15.2 points per game while Gibler chips-in 12.5 per contest. The duo also combine to grab 12.8 rebounds a night.

In a series that dates back to the 1922-23 season, Loyola holds a 67-53 lead but has lost the last seven straight to the Titans. Detroit dispatched LU last season in the first round as well, with the fifth-seeded Titans downing the eight-seed Ramblers, 90-69 on Mar. 1, 2011. Detroit won both games this season by double digits. The Dec. 31 win in Chicago may have been the springboard to Detroit’s turnaround. Before that win, UDM was muddled in an 0-3 start in HL play (6-9 overall) and then won 12 of its final 16 games to finish the regular season 18-13.

Detroit clinched the third seed in the upcoming Horizon League tournament with a 76-74 win at Youngstown State Saturday afternoon at the Beeghly Center in the regular season finale for both teams. Eli Holman’s flush in the final seconds proved to be the winning points in the victory. Ray McCallum finished with 15 points and six assists while Doug Anderson and LaMarcus Lowe each contributed 10 points. One game after shooting 21 percent in the second half (5-23), Detroit torched the net at a 65 percent (15-23) clip in the second stanza Saturday.

The last time Detroit earned the three seed in the league tournament, the Titans raced all the way to the championship game before falling by a point at Milwaukee in 2005. Historically, the three seed has performed well in the tournament, advancing to the championship game 15 times (since 1979-80) and winning the whole business six times (last time: Cleveland State in 2009).

Sophomore Ray McCallum was named to the All-Horizon League First Team and senior Eli Holman was named the Sixth Man of the Year when the league announced its postseason awards Monday. The sophomore leads the team in points, assists and steals for the second straight season. McCallum becomes the 16th Detroit first team honoree and first since current NBA’er Willie Green was the Player of the Year in 2002-03. Holman has played in 21 games, 19 off-the-bench as Detroit’s key bench member. He is averaging 11 points and seven rebounds per game and has three double-doubles to hive him 27 for his career. Holman became the first Titan to win the top reserve, an honor that has been awarded since the 2007-08 season.

The Titans are 29-29 all-time in the Horizon League (formerly MCC) tournament. Detroit won the 1994 and 1999 postseason titles. Last season, the Titans beat Loyola in the first round, then fell to Valparaiso in the quarterfinal round.

The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project is a nationwide effort to identify basketball games between Jesuit schools and, through those games, bring greater positive awareness to Jesuit education and mission. This project was developed by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) in response to member institutions wanting to spread the word of Jesuit higher education through the more than 90 basketball games in which Jesuit institutions play each other. Both Detroit and Loyola are Jesuit institutions.

Detroit shot all the way up to third place in in the Horizon League standings after a 1-4. UDM was mired in eighth place and Saturday completed the climb all the way to the third seed. The HL records for each HL school since Detroit’s 1-4 start:

HL Records after Jan. 6
Valpo 11-3
CSU 9-5
Butler 8-6
Green Bay 8-6
Milwaukee 8-6
Youngstown St 7-7
Wright St 4-9
UIC 2-11
Loyola 1-12

THREE TO 1,000?
Keeping tabs on individual scoring as we head to the final stretch of the season and there is a possibility that Detroit could have three 1,000-point scorers on the floor at one time. Chase Simon, already at 1,334 points in a Titan uniform, surpassed the mark in the early part of the season. Fellow senior Eli Holman sits at 972 heading into the postseason. Sophomore Ray McCallum also has a shot at quadruple digits this season as he has 914 career points, and depending on the number of postseason games played, could reach that plateau.

The Titans are 6-2 in the month of February, the most wins in any calendar month this season. Detroit ‘s two losses were both road defeats. The last home loss for Detroit was back on Jan. 6, a tough 73-71 defeat at the hands of Valparaiso. February’s wins have included four wins by five points or less.

Head Coach Ray McCallum is perfect through three rounds of the “Shots from the Heart” head coach’s bracket to benefit the Skip Prosser Foundation. Coach made all 25 shots in each of the first three rounds and has advanced to the “Elite 8”, where he will match-up against defending champion Fred Hoiberg of Iowa State. The tournament will be pared down to four in the coming weeks with the finals at the end of February. The Free Throw Champions of both the head and assistant coach’s brackets will be recognized as part of the 2012 Awards Banquet in New Orleans, site of the 2012 Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship. Follow for updates on Coach Ray’s progress in the tourney. For more on the “Shots from the Heart”, got to

The newest edition of the “Detroit Titan Court Report” is out and you can catch it during a number of different re-airs on FOX Sports Detroit. The fourth installment of the 30-minute show gives fans an inside look to the Detroit Titans men’s basketball team, including interviews with players and coaches, highlights, features and behind-the-scenes access like no other show can provide. The show, in its second season on FSD, was nominated for a Michigan Emmy in its first season and has been met with rave reviews in season two.

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