Loyola’s Jimmy Patsos sees dedication rewarded with winning season

Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos is driving the Greyhounds toward just their second 20-win season in school history. Backed by the 3-point shooting of Robert Olson (below), Loyola is 14-5, 7-2 in the Metro Atlantic. (Loyola University)Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos is driving the Greyhounds toward just their second 20-win season in school history. Backed by the 3-point shooting of Robert Olson (below), Loyola is 14-5, 7-2 in the Metro Atlantic. (Loyola University)

“I’m much calmer — because they listen,” said Patsos, who collected his 100th win this season. “R.J. Williams and Dylon and, like I said, Winbush and Drummond are really smart kids off the court. We have a more experienced team. It’s my highest GPA team, last year and this year. It’s the quality of the individual combined with the quality of the basketball player, and that’s what Loyola is supposed to be anyway.”

Put together, a breakthrough could be in the offing. The Greyhounds still have what athletic director Jim Paquette dubbed “the back nine” of conference play looming, starting with Friday’s visit to Niagara.

But Patsos‘ eight years of unabashed hard work to reach this point with a once-barren program is something he and the rest of the Greyhounds’ program won’t soon forget.

If he ever did, he’ll always have the cufflinks.

“He’s so good with relationships, and one of the reasons he’s a phenomenal recruiter,” Paquette said. “You share a cab ride with him, and all the sudden the next week a Loyola T-shirt is showing up in the mailbox. He’s not selling Loyola basketball. He’s building a fan base, and people recognize what he has done as a coach.”

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