Right about now, you’re asking yourself, “Who’s that lady?” And right about now you’re singing the Isley Brothers song of the same name. Well, the lady in question here is Heather Cooke, a former cast member on Real World: Las Vegas. Why do we care about Heather Cooke? Well, she’s a graduate of a certain Loyola. The same Loyola that Syracuse is set to take on tomorrow and teach the Greyhounds about what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know the first thing about Heather Cooke, and I haven’t watched the Real World in about a decade, because I’m an adult and if I want to see people get drunk and act like idiots I’ll watch something like Hell’s Kitchen, thank you very much.
Cooke, as she was known, was also a soccer star at Loyola, and is one of two Loyola graduates to have participated in the comically stupid modern iterations of MTV’s Real World/Challenge programs. Now you know how old I’m getting, having referred to a TV show as a “program.”
But that’s neither here nor there, because we’ve got to move along and start talking about kicking the crap out of Loyola. Which Loyola, again? Pretty sure it’s the one in Maryland, but who can really tell? There are so many of them it becomes almost as confusing as trying to figure out which Cooney is which whenever Terry or Trevor or Pumpernickel takes the floor. Yes, Pumpernickel Cooney is a name I’m going to stick with, and you can’t stop me.
A little bit about the Loyola Greyhounds: They’ve played four games so far this season, having lost to Texas Tech and, most recently, Butler, while beating Cornell and Maryland-Baltimore County, which I’m told is not the name of a federal penitentiary but is, in fact, an actual college with accreditation and everything. The game against UMBC was a real thriller, with the Greyhounds lighting up the scoreboard for 45 points, somehow out-gunning their opponents, who poured in 38 points. For those scoring at home, UMBC scored nearly a point a minute, yet Loyola was able to sprint past them. No wonder they call them the Greyhounds, right?
Anyway, on Saturday the Greyhounds took on Butler and found themselves on the wrong side of a stomping, losing 80-39. On the bright side, Loyola, you still would have outscored UMBC!
Their leading scorer through four games has been Eric Laster, a 6-foot-6 junior guard from Delaware, so we can probably all assume Trevor Cooney and his numerous brothers have serious beef with him. Expect Tuesday’s #COONEYFACE levels to be at or near an all-time high. Anyway, the Cooney clan’s mortal enemy is scoring 14.8 points-per-game and shooting 52.6% from long range, having knocked down 10-of-19 attempts from deep.
After Laster in the scoring column comes Andre Walker, who averages 11.0 points and 4.0 rebounds but is shooting just 23.9% from the field. He is not going to be Trevor Cooney’s new mortal enemy with numbers like those, particularly since he’s come off the bench each game this year. Tyler Hubbard starts at one of the guard positions, and the 6-foot-2 guard averages 6.8 points-per-game and is 7-of-17 from three, hitting 41.2% from downtown. We should probably try to get a hand in Hubbard’s face on the perimeter while also making sure he doesn’t make any sudden moves toward the cupboard.
So, we’ve gone over the three biggest perimeter threats, and now you’re probably asking, “but what about the interior?” Well first of all, if you want to talk about interior, never go with popcorn ceilings. But let’s move on from that and talk about Loyola’s post play, shall we? Franz Rassman is a 6-foot-10 junior from DC who has started every game this season, and is averaging 8.0 points and 6.0 rebounds-per-game, but he’s shooting just 40% from the field.
The 6-foot-8 Cam Gregory and 6-foot-7 Jarred Jones have split starts at forward as well, though that’s mainly because Jones has missed each of the last two games with a sprained MCL suffered against Cornell. Before that, he was averaging 6.5 points and 7.5 rebounds. His availability tomorrow is unclear. Gregory, on the other hand, has averaged 4.0 points and 7.3 rebounds, and has hit double digits in rebounding twice this season.
Another noteworthy item for tomorrow night’s game is that Loyola is coached by GG Smith, the son of Tubby, and he was recently quoted as saying that Syracuse’s strength is its length and athleticism in the post, while the Orange’s weakness is the perimeter shooting. Very insightful, GG.
Let’s be honest – or, for the sake of our cover girl today, let’s be REAL. Unless Syracuse plays one of the team’s worst games in recent memory, this should wind up being a 40 point blowout victory. This is, after all, a Loyola team that scores just 54.8 points-per-game and, as a team, they’re shooting a collective 32.7% from the field. To put that abysmal percentage into perspective, the team is shooting better from three (32.8%) than they are overall.
At the end of the day, tomorrow night should prove to be a good chance to see what some of Syracuse’s bench players can do, and whether any improvements have or even can be made with regard to some of the team’s early season deficiencies. Expect the end result to be pretty similar to the Kennesaw State game.
Sorry Cooke, the tribe has spoken.
That’s what they say on the Real World, right?