Upcoming in Gray Wolves Basketball: Lourdes begins postseason basketball on Wednesday evening as the Gray Wolves travel to Lima, Ohio to face Northwestern Ohio in the quarterfinals of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference tournament. The Gray Wolves enter as the tournament's sixth seed while the Racers are seeded third.
Head Coach Andre Smith: In his third season both on the Lourdes bench and overall as a men's collegiate head coach, Andre Smith has a 67-58 (.536) record. He is the only head coach in Lourdes program's history. Smith was the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2012-2013.
Series Notes: Lourdes is 6-2 all-time against Northwestern Ohio in a series that dates back to Dec. 30, 2010. The Racers won both previous meetings this season though, posting a 64-62 win in Lima on Jan. 8 and a 64-48 victory at Tam-o-Shanter on Feb. 12. Lourdes holds a 3-1 series edge in games played at Racer Gymnasium in Lima.
Earlier This Season: Lourdes rallied from a 17-point second half deficit only to see Derrick Tate score on a put back basket as time expired on Jan. 8, giving Northwestern Ohio a 64-62 win over the Gray Wolves in Lima. Johnny Elliott led the Racers with 17 points while Tate added 16 more. Jerome Talton tallied a team-high 16 points for Lourdes while Zach Steinmetz had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. On Feb. 12 Northwestern Ohio opened the second half with a 31-7 run and defeated the Gray Wolves 64-48 at Tam-o-Shanter. Elvin Butler led Lourdes with 14 points while Eric Worthey added 13. Elliott had 24 points while Ed Jenkins scored 13 more for the Racers.
Wrapping Up Last Week: Eric Worthey scored 20 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, making 14-of-15 from the free throw line, as Lourdes defeated Siena Heights 57-52 at home on Wednesday. The Gray Wolves trailed 18-15 at halftime, but shot 56.3% from the floor over the final 20 minutes. Zach Steinmetz added a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Elvin Butler drained a 16-foot jumper with 1.0 seconds remaining on Saturday as the Gray Wolves downed Aquinas 59-57 to close the regular season. Butler tallied 19 points while Steinmetz added 13 points and 10 boards.
Scouting Northwestern Ohio: The Racers enter the WHAC tournament having won six straight contests following a 70-57 victory at home against Madonna on Saturday. Johnny Elliott leads Northwestern Ohio in scoring, averaging 19.5 points per game, while ranking 11th nationally averaging 2.3 steals per contest. Ed Jenkins adds 15.9 points and 4.0 assists per contests while Derrick Tate chips in 10.6 points per game. As a team the Racers rank 14th nationally allowing just 67.9 points per game and are 11th with a +3.1 turnover margin.
Lourdes in the WHAC Tournament: Lourdes has posted a 3-2 record all-time in the WHAC tournament, advancing to the championship game in 2012 and the semifinals in 2013. In 2012, the Gray Wolves entered as the seventh seed, and upset Cornerstone and Concordia (Mich.) on the way to the title game where they fell at Davenport. Last year, Lourdes defeated Concordia at home before dropping a semifinal contest at Madonna.
Buzzer Beaters Times Two: Lourdes defeated Aquinas twice this season on buzzer beaters, including Elvin Butler's jumper with 1.0 seconds remaining on Saturday which gave the Gray Wolves a 59-57 win. Back on Dec. 4 in Grand Rapids, Mich., it was Ron Dukes that hit the game-winner for the Gray Wolves on a lay-up with 4.1 seconds remaining in a 57-55 triumph. Four of the six games all-time between Lourdes and Aquinas have been decided by two points or less.
Another Winning Season: Heading into the WHAC tournament, Lourdes has secured its third consecutive winning season. The Gray Wolves finished 17-16 in 2011-2012 and 22-10 in 2012-2013. The very worst Lourdes could finish is 16-15 this year.
Taking Care of the Basketball: Lourdes committed a season-low five turnovers on Saturday in the victory over Aquinas. The Saints scored just two points off of Lourdes miscues while Lourdes scored 26 points off of 15 Aquinas turnovers. The Gray Wolves previous low for turnovers this season was seven at Lawrence Tech.
Double-Double Machine: Zach Steinmetz has three straight double-doubles and 12 in his last 15 games for the Gray Wolves. He finished the regular season with 16 total double-doubles, and is averaging 13.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. His rebounding mark ranks third in NAIA Division II.
Playing Defense: Lourdes ranks fourth in all of NAIA Division II averaging 62.4 points per game and is seventh nationally allowing teams to shoot just 30.7% from three-point range. The Gray Wolves also rank 21st in the nation holding opponents to a 42.0% shooting night from the floor overall.
Four Year Players: Elvin Butler and Jerome Talton will conclude their careers following the season as the first two four-year players in program history. They have helped lead Lourdes to a pair of NAIA Division II National Championship appearances during their careers at Lourdes.
Captains Named: Lourdes has two captains on the roster this season. Serving in the leadership role for 2013-2014 are Elvin Butler and Jake DuPree, both first time captains.
This and That: Lourdes trailed at halftime in each of its last two victories ... the win against Aquinas was the first time this season that the Gray Wolves won a contest in which they had a lower shooting percentage than the opposition ... Eric Worthey was 14-for-15 from the free throw line in the win over Siena Heights ... they Gray Wolves and the opposition are tied 832-832 in first half points this year.