Jan 18, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Loyola Marymount Lions head coach Max Good reacts to a call in the first half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Gersten Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports
It would be an understatement to say that the Loyola Marymount Lions have had bad luck with injuries in recent years, but it is fact that these injuries led to poor performances from depleted squads, which led directly to the firing of former head coach Max Good. In fact, the only coach who had to deal with a comparable amount of significant injuries en route to getting fired was Northwestern’s Bill Carmody.
While there were many injuries right from the beginning of 2009, let’s just review all of the major injuries (at least 5 games missed) of key LMU players during the Max Good/Anthony Ireland era, and discuss the impact these injuries had.
Godwin Okonji: Missed entire season due to car accident and leg injury
Ayodeji Egbeyemi: Missed last 24 games of the season due to hip injury
Chase Flint: Missed last 13 games of the season due to broken elbow
Nino Jackson: Missed a majority of the season with an ankle injury before leaving the program.
Ayodeji Egbeyemi: Missed last 9 games of the season due to groin injury
C.J. Blackwell: Missed 27 games (including last 24 of the season) due to knee injury
Chase Flint: Missed 11 games due to stress fracture in shin
Drew Viney: Missed 10 of 12 first games of the season due to stress fracture in foot
Ashley Hamilton: Missed 12 games due to foot injury
Jarred DuBois: Missed a total of 5 games due to soreness in his foot and a concussion
Drew Viney: Missed a total of 5 games due to a deep calf bruise and migraines
Jarred Dubois: Missed the last 26 games of the season after foot surgery
Ashley Hamilton: Missed 7 games due to a broken hand
Ayodeji Egbeyemi: Missed 5 games with an ankle sprain
Larry Davis: Missed 6 games due to pulled groin
Edgar Garibay: Missed 14 games due to multiple injuries
Which of these injuries hurt LMU the most?
I’d say the injuries to Drew Viney and Ashley Hamilton during the non-conference portion of the schedule during the 2011-12 season hurt the most. These were two players who could put the ball in the basket and play both ends of the floor. LMU really struggled without them, compiling losses to Middle Tennessee, Harvard, Columbia, North Texas, Florida State, and Morgan State. When Viney and Hamilton came back for conference play, the Lions were an impressive 11-5 in the conference, defeating BYU at the Marriott Center (which almost no team in the country is able to do), and nearly defeating Gonzaga at home.
Had the Lions been able to get some quality wins against Harvard and Florida State, and beaten some other poor teams, they might have had a shot at an NIT berth or maybe even an NCAA birth. As it stands, that was the best season for Anthony Ireland and Max Good as they reached the semifinals of the CIT, but the season could’ve been even more impressive had they been able to have more success in the non-conference with a healthy Viney and Hamilton.