Loyola Marymount

Loyola Marymount loses two players indefinitely after car accident

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Loyola Marymount had some scary news happen to its program during the week as they announced that seniors Godwin Okonji and Ayodeji Egbeyemi will be out indefinitely while recovering from the effects of a car accident.

Okonji, a 6-foot-8 forward and Egbeyemi, a 6-foot-4 guard were involved in an accident on October 20th on the way to practice and CBSSports.com’s Matt Norlander reports that according to the school, the accident happened around 7:30 a.m., as the teammates were riding to practice. They were released later that day and the news wasn’t released on the duo’s status until Friday.

“We are very thankful that both Godwin and Ayodeji are doing well and were able to come home following the accident,” LMU coach Max Good said in a statement. “While they are doing well, both suffered various levels of injuries that will take time to heal. In talking with our doctors, we feel Ayodeji should be back soon, while we will have to wait and see on the condition of Godwin. He suffered injuries to his left leg that will require further examination from his doctors. At this time, we are just thankful that they are with us.”

Loyola Marymount had a subpar ’12-13 season and finished 11-23 and 1-15 in the WCC before winning three straight in the WCC Tournament and losing in the semifinals to the No. 1 team in the country, Gonzaga.

Okonji averaged 4.9 points, 3.8 rebounds last season, while Egbeyemi put up 10.6 points, 6.0 rebounds per contest.

Loyola Marymount adds guard Nino Jackson to 2013 class

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Before the 2012-13 season began Loyola Marymount had the look of a team capable of being a factor in the race for fourth behind WCC titans Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and BYU.

Sure Max Good’s team lost wing Drew Viney, but with the return of point guard Anthony Ireland and forward Ashley Hamilton the Lions didn’t lack for individual talent.

To say the least the season did not go as planned, as LMU managed to win just one conference game and finished the season with an 11-23 overall record (they managed to win three conference tournament games). With that in mind an infusion of talent is needed, and the hope for LMU is that the additions of guard Nino Jackson and forward Gabe Levin will help.

LMU announced the signing of Jackson, a 6-2 guard from Ardmore, Okla. who attended Kingdom Christian Academy in Georgia this year, on Wednesday afternoon and from a talent standpoint the Lions are getting a steal.

“We are very excited to have Nino joining our program,” said Good in the release. “He is a multi-talented player that can hurt an opponent in so many ways. He has had to work hard to get where he is today, to graduate from Kingdom and to earn a Division I scholarship and that gives him a lot of maturity that really shows on the court.”

But for all the physical gifts there were also off-court issues for Jackson, which ultimately led him to Kingdom Christian. In their victory in the title game of the NACA Division III tournament Jackson led the way for a team that finished the game with just four players due to fouls.

Levin, a 6-7 power forward from St. Thomas More (CT), wasn’t included in the release as he has yet to sign with Loyola Marymount. But the one-time Hofstra commit (reopened his recruitment following the firing of Mo Cassara) has the skill needed to help LMU account for the graduation of Hamilton next season.

Jackson and Levin are the third and fourth players to commit to Loyola Marymount, with guard Evan Payne (who was a teammate of Jackson’s at Kingdom Christian) and 6-10 center Patson Siame being the others.

With the talent entering the program and the return of Ireland, Loyola Marymount hopes to have the pieces needed to avoid a repeat of last season.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

'Don't be bringing that USC gear around here!'

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I’m forever grateful for Lester Speight‘s influence on American culture. Who’s Lester Speight? You may know him better as Terry Tate, office linebacker.

And he’s the impetus behind yet another funny video of people hitting other people as a means of motivation. This time it’s from Loyola-Marymount, which won’t tolerate student wearing gear from other schools. Watch.

The star is guard Vernon Teel, who opens the video by tackling a USC fan, screaming “C’mon! Tell me where you go to school! You go to LMU! Don’t be bringing that USC gear around here! Represent your school right!”

If Teel’s half as intimidating on defense, the Lions may actually have a chance in the WCC.

(H/T: Diamond Leung)

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.