Loyola Marymount head coach Mike Dunlap and his staff received some good news Saturday afternoon, as one of the top players in Los Angeles has decided to remain home and play for the Lions in college.
6-foot-3 shooting guard Donald Gipson, a senior at Fairfax High School, announced that he will attend Loyola Marymount via his Twitter account. Gipson was an All-City selection as a junior, a season which came to an end prematurely due to a partially torn knee ligament suffered in a playoff game. Gipson is expected to be ready to go for the start of his senior season.
Gipson’s ability as a perimeter shooter and defender will help Loyola Marymount as they look to make the climb up the WCC standings in the future.
Gipson is LMU’s first verbal commitment in the Class of 2016, and given the presence of four upperclassmen adding young talent to the perimeter rotation is something they needed to do. LMU has just one perimeter senior (David Humphries), and its two underclassmen (Munis Tutu and Jeff McClendon) are both freshmen.
The biggest question mark for BYU before the start of this season was how quickly would point guard Kyle Collinsworth be back to full strength. The Cougars were better offensively last season with Collinsworth filling the role of primary playmaker, but when he went down with a torn ACL in the WCC title game the Cougars struggled in that game and in their NCAA tournament loss to Oregon.
How effective would Collinsworth be after spending the summer rehabbing from that injury?
Not only has Collinsworth returned to full strength, but he’s also been one of the most versatile players in college basketball. Saturday afternoon in the Cougars’ 87-68 win at Loyola Marymount, Collinsworth tallied 23 points, 12 rebounds and ten assists (with just one turnover) for his fifth triple-double of the season. As a result, Collinsworth is now the Division I record holder for most triple-doubles in a single season.
“He was special tonight,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said of the 6-foot-6 junior. “It was from the very tip, the very first possession, he was determined to give the effort we all needed in this game.”
Prior Saturday Collinsworth was one of five players in Division I history to have four triple-doubles in a season. Drexel’s Michael Anderson (1985-86), UCSB’s Brian Shaw (1987-88), California’s Jason Kidd (1993-94) and UMass’ Stephane Lasme (2006-07) were the other four.
And with five more regular season games to play before postseason play (WCC tournament and either the NCAA tournament or NIT), Collinsworth is more than capable of adding another triple-double (or more) to his record.
If you’re a fan of college hoops and you aren’t familiar with Loyola Marymount’s Evan Payne, then it’s time for a crash course. The high-flying, high-scoring sophomore guard is averaging 21.7 points per game on pretty efficient shooting splits so far this season and he’s also been known to soar through the air for the occasional big dunk. They’re usually fun to watch since Payne is 6-foot-1.
I guess Ron Baker didn’t get the memo because he tried to jump with Payne during the Lions’ game against Wichita State in the Diamond Head Classic. Loyola Marymount probably won’t win many games this season, but Payne is at least a lot of fun to watch.
Here’s the flush:
(H/T: Ray Curren)